# Do you believe the death penalty is unethical?

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So you agree that what is just and fair can vary from culture to culture and perhaps individual to individual.. rather arbitrary don't you think. And which is it, the culture decides what is fair, or the individual... and what if there are mixed opinions within the culture, e.g., on the issue of abortion, with variants such as incest, rape, safety of mother.

And what happens to the idea of justice if the law in a given state is changed from one year to the next, or people in a given town reject state law on abortion and pass laws of their own against the state law.

So your definition is rather vague to begin with. Really, the only thing that makes sense is that we get back to the idea that justice be distributed equally and impartially within a given culture, not the severity of the punishment. Again, what evidence other than your own (say, for example, a different wiki article) supports your definition?

It's your turn to provide evidence.

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So you agree that what is just and fair can vary from culture to culture and perhaps individual to individual.. rather arbitrary don't you think. And which is it, the culture decides what is fair, or the individual... and what if there are mixed opinions within the culture, e.g., on the issue of abortion, with variants such as incest, rape, safety of mother.

And what happens to the idea of justice if the law in a given state is changed from one year to the next, or people in a given town reject state law on abortion and pass laws of their own against the state law.

So your definition is rather vague to begin with. Really, the only thing that makes sense is that we get back to the idea that justice be distributed equally and impartially within a given culture, not the severity of the punishment. Again, what evidence other than your own (say, for example, a different wiki article) supports your definition?

Gilga: I see your mind is sharp..I would not be capable, or couldn't be bothered pointing out such a litany of inconsistencies.

Thanks. I'm used to reviewing scientific literature so inconsistent crap bothers me much. Also I'm bored I guess. But you're right. He's not worth it.

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It's your turn to provide evidence.

Um, I don't recall providing a definition that subscribe to, so I don't really have any need to provide evidence.

Indeed, I am not sure what point you are trying to make. You seem to agree that punishments vary from one culture to the next regarding the same crime, which really is just a way of saying that ethics are culturally relative. In terms of the question of whether the death penalty is ethical, it would seem that both of us agree that it depends on what alleged crime one is talking about, who is the defendant, and which culture one is referring to. Bottom line, the answer as to whether the death penalty is ethical becomes yes, no, maybe, depends.

Gilga: It seems to me that you are objecting to the round about condoning of the death penalty by those who appear to be saying that it is bad, but that it is nevertheless okay as long as one has tried other things such as short term jail sentences, or are you saying that for some people, we should just end their lives right away so that we aren't sending them to prison and then letting them out to see if they behave, thereby leading to repeat offenders?

Edited by disarray
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Um, I don't recall providing a definition that subscribe to, so I don't really have any need to provide evidence.

Indeed, I am not sure what point you are trying to make. You seem to agree that punishments vary from one culture to the next regarding the same crime, which really is just a way of saying that ethics are culturally relative. In terms of the question of whether the death penalty is ethical, it would seem that both of us agree that it depends on what alleged crime one is talking about, who is the defendant, and which culture one is referring to. Bottom line, the answer as to whether the death penalty is ethical becomes yes, no, maybe, depends.

Gilga: It seems to me that you are objecting to the round about condoning of the death penalty by those who appear to be saying that it is bad, but that it is nevertheless okay as long as one has tried other things such as short term jail sentences, or are you saying that for some people, we should just end their lives right away so that we aren't sending them to prison and then letting them out to see if they behave, thereby leading to repeat offenders?

The former. It appears some people here do not realize the consequences (or meaning) of their own statements and are left without rebuttal when I confront them. It's a common symptom among people who do not have a logical reasoning to sustain their belief to begin with. They treat words as stones and just throw them like blunt weapons rather than have them naturally flow from logical reasoning.

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The former. It appears some people here do not realize the consequences (or meaning) of their own statements and are left without rebuttal when I confront them. It's a common symptom among people who do not have a logical reasoning to sustain their belief to begin with. They treat words as stones and just throw them like blunt weapons rather than have them naturally flow from logical reasoning.

Evidence helps.

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The former. It appears some people here do not realize the consequences (or meaning) of their own statements and are left without rebuttal when I confront them. It's a common symptom among people who do not have a logical reasoning to sustain their belief to begin with. They treat words as stones and just throw them like blunt weapons rather than have them naturally flow from logical reasoning.

I read back through the thread a bit, so I thought it was the former. And yes, some people do treat words as stones....the transition is particularly noticeable when they start ignoring the logic and evidence one has presented and resort to using phrases that attack or dismiss one altogether.

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I read back through the thread a bit, so I thought it was the former. And yes, some people do treat words as stones....the transition is particularly noticeable when they start ignoring the logic and evidence one has presented and resort to using phrases that attack or dismiss one altogether.

And yet evidence has yet to be presented by either.

The amount of neg reps in this last page reminds me of a poker player on tilt, kinda funny without pocket Aces.

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Serious question:

In what ways might one argue that a non-punitive view of incarceration is consistent with the supposed secular (as opposed to religious) nature of the constitution of the U.S.

Casual question:

What would a non-punitive parenting style look like?

I do not understand your first question. The Constitution is a legal structure but doesn't necessarily outline how law is to be administered on citizens locally. For example if a city chooses they can mount cameras at intersection and punitively fine citizens who violate law however other cities may just choose to employ a safety patrol person to monitor traffic while others still may just choose to do nothing. The Constitution mostly limits the punitive authority of the goverment rather than empowers it. The government can't punitively take my land, deny me a voice, deny me all the guns I want (sadly), and etc, etc, etc.

I disagree about that there is a "religous nature" to the Constitution. Many foundering fathers were atheist. The wording reflects the popular language of their time. I know athiests today who still say things like "god bless you", "thank the lord", "god given talent", "god rest their soul" and etc. So I do not think it is accurate to say the Constitution was particularly religious. They used the language that was most accommodating to the general public at the time. Sort of like when Trump says "no one loves the bible me than me".

Non-punitive parenting, first I will say that how parents, spouses, siblings, etc behave amongst themselves and How they manage their private relationships is very different from how I believe the Gov't should be interacting with its citizens. I have a say in how my gov't behaves. I don't have a say in your personal affairs. And that is how it should be. That said I think millions of families in this countries are broken and have dissolved relations specifically because of punitive parenting. The more a parent most spank, yell at, ground, and etc a child the worse that parent child relationship is. I know many would argue that I am wrong. Many would argue that sometimes kids simply most be hit or what not. I simply do not see it.

Anecdotally; many people have serious issues with their parents far fewer have any issues with there grandparents. Even people raised by their grandparents. Perhap old people simply don't have the energy required to get worked up and scream, perhaps on average older people work less so they are less distracted, perhaps they learned from earlier parenting mistakes, and etc but most people that I know general have nothing but sugar and spice memories of grandparents. Myself included. I spent summers with my grandmother. A full summer is long enough to be bad or wear down nerves. I do not recall a single time my grandmother every scolded me, hit me, or anything. Obviously she must of. No way she didn't have to once. Yet I don't recall a single time we were ever at odds. Whatever she did was subtle enough to not have left a trace. Meanwhile my parents, I don't recall a single week I there wasn't multi punitive actions taken against me.

Statiscally states where higher percentages of parents report hitting their kids generally have worse overall societal outcomes. We are know the basic numbers. That most prison inmates, abusive spouses, cruel bosses, and etc were abused as children. And I understand that you did not specifically mention abuse or parents hitting children. My point is simply the more a parent uses punitive parenting the worse it is in my opinion. I apply that to most relationships. I do not do punitive things to my wife when she upsets me. Rather we discuss things until I am blue in the face and want to jump off the roof. ; )

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Ten Oz: No I don't think that the Constitution is religious in nature. (Apparently the only religious allusion in it is the use of A.D. to mark the date). Perhaps I misphrased things. I meant to suggest that the Constitution was a step away from the constitutions of many a country in Europe, which were indeed religious in nature. I couldn't agree more that there is a correlation between high degree of punishment (e.g. as often found in authoritarian parenting style) and personal/social outcomes.

I think that grandparent effect you mention is pretty universal. Grandparents have less responsibility in terms of discipline.

I guess the dilemma for parents is that they would like to be closer to their children, but do not want to lose the authority (familiarity breeds contempt sort of thing). Often parents vacillate between the extremes of over friendliness and over strictness, often to the chagrin and cognitive dissonance of many a child. Some parents can pull it off, but, in general, I think its a matter of not being able to have ones cake and eat it too....pick a role and stick with it sort of thing.

In general, just to clarify, I agree with everything you said.

Edited by disarray
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It seems to depend on the definition of last resort you use.

Last resort doesn't have a lot of wiggle room. It means you have exhausted all other options.

Someone remarked how death penalty should be a last resort measurement. Which I thought it already was. So we got in an unfortunate linguistic discussion about the term last resort. Apparently people think it means that you should first try out other courses of actions before the last resort action become acceptable.

Which of course means that they do think death penalty is acceptable as long as other courses have failed. Ergo repeat criminals.

But there are people on death row that are not repeat criminals, ergo the death penalty is not being used as a last resort.

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Last resort doesn't have a lot of wiggle room. It means you have exhausted all other options.

But there are people on death row that are not repeat criminals, ergo the death penalty is not being used as a last resort.

As you could get out of my posts, I understand death penalty isn't already being used exclusively on repeat criminals. What I asked was: would people accept death penalty if it was exclusively used on repeat criminals?

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As you could get out of my posts, I understand death penalty isn't already being used exclusively on repeat criminals.

That's not what I got out of "But current death penalty isn't the first or preferred option. It is the last."

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That's not what I got out of "But current death penalty isn't the first or preferred option. It is the last."

Let me refresh your memory also.

Patently false. "Last option" means all other options have been tried. Has incarceration worked?

You insisted there is no other interpretation possible of last resort. I'm cool with that. So, you must try other options first like incarceration and if that doesn't work you can kill them right?

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At what point does incarceration fail?

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At what point does incarceration fail?

When you let them out.

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Joking aside, why do you dismiss the possibility of rehabilitation?

When you let them out.

And if you don't?

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Joking aside, why do you dismiss the possibility of rehabilitation?

If you mean with respect to the condemned, they are such because they are, albeit arbitrarily, considered beyond redemption or forgiveness; they've gone beyond the pale. It's a simple desire not to want them alive anymore. It's not complicated and it doesn't need overthinking.

Edited by StringJunky
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You seem to be arguing against yourself, if it's arbitrary then who decides?

You're right It's not complicated, if there's no quantum or absolute then a death penalty should be excluded.

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You seem to be arguing against yourself, if it's arbitrary then who decides?

You're right It's not complicated, if there's no quantum or absolute then a death penalty should be excluded.

By arbitrary I meant that it's a decision made by humans according to some standard that has been set by them; they say "This is the line that must not be crossed, on pain of death."

You're right It's not complicated, if there's no quantum or absolute then a death penalty should be excluded.

You'll need to expand this for me please. As it stands it looks a bit metaphysical. I'll say, when it comes to the death penalty I usually attempt to empathise with the violated and their loved ones and see it from their perspective.

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Perhaps this will explain...

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The insanity defense is used in only 1% of felony cases (with almost all of those found not guilty being hospitalized). and is a rather fluid and vague:

• McNaghten rule: Defendant did not know the act was wrong, so is insane, and whether guilty or not, should be hospitalized indefinitely for treatment, perhaps (as later codified in the Durham Rule) because of mental illness.
• Some states added an "irresistible impulse", codified later in the ALI test: Knew the act was wrong, but couldn’t control/stop himself.

Though the percentage of people who kill could perhaps be found clinically psychotic, or who did not know that an act was “wrong,” (i.e., against the law) is minute, it is arguable that a very large percent of murderers, for example, kill on impulse, be it a jealous lover, an adulterer whose spouse who gets in the way or has a large insurance policy, a gang member getting revenge for the murder of his brother, etc.

Given that insanity is, apart from pragmatic legal distinctions, a matter of opinion and degree, and not a black/white, good/evil, innocent/guilty, manner from a psychiatric point of view, one might conclude that no one can play (mind-reading) God as if there is some discernible point whereby an individual can, “beyond a reasonable doubt” be judged to be beyond some sort of metaphysical pale.

In short, in cases whereby a death penalty might seem to be relevant, the court should not be in the business of determining sanity or evil (and thus of granting vengeance to victims), but rather of

• removing the threat the individual might pose through incarceration for a suitable period of time, and/or
• inconveniencing the individual through incarceration for a suitable period of time so as to deter himself or others from repeating a given act, and/or
• removing the individual from society through treatment in order to provide rehabilitation for a suitable period of time

“Incarceration” traditionally includes, at the discretion of the courts, anything from community service to solitary confinement.

In some cases, lifetime incarceration may be needed.

Edited by disarray
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Crikey!

14 pages of discussion on the question "Should we kill people when we don't really need to?".

How long would the discussion go on if the question was actually difficult?

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Crikey!

14 pages of discussion on the question "Should we kill people when we don't really need to?".

How long would the discussion go on if the question was actually difficult?

Lovely strawman, you have learnt much in your discussions here.

That's your opinion.Your arrogance is disappointing to think that such a divisive question is quickly solved.

Edited by StringJunky
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Lovely strawman, you have learnt much in your discussions here.

That's your opinion.Your arrogance is disappointing to think that such a divisive question is quickly solved.

Each person knows to a person individually that killing is wrong. Every person knows that they cannot go out and kill. Those who do anyway understand they are basically at odds with the world. Only in the context of a group does killing start to become an option. Like minded people come together in an echo chamber of ideas and agree to kill. One man or women kills based on their preferences and they are just murderers. When a group kills they are soldiers or a movement. Many things in society are this way. When a person shoplifts they are just a thief. When a bank exploits long groups of people taking their savings it is just business. If a fan at a football game punches another fan he gets arrested for assault. When the players on the field do the same no happens.

If I kill someone for any reason other than self defense it is wrong. We all agree. Why does the Govt get a separate standard?

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Each person knows to a person individually that killing is wrong. Every person knows that they cannot go out and kill. Those who do anyway understand they are basically at odds with the world. Only in the context of a group does killing start to become an option. Like minded people come together in an echo chamber of ideas and agree to kill. One man or women kills based on their preferences and they are just murderers. When a group kills they are soldiers or a movement. Many things in society are this way. When a person shoplifts they are just a thief. When a bank exploits long groups of people taking their savings it is just business. If a fan at a football game punches another fan he gets arrested for assault. When the players on the field do the same no happens.

If I kill someone for any reason other than self defense it is wrong. We all agree. Why does the Govt get a separate standard?

Because we, as citizens, have relinquished our right to exercise personal justice. We entrust the government to exercise it for us. It has been invested with that responsibility to act on our behalf in such circumstances.

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