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Do you believe the death penalty is unethical?


Lyudmilascience
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Yes, if they cannot be treated (which remains an option), locking them up would be a higher order of ethics than killing, don't you think? You wanna kill mentally insane people..? Why would the level of others' suffering rely on whether you can blame-, or put somebody to death?

 

You wrote: Killing them would effectively remove them from the equation. No explanation as far as I can see.

Killing them guarantees they can't kill anyone else. It was very clearly put, as it was the entire point of the post. Anyways, I asked you a question and you dodged answering it, so let me try and make you go though a tiny thought process. this may be a little disturbing, but its a true thing that happened when a mentally insane person wasn't killed. Ted Bundy was arrested 3 times, and was never put to death. twice he managed to get out, and as a result over 30 people died in extremely horrific ways. It didn't stop until he was put to death. Now the innocent people who were subjected to extreme pain, the families of the loved ones, they ALL suffered at the sake of not ending this mans life. If they never did, hundreds more would have probably died. Your looking at it from a curved view. theres a point when ethics reach the highest, before they start to curve again resulting it in being too twisted to be recognized as ethical. If your willing to sacrifice hundreds, in an attempt of not killing someone, I am quite willing to say your insane. Its about the greater good. And the death of those who he did kill, resulted in deep pain of hundreds.

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Per Raider we should kill everybody suspected of stealing.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Bundy

"During high school he was arrested at least twice on suspicion of burglary and auto theft. When he reached age 18 the details of the incidents were expunged from his record, as is customary in Washington and most other states.[34]"

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Personally I don't think that one (extreme) example should be enough to warrant the death penalty. Raider5678 is implying that we cannot trust high-security prisons or similar facilities to keep dangerous criminals away from society and rather than securing these facilities or consider treating the criminals, he reckons it will be equally (or more) ethical to remove them from the equation more effectively...by killing them.

Edited by Memammal
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Whether it exceeds the diagnostic threshold or not, some degree of psychological disorder underpins nearly any crime, namely antisocial personality, for which there currently is no cure and currently the best treatment is punishment.

 

edited to add supporting evidence

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/head-games/201305/is-there-criminal-mind-what-does-it-look

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2856971/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12539904

Edited by MonDie
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Ethics is in the eye of the beholder and changes as you change time and place. I also find most arguments against the death penalty to be rather weak.

It seems to me that some ethical issues are related to the well being of our species, for example the ethos of incest. While incest has occurred for millennium, it tends to be self extinguishing. During WWII the Nazis exterminated millions of Jews; I accept that events and human nature enticed millions of people to assist in this extermination, and that their ethos was perverted by events, but I cannot accept that mass extermination is good for the human race. At best mass extermination affects friends and family, but such acts tend to adversely affect people for generations and tend to affect many more people than friends and family. Thus, it is unethical.

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I would love for you to explain to me why you claim it costs more to kill somebody than to keep them imprisoned for life. I have never heard that claim before, even by the staunchest anti DP folks. So..thanks, I'll be waiting patiently.

 

 

 

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penalty

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2014/05/01/considering-the-death-penalty-your-tax-dollars-at-work/#586e1f3117f0

 

The trials cost more (partly because there are automatic appeals) and death row prison population is more expensive than general population.

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The need for excessive enforcement of the law in the US is part of our problem with wealth disparity, imo. If we adjusted the tax system to stop sparing the wealthiest people and corporations, came up with a livable minimum wage, stopped running prisons for profit (and use more pre-trial services, saving bail for the really bad guys), and shored up our social programs so there was a healthier middle class with fewer families at the extreme ends of the spectrum, how would it affect crime overall, and specifically crimes that rate the death penalty?

 

I don't think civilized countries need the DP, but I think we need to change the circumstances that have deteriorated in the US since Nixon in order to truly make that judgement. A happier, healthier citizenry that isn't worried about making ends meet (in one of the wealthiest nations in the world) tends to commit fewer capital crimes.

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The death penalty is neither punishment nor justice, it's vengeance and, honestly, I am not above vengeance given the nature of the provocation.

 

 

How is punishment not vengeance?

 

None of us are above vengeful thoughts (that doesn’t make revenge productive or correct) but in England the idea is “supposed to be" rehabilitation.

A murderer needs to be separated from potential victims, via prison, but they don’t always deserve it.

Edited by dimreepr
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Whether it exceeds the diagnostic threshold or not, some degree of psychological disorder underpins nearly any crime, namely antisocial personality, for which there currently is no cure and currently the best treatment is punishment.

It is true that there is presently no known treatment- or cure for psychopaths. The only option is to lock them away. I am not sure if that is what you meant by punishment. However, to generalise and to apply that to "nearly any crime" would seem inappropriate.

Edited by Memammal
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It seems to me that some ethical issues are related to the well being of our species, for example the ethos of incest. While incest has occurred for millennium, it tends to be self extinguishing. During WWII the Nazis exterminated millions of Jews; I accept that events and human nature enticed millions of people to assist in this extermination, and that their ethos was perverted by events, but I cannot accept that mass extermination is good for the human race. At best mass extermination affects friends and family, but such acts tend to adversely affect people for generations and tend to affect many more people than friends and family. Thus, it is unethical.

I agree. Unfortunately for those killed, not everyone agrees.
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How is punishment not vengeance?

 

None of us are above vengeful thoughts (that doesn’t make revenge productive or correct) but in England the idea is “supposed” to be rehabilitation.

A murderer needs to be separated from potential victims, via prison, but they don’t always deserve it.

 

Punishment, IMO, is measured to educate or condition a person against committing some wrongful act. The intent of vengeance is not to educate but to inflict harm or injury in exchanged for some harm or injury suffered. The two are not the same--in my opinion.

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Punishment is also a penalty imposed on someone for some act deemed unacceptable. Generally we attempt to ensure the penalty is commensurate with the act. I don't find it unethical to impose a penalty as severe as death for a sufficiently severe act.

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Punishment, IMO, is measured to educate or condition a person against committing some wrongful act. The intent of vengeance is not to educate but to inflict harm or injury in exchanged for some harm or injury suffered. The two are not the same--in my opinion.

 

 

No but they do exist on the same scale, so where does one draw the line?

Punishment is also a penalty imposed on someone for some act deemed unacceptable. Generally we attempt to ensure the penalty is commensurate with the act. I don't find it unethical to impose a penalty as severe as death for a sufficiently severe act.

 

 

I agree as long as the proof is absolute.

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No but they do exist on the same scale, so where does one draw the line?

 

I agree as long as the proof is absolute.

And that's the rub. While I don't have any problem saying I'm okay with the death penalty, I have a very difficult time defining under what circumstances I feel a specific person can be executed. From a personal standpoint, I don't even know if anyone at all would be executed if it were up to me, but I just don't feel that there are NO circumstances in which the death penalty would be warranted.

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No but they do exist on the same scale, so where does one draw the line?

I don't really believe they are on the same scale by any measure. Compared to the violently selfish passion that the pursuit of vengeance seeks to mollify, punishment of any kind appears almost altruistic. Punishment is about doing something for the punished while vengeance is about doing something for the victim or oneself. I can't say where the line should be drawn, but I can say the line becomes clearer when we view the death penalty in light of the vengeance it seeks to satisfy.

Edited by DrmDoc
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Punishment is about doing something for the punished while vengeance is about doing something for the victim or oneself.

I'm not too sure you could convince many of the punished that you are doing something for them. I doubt the people in jail for marihuana will be thanking your for showing them the error of their ways.

 

Punishment does nothing for the person who is happy for what they did and would do it again.

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I don't really believe they are on the same scale by any measure. Compared to the violently selfish passion that the pursuit of vengeance seeks to mollify, punishment of any kind appears almost altruistic. Punishment is about doing something for the punished while vengeance is about doing something for the victim or oneself. I can't say where the line should be drawn, but I can say the line becomes clearer when we view the death penalty in light of the vengeance it seeks to satisfy.

 

 

Punishment, as it pertains to learning is germane to education; punishment, as it pertains to vengeance is revenge.

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They may accept their punishment as just at a later time.

They may even accept it is just at the time it is imposed. That doesn't necessarily mean they feel you have 'done something for them'.

 

I once received a ticket for traveling five miles per hour over the speed limit. I feel the punishment was just (the law is the law, and I know why they enforce it), but it didn't do anything for me. I was happy to speed then and I often travel over the speed limit now. I would have much preferred to not be punished at all.

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They may even accept it is just at the time it is imposed. That doesn't necessarily mean they feel you have 'done something for them'.

 

I once received a ticket for traveling five miles per hour over the speed limit. I feel the punishment was just (the law is the law, and I know why they enforce it), but it didn't do anything for me. I was happy to speed then and I often travel over the speed limit now. I would have much preferred to not be punished at all.

 

This is getting trivial and irrelevant. The death penalty is not punishment in the operant conditioning sense.

Edited by MonDie
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Punishment does nothing for the person who is happy for what they did and would do it again.

It's an effort, an attempt that isn't always successful or permanent. With punishment, I think we are trying to effect change in an perpetrators future behavior against wrongful acts.

 

 

 

Punishment, as it pertains to learning is germane to education; punishment, as it pertains to vengeance is revenge.

 

I see we have a different view. For me, punishment is one thing and vengeance is another. Vengeance and revenge satisfies the anger of the person taking that action. A person may learn from the vengeance inflicted on him but vengeance is not punishment if it takes his life. Punishment, IMO, is an opportunity to learn and grow from the consequences of one's bad acts. The death penalty is not about teaching someone a lesson to grow on. You can't learn or grow if your dead.

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It's an effort, an attempt that isn't always successful or permanent. With punishment, I think we are trying to effect change in an perpetrators future behavior against wrongful acts.

Yes, that's a good point.

 

Punishment, IMO, is an opportunity to learn and grow from the consequences of one's bad acts. The death penalty is not about teaching someone a lesson to grow on. You can't learn or grow if your dead.

I can see where it might be important for the person to learn and grow, but what good is it if they never get to act on this new knowledge?

 

Let's say instead of the death penalty they receive live in prison. In one case you cannot learn or grow (because you are dead) and in the other your possible growth can't lead to much of anything (because you are in prison).

 

I don't really see where society benefits by going the extra mile to ensure a convicted felon gets to learn about himself simply because it is a good in and of itself.

 

In this case, is life in prison significantly better than death?

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In this case, is life in prison significantly better than death?

 

My thoughts haven't changed, the death penalty isn't punishment, its vengeance and I am not opposed to vengeance given the provocation.

Edited by DrmDoc
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