Discussion in 'Serious' started by I'm_Not_A_Monster, 14 Dec 2004.
Something about that sentence strikes me as being rather wrong.
An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
- Mahatma Ghandi
That was not the point as I read it.
You are dehumanising the murderer. It is the same as US GIs calling the Vietnamese 'gook's and it is the same as the dehumanisation of the Jews, homosexuals et cetera by the Nazi party in the early 20thC. Drum it into someones head that it isn't a person they're killing with feelings, thoughts, family et cetera and that it is a nameless, faceless something that is below them and you can make them kill them without remorse.
You do this because you don't want to face up to the fact that, at the end of the day, innocent or guilty, the death penalty is killing a human being. We are all human beings, we will continue to be human beings until the moment we die, our thoughts and actions will never stop us from being human. Killing another human is wrong regardless of the means, situation or intention (excluding, as I stated earlier, voluntary euthenasia) and should not be done.
We all feel incensed by certain people and/or situations but to take the life of a human being? That is wrong.
Nota Bene: 'human being' in this case refers to the symbiotic community of organisms that most people would say constitutes a 'person'. Only around 10% of the cells in your body have 'human' DNA, the rest are micro-organisms, bacteria and the like. At this point, I'll stop myself going into the whole collective entity/collective consciousness tangent as it is for another thread.
Thank you, I couldn't recall who said it earlier.
Hazza - if you don't have anything to contribute to the debate, please don't post crap. Thanks.
good post penski
if you murder someone, murderer, homosexual, drug addict, republican, etc. it is still murder. if you are poor that does not give you the right to steal from people, if you are gay you do not have the right to molest women, and if you are republican you do not have the right to take unilateral military action against a suspected threat based solely on the threat of a threat.
no matter how you try to justify it murder is still murder. call a VW a porsche all you want, it's still a bug. sometimes there is no alternative, kill or be killed, but that does not make murder "good".
the only person you can kill and not be a murderer is yourself, it's called euthanasia. i would like to have the option of painlessly killing myself if i had an alternative of slowly having my body cored out by cancer. but there would be a few things i would have to take care of, but i cannot tell you any more, i don't want the backstreet boys and *nsync to get a warning...
It is getting harder and harder to do though, you have to admit.
In the case of murderers/rapist, what happened to those feelings when they were killing/raping people? In situations where there is 0% chance of wrongful conviction (by which I mean said person was caught in the act) and they offended multiple times, the end result justifies the means. Why should we have to pay to keep some sick individual with no feelings for others (by penski's terms no longer makes them human (sorry if I've misinterpreted your meaning)) to be essentially housed and fed, both of which I have to work for to ensure I get, when there is no guarantee that as soon as they are release they won't just go and do it again?
No sane, functional human would. But I think we both agree that the person in question is anything but. I would figure that, like most psychopaths, he is pretty dissociated from his own feelings as well as those of others. Don't automatically impose your mental frame of reference onto other people if you are trying to understand them...
I don't think I called you that... Please re-read my post.
But you make a good point about the jury. When killing someone becomes up close and personal, all of a sudden it isn't such an attractive proposition anymore for most people (as for those for who it is, well, doesn't that make them rather similar to the murderer?). You can only kill someone if it is personal ("you killed my child, and now I will kill you"), or by depersonalising him ("this man is nothing to do with me, but they're all [insert ethnic minority, social class or sexual orientation here]/criminals/murderers anyway so let's kill him").
Most likely, but that would be sort of personal between me and the murderer. It would have nothing to do with justice. It wouldn't bring my child back. It would be simply a matter of revenge and cold logic (making sure he can't do it again). I would let out my monster (for we all carry one inside) and I would know then that I made the choice not to be the Good Guy.
Choices, choices... Would it but be that simple. But what if he does not scoff defiantly and spit at me with his dying breath, but begs and pleads and cries and blubbers and wets himself in abject terror for his life? What if he doesn't fight back, but just lies there cowering and whimpering as I close my hands around his throat? What if I find he is carrying the scars and burnmarks of horrific child abuse? What if he turns out to be learning disabled, a big lump of a man with hardly the understanding of a child? Could I still kill him, my dead child in my mind and the fire of revenge in my veins?
What if afterwards, the person in question turns out to be innocent after all? Do I chalk it up to accidental statistics "hey, he could have been struck by a bus instead"? What does that make me?
Not so simple now, is it?
It always has been; the price has always been high. But that is what gives it value.
A "0% chance of wrongful conviction" is a rather hypothetical situation, but let's for the sake of argument go with this. Say we have a multiple murderer/rapist, we've got indisputable evidence, he was caught in the act, on CCTV, witnesses, the works. We know he's guilty as sin.
Should we kill him? I'll admit it's the logical thing to do, if only from a prevention point of view. Everyone has human rights, but you also have to earn this entitlement. You can forfeit your rights by your behaviour. "Each man is defined by his actions"...
However if we kill him, that defines us too. I mean, here we are, dispassionately(?) killing a guy, in cold blood so to speak, because he has killed/raped people. Does the fact that he is a monster protect our humanity in this act (and if so, how)? When do we cross that line? How "human" does the sentenced person have to become, before we become the monster?
I'm not saying I have the definite answer, but I'm saying we have to really think carefully about this one. It's not all as simple and straightforward as you think.
I've already made the point as to why Capital Punishment isn't really murder.
Yes, you're killing another human being. However, (and for the record, this is assuming that due process has been carried out properly and the person is truly guilty) the person you are "killing" knew that death was a possible punishment of his/her actions before he/she comitted them. Once that punishment is brought to bear, in my mind, it is not murder but punishment. It is the consequence of "murdering" someone who did NOT enter into a situation knowing that death was a probability.
In war, when you have 2 armies opposing each other and one man gets hit with a bullet and dies, noone rails on and on about murder. The soldier knew he/she was putting his/her life on the line. That's what soldiers sign up for. Same for killers and murderers. They know what they're getting into when they do it. We shouldn't coddle them and rail about morality when they themselves did what we are loathe to do, and did it with pure malice in mind. Calling this murder makes no sense to me.
calling an execution "cold blooded murder" is the same as a racial slur. you are slapping a convenient label on it. i suppose that makes it easier for some people to accept and others to condemn. just like racial slurs make it easier for some to condemn and others to rush to their defense.
a jury's verdict reflects the social values and mores of the society it is based on. prohibition cases went poorly for the prosecution because the juries didn't seem to mind booze at all, and like i pointed out in my first post it is where we get the basis of our 1st amendment. if the jury feels a man should die, then he should be executed. appeals come into it because values and mores do change... and that is the heart of the aguement here: values and mores. we are all arguing this point subjectively.
i feel that we rely on the state to carry out the penalty because to an extent it is an "evil"; i'm assuming the majority of the population would rather not pull the switch themselves, so we rely on the entity known as the state, a faceless mass, void of identity, to do the work (so we individuals do not become "monsters"). fire of vengeance burning in the veins not withstanding, death in any form leaves one hollow... but it is an innevitable part of life.
technically life inprisonment without parole is still a death sentence, as they will die eventually anyway. executions just speed the process up...
stan makita in wayne's world : "why is it that when a man kills another man in the heat of battle, he's a hero. but what a man kills a another man in the heat of passion, he's a muderer".
oh, the irony.....
I don't even see how there is an argument in this thread, Corporal punishment of any form is wrong. Two wrongs don't make a right etc. etc.
It also seems to me that Capital Punishment ( in the USA in particular) is all about revenge, politics and a sense of closure for the victims family rather than any semblance of justice.
When talking about justice, the cost of keeping someone in prison should not even be an issue. Pragmatic justice is an oxymoron.
With the exception of a few die-hards, the debate for the most part seems to be about semantics.
I, as an individual, don't have any overall problem with capital punishment. I don't really think it's wrong, nor do I think it's right. I do take issue when people declare their opinions as absolute truths, however. Thus the continuation of the thread.
I would disagree, I think it's more about the disturbing trend of how people can develope a general disregard for human lives. That more and more people see killing as an answer to a very complex social and moral problem. Stating what you belive isn't something that I have a problem with.
The fact that there is an overwhelming willingness, almost a desire, to to kill the convicted; even in the face of real evidence that the American judicial system can not provide safeguards against the execution of innocent and wrongfuly convicted people---well that just scares the **** out of me.
What was your disagreement in regards to?
im thinking :-
is in response to
Ah. I was wrapping my mind around something different. Thanks for clarifying.
And yet you can speak down upon those US GIs calling Vietnamese "gooks" and you can speak down upon the Nazis killing jews, blacks, homosexuals, ect...
You may not want to kill them, but you speak down upon them just as GIs spoke down upon Vietnamese.
Now that we're to almost 5 pages, I'm thinking it's time to declare our opinions and admit that none of us are going to change.
I believe the death sentence is absolutely proper for some cases, both as a means of serving maximum punnishment and -- if done properly IMO -- to save taxpayers money. The only alternative I would deem truly acceptable would be to force criminals to work for the state in their confines for the rest of their natural lives (no surgery, *maybe* asprin if they work hard enough to earn it), to earn their keep so-to-say, so they are not continuing to be an economic burden on society.
This is my opinion and I understand that it is very different from many views here.
And Nex, the monster bit wasn't to you, note that you aren't the one relating me to a nazi
you seriously want people to die to save tax payers money? Do you really think that is justice in any shape or form? The very thought that someone can actually think like that sickens me to the core.
edit: just to make it clear, im equating you to a Nazi too, anyone who can solve a monetary problem by killing people would fit right in with mr himmler and his particular posse
Have you ever tried reading an entire statement? The economic factor is a SECONDARY issue. The primary issue is the fact that murderers do not deserve to live in any environment IN MY OPINION. And, for the record, you're an ignorant fool if you think money doesn't affect anything. It is the reason NASA is going down the drain. It is the reason public school systems are going down the drain. It is the reason millions of Americans are losing their jobs to Indians and Chinese every day. It is the reason some people choose not to work. It is the reason some people choose (note: CHOOSE) to kill.
Very little pisses me off more than telling me that I HAVE to give the money that I work my ASS off for to some asshole that killed his wife and daughter to be with his new girlfriend... and for what? So he can watch HBO? So he can have plastic surgery? So he can work out? Read the paper? Have his girlfriend over for sex? No, that's ********. Absolute ********. And to make matters worse, if you DON'T give him death, he'll be out in 30-40 years so he can do whatever he wants... rape/kill/steal.
You can call me whatever the hell you want, but I WORK for my money, and I HELP people, and I will continue to do so until the day I day. When's the last time YOU got dirty helping someone else? You think HITLER ever pushed a complete stranger's car out of the mud? **** no, and **** you.
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