View Poll Results: What role should mercy play in society?

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  • Society should always be merciful.

    4 21.05%
  • Society should sometimes be merciful.

    12 63.16%
  • Society should never be merciful.

    0 0%
  • Other

    3 15.79%
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Thread: What role should mercy play in society?

  1. #91
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    Re: What role should mercy play in society?

    I've only read the first 40 posts, so forgive me if this post is redundant or out of sync with the direction of the thread.

    I think the premise of this thread is confusing mercy with compassion. I cannot grant mercy on someone unless I have power over them. If someone is starving and I have a sandwich, he is at my mercy. If I give him the sandwich, I am showing him mercy.

    If someone has killed a child, I have compassion for the child's family and the killer's family. If someone has accidentally killed a child, I may even have compassion for the grief-stricken perpetrator. I am in no position to show mercy to any of these people, because I have no power over them. A juror may show mercy. A judge may show mercy. A D.A. may show mercy. I cannot. I can only show compassion.

    That may be why this thread veered wildly from the get-go. We as a people can show compassion. We are not in a position to show mercy.

  2. #92
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    Re: What role should mercy play in society?

    Quote Originally Posted by DiAnna View Post
    I've only read the first 40 posts, so forgive me if this post is redundant or out of sync with the direction of the thread.

    I think the premise of this thread is confusing mercy with compassion. I cannot grant mercy on someone unless I have power over them. If someone is starving and I have a sandwich, he is at my mercy. If I give him the sandwich, I am showing him mercy.

    If someone has killed a child, I have compassion for the child's family and the killer's family. If someone has accidentally killed a child, I may even have compassion for the grief-stricken perpetrator. I am in no position to show mercy to any of these people, because I have no power over them. A juror may show mercy. A judge may show mercy. A D.A. may show mercy. I cannot. I can only show compassion.

    That may be why this thread veered wildly from the get-go. We as a people can show compassion. We are not in a position to show mercy.
    Well, the thread is asking about society not just the individual. The criminal justice system is part of society. Moreover, citizens also have the potential to impact the laws that determine punishment. Consequently, when asking, "what role should mercy play in society?", part of that question is, "what role should mercy play in the criminal justice system?". Another part, as written in the OP, would be, "what role should mercy play in determining how we mold celebrities reputations?"

    Mercy is the exact thing I'm talking about.

  3. #93
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    Re: What role should mercy play in society?

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    WHen it comes to the legal or penal system, I think mercy should play a role and revenge should have no place in the legal system. But as was said above, that doesn't mean, of course, that criminals should get away with their crimes, or be allowed to continously pose a threat to society.

    But I believe in second chances (or third chances, for that matter) even for horrible criminals. Punishment should first of all serve the goal of protecting society, second the goal of rehabilitation of the criminal, third as deterrence for others -- it should not be a means to force revenge on the perpetrator, IMO.

    Some claim we need this revenge to make victims feel comfortable again. I don't believe it does. On the contrary, revenge consumes the soul of the victim, takes his or her humanity away from the victim and allows the crime to win.
    Second or third chances for speeding or smoking dope or for stealing a pack of gum... sure. For Murder? Hell no. There should be no second chances for murder, rape, kidnapping or molestation. The Death Penalty is a perfect punishment for those types of inexcusable crimes against society.
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    Re: What role should mercy play in society?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    What role should mercy place in society?



    There are many opportunities for us to show mercy to others in society. Our society is filled with criminals, deceptive politicians, narcissistic celebrities, people whom we deem immoral and others who act in ways that society considers negatives. Much, if not most, of the time, these people are met with fervent condemnation. It's cool to say that you hate reality stars. It's common to believe that murderers should be killed. It's normal to argue that bigots deserve nothing but disdain.

    But mercy is rare. Should it be? What role should it have in society? What role does it have in your decision-making process?
    I think we should only correct an individual to the point where it helps them and society. To hurt or destroy another for the sake of punishment only is strictly vengeance and a crime in itself. If a criminal shows no remorse or acknowledgement of wrong doing either from ignorance or stubbornness, then they may need to be separated from society for everyone's protection, until they learn. To temper justice with mercy is to consider the individual and societal needs of humanity.

    If you're eluding to mob thinking or social judgement, then it's a similar case as with law but a completely different approach. People need the freedom to express their likes, dislikes and opinions. The only way to influence society is by example. Judgement is merciless because we end up judging ourselves.
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  5. #95
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    Re: What role should mercy play in society?

    Quote Originally Posted by tessaesque View Post
    Seems to me it would be foolish to express mercy towards somebody who is likely to continue their destructive pattern of behavior.
    the question then becomes, is it mercy to enable them?

    the problem with "mercy" is that it get's confused (as I think it risks doing in the OP) with "inactivity", "passivity", or "enabling".

  6. #96
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    Re: What role should mercy play in society?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    the question then becomes, is it mercy to enable them?

    the problem with "mercy" is that it get's confused (as I think it risks doing in the OP) with "inactivity", "passivity", or "enabling".
    The thing is that in my OP, I specifically defined mercy and the definition does not include inactivity, passivity or enabling.

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    Re: What role should mercy play in society?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    Well, the thread is asking about society not just the individual. The criminal justice system is part of society. Moreover, citizens also have the potential to impact the laws that determine punishment. Consequently, when asking, "what role should mercy play in society?", part of that question is, "what role should mercy play in the criminal justice system?". Another part, as written in the OP, would be, "what role should mercy play in determining how we mold celebrities reputations?"

    Mercy is the exact thing I'm talking about.
    In which case, your OP makes no sense to me because the actual definitions of the word you chose cannot be wielded by society as a whole, since society as a whole has no power over individuals. Society may have compassion, but it has no ability to show mercy in the context you have chosen.

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    Re: What role should mercy play in society?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Let me point you towards the growing movement for restorative justice. It aims to do exactly what you're hoping for, though through education and therapy-type activities, as opposed to religion. It has been tried a bit in the last few decades in states like California and Pennsylvania, with promising results, most notably a lower recidivism rate.
    Frankly, religion and psychology are fairly similar disclipines.
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  9. #99
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    Re: What role should mercy play in society?

    Quote Originally Posted by DiAnna View Post
    In which case, your OP makes no sense to me because the actual definitions of the word you chose cannot be wielded by society as a whole, since society as a whole has no power over individuals. Society may have compassion, but it has no ability to show mercy in the context you have chosen.
    I don't know what you mean by "the context I have chosen". There isn't much "context" - it's just a question. The question is, "What role should mercy play in society?" Questions like this are asked all the time. It's simply a more specified example of the question, "What moral or ethical standards should society exhibit?"

    In any case, the vast majority of people who have answered seem to think the question makes sense since they answered it and their answers are phrased in ways that make it clear they understood the question as I intended it, so I don't know what else to say.

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    Re: What role should mercy play in society?

    If a man kills another man in cold blood, then no mercy should be there at all, obviously.
    However if a man kills another man who raped his daughter or committed some other irreversible horrible act on his family... I'm pretty sure most people agree the man may be so overcome with emotion he isn't thinking clearly, and the other guy deserved it.
    "Sometimes we must look beyond what we want to do what's best."

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