View Poll Results: Should Capital Punishment be supported?

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  • It should be supported in both principle and practice.

    43 47.78%
  • Yes in principle, but not in practice due to the ambiguity of social bias.

    14 15.56%
  • It should be opposed both in principle and practice.

    33 36.67%
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Thread: Is Capital Punishment Justified?

  1. #321
    Advisor Unrein's Avatar
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    Re: Is Capital Punishment Justified?

    Quote Originally Posted by emdash View Post
    I believe though he is saying that it promotes fear and awe in general among the citizens,
    Not in a democracy. It's the people who decide these laws in the first place. Or at least it's supposed to.

    So where does this logic end anyway? Does ANY punishment or government authority create fear in the citizens?

    And again, this is an isolated punishment, only murderers need to be afraid of it. It's not the nature of the punishment that submits citizens into fear or thier government it's the centeralization of the system, i.e. authoritarian communist states or fascist dictatorships. It's the fear of unchecked power, not the severity of issued punishments.

    I mean on a smaller scale, how many people actually see a cop car and think "oh good, if there's a cop around I'm safe"?
    I don't think twice about anything when I see a cop, I have nothing to hide from them.

    personally I think "sheet, sheet, how fast am I going?"
    GOOD! Thier purpose is effective then.

    government and authority shouldn't be viewed as punitive or disciplinary figures
    Then what the hell are they? Drinking buddies?

    --at least, not first and foremost. hopefully citizens remember that gov't is here primarily to serve.
    To protect liberty from those who wish to violate others. Ontop of that list is murderers.

    Do you really think the difference between the death penalty and life in prison is causing the average person who might have accidently forgot to put thier seat belt on or is speeding or something to think when they see a cop "OH MY GOD I"AM GONNA DIE, TEH GOVENMENTS GONNA KILL ME! MUST....SUBMIT...ALL....WILL.....TO AUTHORITY!"

    No.

  2. #322
    Advisor Unrein's Avatar
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    Re: Is Capital Punishment Justified?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    I don't consider it a particularly just or good move to punish someone for what someone else may do.
    What does that mean though?

  3. #323
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    Re: Is Capital Punishment Justified?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unrein View Post
    ......
    I'll let wessexman field this one, if you don't mind, as it's chiefly his argument you're attempting to debunk.

    I hope that's not too cowardly.


    edit: as I am not a COMPLETE coward, I will stand by to offer my help if it becomes necessary.
    Last edited by emdash; 12-04-08 at 05:16 AM.

  4. #324
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    Re: Is Capital Punishment Justified?

    Not in a democracy. It's the people who decide these laws in the first place. Or at least it's supposed to.
    It supposed to be many things.

    So where does this logic end anyway? Does ANY punishment or government authority create fear in the citizens?
    This one grants the state a particularly awe inspiring power, that of life and death. The other punishments create this in lesser ways but are still required. Executions are not required, why grant the state more power than it needs?

    And again, this is an isolated punishment, only murderers need to be afraid of it. It's not the nature of the punishment that submits citizens into fear or thier government it's the centeralization of the system, i.e. authoritarian communist states or fascist dictatorships. It's the fear of unchecked power, not the severity of issued punishments.
    If we were talking about this being done locally by a very accountable and democratic body I might think otherwise.

    The nature of the punishment is likely to have an effect on the citizen and also it is easier to move from isolated punishment for murderers to broader usage than from a strict apprehension of giving the state this power to a broader usage.
    What does that mean though?
    That deterrence is a poor argument to me unless it was extremely effective. I also consider it morally dubious.
    Last edited by Wessexman; 12-04-08 at 05:19 AM.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

  5. #325
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    Re: Is Capital Punishment Justified?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unrein View Post
    I don't think twice about anything when I see a cop, I have nothing to hide from them.

    GOOD! Thier purpose is effective then.
    ok wessexman doesn't deserve this part.

    it was a poor example on my part and you're right, but I was just trying to show that the initial reaction of at least one citizen is momentary panic and usually I'm not speeding or doing anything illegal. the death penalty is perhaps a risky precedent to set; although our country is democratic we can learn from history that governments given too much power will inevitably abuse it, which is why I can appreciate wessexman's warning. (I've studied too much latin american history to ignore it entirely, although I acknowledge that we in north america have the advantage of a superior constitution.)

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    Re: Is Capital Punishment Justified?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    This one grants the state a particularly awe inspiring power, that of life and death.
    Well let me ask you this: shouldn't citizens be even more afraid of a government that doesn't enforce murder with severe punishment, as this makes them (at least feel, if not actually) more vulnerable to criminals?

    And why should they be afraid of a government that enforces capital punishment on murders only? If this is the only instance the government can judge life or death how would this power translate into 'fear in general'?

    Executions are not required, why grant the state more power than it needs?
    Changing the punishment to life in prison is not giving the government less power it's giving them different power. You aren't changing who they can charge, you aren't changing the grounds they can make a conviction on, etc.

    Why would the civilians be in fear of being killed by thier government but NOT be afraid of being imprisoned for the rest of their life by the government?

    The nature of the punishment is likely to have an effect on the citizen and also it is easier to move from isolated punishment for murderers to broader usage
    Even the fringiest of fringe people want to maybe include rapists in with capital punishment. I don't see a single viable politician who supports capital punishment beyond murder and rape, let alone a majority in a senate.

    That deterrence is a poor argument to me unless it was extremely effective. I also consider it morally dubious.
    What does Deterrence have to do with "to punish someone for what someone else may do"? At the point in which punishment is being issues we are no longer talking about deterrence.

  7. #327
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    Re: Is Capital Punishment Justified?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unrein View Post
    Well let me ask you this: shouldn't citizens be even more afraid of a government that doesn't enforce murder with severe punishment, as this makes them (at least feel, if not actually) more vulnerable to criminals?
    Firstly how is life imprisonment not a severe punishment? Secondly how does it make them more vulnerable?
    And why should they be afraid of a government that enforces capital punishment on murders only? If this is the only instance the government can judge life or death how would this power translate into 'fear in general'?
    Because the punishment is the ultimate and is likely to create a lot more fear and awe.


    Changing the punishment to life in prison is not giving the government less power it's giving them different power. You aren't changing who they can charge, you aren't changing the grounds they can make a conviction on, etc.
    The right to take life is very different indeed, you are changing much

    Why would the civilians be in fear of being killed by thier government but NOT be afraid of being imprisoned for the rest of their life by the government?
    We're talking about the whole social effect, ignoring the obvious fact you don't believe in society.



    Even the fringiest of fringe people want to maybe include rapists in with capital punishment. I don't see a single viable politician who supports capital punishment beyond murder and rape, let alone a majority in a senate.
    The point is it legitimises it and could well spread.

    What does Deterrence have to do with "to punish someone for what someone else may do"? At the point in which punishment is being issues we are no longer talking about deterrence.
    We are talking about executing them because of its deterrent effect.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

  8. #328
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    Re: Is Capital Punishment Justified?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    Firstly how is life imprisonment not a severe punishment?
    If it is a severe punishment then your at odds with your own argument (that the severity of capital punishment wrongfully inspires fear in the citizens)

    If it's at all significantly less severe than capital punishment, then throw the word "relatively" in the original statement and re-address it.

    Secondly how does it make them more vulnerable?
    I said at least make them feel that way. I mean isn't that what this is about? How citizens feel? Did anyone prove that capital punishment deters or doesn't deter? I wasn't around for most of this thread.

    Because the punishment is the ultimate and is likely to create a lot more fear and awe.
    What are they going to be afraid of I still don't understand what you mean.

    The right to take life is very different indeed, you are changing much
    You implied that life in prison was severe did you not? And I'am not changing much, I'am not changing the grounds upon which the government can prosecute, or how often and liberal they are at issueing this punishment (which is far more importaint to creating fear in civilians than the levels severity of the same crime)

    We're talking about the whole social effect, ignoring the obvious fact you don't believe in society.
    You didn't answer the question, I usually don't do this but, you are talking out of your a** I'am sorry.


    The point is it legitimises it and could well spread.
    It legitimises killing murderers. That's it. It doesn't change ANYTHING in the way of conviction of innocent people.

    We are talking about executing them because of its deterrent effect.
    The person who is recieving the punishment IS the one who did it (and thus deterrent is irrelevent)

    No one is being punished with the death penalty except the ones being convicted of the crime. What your saying is true if a measurement is being enforced but that's not the case (for example, outlawing handguns in public to deter fire arm assults WOULD follow your logic, in that instance people with innocent intentions are being politically effected, but that isn't the case with capital punishment versus life in prison)

  9. #329
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    Re: Is Capital Punishment Justified?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unrein View Post
    If it is a severe punishment then your at odds with your own argument (that the severity of capital punishment wrongfully inspires fear in the citizens)

    If it's at all significantly less severe than capital punishment, then throw the word "relatively" in the original statement and re-address it.
    All I'm saying is that it is severe enough without creating the same kind of general awe and fear.

    I said at least make them feel that way. I mean isn't that what this is about? How citizens feel? Did anyone prove that capital punishment deters or doesn't deter? I wasn't around for most of this thread.
    No no one proved either.



    What are they going to be afraid of I still don't understand what you mean.
    The state of course.


    You implied that life in prison was severe did you not? And I'am not changing much, I'am not changing the grounds upon which the government can prosecute, or how often and liberal they are at issueing this punishment (which is far more importaint to creating fear in civilians than the levels severity of the same crime)
    Okay.


    It legitimises killing murderers. That's it. It doesn't change ANYTHING in the way of conviction of innocent people.
    It still legitimises killing by the state not for direct self-defence.


    The person who is recieving the punishment IS the one who did it (and thus deterrent is irrelevent)
    Then so is the argument of deterrence for the death penalty.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

  10. #330
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    Re: Is Capital Punishment Justified?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    All I'm saying is that it is severe enough without creating the same kind of general awe and fear.
    What kind of general awe and fear?

    The state of course.
    What about the state are they afraid of (or would be afraid of)?

    It still legitimises killing by the state not for direct self-defence.
    It legitimises capital punishment for murder ONLY. Period.

    Then so is the argument of deterrence for the death penalty.
    But I'am not argueing deterrence. You said originally "I don't consider it a particularly just or good move to punish someone for what someone else may do."

    I asked you what you meant and you brought up deterrence. I'am saying that has nothing to do with it.

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