View Poll Results: What do you think of Capital Punishment?

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Thread: Capital Punishment

  1. #291
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    Re: Capital Punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    That these crimes merit that a person forfeit their right to life. They have chosen to be removed by their actions and any positive future use that they may have is irrelevant.
    Okay, again arbitrary. Deontological arguments are necessarily subjective. It's your judgement that decides what these crimes merit. Do I assume that you apply US judicial norms for applying the DP? That these are the ones with which you agree and, for want of argument, that you may not deem the Chinese norms as equally valid?


    If just about any parent is standing there while some person tries to kill their child, they will try to kill the perpatrator in order to stop them. I don't know what kind of parents you know... I doubt any parent would waste a nano-second in thinking "how can I stop this guy from killing my child in a manner that will not kill this murdering savage, hmmm?"
    Okay, you've just applied a new dynamic to this argument. Now you are saying that a justification for applying lethal force against an aggressor to your child is the fact that you may be able to prevent that aggressor from harming your child if you take lethal action.

    That may be true, although you are shifting the goalposts, and that in itself is an admission of the weakness of your position.

    Deontological Ethics...
    Yes, I know what they are and the subjectivity inherent in their application.
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  2. #292
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    Re: Capital Punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    And that's the problem with a fascistic take on morality. Order is all, humanity, in all its imperfection, is merely something to be controlled. It's an easy argument to make when you are dealing with murderers. The problem is, as you've expressed many time when discussing an aspect of dissent within society, that you believe the iron fist is the right and the responsibility of rulers. Given the anti-democratic nature of fascist attitudes to governmental change, the de facto power of rulers is not always legitimate, hence often tyrannical.
    Do you support the right of the individual-- each and every individual-- to decide for themselves the legitimacy of their government? If not, what percentage of the people has to hold that the government is illegitimate before they have the right to overthrow it? Should a government simply fold when it encounters organized opposition to their rule?

    And if your answer to any of these questions is "yes", then how do you propose that a government-- any government, legitimate or otherwise-- maintain order in the face of civil unrest?

    The iron fist of the ruler, the de facto power of the government, are always legitimate because it is the power itself that grants them legitimacy. Illegitimate governments are incapable of ruling, so any government that has the capacity to maintain its authority over the people is legitimate by default. You may accuse me of condoning tyranny in this argument, and you may be correct, but there is no alternative by which to measure the legitimacy of a government objectively, and leaving it up to the subjective attitudes of the mob is to promote lawlessness and anarchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    Unfortunately, what you might deem 'actively detrimental', others would call legitimate dissent or ethical disobedience.
    Yes. And those others would then be under the moral imperative to attempt to overthrow my government. We wouldn't know for certain which of us was right until the one left standing has the opportunity to re-write the history books.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    Do I assume that you apply US judicial norms for applying the DP? That these are the ones with which you agree and, for want of argument, that you may not deem the Chinese norms as equally valid?
    American justice is sufficient for Americans, while Chinese justice is better suited to the Chinese. I would no more tell them how to run their country than I would suffer them to tell us how to run ours, except to offer and/or receive advice offered under the auspices of friendship. My own personal judicial norms are only valid when applied to people under my own authority; the best I can hope for is to influence the norms of my country to move more in my direction.

  3. #293
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    Re: Capital Punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Viktyr Korimir View Post
    Do you support the right of the individual-- each and every individual-- to decide for themselves the legitimacy of their government?
    Of course I do. The right of the individual to approve or disapprove of their government, and act to change or maintain it, is democracy.

    If not, what percentage of the people has to hold that the government is illegitimate before they have the right to overthrow it? Should a government simply fold when it encounters organized opposition to their rule?
    If you have a nation, governed by consent, under an agreed constitution and with proper mechanisms in place for governmental accountability and removal, then the idea of overthrowing a government, and by that I assume you mean the violent take-over, becomes very much a minority preserve. If we are discussing merely the violent overthrow of a government, then it takes as big a percentage of the population to do so as can be militarily successful.

    I do think that you are mistaking the concept of de facto power for legitimacy, however, as most dictators do. Gaddafi believes he has legitimacy when everyone else knows that all he has is power, and a declining amount of that. If he had legitimacy then he would need fewer police and troops to grind his people into submission.

    And if your answer to any of these questions is "yes", then how do you propose that a government-- any government, legitimate or otherwise-- maintain order in the face of civil unrest?
    There are many strategies, as we can see from different examples around the world. The constant to me appears to be the equation that the greater the legitimacy of a government, the less civil unrest you are likely to need to quell.

    The physical maintenance of order is a judgement call for each government in each situation. There is no doubt that those that choose the most heavy-handed route impose a temporary order at the expense of their legitimacy. The more you kill and repress your own citizens, the less likely you are to have your citizens believe you are the right people to be governing them.

    The iron fist of the ruler, the de facto power of the government, are always legitimate because it is the power itself that grants them legitimacy. Illegitimate governments are incapable of ruling, so any government that has the capacity to maintain its authority over the people is legitimate by default. You may accuse me of condoning tyranny in this argument, and you may be correct, but there is no alternative by which to measure the legitimacy of a government objectively, and leaving it up to the subjective attitudes of the mob is to promote lawlessness and anarchy.
    Well, I think I've dealt with this already. Legitimacy resides in the individual and collective hearts of the people, not in their acquiescence to coercion. That a tyrant is able to prevent dissent from becoming overt does not mean they have legitimacy. What you're saying is that because we cannot measure legitimacy, we might as well pretend that a cowed and uncomplaining populace is an acceptable alternative indicator of it.

    Yes. And those others would then be under the moral imperative to attempt to overthrow my government.
    Only if your government lacked legitimacy in the hearts and minds of the people. It is quite possible for people to demonstrate and engage in civil disobedience on a particular issues, or set of issues, while not questioning the legitimacy of the government to remain the government. I marched and campaigned against Tony Bliar and his Iraqi War plans without once questioning his legitimacy as the elected leader of the British government. The moral imperative was to protest that issue, not his entire claim to authority.

    American justice is sufficient for Americans, while Chinese justice is better suited to the Chinese. I would no more tell them how to run their country than I would suffer them to tell us how to run ours, except to offer and/or receive advice offered under the auspices of friendship. My own personal judicial norms are only valid when applied to people under my own authority; the best I can hope for is to influence the norms of my country to move more in my direction.
    Okay, just checking. It's just that there are many different sets of issues and assumptions depending on which system you are discussing. This thread is about the DP generally, not about the DP purely as it applies to the US. The US is not my chief concern. I've been discussing the principles relating to the DP.
    Last edited by Andalublue; 02-25-11 at 05:06 AM.
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  4. #294
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    Re: Capital Punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    Okay, again arbitrary. Deontological arguments are necessarily subjective. It's your judgement that decides what these crimes merit. Do I assume that you apply US judicial norms for applying the DP? That these are the ones with which you agree and, for want of argument, that you may not deem the Chinese norms as equally valid?

    Yes, I know what they are and the subjectivity inherent in their application
    The whole issue is subjective... so?

    Okay, you've just applied a new dynamic to this argument. Now you are saying that a justification for applying lethal force against an aggressor to your child is the fact that you may be able to prevent that aggressor from harming your child if you take lethal action.

    That may be true, although you are shifting the goalposts, and that in itself is an admission of the weakness of your position.
    I am not shifting the goal posts, I am clarifying my original answer for you...
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  5. #295
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    Re: Capital Punishment

    I do not support it. It's expensive and there are better alternatives to death as punishment.
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  6. #296
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    Re: Capital Punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    I do not support it. It's expensive and there are better alternatives to death as punishment.
    A bullet in not expensive... and what better alternative is there when dealing with someone who rapes, murders and then butchers a body?
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  7. #297
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    Re: Capital Punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    A bullet in not expensive... and what better alternative is there when dealing with someone who rapes, murders and then butchers a body?
    The chemicals in the lethal injection aren't expensive, either; I'm willing to pay a little extra to cull our mistakes humanely. What's expensive is the years of appeals and due process that we use to ensure that we're executing the right people. Seeing as we still make mistakes in this process, I'm not comfortable cutting any more corners.

  8. #298
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    I clearly refuted your assertions in post #263 yet you voided answering... pretty telling.
    I'm sorry but I found your post to be a very weak argument. Consequences are thongs that follow on from other things. So what? The DP argument is not that the DP is a consequence of murder ipso facto but that it SHOULD be. The appropriate discussion is not around dictionary definitions of the words consequence and revenge but in answering the question "why should DP be a consequence of crime?" Your only argument is " because I say so" which is a little weak to say the least.

    George Bush gave the best pro DP speech I have ever heard at the execution of Tim McVeigh. But he still failed to answer what gives the State the right to kill. Saying that this respresents the esteem in which you hold life is all fine and dandy but it's really no more justification than those who used to make sacrifices to the Gods as a mark of what they held in esteem.
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  9. #299
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    Re: Capital Punishment

    I support capital punishment, but only for truly heinous crimes that demonstrate complete and incurable disregard for human life. (Obviously, that's not the actual standard I would push for, but it's the best I can do at the moment).

    For example: Hitler would be a good candidate for the death penalty. Somebody who raped and murdered seven children over the course of a decade would probably be another.

    But the government should be better than "an eye for an eye." It shouldn't punish in the same way the offender offended.

    I also think, because of the recent DNA exonerations, there should be an even higher standard of proof in order for someone to get death. Like, there needs to be some kind of direct, conclusive evidence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krhazy View Post
    I support capital punishment, but only for truly heinous crimes that demonstrate complete and incurable disregard for human life. (Obviously, that's not the actual standard I would push for, but it's the best I can do at the moment).

    For example: Hitler would be a good candidate for the death penalty. Somebody who raped and murdered seven children over the course of a decade would probably be another.

    But the government should be better than "an eye for an eye." It shouldn't punish in the same way the offender offended.

    I also think, because of the recent DNA exonerations, there should be an even higher standard of proof in order for someone to get death. Like, there needs to be some kind of direct, conclusive evidence.
    I sometimes think it would be the utmost humiliation for someone like Hitler to have rotted in prison for the rest if his life, a sort of triumph of civilized over barbaric values where this once all powerful fiend is reduced to the drab ordinariness of being prisoner 12345 and the awesome power of civilized peoples to refuse the most intense provocation to revenge is clearly demonstrated. This too would be a much better fate than the lynching of Saddam who now to some will still be remembered for his power and the fact that he only did to his enemies what they would do to him - a wholly disgusting legacy that would not be if the mass killer was now just a sad grey old man living his days out in humiliation.

    People who deny revenge as a motive argue that DP is a solemn affirmation of life. This is a windy statement backed up by nothing which clearly does not apply to even the most excessive cases. Those who truly affirm the sanctity of life simply never take it when that life is no threat to anyone else (oh apart from the millions of prison guards who are routinely killed in American prisons but that garbage seems to have gone away now).
    There is a way to gain the whole world. It is to gain the people, and having gained them, one gains the whole world. There is a way to gain the people. Gain their hearts and minds and then you gain them. Mencius

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