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Catholic publications call for end to capital punishment

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  • #46
    Originally posted by mossrose View Post
    With the modern advances in science using dna and so on, there is no reason for fear that the wrong person will be executed any more. Which, aside from "human rights", is the best argument for abstaining from the death penalty.
    Unfortunately, this isn't true. Just today, news broke about the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham in Texas. He was convicted of killing his children by burning his house down. Although there was strong evidence he was possibly innocent, Rick Perry proceeded with the execution. Because it was an arson case, there was no DNA trail.

    News came out today that key evidence against him (which was one person's testimony) was possibly tainted. The testimony was provided by another prisoner who was given a lesser sentence for his own crime in exchange for testifying.

    Incidentally, this is why I will never vote for Perry for president.
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Carrikature View Post
      On what other grounds is it established?
      Punishment/deterrence - just like the judicial reaction to any other crime.
      Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

      Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
      sigpic
      I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
        No, we can't. People still manage to escape from prisons, and early parole often lets criminals loose before their sentence is complete (and our prison system is terrible at reforming prisoners).
        I've touched on some of these points in other posts; the one most in need of further explication is of restorative justice. I'm not prepared to discourse on that right at this moment, but if I had any indication that any attempted elaboration would be met with interest rather than incredulity, I'd be ready to refresh my memory and give it a go. The only point in your little litany that I haven't addressed even obliquely is prison escape, and it's at this point that I'd like to ask you for some recent cases of death row inmates who escaped.

        Since when was capital punishment an act of collective self-defense?
        Human life is sacred, and every human person has inherent dignity from conception until natural death simply by merit of being human. Not only was humanity created in God's image and likeness from the very beginning, but God further sanctified human life by becoming human-- if we ever deliberately take a human life, it must be done with all of this in mind. This is not to say that it can never be done, but, as in just war theory, taking a human life must be our last resort, and aimed not simply at revenge, but at preventing the offending party from perpetrating further wrong.
        Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

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        • #49
          It would be nice if our legal systems valued truth over winning a court battle. Until that should miraculously come about we will have wrong executions.
          Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
            If that's what you mean, then you were mistaken to invoke emotivism
            Not at all. Emotivism's main claim is that all moral evaluations are just expressions of like or dislike. As the editors attempt to invoke an emotional response in the readers to make a moral judgment, they are ceding to the spirit of the age.

            and my error in interpretation is justifiable.
            Nah, you're too fast to assume and too proud to admit responsibility.

            I'm also not entirely sure how I might draw a line between what you refer to as "an argument to provoke an emotional reaction" and what is generally referred to as a thesis statement.
            Is there perchance a point in this statement of your ability, or lack of it?

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
              I've touched on some of these points in other posts; the one most in need of further explication is of restorative justice. I'm not prepared to discourse on that right at this moment, but if I had any indication that any attempted elaboration would be met with interest rather than incredulity, I'd be ready to refresh my memory and give it a go. The only point in your little litany that I haven't addressed even obliquely is prison escape, and it's at this point that I'd like to ask you for some recent cases of death row inmates who escaped.
              Your arguments might be met with less incredulity if they were reasonable. Why on earth would you restrict your evidence to inmates on death row (a rather small portion of the prison population)? Most murderers don't even get the death penalty today, so they wouldn't have to escape from death row anyway.
              Human life is sacred, and every human person has inherent dignity from conception until natural death simply by merit of being human. Not only was humanity created in God's image and likeness from the very beginning, but God further sanctified human life by becoming human-- if we ever deliberately take a human life, it must be done with all of this in mind.
              Sure. Notwithstanding this, both the OT and NT accept capital punishment.
              This is not to say that it can never be done, but, as in just war theory, taking a human life must be our last resort, and aimed not simply at revenge, but at preventing the offending party from perpetrating further wrong.
              The judicial idea of capital punishment is not revenge. It also has a 100% success rate in "preventing the offending party from perpetrating further wrong".
              Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

              Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
              sigpic
              I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                Not at all. Emotivism's main claim is that all moral evaluations are just expressions of like or dislike. As the editors attempt to invoke an emotional response in the readers to make a moral judgment, they are ceding to the spirit of the age.
                That's not emotivistic. At worst, it's pathetic. As in, invoking pathos.
                Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                  Your arguments might be met with less incredulity if they were reasonable. Why on earth would you restrict your evidence to inmates on death row (a rather small portion of the prison population)? Most murderers don't even get the death penalty today, so they wouldn't have to escape from death row anyway.
                  If death row inmates could escape, then you would have proof that we don't actually have the capability to keep them from harming others without killing them. We can keep the most dangerous criminals away from the public indefinitely-- if we want to.

                  Sure. Notwithstanding this, both the OT and NT accept capital punishment.
                  And today, in the modern West, we have technological means that make it obsolete as a means of protecting the public, and, without that main justification, the other possible social benefits just don't seem to outweigh the dignity of a human life, created by God, beloved by Him, and called to repentance by Him.

                  We should not kill a human being unless we have to. We don't have to kill death row inmates. Therefore, we should not.

                  I think that's a valid syllogism.

                  The judicial idea of capital punishment is not revenge. It also has a 100% success rate in "preventing the offending party from perpetrating further wrong".
                  What is revenge but enacting punishment for a wrong? I didn't mean to include the connotation of carrying out a grudge; I apologize for my lack of precision in word choice.

                  Question for any and all readers: is the American status quo r.e. capital punishment rational and sustainable? That is, does its current practice make sense, and is it, as it is now, the sort of thing which we would want to perpetuate in its current form?
                  Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                    a necessary evil????

                    God commanded the death penalty in the Mosaic Law for various crimes. If it is evil, then you are calling God evil.


                    It's also worth pointing out that the the death penalty, atleast for murder, goes further back than the Mosaic law:

                    Source: Genesis 9:5-6 ESV

                    5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.

                    6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man,
                    by man shall his blood be shed,
                    for God made man in his own image.

                    © Copyright Original Source

                    ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post


                      It's also worth pointing out that the the death penalty, atleast for murder, goes further back than the Mosaic law:

                      Source: Genesis 9:5-6 ESV

                      5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.

                      6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man,
                      by man shall his blood be shed,
                      for God made man in his own image.

                      © Copyright Original Source

                      Interesting--it just occurred to me that that passage specifically cites man made in God's image as the reason for capital punishment. For some reason that's never occurred to me before.
                      I DENOUNCE DONALD J. TRUMP AND ALL HIS IMMORAL ACTS.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
                        That's not emotivistic. At worst, it's pathetic. As in, invoking pathos.
                        Which is an emotion.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post


                          It's also worth pointing out that the the death penalty, atleast for murder, goes further back than the Mosaic law:

                          Source: Genesis 9:5-6 ESV

                          5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.

                          6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man,
                          by man shall his blood be shed,
                          for God made man in his own image.

                          © Copyright Original Source

                          /thread

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                            Which is an emotion.
                            Which is not the same thing as emotivism.

                            Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
                              Which is not the same thing as emotivism.
                              Again, you completely miss the point. They attempt to invoke emotion to cause readers to make a moral judgment based on emotional reaction.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post


                                It's also worth pointing out that the the death penalty, atleast for murder, goes further back than the Mosaic law:

                                Source: Genesis 9:5-6 ESV

                                5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.

                                6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man,
                                by man shall his blood be shed,
                                for God made man in his own image.

                                © Copyright Original Source

                                There are two ways to read this passage you provide. The first is that, because God made man in His image and likeness, man is therefore to be an active participant in enacting divine justice. We see further proof of this mindset in the Sabbath commandment in the Mosaic law: because God rested on the 7th day, and man is made in God's image, man, too, should rest on the 7th day. In this way, humanity lives out the divine image, imitating God and participating in the divine economy. Similarly, human beings, in exacting God's punishment from others, are living out the divine image.

                                To suggest a second way of reading it, I'd like to bring in the surrounding verses:
                                Source: Genesis 9:1-7

                                Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. 2 The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. 3 Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

                                4 “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. 5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.

                                6 “Whoever sheds human blood,
                                by humans shall their blood be shed;
                                for in the image of God
                                has God made mankind.

                                7 As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”

                                © Copyright Original Source



                                God is here giving Noah and his progeny the right to eat animals, but also limiting that gift by demanding that they not consume the animal's lifeblood, which still belongs to God as all life does. The allowance of meat into their diets is balanced by a demand that they maintain a respect for the fact that God is the master of life. But human life is set a step above because of the divine image, and any man or beast that takes a human life will have to answer to God for it-- they will have to justify why they did what they did. As for the "my man shall his blood be shed," bit, it is possible to interpret that more as an assurance of divine justice rather than as a warrant for us to take on that duty ourselves. What I'm suggesting here is comparable to the interpretation within the Bible itself of the Assyrians as vehicles of God's justice against a wayward Israel.

                                God's promise to Cain is also worthy of at least momentary consideration: although Cain was himself the first murderer, God promised to avenge him sevenfold on anyone who killed Cain.

                                ETA: the very least we can draw from the "demand an accounting" verses is that we do in fact need a good reason to kill another person.

                                One further note: it's possible to read these verses without saying that whoever executes someone for murder will themselves be killed in time (though Jesus' words to Peter at Gethsemane give a touch of credence to this attitude), but at the opposite extreme of interpretation, we still run into a problem in that our justice system isn't executing everyone it apparently ought to. How do y'all suggest we avoid the most bloodthirsty interpretations of these verses? Should we even try to avoid the bloodthirsty interpretations?
                                Last edited by Spartacus; 03-11-2015, 12:17 PM.
                                Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

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