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Catholic publications call for end to capital punishment

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  • One Bad Pig
    replied
    Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
    We can do it on a bigger scale and with greater certainty than they ever could.
    Bigger scale, probably. Greater certainty? I guess I'm mostly just uncomfortable with the (lack of) rigor of an argument that basically boils down to "we're more enlightened and and have progressed beyond the ancients, therefore we shouldn't do capital punishment anymore." It's based on a post-milleniall outlook with which I fundamentally disagree.
    I am eagerly looking forward to your elaboration on this section of your post.
    I should have said, "based on an assertion" rather than "based on a false premise." The Mosaic covenant instituted the death penalty. Your assertion condemns the Mosaic covenant as immoral for killing people they didn't have to. I have a problem with that.
    I think I already clarified sufficiently that I did not intend to include those connotations when I used the word "revenge". If I had used the word "vengeance" or "avenge," would you have found it less problematic?
    No.
    That's a cop-out if ever I heard one, but your entire post is uncharacteristically brusque, so I'm assuming you either intend to revisit this all in greater detail later, or you're tired of my nonsense and taking your leave.
    I was working under a time crunch, though I'm admittedly also ambivalent about continuing this conversation as it's not really in the spirit of Lent (as my priest reminded me).

    Leave a comment:


  • Spartacus
    replied
    Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    Perhaps we can, perhaps we can't - of course, it's not cheap to keep people locked up with that much security either.

    I think you're underestimating ancient peoples' abilities to securely lock people up.
    We can do it on a bigger scale and with greater certainty than they ever could.

    Assertion.

    Based on a false premise.
    I am eagerly looking forward to your elaboration on this section of your post.

    Revenge is a passion. Capital punishment is not.
    I think I already clarified sufficiently that I did not intend to include those connotations when I used the word "revenge". If I had used the word "vengeance" or "avenge," would you have found it less problematic?

    The entire American civilization is not rational and sustainable in its current form.
    That's a cop-out if ever I heard one, but your entire post is uncharacteristically brusque, so I'm assuming you either intend to revisit this all in greater detail later, or you're tired of my nonsense and taking your leave.

    Leave a comment:


  • KingsGambit
    replied
    Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
    Coming in late but for the record I'm both pro-life and anti-death penalty for entirely seperate reasons. There is nothing inconsistent in being pro-life and pro-capital punishment - that critcism is nonsensical.
    Agree on both counts.

    Leave a comment:


  • Teallaura
    replied
    Coming in late but for the record I'm both pro-life and anti-death penalty for entirely seperate reasons. There is nothing inconsistent in being pro-life and pro-capital punishment - that critcism is nonsensical.

    Leave a comment:


  • One Bad Pig
    replied
    Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
    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.
    Perhaps we can, perhaps we can't - of course, it's not cheap to keep people locked up with that much security either.
    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.
    I think you're underestimating ancient peoples' abilities to securely lock people up.
    We should not kill a human being unless we have to.
    Assertion.
    We don't have to kill death row inmates. Therefore, we should not.

    I think that's a valid syllogism.
    Based on a false premise.
    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.
    Revenge is a passion. Capital punishment is not.
    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?
    The entire American civilization is not rational and sustainable in its current form.

    Leave a comment:


  • Spartacus
    replied
    Originally posted by Carrikature View Post
    The judicial reaction to crime can be termed entirely as collective self-defense and be just as effective. I grant punishment as an option, but one would need to show why other forms of punishment are somehow less valid. I personally see little difference in locking someone up for life and outright killing them. Even for a 20 year old sentenced to 50 years in prison, their life is effectively over. Deterrence is an oft-cited but not substantiated basis. It doesn't work like people think it does. There may have been a time when it did act as a deterrent, but without it being a public execution I don't see that it still acts as such (and the data seems to be against you there).




    Which is pretty much "collective self-defense" in a nutshell.
    One aspect that hasn't been brought up so far is that the possibility of the death penalty might be a factor in a lot of plea bargain scenarios-- law enforcement (though I admit my understanding of this may be more based on cop shows than reality) can get accused criminals to agree to a plea bargain if the death penalty is taken off the table. To eliminate the death penalty, therefore, would remove an important tool from the prosecution's toolbox. It might be argued, therefore, that the possibility of the death penalty, insofar as it speeds up the judicial process, helps bring closure to families of victims. But I don't find that a satisfactory rationale in itself: it seems to me that it is immoral to threaten to do what it would be immoral to do.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paprika
    replied
    Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
    You may have read it, but the way in which you invoke emotivism shows that you did not understand it. An appeal to emotion, even in analysis of a moral question, is not a concession to the spirit of the age of emotivism.
    It is. Emotivism in practice denies any rationality behind moral judgments (besides the basic one that moral judgments correspond to feelings); an appeal to emotion erodes moral rationality, with all the consequences that follow

    you're now on my ignore list regardless.
    See, you could have spared all that effort making that silly criterion for my continued posting.

    Leave a comment:


  • Spartacus
    replied
    Originally posted by Paprika View Post
    You're a worse idiot than you accuse Sparko of being, because I didn't say the editors were being emotivistic.
    Nowhere in this thread did I accuse Sparko of being an idiot. I refused to respond to him for reasons which I explained quite clearly: I didn't think he was approaching this topic with the right mindset, and I don't consider myself psychologically prepared to discuss political issues with him. I've elsewhere had very frustrating interactions with Sparko, and would rather not put myself through that again when there are other people with whom I can more easily have a conversation. But whatever I might say about the incompatibility of our personalities or rhetorical styles and preferences, I must at least acknowledge that he can take a hint.

    Incidentally, I have. Hence I continue.
    You may have read it, but the way in which you invoke emotivism shows that you did not understand it. An appeal to emotion, even in analysis of a moral question, is not a concession to the spirit of the age of emotivism. I'm not sure why I've tolerated you for so long, except perhaps that, early on in your time in TWeb, we seem to have had some reasonably pleasant interactions. In any case, you've since worn clean through my patience, and I have no intention of interacting with you again at any time in the near future. Whether you leave the thread or not is up to you (if you can convince anyone else to take up your basic line of argumentation-- though no one else so far seems to take it very seriously-- they can do what KG and Chrawnus did with Sparko's arguments and I'll try again to respond), but you're now on my ignore list regardless.

    Leave a comment:


  • JonathanL
    replied
    Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
    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.
    The bolded seems like an unjustified imposition on the text in light of verse 6. Reading the part in verse 6 where it is said that any man that kills another human will themselves be killed by humans as qualifying what is meant by "requiring a reckoning", or "demand an accounting" seems to me to be the most common-sensical interpretation of the passage, and while I'm not going to say that the interpretation you put forward is impossible I also do not see any good reasons for why I should seriously consider it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paprika
    replied
    Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    Punishment/deterrence - just like the judicial reaction to any other crime.
    Deterrence is a form of self-defense for the collective.

    Leave a comment:


  • Carrikature
    replied
    Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    Punishment/deterrence - just like the judicial reaction to any other crime.
    The judicial reaction to crime can be termed entirely as collective self-defense and be just as effective. I grant punishment as an option, but one would need to show why other forms of punishment are somehow less valid. I personally see little difference in locking someone up for life and outright killing them. Even for a 20 year old sentenced to 50 years in prison, their life is effectively over. Deterrence is an oft-cited but not substantiated basis. It doesn't work like people think it does. There may have been a time when it did act as a deterrent, but without it being a public execution I don't see that it still acts as such (and the data seems to be against you there).


    Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    It also has a 100% success rate in "preventing the offending party from perpetrating further wrong".
    Which is pretty much "collective self-defense" in a nutshell.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paprika
    replied
    Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
    Which is still not emotivism. An appeal to emotion, or an attempt to provoke an emotional response from the reader, is not an emotivistic argument.
    You're a worse idiot than you accuse Sparko of being, because I didn't say the editors were being emotivistic.

    Please refrain from posting further in this thread until you've read and understood the opening chapters of After Virtue.
    Incidentally, I have. Hence I continue.

    Leave a comment:


  • Spartacus
    replied
    Originally posted by Paprika View Post
    Again, you completely miss the point. They attempt to invoke emotion to cause readers to make a moral judgment based on emotional reaction.
    Which is still not emotivism. An appeal to emotion, or an attempt to provoke an emotional response from the reader, is not an emotivistic argument. Please refrain from posting further in this thread until you've read and understood the opening chapters of After Virtue.

    Leave a comment:


  • Spartacus
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paprika
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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