Capital Punishment

Discussion in 'Politics and Society' started by Geist, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. Geist

    Geist I am oblivion

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    Should capital punishment be compulsey(Sp?) in every country?

    My personal feelings on this topic is yes because I believe in an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth. Plus I don't think you can rehabilateate a murderer and I don't think they should be aloud to live.
     
  2. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste geist,


    thank you for the post.

    i would say "no" as it is contrary to my world view which values the life of all sentient beings.

    killing one sentient being for the killing of another just ends up with two sentient beings that are dead... not justice for the victim, in my view.
     
  3. Geist

    Geist I am oblivion

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    What does that mean?

    And putting them in a padded room for 25 years or so is?
     
  4. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Geist,

    thank you for the post.

    Namaste is an ancient Nepali greeting made with the palms pressed together, held in front of the chest with a light bow. it can be variously translated.. i am particuarly fond of the translation that goes:

    i bow to the divine in you. when you are in that place in you and i am in that place in me, there is but one of us.

    false dichotomy. i did not indicate that placing them in a room for 25 years would be justice either. personally, i do not believe that humans are really equipped or capable of dispensing justice as we usually mean the word. our justice often seems to be nothing more than revenge wearing the disguise of justice.

    in the scenario of the discussion, the victim can never recieve justice since they are dead, ergo, the only beings that feel the punishment is just are those that were not victims.

    there is value in incarcerating a being that is bent on harmful behavior towards other sentient beings... i would be hesitant to call it "justice" however.
     
  5. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    I'm with Vaj on this one, for all the same reasons.

    Because we are social creatures, we have to protect others in our society from those who would do them harm, whether out of their conscious will or mental disturbance. All societies have some way of maintaining social control so that they don't fall apart. But to me, the consequences of crimes that harm others are not justice. I don't think any human can really dispense judgment, because it would require a depth of understanding another person's heart, soul, and mind, as well as the universe, that we do not have.

    I think what we call "justice," is thinly veiled vengeance, which is neither helpful to the person who committed the crime, nor to the soul of the victim. Whether or not I feel it is justified, if I support killing a sentient being, it is still affecting my soul in a negative way according to my beliefs. All life is precious in my belief system, even lives that have severely gone astray. Of course, we must have practices like incarceration that maintain social order and protect people from harm, but our methods of social control are just the best ideas we can come up with. They are not true justice.

    I love that translation of Namaste, by the way... I'm going to have to jot that one down...
     
  6. alexa

    alexa somewhere in time

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    Namaste Vaj,

    I've never thought the capital punishement from this angle. I was thinking at all those in danger with a certain person in liberty. But you are right, for the victim is too late.

    I would like to know your opinion about justice in the case of a seria killing. How do you think we should deal with somebody with no reason to kill, who has already killed, let's say 10 human beings, women and children included ?

    Thanks. :)
     
  7. brucegdc

    brucegdc Moderator

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    An interesting question.... with lots of aspects to consider.

    * Why is it being done?
    - As Vajradhara pointed out, it doesn't help the victim at all.
    - It does prevent further acts by that person, which does protect society
    - One argument I've heard is it's cheaper than keeping them in jail for life (that apparently, given the statistics I've seen for the costs of appeals etc mandated for capital cases in the US is not true - it's about the same in cost either way, just feeds the lawyers instead of prison staff)

    * What's the risk of error
    - While nothing can make up for lost time for someone convicted wrongly, it's possible to release someone incarcerated. It's not possible to revive someone you've executed if you find out 20 years later you're wrong.
    - The risk of escape & doing harm to society is much lower if the person is dead...

    * Deterrent value
    - Quick death versus long lockup? To me, the latter is a bigger deterrent. YMMV.
    - Problem either way - life in prison or death is that once you've hit the threshold of getting that punishment, there's not much left to deter you. You get caught after one more murder, there's no difference in the effect, so why not kill again?

    It's a tough issue - on either side. There is a risk of someone escaping and killing again, which is not good to society if you imprison them. The cost to society of being willing to kill a human is high, though - it does, as Vaj pointed out, imply a disrespect for life, and hurts us all.
     
  8. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Here in the UK we recently were made aware of a long string of injustices performed in our law courts for our benefit - people jailed for a range of murders, from IRA bombings, to killing own children, later fully acquitted.
     
  9. Geist

    Geist I am oblivion

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    Are humans capable of justice though?

    WE say we are but if you look at it from your ponit of view there isn't any just people hurting one another..
     
  10. Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine

    Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine Junior Moderator, Intro Moderator

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  11. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste alexa,

    thank you for the post.
    this is a difficult question..

    i'm quite heistant to describe human judicial systems as "justice" in any sort of objective sense. it may well *be* justice... i am of the view, however, that we'd never really know it one way or the other.

    as such, Justice, per se, isn't something that is normally operative in my paradigm.

    if the being has already engaged in the unskillful moral and ethical actions of taking life, i don't have much issue with incarceration of said being. of course, within my world view, every action that a being engages in has a cause and a condition which allowed it to manifest.

    as Mahatma Gandhi said "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
     
  12. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Geist,

    thank you for the post.

    well... essentially, in my understanding, no... we are not. of course, it is my view that we not actually be able to know this, one way or the other. as such, instead of Justice, i perfer Compassion.

    i would say that is a fair assessment of my view. justice is in the mind of the giver and, from my view, it just looks like people hurting people.

    that's not my bag, baby ;)
     
  13. Geist

    Geist I am oblivion

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    And do you think humans are capable of any level of justice at all?

    Or do you believe that its human nature to be selfish and not care?
     
  14. Conscience

    Conscience Well-Known Member

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    I dont believe in eye for an eye, and all that, but I am in favor of the death penility.
     
  15. Geist

    Geist I am oblivion

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    A death for a death of another thats the whole point of capital punishment isn't it?
     
  16. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    I believe humans are capable of justice, but not in the sense that it would result in killing others. Perhaps it will help to quote something that illuminates what I mean by this, the modern Druids Prayer:

    Grant, O God, thy protection,
    and in protection, strength,
    and in strength, understanding,
    and in understanding, knowledge,
    and in knowledge, the knowledge of justice,
    and in the knowledge of justice, the love of it,
    and in the love of it, the love of all existences,
    and in the love of all existences,
    the love of God and all goodness.

    Justice in this sense leads to love. What may appear to be justice may in fact be vengeance, and what may appear to be simply peace and love may in fact be justice. What is just? To forgive, to love, to make peace...

    Even if those who have wronged us do not change, in true justice we ourselves change, transcending the pain of being hurt by others and coming closer to enlightenment. This is my belief, and it is based on forgiving some very deep wounds caused by others. As long as I sought retribution, my own spiritual growth was thwarted, and my pain increased, because I allowed the wounds to fester. When I realized that God was strong enough to allow me to forgive, and that forgiveness was truly just, I began the path of healing. In that came the love of all, the love of God, and the love of goodness. In forgiveness came a change in me, and a realization that no one could harm my soul.

    True justice changes the wrongdoer, the victim, or both forever in a way that allows further spiritual growth. Killing others only weakens this process.
     
  17. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Geist,

    thank you for the post.

    probably not. it may be possible for us to get close.. and probably as close as we'd need to retain social controls. it doesn't have to be perfect to work, at least for us human types.

    false dichotomy. justice does not equal unselfishness and caring and vice versa.

    when justice is presented in this fashion it strikes me as a tally sheet and nothing more. justice is as fleeting as the dew drop in the morning sun, in my view. however, as there are several definitions of Justice.. perhaps you can explain what you view it to be so that i can see if we are talking about the same thing... which is possible that we are not.
     
  18. Bandit

    Bandit Well-Known Member

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    i really tried to put thought into this & i just cant say. at times it seems warranted & other times it does not.

    it seems surving victims may have to live in fear if nothing is done. it seems the other side (say family of the offender) is tremendously put into fear if something is done or if nothing is done.

    i honestly dont know the answer to this but it has been around since forever.

    one thing i have noticed today, is, after someone takes a life or several lives, it seems they pull the trigger on themselves. There seems to be a rise in this action & type of thinking & it might be worth looking at for better understanding.
     
  19. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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  20. Geist

    Geist I am oblivion

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    Justice is an illusion. It doesn't exist its like freedom it doesn't exist we are lead to belive it does when in actual fact it does not, we are lead around like sheep and nothng has changed from hundreds of years ago to now all thats changed is the rules have been flexed.

    Wheres God when your begging for your life at the end?

    Hes not there to help you until its too late and you've died or maybe not even then!

    Relgion is a form of control used to keep things the way the poitcians and other higher powered people use to control the masses.
     

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