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Death penalty thought experiment

dylancatlow
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4/3/2013 9:29:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
If you already support the death penalty, this won't apply to you.

Would you support the death penalty for a suspect who murdered someone in cold blood if it was positively known he or she was guilty? You can also presume there will be no extraordinarily high costs associated with the execution, because said costs are overwhelmingly derived from the rigorous process of determining the validity of evidence necessary for an execution (or any crime).
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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4/3/2013 9:36:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Yes.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
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bossyburrito
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4/3/2013 9:44:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
No.
#UnbanTheMadman

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bossyburrito
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4/3/2013 10:25:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/3/2013 9:46:11 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/3/2013 9:44:51 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
No.

Why?

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#UnbanTheMadman

"Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight
Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights..."

~ Rush
bossyburrito
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4/3/2013 10:26:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Basically, "Whilst in the act of murder, it would not be an act of aggression to stop the murderer. The murderer, by currently posing a threat, forfeits his rights to protect the rights of the person he is murdering. In the case of capital punishment, in which the murderer would be completely under the legal system's control and would not pose a threat to anyone, how can you justify using force to punish them? When you kill that person, you are not protecting anyone's rights.".
#UnbanTheMadman

"Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight
Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights..."

~ Rush
Smithereens
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4/3/2013 10:56:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/3/2013 10:26:09 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
Basically, "Whilst in the act of murder, it would not be an act of aggression to stop the murderer. The murderer, by currently posing a threat, forfeits his rights to protect the rights of the person he is murdering. In the case of capital punishment, in which the murderer would be completely under the legal system's control and would not pose a threat to anyone, how can you justify using force to punish them? When you kill that person, you are not protecting anyone's rights.".

Death penalty is both a deterrent and a punishment. When you punish a person for killing someone, you are imposing something negative on them as a consequence for a negative action they did to someone else. When they kill someone, the consequence to be imposed on them is the same as the one they imposed on the other person. The only party who suffers in this system is the victim, who cannot be brought back or compensated. So the only thing left to do is increase the punishment against the culprit.
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bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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4/4/2013 9:05:31 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/3/2013 10:26:09 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
Basically, "Whilst in the act of murder, it would not be an act of aggression to stop the murderer. The murderer, by currently posing a threat, forfeits his rights to protect the rights of the person he is murdering. In the case of capital punishment, in which the murderer would be completely under the legal system's control and would not pose a threat to anyone, how can you justify using force to punish them? When you kill that person, you are not protecting anyone's rights.".

That argument can be extended, however, to ALL aspects of the justice system. "Whilst in the act of theft, if would not be an act of aggression to confine the thief. The thief, by currently stealing, forfeits his rights to protect the rights of the person he is robbing In the case of incarceration, in which the thief would be completely under the legal system's control and would not pose a threat to anyone, how can you justify imprisoning them? When you imprison that person, you are not protecting anyone's rights."
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AlbinoBunny
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4/4/2013 9:27:00 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/3/2013 10:56:40 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 4/3/2013 10:26:09 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
Basically, "Whilst in the act of murder, it would not be an act of aggression to stop the murderer. The murderer, by currently posing a threat, forfeits his rights to protect the rights of the person he is murdering. In the case of capital punishment, in which the murderer would be completely under the legal system's control and would not pose a threat to anyone, how can you justify using force to punish them? When you kill that person, you are not protecting anyone's rights.".

Death penalty is both a deterrent and a punishment. When you punish a person for killing someone, you are imposing something negative on them as a consequence for a negative action they did to someone else. When they kill someone, the consequence to be imposed on them is the same as the one they imposed on the other person. The only party who suffers in this system is the victim, who cannot be brought back or compensated. So the only thing left to do is increase the punishment against the culprit.

It doesn't deter people any better, in fact, it could promote murder as sometimes being justified. Retribution was a good instinct to have in the past, but I think in it's extremes it's mostly counterproductive to modern society.
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bladerunner060
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4/4/2013 10:48:15 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 9:27:00 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/3/2013 10:56:40 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 4/3/2013 10:26:09 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
Basically, "Whilst in the act of murder, it would not be an act of aggression to stop the murderer. The murderer, by currently posing a threat, forfeits his rights to protect the rights of the person he is murdering. In the case of capital punishment, in which the murderer would be completely under the legal system's control and would not pose a threat to anyone, how can you justify using force to punish them? When you kill that person, you are not protecting anyone's rights.".

Death penalty is both a deterrent and a punishment. When you punish a person for killing someone, you are imposing something negative on them as a consequence for a negative action they did to someone else. When they kill someone, the consequence to be imposed on them is the same as the one they imposed on the other person. The only party who suffers in this system is the victim, who cannot be brought back or compensated. So the only thing left to do is increase the punishment against the culprit.

It doesn't deter people any better, in fact, it could promote murder as sometimes being justified. Retribution was a good instinct to have in the past, but I think in it's extremes it's mostly counterproductive to modern society.

I wouldn't call having the death penalty "extreme". If we give up retribution, what justification do we have for any punishment?
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AlbinoBunny
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4/4/2013 11:19:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 10:48:15 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 9:27:00 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/3/2013 10:56:40 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 4/3/2013 10:26:09 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
Basically, "Whilst in the act of murder, it would not be an act of aggression to stop the murderer. The murderer, by currently posing a threat, forfeits his rights to protect the rights of the person he is murdering. In the case of capital punishment, in which the murderer would be completely under the legal system's control and would not pose a threat to anyone, how can you justify using force to punish them? When you kill that person, you are not protecting anyone's rights.".

Death penalty is both a deterrent and a punishment. When you punish a person for killing someone, you are imposing something negative on them as a consequence for a negative action they did to someone else. When they kill someone, the consequence to be imposed on them is the same as the one they imposed on the other person. The only party who suffers in this system is the victim, who cannot be brought back or compensated. So the only thing left to do is increase the punishment against the culprit.

It doesn't deter people any better, in fact, it could promote murder as sometimes being justified. Retribution was a good instinct to have in the past, but I think in it's extremes it's mostly counterproductive to modern society.


I wouldn't call having the death penalty "extreme". If we give up retribution, what justification do we have for any punishment?

Protection, rehabilitation and vindication to name a few.
bladerunner060 | bsh1 , 2014! Presidency campaign!

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bladerunner060
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4/4/2013 12:16:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 11:19:04 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/4/2013 10:48:15 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 9:27:00 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/3/2013 10:56:40 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 4/3/2013 10:26:09 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
Basically, "Whilst in the act of murder, it would not be an act of aggression to stop the murderer. The murderer, by currently posing a threat, forfeits his rights to protect the rights of the person he is murdering. In the case of capital punishment, in which the murderer would be completely under the legal system's control and would not pose a threat to anyone, how can you justify using force to punish them? When you kill that person, you are not protecting anyone's rights.".

Death penalty is both a deterrent and a punishment. When you punish a person for killing someone, you are imposing something negative on them as a consequence for a negative action they did to someone else. When they kill someone, the consequence to be imposed on them is the same as the one they imposed on the other person. The only party who suffers in this system is the victim, who cannot be brought back or compensated. So the only thing left to do is increase the punishment against the culprit.

It doesn't deter people any better, in fact, it could promote murder as sometimes being justified. Retribution was a good instinct to have in the past, but I think in it's extremes it's mostly counterproductive to modern society.


I wouldn't call having the death penalty "extreme". If we give up retribution, what justification do we have for any punishment?

Protection, rehabilitation and vindication to name a few.

Protection and rehabilitation are simple utilitarian claims; as such, they can be trivially twisted to subvert our normal sense of justice.

What do you mean by vindication?
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bossyburrito
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4/4/2013 12:24:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 9:05:31 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/3/2013 10:26:09 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
Basically, "Whilst in the act of murder, it would not be an act of aggression to stop the murderer. The murderer, by currently posing a threat, forfeits his rights to protect the rights of the person he is murdering. In the case of capital punishment, in which the murderer would be completely under the legal system's control and would not pose a threat to anyone, how can you justify using force to punish them? When you kill that person, you are not protecting anyone's rights.".

That argument can be extended, however, to ALL aspects of the justice system. "Whilst in the act of theft, if would not be an act of aggression to confine the thief. The thief, by currently stealing, forfeits his rights to protect the rights of the person he is robbing In the case of incarceration, in which the thief would be completely under the legal system's control and would not pose a threat to anyone, how can you justify imprisoning them? When you imprison that person, you are not protecting anyone's rights."

I agree. That's why I believe in rehabilitation. I'm against punishment for the sake of punishment.
#UnbanTheMadman

"Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight
Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights..."

~ Rush
bladerunner060
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4/4/2013 12:56:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 12:24:14 PM, bossyburrito wrote:

I agree. That's why I believe in rehabilitation. I'm against punishment for the sake of punishment.

Which therefore means that a person can reasonably make an argument for no punishment at all, provided the person really promises they're totally rehabilitated without it. To me, that is an absurdity.
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bossyburrito
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4/4/2013 1:39:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 12:56:28 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 12:24:14 PM, bossyburrito wrote:

I agree. That's why I believe in rehabilitation. I'm against punishment for the sake of punishment.

Which therefore means that a person can reasonably make an argument for no punishment at all, provided the person really promises they're totally rehabilitated without it. To me, that is an absurdity.

They would have to do more than just promise that they will be good. They would have to go through various evaluations before release.
#UnbanTheMadman

"Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight
Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights..."

~ Rush
YYW
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4/4/2013 1:49:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/3/2013 9:29:58 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
If you already support the death penalty, this won't apply to you.

Would you support the death penalty for a suspect who murdered someone in cold blood if it was positively known he or she was guilty? You can also presume there will be no extraordinarily high costs associated with the execution, because said costs are overwhelmingly derived from the rigorous process of determining the validity of evidence necessary for an execution (or any crime).

Even if there were indisputable evidence that with absolute certainty proved the undeniable and incontrovertible guilt of a murderer who killed anyone (even a member of my family), I would still oppose their being executed. (I apologize for the redundancy; it was meant only for emphasis.) The costs of the death penalty have no bearing on that perspective either. The reason that I oppose the death penalty is because it makes a murder of the state, and in doing so gives to the state the power of life and death over its subjects. The moral implications to that relationship are such that, in my view, there is no crime a person could commit which I would be in favor of their receiving death penalty for it.
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bladerunner060
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4/4/2013 1:52:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 1:39:15 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
At 4/4/2013 12:56:28 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 12:24:14 PM, bossyburrito wrote:

I agree. That's why I believe in rehabilitation. I'm against punishment for the sake of punishment.

Which therefore means that a person can reasonably make an argument for no punishment at all, provided the person really promises they're totally rehabilitated without it. To me, that is an absurdity.

They would have to do more than just promise that they will be good. They would have to go through various evaluations before release.

Such as? How could it be proven they were rehabilitated? How could you ensure that those who are are weeded out from those who are not? It seems to be a messy situation with shaky philosophical support.

Upon what grounds does a man have to assert his own right to life, having recently taken it from a dozen schoolchildren?
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bladerunner060
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4/4/2013 1:55:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 1:49:53 PM, YYW wrote:
The reason that I oppose the death penalty is because it makes a murder of the state...

It does not make a murder(er, I assume) of the state; murder is generally considered an unwarranted or unlawful killing done with malice aforethought.

Soldiers and executioners are not murderers.
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Wnope
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4/4/2013 2:15:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/3/2013 9:29:58 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
If you already support the death penalty, this won't apply to you.

Would you support the death penalty for a suspect who murdered someone in cold blood if it was positively known he or she was guilty? You can also presume there will be no extraordinarily high costs associated with the execution, because said costs are overwhelmingly derived from the rigorous process of determining the validity of evidence necessary for an execution (or any crime).

The problem is how such a thing would be a possible without opening the door to further executions which may not have the same standard.
Wnope
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4/4/2013 2:17:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Also, as to deterrence: most of the people we would consider putting on death row live with the idea that they will not be reaching a ripe old age with a 401k.

So the difference between "execution" and "life imprisonment" means less in the minds of many criminals than those who like the death penalty think.
dylancatlow
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4/4/2013 2:18:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 2:15:50 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 4/3/2013 9:29:58 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
If you already support the death penalty, this won't apply to you.

Would you support the death penalty for a suspect who murdered someone in cold blood if it was positively known he or she was guilty? You can also presume there will be no extraordinarily high costs associated with the execution, because said costs are overwhelmingly derived from the rigorous process of determining the validity of evidence necessary for an execution (or any crime).

The problem is how such a thing would be a possible without opening the door to further executions which may not have the same standard.

Just consider the scenario in a vacuum.
Wnope
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4/4/2013 2:21:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 2:18:09 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/4/2013 2:15:50 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 4/3/2013 9:29:58 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
If you already support the death penalty, this won't apply to you.

Would you support the death penalty for a suspect who murdered someone in cold blood if it was positively known he or she was guilty? You can also presume there will be no extraordinarily high costs associated with the execution, because said costs are overwhelmingly derived from the rigorous process of determining the validity of evidence necessary for an execution (or any crime).

The problem is how such a thing would be a possible without opening the door to further executions which may not have the same standard.

Just consider the scenario in a vacuum.

That's kinda hard to do, seeing as how my main problems with capital punishment involve procedural matters and precedent.

You kill one person and say "this is a special standard" but what stops you from next time finding someone and saying the special standard applies again?

I know this may seem like a dodge, but you simply can't talk about death penalty in America as though it can take place in a vacuum.

It's like saying "what if only ONE black person was a slave, not all of them? Then would slavery be bad?"
YYW
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4/4/2013 2:25:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 1:55:24 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 1:49:53 PM, YYW wrote:
The reason that I oppose the death penalty is because it makes a murder of the state...

It does not make a murder(er, I assume) of the state; murder is generally considered an unwarranted or unlawful killing done with malice aforethought.

Soldiers and executioners are not murderers.

Ours, then, is a disagreement of the meaning of murder. Indeed, the law defines murder as you've described. Inherent to my argument was an objection to that definition.
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YYW
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4/4/2013 2:37:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/3/2013 10:56:40 PM, Smithereens wrote:
At 4/3/2013 10:26:09 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
Basically, "Whilst in the act of murder, it would not be an act of aggression to stop the murderer. The murderer, by currently posing a threat, forfeits his rights to protect the rights of the person he is murdering. In the case of capital punishment, in which the murderer would be completely under the legal system's control and would not pose a threat to anyone, how can you justify using force to punish them? When you kill that person, you are not protecting anyone's rights.".

Death penalty is both a deterrent and a punishment.

So is life without the possibility of parole.

When you punish a person for killing someone, you are imposing something negative on them as a consequence for a negative action they did to someone else.

So, you're saying that people loose their rights when people violate the rights of others?

When they kill someone, the consequence to be imposed on them is the same as the one they imposed on the other person.

And you're also affirming 'tit-for-tat' morality. Ok.

The only party who suffers in this system is the victim, who cannot be brought back or compensated.

And a sort of quasi-reciprocity for human suffering is the means by which to effectuate that 'tit-for-tat' exchange.

So the only thing left to do is increase the punishment against the culprit.

The bedrock of your logic is that the societal utility of the death penalty in concert with its function as a punishment constitute the justification for the use of the death penalty. That's a pretty typical argument, as old as human civilization. Here are some things to think about:

Regarding Utility:
(1) If the death penalty were not a deterrent, would you then still support it?

Regarding Reciprocity:
(2) If a human being commits a violent act against another person, are they still a human being?
Tsar of DDO
muzebreak
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4/4/2013 2:40:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/3/2013 9:29:58 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
If you already support the death penalty, this won't apply to you.

Would you support the death penalty for a suspect who murdered someone in cold blood if it was positively known he or she was guilty? You can also presume there will be no extraordinarily high costs associated with the execution, because said costs are overwhelmingly derived from the rigorous process of determining the validity of evidence necessary for an execution (or any crime).

No.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
Wnope
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4/4/2013 2:47:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 2:25:33 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2013 1:55:24 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 1:49:53 PM, YYW wrote:
The reason that I oppose the death penalty is because it makes a murder of the state...

It does not make a murder(er, I assume) of the state; murder is generally considered an unwarranted or unlawful killing done with malice aforethought.

Soldiers and executioners are not murderers.

Ours, then, is a disagreement of the meaning of murder. Indeed, the law defines murder as you've described. Inherent to my argument was an objection to that definition.

I've always liked the saying

"The definition of a serial killer is someone who murders three or more people over a span of time without express consent of the local government."
YYW
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4/4/2013 2:49:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 2:47:31 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 4/4/2013 2:25:33 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2013 1:55:24 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 1:49:53 PM, YYW wrote:
The reason that I oppose the death penalty is because it makes a murder of the state...

It does not make a murder(er, I assume) of the state; murder is generally considered an unwarranted or unlawful killing done with malice aforethought.

Soldiers and executioners are not murderers.

Ours, then, is a disagreement of the meaning of murder. Indeed, the law defines murder as you've described. Inherent to my argument was an objection to that definition.

I've always liked the saying

"The definition of a serial killer is someone who murders three or more people over a span of time without express consent of the local government."

lol, the real message of the death penalty is:

Government: "We are the only ones who can kill people!"
People: "Well... fvck."
Tsar of DDO
Skepsikyma
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4/4/2013 2:56:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 2:49:09 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2013 2:47:31 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 4/4/2013 2:25:33 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2013 1:55:24 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 1:49:53 PM, YYW wrote:
The reason that I oppose the death penalty is because it makes a murder of the state...

It does not make a murder(er, I assume) of the state; murder is generally considered an unwarranted or unlawful killing done with malice aforethought.

Soldiers and executioners are not murderers.

Ours, then, is a disagreement of the meaning of murder. Indeed, the law defines murder as you've described. Inherent to my argument was an objection to that definition.

I've always liked the saying

"The definition of a serial killer is someone who murders three or more people over a span of time without express consent of the local government."

lol, the real message of the death penalty is:

Government: "We are the only ones who can kill people!"
People: "Well... fvck."

That's defining feature of government. What eventually happens if you resist arrest for something which you don't consider a crime, if you refuse to follow a government's edicts? You eat a bullet.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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4/4/2013 2:59:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/4/2013 2:49:09 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2013 2:47:31 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 4/4/2013 2:25:33 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2013 1:55:24 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 4/4/2013 1:49:53 PM, YYW wrote:
The reason that I oppose the death penalty is because it makes a murder of the state...

It does not make a murder(er, I assume) of the state; murder is generally considered an unwarranted or unlawful killing done with malice aforethought.

Soldiers and executioners are not murderers.

Ours, then, is a disagreement of the meaning of murder. Indeed, the law defines murder as you've described. Inherent to my argument was an objection to that definition.

I've always liked the saying

"The definition of a serial killer is someone who murders three or more people over a span of time without express consent of the local government."

lol, the real message of the death penalty is:

Government: "We are the only ones who can kill people!"
People: "Well... fvck."

The only ones that can legally kill people, yes. The ability for the government to use force against force is vital for the continuation of any society.