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  1. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by james438 View Post
    traq, I just read your recently updated post from 5 pages ago!.
    Yeah, sorry - I didn't expect that to be buried so quickly. In fact, it was buried by the time I finished editing, but I didn't click the refresh button to check.

    Quote Originally Posted by james438 View Post
    Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's applies to taxes and whether it is morally right to do so. It had to do with money, but it can also be applied to services such as military service or the law. It is Caesar that spends the money or our services. If I am told I must work on the Lord's day or pray to another god than I must respectfully disobey. We are to obey the laws of man.
    That's exactly where I disagree. The other half of that sentence is "give to God what is God's." Money is printed and owned by the government, and in this lesson represents earthly laws, as opposed to the laws of heaven. It was Paul who [later] expanded that lesson to apply to all aspects of governmental authority (by declaring that "there is no authority except from God" (though I think this is also often interpreted too widely)).

    Being commanded to work on the Lord's day is much, much different than putting a man to death. Being commanded to worship another god (and I intend no sacrilege here) is also incomparable: worship has no meaning if it is not "in your heart," whereas a man is dead if he is put to death, and it doesn't matter one bit if anyone really thought it was right or wrong.

    I suppose we're differing mainly on where to "draw the line": what we should leave to the government, and what we cannot excuse ourselves of.

    Quote Originally Posted by james438 View Post
    Punishment is the just (law approved) response/penalty to a wrong. It is not emotionally motivated, but done in an orderly fashion for the protection of society and as an appropriate response to a wrong committed. Justice (punishment) should never be emotionally motivated. That is what the law and legal system is for.
    yes, that's what the law is for. But is that what the law accomplishes?
    From this definition, it seems that you're equating "justice" with "legal sanction." If I misinterpreted that, I apologize. I could not agree less - Laws confer no moral authority. What is just must also be fair and morally correct - it must be "the right thing to do." Ideally, justice and the law would always be in union, but that does not mean that one defines the other.

    That's what our discussion revolves around, is it not? No one disagrees about the Law, just about whether it is Right. If the law were to be changed (say, in the next four years, capital punishment is outlawed everywhere on Earth), would that have any affect on whether it is Right or Wrong to put someone to death? No. Only on the acceptability of doing so.

  2. #162
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    Reasonable points traq.

    John, that's a convincing stance; it is difficult to imagine a solution. As an attempt at one I'd propose limiting the death penalty to cases where there isn't any room for doubt-- not that people are convinced, but there isn't even a potential counterargument.

    As an example, let's take the details of the Colorado theater shooting a few months ago. In that case, there was absolutely no question about 1) whether the act was committed; or 2) who did it. The who was known, and the what was known. Absolutely no question there.

    To me, a case like that (ignoring the insanity issue) is the type that would be eligible for the death penalty. There's no doubt to any degree that this person is not innocent-- they did the crime and the crime was bad enough

    (In reality, there is the question of insanity and that's perfectly reasonable! I'm intentionally ignoring that detail here, and would not apply my reasoning here literally to that case. I'm just talking about the evidence.)
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    Another question here is that you're argument is that Breivik was insane, but does that excuse him? I doesn't excuse him in any way in my mind, I'm not even convinced he was insane, the killings were meticulously planned, in no way the work of a madman. So there is the question, that if you are considered insane because you committed mass-murder, does that make it alright?
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  4. #164
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    Once you setup criteria that makes the death penalty acceptable in certain cases, someone more zealous than you can come along and bend that standard. Also, owing to the intense emotions that swirl around many of these cases, one might think the evidence air tight when it is not. Or it might in fact appear to be airtight to any reasonable person only to prove not to be the case later when more information surfaces. There's just too much margin for error once you start opening that door.

    I was concerned about the Norway case until I looked it up. I like what they did and believe they walked a thin yet appropriate line. The man is probably insane, but since that didn't really matter in the final disposition of the case, the justice system responded to public outcry and declared him sane. They didn't want to further incite an understandably distraught populace. That might have spawned other violent acts. And though the numbers look incredibly lenient on the surface, the article notes that he will probably serve life in prison. They would not have had such leeway, at least not in as good conscience had they had the death penalty in the mix.

    Insanity doesn't make murder OK, it does mitigate the circumstances, it makes the crime a little less heinous. In Breivik's case, in Norway there, it really doesn't make that much difference. Life in prison either way. But were the death penalty even a possibility, insanity should be looked upon as a reason not to execute.

    Planning is no evidence of sanity. It's only evidence of an organized mind.
    Last edited by jscheuer1; 09-30-2012 at 05:52 AM. Reason: Saw Bernie's post
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    I am of the opinion, that in countries that do have the death penalty, Breivik would have received it. Quite rightfully too. But I am of the opinion, that the best punishment for that mind of horrible crime, is actuall life in prison, and with that kind of punishment, if even if the person is fond to be innocent, they can be pulled out of jail.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernie
    Another question here is that you're argument is that Breivik was insane, but does that excuse him? I doesn't excuse him in any way in my mind, I'm not even convinced he was insane, the killings were meticulously planned, in no way the work of a madman. So there is the question, that if you are considered insane because you committed mass-murder, does that make it alright?
    The argument isn't that he's insane because he did that; the argument is that he's schizophrenic, which is a disorder that causes delusions and paranoia, not necessarily any inability to function meticulously.
    I agree with you that committing murder does not mean someone is insane; but if they commit the murder because they are insane, that's a different issue.

    I am of the opinion, that in countries that do have the death penalty, Breivik would have received it. Quite rightfully too. But I am of the opinion, that the best punishment for that mind of horrible crime, is actuall life in prison, and with that kind of punishment, if even if the person is fond to be innocent, they can be pulled out of jail..
    1) He did receive life in prison. It just is phrased a little differently. It can be extended as needed; I assume it will be extended and will be needed.
    2) This is an argument against the death penalty, especially considering the fact that it does look like he was insane; if he had received the death penalty in another country, that seems reasonably (according to the past couple posts) that it would have been a mistake.
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    Quote Originally Posted by djr33 View Post
    The argument isn't that he's insane because he did that; the argument is that he's schizophrenic, which is a disorder that causes delusions and paranoia, not necessarily any inability to function meticulously.
    I agree with you that committing murder does not mean someone is insane; but if they commit the murder because they are insane, that's a different issue.
    I know what schizophrenia is, I'm just saying, I don't believe he was a schizophrenic, nor does the Oslo regional court.
    1) He did receive life in prison. It just is phrased a little differently. It can be extended as needed; I assume it will be extended and will be needed.
    I know that, and that wasn't what I was talking about.
    2) This is an argument against the death penalty, especially considering the fact that it does look like he was insane; if he had received the death penalty in another country, that seems reasonably (according to the past couple posts) that it would have been a mistake.
    My post is saying that there are better punishments than the death penalty, not that it is wrong.
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    Life in prison is better because it's worse than the death penalty? Hm. Interesting. And perhaps true, at least for some people.



    So... has anyone else seen The Neighbors? It was the big surprise for me for the start of this season's TV shows-- I didn't know anything about it until I started watching it and then I thought it was wonderful. If you haven't seen it, check it out. I'll give you a hint-- the opening shot is in outer space!
    Last edited by djr33; 09-30-2012 at 08:55 AM. Reason: spelling
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    Well you get a long time in prison, and an effective death sentence.

    Anyways, just saw the latest dr. Who, and it's really not that scary.
    Oh dear.... This thread is turning into twitter
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernie1227 View Post
    Anyways, just saw the latest dr. Who, and it's really not that scary.
    I just DVRed it. My space is getting low, should I delete it without watching it?
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