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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

This is something I didn't give much thought to until recent years. When I was a Christian, I thought the death penalty was okay based on scriptures like "an eye for an eye" or based on the fact that it was permissible throughout the bible.

 

Recently, Texas switched to pentobarbital, which was pretty controversial because it was believed to cause pain before death. Some would argue that the person being executed should suffer the same way they caused their victim(s) to suffer. I personally think that if we're going to execute people, it should be done without causing them to suffer or to be tortured. I just feel that torturing another human being would rob the torturer of some of his/her humanity, as I feel torture is inhumane. Isn't that the reason for executing, the fact that the person guilty committed some heinous, inhumane act?

 

My biggest gripe with the death penalty is the fact that many innocent people have or could be put to death. Still, the issue remains nebulous. Is it just a matter of ensuring that those on death row are REALLY guilty of the crime or is the penalty of death wrong regardless of the crime? Should the death penalty only be applied if you kill one person or two? three? four? What makes the Hitlers and Bin Ladens of the world deserving of death, but the Bushes of the world get to live despite the deaths they contributed to (although indirectly...and no, I'm not comparing Bush to Hitler lol) I guess intentions should also be considered right? So would that mean that if a mentally ill person kills numerous people, they should NOT receive the death penalty? Where's John Steinbeck when you need him? lol 

 

I don't know. I'm just curious to see what others have to say. I'm not sure how I feel about it.

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Since the bible describes many acts that would be considered immoral, I don't think morality is tied to religion in any manner, except for theist claim that somehow reprehensible acts are moral.
Dunno if morality's tied, but it has certainly been hijacked.

God of the Bible is basically an super powerful egotistical bullheaded asshole, who thinks that whatever he thinks at any given time is right. According to God, Long hair on men looks like crap so any man with long hair is Sinning, except for Samson of course who just wears the long hair stunningly so its okay if he does it.

 

God: "I like tomatoes!"

Human: "Ew.. I don't"

God: "WHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!?!"

Human: "I don't like tomatoes"

God: "YOU WHORE! YOU DIRT FILTHY SLUT! HOW DARE YOU HATE SOMETHING I LOVE! SINNER! INFIDEL! YOU SHALL FOREVER BURN IN HELL FOR THAT CRIME!"

Human: "But... didn't you make me this way?"

God: "...I...Well..Erm... BLASPHEMER!"

 

I think I just came up with the script for my next animation. :D

This is not an easy issue.

 

The justice system relies upon evidence. Problem is, evidence is not the same thing as fact. Everything that transpires in a court of law is speculation, not fact. 2 different sides interpret the evidence that exists, and a jury of our peers attempts to decide (ideally) which side makes the most reasonable case. But since all parties involved are human, error is inevitable. With lesser cases, such as theft or drugs, or even assault, this error is negligible. But when we're talking about the possibility of handing out a sentence that absolutely cannot be rescinded, nothing is negligible. And so, to proceed with said punishment carrying the knowledge that a conviction is possibly in error, however remotely, is irresponsible. State sanctioned or not, killing an innocent person is murder.

 

A justice system shouldn't operate upon what the prevailing opinion feels is deserved. I certainly think a child murderer deserves death, but how do I know the person authorities have dragged in front of me is right one? There's simply no way to know with 100% certainty. Again, even 99% is still too much of a margin for error when talking about killing someone.

I think there is no doubt that the death penalty is immoral. It is no surprise that civilized nations (i.e. entire Europe) have made the death penalty illegal. The death penalty's main stated purpose is to reduce future crimes or to reduce the costs of prison but it has been demonstrated it does neither; it actually increases future crimes by creating a cycle of violence in society and the costs to execute a prisoner are more than life in prison without parole (due to appeals etc.). This is one area keeping us behind our European brethren and I feel deeply that the death penalty should come to an end or at a minimal be used in such circumstances where undeniable proof (such as DNA) are available rather than circumstantial cases. The only time I personally approve of the death penalty is with terrorists only due to the fact that in certain situations, keeping alive a terrorist may reduce future deaths with the risks of hostage taking. Otherwise, I am 110% against the death penalty.
I think we've derailed this discussion into oblivion. If a discussion about Bush and war is fun, another thread should be started.
I agree. I think we should close it and suggest Sassan starts another thread on "GWB the liberator".
I added tags to this discussion so all this good information and lively debate is easy to retrieve at a later day r for new members.

We have closed this discussion as it has gone wildly off-topic.

As Adriana suggested, the Bush The Liberator discussion needs a thread of it's own.

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