1. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    05 Dec '13 17:171 edit
    I could not help overhearing that some people believe that capital punishment = murder. While I am opposed to capital punishment, I think calling it 'murder' is overstating the case.

    I support the concept of capital punishment. When someone has shown us by their actions that they consider themselves fit to decide who lives and who dies, that person should be permanently stopped. Terminal force is justified because the stakes are extremely high. If we try to rehabilitate such a person and fail, more innocent lives will be lost.

    However, two practical reasons compel me to oppose capital punishment.

    1) There is a distinct possibility that innocent people will be executed. One innocent person executed is one too many.
    2) Someone has to actually kill the convict. Whomever we choose to do it becomes desensitized to the taking of human life (as do we, the sanctioners of the action). The last thing we should want is to make more people callous and accepting of killing.
  2. SubscriberSuzianne
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    05 Dec '13 17:32
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    I could not help overhearing that some people believe that capital punishment = murder. While I am opposed to capital punishment, I think calling it 'murder' is overstating the case.

    I support the concept of capital punishment. When someone has shown us by their actions that they consider themselves fit to decide who lives and who dies, that pe ...[text shortened]... action). The last thing we should want is to make more people callous and accepting of killing.
    Biblically, state-sponsored executions for crimes committed are not murder. Neither is killing in wartime. This is precisely why the word used in "Thou shalt not kill" is actually 'murder'. Murder is a wanton taking of life. Cain murdered Abel. Joshua and the Hebrews did not murder the Canaanites.

    This is not to say that there cannot be murder in wartime. There have been war crimes trials where some of these cases have been tried. And doubtless, some state-sponsored executions may have been murder, where the accused was railroaded and convicted and hanged, merely for being black, for example.

    Overall, though, I agree with you. Capital punishment is not a 'wanton taking of life' and therefore does not classify as murder.
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    05 Dec '13 18:42
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    Neither is killing in wartime.

    Joshua and the Hebrews did not murder the Canaanites.
    Although I agree that murder is the wrong word for killing in war time, this doesn't mean that killing in war time is any less morally wrong. It does mean it becomes a collective wrong rather than and individual wrong.

    I am not arguing that war is always wrong, after all there is the self defence claim just as for individuals. But I am not sure that Joshua and the Hebrews could make that defense.
    Correct me if I am wrong, but did they not kill the Canaanites on Gods command? If an individual was commanded by God to kill another individual, would that be murder?
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    05 Dec '13 19:00
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    Biblically, state-sponsored executions for crimes committed are not murder. Neither is killing in wartime. This is precisely why the word used in "Thou shalt not kill" is actually 'murder'. Murder is a wanton taking of life. Cain murdered Abel. Joshua and the Hebrews did not murder the Canaanites.

    This is not to say that there cannot be murder in wa ...[text shortened]... Capital punishment is not a 'wanton taking of life' and therefore does not classify as murder.
    you don't think the Hebrews are murderers? is that because they were commanded by god?

    I work with several people who have killed after hearing gods voice commanding them.......are they murderers?
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    05 Dec '13 22:361 edit
    Originally posted by stellspalfie
    you don't think the Hebrews are murderers? is that because they were commanded by god?

    I work with several people who have killed after hearing gods voice commanding them.......are they murderers?
    two factors:

    1) god exists

    2) It was god's voice

    If the former is false then it is a matter of the state

    If the former is true and the latter is false then it is still a matter for the state

    If the former is true and the latter is true then it is still a matter for the state.

    My point being that morality is not a matter for the state.
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    05 Dec '13 23:38
    Originally posted by divegeester
    two factors:

    1) god exists

    2) It was god's voice

    If the former is false then it is a matter of the state

    If the former is true and the latter is false then it is still a matter for the state

    If the former is true and the latter is true then it is still a matter for the state.

    My point being that morality is not a matter for the state.
    Um... Actually I rather think it is a matter for the state.

    On what basis are we making laws without morality?

    I mean that's not the only factor in making laws, and not all morals should be encoded
    in laws...

    But the state should absolutely be in the morality business or what the hell are we doing.
  7. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    05 Dec '13 23:55
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Although I agree that murder is the wrong word for killing in war time, this doesn't mean that killing in war time is any less morally wrong. It does mean it becomes a collective wrong rather than and individual wrong.

    I am not arguing that war is always wrong, after all there is the self defence claim just as for individuals. But I am not sure that J ...[text shortened]... command? If an individual was commanded by God to kill another individual, would that be murder?
    I was thinking along similar lines but you pretty much put it into words. I think there can still be individual wrongs in a war, like killing an unarmed prisoner. But I agree that the wrongs of war are collectively the fault of the group of people waging it.
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    06 Dec '13 19:38
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    Um... Actually I rather think it is a matter for the state.

    On what basis are we making laws without morality?

    I mean that's not the only factor in making laws, and not all morals should be encoded
    in laws...

    But the state should absolutely be in the morality business or what the hell are we doing.
    But atheists are sometimes heard to say that morality is not absolute but relative to the culture and even the individual.
  9. Standard memberkaroly aczel
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    06 Dec '13 21:13
    Is giving a miserable serial murderer a lethal injection worse than keeping him incaserated for her life?
    I think I'd rather die than sit in jail with no prospect of leaving...


    Then again with the world the way it is with corruption amongst police and especially lower prison guards, the chances for a life sentencee to have a decent life, even an assisted escape, is a distinct possibility.
  10. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    06 Dec '13 21:43
    Originally posted by karoly aczel
    Is giving a miserable serial murderer a lethal injection worse than keeping him incaserated for her life?
    I think I'd rather die than sit in jail with no prospect of leaving...


    Then again with the world the way it is with corruption amongst police and especially lower prison guards, the chances for a life sentencee to have a decent life, even an assisted escape, is a distinct possibility.
    Ahh, there it is. I knew I had missed a point somewhere.

    3) The rich tend to get 'better' justice than the poor.
  11. SubscriberSuzianne
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    06 Dec '13 22:52
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Although I agree that murder is the wrong word for killing in war time, this doesn't mean that killing in war time is any less morally wrong. It does mean it becomes a collective wrong rather than and individual wrong.

    I am not arguing that war is always wrong, after all there is the self defence claim just as for individuals. But I am not sure that J ...[text shortened]... command? If an individual was commanded by God to kill another individual, would that be murder?
    The Canaanites were sinful, in their worship of evil entities. They would have polluted the Hebrew bloodlines and corrupted the godliness of the chosen people. In fact, that is what happened because of intermarriage, all because they did NOT wipe out the Canaanites, and centuries later they reaped what they had sown with the Babylonian Exile. It would have been better for many generations of Hebrews if they had obeyed God.
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    06 Dec '13 22:53
    Originally posted by divegeester
    But atheists are sometimes heard to say that morality is not absolute but relative to the culture and even the individual.
    And?

    Atheists have no one single view on morality, because the only criteria for being
    an atheist is not having a belief in gods.


    You can't talk about the 'atheist' position on morality because there isn't one.

    Other than we would obviously all agree that gods are not involved.
    Not believing in them and all.
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    06 Dec '13 22:56
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    The Canaanites were sinful, in their worship of evil entities. They would have polluted the Hebrew bloodlines and corrupted the godliness of the chosen people. In fact, that is what happened because of intermarriage, all because they did NOT wipe out the Canaanites, and centuries later they reaped what they had sown with the Babylonian Exile. It would have been better for many generations of Hebrews if they had obeyed God.
    Sooo... You are also a racist... As well as a condoner of genocide...
    And state sanctioned murder... And God sanctioned murder...


    Or is their any other possible way of interpreting that, which I am missing?
  14. SubscriberSuzianne
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    06 Dec '13 22:58
    Originally posted by stellspalfie
    you don't think the Hebrews are murderers? is that because they were commanded by god?

    I work with several people who have killed after hearing gods voice commanding them.......are they murderers?
    You forget that this happened in an era when the Hebrews had a direct line to God in Moses. Yes, it was because they were commanded by God. God doesn't waste time and resources making people do things for no reason. I covered the reasons why the Canaanites should have been wiped out in an earlier post.

    Claiming God talks to you and actually having God command you are two totally different things. But we could compare murder and mental illness all day and get nowhere.
  15. SubscriberSuzianne
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    06 Dec '13 23:00
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    I was thinking along similar lines but you pretty much put it into words. I think there can still be individual wrongs in a war, like killing an unarmed prisoner. But I agree that the wrongs of war are collectively the fault of the group of people waging it.
    Not so. The wrongs of war belong to those committing them, just like any wrongs. This is why we still conduct war crime trials. To prosecute war crimes.
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