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 Post subject: The death penalty
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 3:29 pm 
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One of the commandments says that "thou shall not kill" and yet, we have the death penalty. What do you think about this?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 3:33 pm 
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I am against it wholeheartedly.

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 Post subject: Re: The death penalty
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 3:34 pm 
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MySavingGrace wrote:
One of the commandments says that "thou shall not kill" and yet, we have the death penalty. What do you think about this?


The word for kill has the conotation of "unjust or illegal killing". This excludes justified killing, or when death is the result of an otherwise good action such as self-defence. The Death Penalty is a God-given right of the State to protect its citizens from harm.

The problem is that many governments do not use the Death Penalty morally. They use it as a scare tactic, and aren't usually concerned with the person's guilt or innocence being proven beyond all reasonable doubt. Such uses of the Death Penalty are immoral as far as I can see. It should be used to address a threat.

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 Post subject: Re: The death penalty
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 9:27 pm 
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kirkjunkie wrote:
MySavingGrace wrote:
One of the commandments says that "thou shall not kill" and yet, we have the death penalty. What do you think about this?


The word for kill has the conotation of "unjust or illegal killing". This excludes justified killing, or when death is the result of an otherwise good action such as self-defence. The Death Penalty is a God-given right of the State to protect its citizens from harm.

The problem is that many governments do not use the Death Penalty morally. They use it as a scare tactic, and aren't usually concerned with the person's guilt or innocence being proven beyond all reasonable doubt. Such uses of the Death Penalty are immoral as far as I can see. It should be used to address a threat.

FJ


I agree! such is the case in my own sate. Can you show me a modern state which uses the death penalty in any other than an immoral way?

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 Post subject: Re: The death penalty
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 9:33 pm 
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DaleC wrote:
kirkjunkie wrote:
MySavingGrace wrote:
One of the commandments says that "thou shall not kill" and yet, we have the death penalty. What do you think about this?


The word for kill has the conotation of "unjust or illegal killing". This excludes justified killing, or when death is the result of an otherwise good action such as self-defence. The Death Penalty is a God-given right of the State to protect its citizens from harm.

The problem is that many governments do not use the Death Penalty morally. They use it as a scare tactic, and aren't usually concerned with the person's guilt or innocence being proven beyond all reasonable doubt. Such uses of the Death Penalty are immoral as far as I can see. It should be used to address a threat.

FJ


I agree! such is the case in my own sate. Can you show me a modern state which uses the death penalty in any other than an immoral way?


I haven't studied it to know who has laws that seem to try to be in line with Natural Law... My gut tells me that your "bluer" states will have better uses of the death penalty for usually in regard to social concerns the libs line up better with Catholic teaching... (not perfectly, mind you... just better) and this is basically due to the fact that red states tend to be red because of more fundamentalist views... And thus, death penalty can be viewed from a very strict and warped old testament view.

But, with DA's being elected to their positions, getting high profile deaths can be advantageous to the career and invites corruption. It's tough... No state will do it perfectly...

I just moved from TX... :shock: Definately don't want to tick them off...

FJ


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:36 am 
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From the Council of Trent

Quote:
Another kind of lawful slaying belongs to the civil authorities, to whom is entrusted power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of which they punish the guilty and protect the innocent. The just use of this power, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this Commandment which prohibits murder. The end of the Commandment? is the preservation and security of human life. Now the punishments inflicted by the civil authority, which is the legitimate avenger of crime, naturally tend to this end, since they give security to life by repressing outrage and violence. Hence these words of David: In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land, that I might cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the Lord.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 3:04 am 
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One reason I am agaisnt it is also the wrongly accused and the framed people. Say I tried to help someone when a shooting went down by trying to hold their hand or grab them to push them down, but the bullet still hits them. They die and I was in that place. I get framed and am on death row. I didn't do anything, in fact I tried to help.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 4:59 am 
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The possibility of error is the strongest practical argument against the DP in our current society in my opinion.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 5:55 am 
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^^^^^^ do you mean wrongly acused or the execution thourgh electricity or injection going wrong?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 7:20 am 
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Wrongly accused.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 8:32 am 
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Blue states and red states.......what??

The death penalty is a an ultimate, final and althogether much too simple solution to the often times complex problems that plague our society.
The Council of Trent??? Complete rubbish. Not only is it immoral...but it's completely illogical. Obi-wan hit it on the nail...as the strongest argument.
But there are many, many others.
For me it's analogous to our growing prison populations...our "gangsta rap hip hop culture" etc... etc...
Education......education....education....

It's kind of like the "mouse in the house" problem.

You have mice that are getting into your house.....you can either kill them one by one... year after year.....OR you can sit down and figure out when and where the mice are getting in.....address the problem, and put an end to it logically and reasonably. The American system of culture and education..our whole way of living ..BREEDS DEATH...whether it's the environment, or our society. We kill......Look at the rest of the "civilized" world. Criminals aren't born.....they learn it through their own cultural experiences......they more often than not were a victim. PLease do not support the death penalty...support life..support education. Killing people and excessive prison sentences do not help our society.......education and treatment does.....get out of the box and shed the antiquated savage logic borne of men who favored keeping the world under their thumb.

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 Post subject: Re: The death penalty
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 8:46 am 
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MySavingGrace wrote:
One of the commandments says that "thou shall not kill" and yet, we have the death penalty. What do you think about this?


The Cathechism of the Council of Trent has a good explaination of the differences

http://www.cin.org/users/james/ebooks/m ... comm05.htm

Quote:
Another kind of lawful slaying belongs to the civil authorities, to whom is entrusted power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of which they punish the guilty and protect the innocent.

The just use of this power, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this Commandment which prohibits murder. The end of the Commandment­ is the preservation and security of human life.

Now the punishments inflicted by the civil authority, which is the legitimate avenger of crime, naturally tend to this end, since they give security to life by repressing outrage and violence. Hence these words of David: In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land, that I might cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the Lord.




Generally speaking, the proper use of the death penalty reinforces the 5th commandment, not violates it. It's purpose is to protect life by removing those who would damage it.

Now, in our modern states, we have other methods to safeguard society, so the need for this protection is greatly reduced, if not eliminated.


swaglantern wrote:
The Council of Trent??? Complete rubbish. Not only is it immoral...but it's completely illogical.


Swag,.

I think you would agree that Morality is not relative. What is moral for one State to do would not be immoral for another State to do.

The fact is, God has commanded rulers to enforce the death penalty. Trent quoted David, and there are certainly others (Judges 20 etc..)

Since God cannot command immorality, the death penalty by itself cannot be considered immoral. Only particular applications might be.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:25 pm 
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It should be noted that the ideas of Trent have been further developed by the Church. (It might also be noted that there have also been substantial developments in government, prisons, methods of confinement, and options available to socity generally since the Sixteenth Century.)

Here is the Catechism on the same subject:

Catechism of the Catholic Church wrote:
2266 The efforts of the state to curb the spread of behavior harmful to people's rights and to the basic rules of civil society correspond to the requirement of safeguarding the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offense. Punishment has the primary aim of redressing the disorder introduced by the offense. When it is willingly accepted by the guilty party, it assumes the value of expiation. Punishment then, in addition to defending public order and protecting people's safety, has a medicinal purpose: as far as possible, it must contribute to the correction of the guilty party.

2267 Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically nonexistent
."


And here is Pope John Paul II on the subject in his encyclical (and keep in mind that encyclials are certainly part of the ordinary magisterium of the Church ) Evangelium Vitae:

Pope John Paul II wrote:
55. This should not cause surprise: to kill a human being, in whom the image of God is present, is a particularly serious sin. Only God is the master of life! Yet from the beginning, faced with the many and often tragic cases which occur in the life of individuals and society, Christian reflection has sought a fuller and deeper understanding of what God's commandment prohibits and prescribes. There are in fact situations in which values proposed by God's Law seem to involve a genuine paradox. This happens for example in the case of legitimate defence, in which the right to protect one's own life and the duty not to harm someone else's life are difficult to reconcile in practice. Certainly, the intrinsic value of life and the duty to love oneself no less than others are the basis of a true right to self-defence. The demanding commandment of love of neighbour, set forth in the Old Testament and confirmed by Jesus, itself presupposes love of oneself as the basis of comparison: "You shall love your neighbour as yourself " (Mk 12:31). Consequently, no one can renounce the right to self-defence out of lack of love for life or for self. This can only be done in virtue of a heroic love which deepens and transfigures the love of self into a radical self-offering, according to the spirit of the Gospel Beatitudes (cf. Mt 5:38-40). The sublime example of this self-offering is the Lord Jesus himself.

Moreover, "legitimate defence can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another's life, the common good of the family or of the State".44 Unfortunately it happens that the need to render the aggressor incapable of causing harm sometimes involves taking his life. In this case, the fatal outcome is attributable to the aggressor whose action brought it about, even though he may not be morally responsible because of a lack of the use of reason.

56. This is the context in which to place the problem of the death penalty. On this matter there is a growing tendency, both in the Church and in civil society, to demand that it be applied in a very limited way or even that it be abolished completely. The problem must be viewed in the context of a system of penal justice ever more in line with human dignity and thus, in the end, with God's plan for man and society. The primary purpose of the punishment which society inflicts is "to redress the disorder caused by the offence". Public authority must redress the violation of personal and social rights by imposing on the offender an adequate punishment for the crime, as a condition for the offender to regain the exercise of his or her freedom. In this way authority also fulfils the purpose of defending public order and ensuring people's safety, while at the same time offering the offender an incentive and help to change his or her behaviour and be rehabilitated.

It is clear that, for these purposes to be achieved, the nature and extent of the punishment must be carefully evaluated and decided upon, and ought not go to the extreme of executing the offender except in cases of absolute necessity: in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today however, as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically non-existent.

In any event, the principle set forth in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church remains valid: "If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person".


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:52 pm 
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I think that says it all. :-)

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 3:56 pm 
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Quote:
It should be noted that the ideas of Trent have been further developed by the Church.


Actually, the Church understands Trent in the exact same way is it did in the 16th Century.


Everything said above in no way renders Trent incorrect, and as I said above, in a modern society, the circumstances where Captial Punishment is required are very rare if not non existant.

But that is due, as you mentioned, to changes in what resources are availble to the State to protect itself, NOT as a change in understanding from Trent.

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Last edited by Brendan on Tue Aug 30, 2005 8:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 3:59 pm 
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Oh I think it has shown that human intellect has evolved a bit.....people used to get killed for any little reason "back in the day"....for instance....heresy. :D

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:28 am 
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The Church does not alter its teaching. The Council of Trent reiterated that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Our Lord. I sincerely hope that people don't "evolve" from that. The Church,as the Body of Christ down here, CANNOT teach wrong things. If they are not wrong, they must be truth. THe Church affirms them to be truth. Truth doesn't change according to the times. It is eternal, as God is all truth. HE is changeless and eternal. Change of truth = change of God. THerefore, impossible.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:30 am 
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Besides, if we kill people for crimes, we can't convert 'em.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 8:35 am 
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swaglantern wrote:
Oh I think it has shown that human intellect has evolved a bit.....people used to get killed for any little reason "back in the day"....for instance....heresy. :D


So you think it is immoral to burn heretics?


Deut 13
Quote:
12 If you hear it said about one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you to live in 13 that wicked men have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods you have not known), 14 then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, 15 you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. Destroy it completely, [a] both its people and its livestock. 16 Gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God.



Can God command an immoral act?


A God pointed out, a murder only kills his subjects body, a heretic destroys their soul.


Like other uses of Capital Punishment, we now have other means to protect the souls of our neighbors, and thus no need to put heretics to the sword. :D

But that is a far cry from saying it was not necessary in earlier times (as Deut 13 points out)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 10:13 am 
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The same means we have today could have been employed in savage times....but obviously they were too intellectually small to comprehend such solutions.



Quote:
So you think it is immoral to burn heretics?


IT IS COMPLETELY IMMORAL TO BURN ANYONE......are you kidding me??? ....It's ok to murder someone who doesn't subscribe to the same notions you do?? So to use a modern day example.....It was ok for the mujahadeen in Iraq to behead the "infidels"....I mean they are claiming the same as you...YOU ARE A HERETIC TO THEM......so it's ok then?......kill everybody.....neat!!!

Deut 13
Quote:
12 If you hear it said about one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you to live in 13 that wicked men have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods you have not known), 14 then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, 15 you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. Destroy it completely, [a] both its people and its livestock. 16 Gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God.


Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm - I've heard so many many christian claims of "context"...and "anthropomorhism".....maybe I should use the argument against you.....maybe this is an anthropomorphic passage...yea....hehehe - besides this passage means absolutely nothing to me. I just solidifies the "human" nature of God.


Quote:
Can God command an immoral act?


Philosophically....you could argue that your God is not a moral enitity.

Quote:
A God pointed out, a murder only kills his subjects body, a heretic destroys their soul.


Great....so to prevent people from destroying themselves.................we'll destroy them. .....that has to be bad logic.

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