Hello everyone, i recently(20 minutes ago) started wondering what intelligent people thought about the death penalty, i consider myself by no means close to highly intelligent so i'd like to ask:

What do you think about the death penalty?

personally i don't like it, death isn't punishment fitting of crimes like rape, murder, kidnapping, child-molestation etc.

i think lifetime imprisonment is the way to go. ^^

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Revenge for what?

The desire for punishment can be explained by the desire to make things "even". The desire for instance to hurt someone whom has hurt you directly or a desire to execute revenge on a person that has damaged you emotionally is quite common.


I don't honestly see why anybody would want to punish a person that broke the law. Educate them, take away their liberties to achieve the goal of re-socialization but please don't take their liberties away out of a desire to punish. If a person is "unfit" for society, find a solution that respects the humanity of the offender too. 


To me it is not important that someone is punished for what they did. It's important that we attempt to prevent this from happening in the future instead of executing revenge on a person. 


The desire for punishment to me is a primitive instinct that is closely linked to revenge and has no place in a legal system. The death penalty is often justified as "they did it first" which is nothing more then a primitive "eye for an eye" attitude. 

Very well said. 

I do not agree for all cases. Some people are just "evil" and want to intentionally hurt others. It is in their nature. How do you change someone's nature to correct the behavior or internal desires of the "evil" person? That is if you believe in "evil" people. 


What is evil? For that matter, what is good? They are very ambiguous ideas that man has invented to explain what he likes and dislikes. So, "eye for an eye" is good to people in some parts of the world, and bad to others in that same part of the world. That is because the terms good and evil are so ambiguous that people in the same group will differ in opinion about the definition. 


But, I will admit that there are instances when 99% or so will agree: "That is bad".


If we are just evolved animals, why do we struggle with ambiguous ideas that just complicate our lives? Why not "succumb" to our animal instincts and just do what immediately insures our survival?


Getting rid of the gene pool that produces these "evil" people would be an instinctual response, wouldn't it? Or do you dislike the idea and describe the instinctual response as bad?


What in this world is good? What in this world is bad? Can you have one without the other?



If it is evil to intentionally hurt others, then why would you have the intention of executing punishment? If punishment is a collateral effect of re-education I'll see it as a necessary evil that should be limited as much as possible.


Good and bad are subjective, yet these are concepts that humans can grasp and explore. Assumptions would have to be made, for instance I would say that it is better to re-educate people than to punish them since re-education has proven to cause significantly lower recidivist rates (West-Europe, Scandinavia) Furthermore, proper mental care and medication are much better tools then isolation in most cases. 


Getting rid of the gene pool that produces these "evil" people would be an instinctual response, wouldn't it?


Quite likely, yes. Instincts are neither good or bad since they are tools. Behavior and consequences can be measured albeit crudely in some manner. You would therefor have to create some kind of value system to determine whether the outcome of coming to a decision based upon an instinctual is good or bad.


Or do you dislike the idea and describe the instinctual response as bad?


I would consider the consequences to be bad, because it would involve execution of people which I find apprehensible and which in my opinion leads to hypocritical behavior. Violence is not a civilized response in my opinion because it is primitive and does not take into account the knowledge that we have gained from science in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, medicine, criminology and social sciences. 


Putting somebody away is bad enough already. Having your freedoms removed and to be isolated is not a thing to be taken lightly. 


Prison systems that are not aimed at punishment, but re-education to lower recidivism and minimize the amount of personal hurt are in my opinion "better".


We are just evolved animals??????????????


All animals on this planet are equally 'evolved'! That is a common misunderstanding of evolution on the part of humans concerned with transcendence and it's simply erroneous. Homo sapiens technology is no more 'evolved' than the massive wood structures of extinct ongulates. Our brain's capacity to change our environment is simply our appendage, and appendages that grow incessantly thru time eventually backfire on their bearer.

Hey there TNT666! I was using the slang meaning of evolved. I think this proves a few things I was talking about somewhere in this forum. 1) Some if not a whole third of the English language is made up of ambiguous terms. Terms that have subjective meanings. Included in those terms are ideas like God, and good, and bad. Everyone uses some of them almost every day, but if you tried to pin them down to their version of a definition of those ideas, you would get as many different definitions as the number of people you pin down.

2) Believe it or not, truth is an ambiguous term. Everyone knows what it means to tell the truth, but if you ask any person or group of persons what the "truth" is, you will get different answers. I would like to see if you agree with this: Truth has a certain meaning, but because it is ambiguous, we need another word called Fact, and because fact is also ambiguous we need another word called evidence, and so on.

3) Religion uses the ambiguous meanings in such a manner that the person listening does not completely understand and is manipulated into feeling good, or bad, or guilty, or whatever the micro-goal of religion is at the moment.

You talk about tools. Most animals have a small arsenal of tools that they use in a robotic sort of way that seldom leads to a deeper understanding of the tool and its purpose whereby they could extrapolate (imagine) a new use, or another way to make the tool for another purpose like we do. The difference between Homo sapiens sapiens technology and other animals' technology is that Homo sapiens sapiens has a capacity that few if any animals demonstrate, and surely do not demonstrate to the extent of Homo sapiens sapiens.

What "tools" does religion use to evangelize others to join them?
Ambiguous language like spirit, soul, God, afterlife, Hell, faith, etc. is at the top of the list. Homo sapiens sapiens has perfected the use of the religious "tools" over many millennia. So, how do non-theists combat this ancient "tool system" that seems to know a great deal more about Homo sapiens sapiens psychology than any group of scientists do. At least they know how to manipulate the "psychy" of another Homo sapiens sapiens. I recommend the non-theist Homo sapiens sapiens studies the methods and purposes of religion in order to learn any beneficial qualities or methodology, as well as any weaknesses that non-theists could use to show people the true purpose of religion.

Can you count how many ambiguous words I used in this commentary?




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