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Capital Punishment thread

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    DefunkerDefunker Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    See, I really hate all the debates for/against capital punishment, abortion, and euthenasia. Why? Because they all concern the deaths of a very, very small number of people. The effects of these three things have no real effect on the vast majority of people's lives; they just make for heated debates.

    I'm not saying don't talk about it, I'm just saying presidents shouldn't be elected based on their stance on abortion.

    Defunker on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2007
    Defunker wrote: »
    See, I really hate all the debates for/against capital punishment, abortion, and euthenasia. Why? Because they all concern the deaths of a very, very small number of people. The effects of these three things have no real effect on the vast majority of people's lives; they just make for heated debates.

    I'm not saying don't talk about it, I'm just saying presidents shouldn't be elected based on their stance on abortion.

    There are over one million abortions per year in the United States.

    If you think those fetus's are people, that is in fact a very large number of deaths.

    Shinto on
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    DefunkerDefunker Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Okay, so maybe abortion wasn't the best one to add in there.

    Defunker on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2007
    Zsetrek wrote: »
    Gorak wrote: »
    ege02 wrote: »
    Be careful guys, Ketherial has a law degree from Harvard! Whereas we most likely have shitty high school degrees!

    Two degrees in physics actually. [/smug]

    Seriously though, last I heard he was a corporate lawyer, not a criminal lawyer. He knows what the law is and how to use it, but not necessarily the moral or philosophical reasoning behind it.

    Please don't think Keth is representative of the profession. I'm only a law student, but all of the many lawyers I've come into contact with (and most students) take their professional responsibilities very seriously, and have a deep, passionate understanding of the criminal justice system and theories of law and jurisprudence. That may be because most of them are criminal lawyers, but the few corporate lawyers I've met have been the same.

    Yes, Keth is a corporate lawyer. Specialising in contract law, IIRC, and working in Japan in a large firm. And not to belittle Keth's job or achievements, but there is a world of difference between a firm lawyer drafting contracts, and a criminal lawyer.

    A lawyer's first duty is to the law. It's along the lines of the Hippocratic oath - a self-imposed professional standard. Keth is kinda like a doctor who "does no harm", but has his own crackpot theories for why he doesn't: He may be as competent a doctor as any other, but you could be forgiven for wanting to go to another doctor for treatment - one who respects the principles that he serves.

    I'm a third year law student, and I'd just like to emphasize this. I worked at a DA's office all summer, and the lawyers on both sides hold nothing CLOSE to the kind of attitude he does. They zealously advocate for their clients, but they do not do their job under the pretense that "guilty people must pay because they are bad." In fact in the section I work in, rehabilitation and treatment is the focus of the court.

    Medopine on
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    ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2007
    Yeah, we have sort of established that Keth is the odd-ball retard. Don't worry, we don't think all lawyers are like him.

    ege02 on
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    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    i go away for a weekend and then all this silliness.

    instead of attempting to reply to each post, i will simply sum up my position here.

    1) i am mainly interested in guiding principles for human society. tangible benefits are secondary on my list of priorities. as such, i find appeals to the tangible benefit (or lack thereof) of the death penalty generally weak because my purpose in supporting the death penalty has nothing to do with whether or not crime rates go down.

    if however, due to the death penalty, crime rates in fact go up (i.e., tangible harm), then i might be willing to reconsider my stance on the death penalty. as it stands though, capital punishment has little effect on crime rate either way.

    2) with respect to guiding principles, as i have stated, i believe society should do everything in its power to bring about "fair" results. what that means specifically is that x is repaid with x (and not with 10x). the value of x is of course to be decided by society, but the guiding principle remains. if possible, no person should be rewarded 100x for action x or be punished 100x for crime x.

    3) attempting to label the desire for fairness "emotional" is exceedingly strange to me. if anything, it is a choice heavily supported by logic. the alternatives of course are randomness and unfairness, both of which i think are more properly considered illogical (if not emotional, per se). regardless of whether the desire for fairness is emotional or logical, i think most people would agree that fairness is superior to its alternatives.

    4) the principle of fairness necessarily dictates that people who commit crimes more heinous than others be punished more heinously. the punishment of a criminal, even if it is the same actual act as that which the criminal engaged in, is not in any way comparable to crime for various reasons ive stated before. also, i believe criminals give up various rights when they violate the rights of others. as ive stated, i do not believe in "inalienable" human rights. as such, punishment of a criminal is not a violation of any rights because the criminals no longer possess such rights.

    5) in my opinion, the depth of depravity of some crimes merit more punishment than simply life without parole. i would not be against torture for these kinds of criminals as i personally feel they have already given up whatever rights they might have once had and should now be made to feel as their victims felt. however, in light of our constitution and the admittedly noble desire to rid our society of violence, i bow down to the majority will that torture not be used (though again, i disagree with the conclusion). that being said, i see nothing wrong with ensuring that criminals actually suffer for their crimes.

    6) i have stated repeatedly that how i weigh the gravity of any specific crime (and whether or not it deserves the death penalty) is not any more or less valid than anyone else's stance on the matter. it will be up to our legislature, judges and juries to decide.

    personally, i have stated that a serial murder who rapes and kills 30 people clearly crosses the lwop line for me into the death penalty zone. whether or not anyone feels the same way is up to them. where any of us draws the line is necessarily subjective, but i dont think that means the determination is without value.

    7) i do not feel the need to prohibit the government from using the death penalty. i do not see it as any different from allowing policing authorities to use deadly force or from the state's "right" to conduct war. although its use should be regulated (just as other uses of lethal force are regulated), i dont see any distinction, conceptually, between the death penalty and the state's use of lethal force in any other situation.

    8) we place a certain value on life, on happiness, on functioning society, on ensuring fair results and on a whole bunch of things. these are all moving values that change day to dav, so it may be impossible to pinpoint an actual value. however, if we believe at any moment that securing a certain resource, bringing "freedom" to a certain region or ensuring a fair result is more valuable than a certain life or group of lives, then we engage in actions that end those certain lives. i am comfortable with that decision and with my government having the ability to make such decisions, especially when it is directly regulated by the people (juries) as opposed to under the sole command of the military (war).

    if people are still interested in discussing this, so am i.

    Ketherial on
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    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    templewulf wrote: »
    Gorak wrote: »
    ege02 wrote: »
    Be careful guys, Ketherial has a law degree from Harvard! Whereas we most likely have shitty high school degrees!

    Two degrees in physics actually. [/smug]

    Seriously though, last I heard he was a corporate lawyer, not a criminal lawyer. He knows what the law is and how to use it, but not necessarily the moral or philosophical reasoning behind it.

    Slightly off-topic, but I don't know that it matters - a lawyer is a businessman, and his business is getting the verdict he's hired to get. Being a successful lawyer has no more to do with ethics than being a successful oil company exec - we only hope that any of them have morals.
    I've always wondered this about lawyers. Do they often have attacks of conscience when they get a particularly awful client? What about public defenders? I imagine they can't recuse themselves (is recuse the right word for lawyers, or is that only for judges?), especially not as often as necessary to avoid defending the guilty.

    actually our justice system necessarily obligates lawyers to zealously defend our clients' interests. that is our job. even if the act of defending a criminal is morally offensive, the lawyer must set aside his own morals in the belief that all people, even criminals, deserve professional representation.

    otherwise, the guilty would never have anyone to defend them and society considers that to be a far worse scenario than a few lawyers feeling guilty for getting a criminal off the hook.

    in terms of morals, it would be immoral for us to apply our personal moral codes to the situation.

    Ketherial on
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    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Dyscord wrote: »
    PDs are allowed to refuse clients for reasons of conscience, aren't they?

    not to my knowledge, no.

    Ketherial on
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    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Zsetrek wrote: »
    Gorak wrote: »
    ege02 wrote: »
    Be careful guys, Ketherial has a law degree from Harvard! Whereas we most likely have shitty high school degrees!

    Two degrees in physics actually. [/smug]

    Seriously though, last I heard he was a corporate lawyer, not a criminal lawyer. He knows what the law is and how to use it, but not necessarily the moral or philosophical reasoning behind it.

    Please don't think Keth is representative of the profession. I'm only a law student, but all of the many lawyers I've come into contact with (and most students) take their professional responsibilities very seriously, and have a deep, passionate understanding of the criminal justice system and theories of law and jurisprudence. That may be because most of them are criminal lawyers, but the few corporate lawyers I've met have been the same.

    i take my professional responsibilities very seriously too.
    Yes, Keth is a corporate lawyer. Specialising in contract law, IIRC, and working in Japan in a large firm. And not to belittle Keth's job or achievements, but there is a world of difference between a firm lawyer drafting contracts, and a criminal lawyer.

    A lawyer's first duty is to the law. It's along the lines of the Hippocratic oath - a self-imposed professional standard. Keth is kinda like a doctor who "does no harm", but has his own crackpot theories for why he doesn't: He may be as competent a doctor as any other, but you could be forgiven for wanting to go to another doctor for treatment - one who respects the principles that he serves.

    actually i dont see how attempting to achieve justice and fairness can in anyway be considered going against the principles of law.

    Ketherial on
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    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Zsetrek wrote: »
    Gorak wrote: »
    So how do you feel about jailing people convicted of unlawful confinement?

    You mean lawfully confining them?

    what about lawfully killing them?

    Ketherial on
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    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Medopine wrote: »
    I'm a third year law student, and I'd just like to emphasize this. I worked at a DA's office all summer, and the lawyers on both sides hold nothing CLOSE to the kind of attitude he does. They zealously advocate for their clients, but they do not do their job under the pretense that "guilty people must pay because they are bad." In fact in the section I work in, rehabilitation and treatment is the focus of the court.

    my personal reasons for why and how i uphold the law have nothing to do with my profession. im not sure why anyone thinks my stance on the death penalty and my reasoning for it have anything to do with the practice of law.

    Ketherial on
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    gtrmpgtrmp Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Ketherial wrote: »
    Zsetrek wrote: »
    Gorak wrote: »
    So how do you feel about jailing people convicted of unlawful confinement?

    You mean lawfully confining them?

    what about lawfully killing them?
    It's OK if you're only following orders.

    gtrmp on
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    ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2007
    Ketherial wrote: »
    1) i am mainly interested in guiding principles for human society. tangible benefits are secondary on my list of priorities. as such, i find appeals to the tangible benefit (or lack thereof) of the death penalty generally weak because my purpose in supporting the death penalty has nothing to do with whether or not crime rates go down.

    if however, due to the death penalty, crime rates in fact go up (i.e., tangible harm), then i might be willing to reconsider my stance on the death penalty. as it stands though, capital punishment has little effect on crime rate either way.

    If there are no tangible benefits for a particular law or state policy, why should it be followed, or even implemented in the first place?

    There is no such thing as fairness for fairness's sake or justice for justice's sake. We believe in justice because it is good for society; it has tangible benefits. If it didn't have any tangible benefits, there wouldn't have been any incentive for society to implement and follow a justice system.
    2) with respect to guiding principles, as i have stated, i believe society should do everything in its power to bring about "fair" results. what that means specifically is that x is repaid with x (and not with 10x). the value of x is of course to be decided by society, but the guiding principle remains. if possible, no person should be rewarded 100x for action x or be punished 100x for crime x.

    Fairness does not mean equality. They are different concepts, although commonly mistaken for one another. Fair simply means "impartial and without bias".

    This is why the term "fair" is subjective. What is fair in your opinion may not be fair in someone else's. This is why you believe in the philosophy of "an eye for an eye" and I don't.
    3) attempting to label the desire for fairness "emotional" is exceedingly strange to me. if anything, it is a choice heavily supported by logic. the alternatives of course are randomness and unfairness, both of which i think are more properly considered illogical (if not emotional, per se). regardless of whether the desire for fairness is emotional or logical, i think most people would agree that fairness is superior to its alternatives.

    See above.
    4) the principle of fairness necessarily dictates that people who commit crimes more heinous than others be punished more heinously. the punishment of a criminal, even if it is the same actual act as that which the criminal engaged in, is not in any way comparable to crime for various reasons ive stated before. also, i believe criminals give up various rights when they violate the rights of others. as ive stated, i do not believe in "inalienable" human rights. as such, punishment of a criminal is not a violation of any rights because the criminals no longer possess such rights.

    What you're talking about here is justice, not fairness.

    A judge who makes a decision without being influenced by one side more than the other is a fair judge. His decisions may or may not be just decisions, but they are fair decisions.
    5) in my opinion, the depth of depravity of some crimes merit more punishment than simply life without parole. i would not be against torture for these kinds of criminals as i personally feel they have already given up whatever rights they might have once had and should now be made to feel as their victims felt. however, in light of our constitution and the admittedly noble desire to rid our society of violence, i bow down to the majority will that torture not be used (though again, i disagree with the conclusion). that being said, i see nothing wrong with ensuring that criminals actually suffer for their crimes.

    This. The bolded part.

    The fact that you "personally feel" one way or another is not reason enough to implement that law. This is why people are saying that your argument is based on emotion, i.e. what you feel is "just".

    This is precisely why tangible benefits take priority: they can be objectively measured and analyzed. This is why when you say that tangible benefits are second on your list of priorities, you're basically automatically forfeiting the debate.
    6) i have stated repeatedly that how i weigh the gravity of any specific crime (and whether or not it deserves the death penalty) is not any more or less valid than anyone else's stance on the matter. it will be up to our legislature, judges and juries to decide.

    personally, i have stated that a serial murder who rapes and kills 30 people clearly crosses the lwop line for me into the death penalty zone. whether or not anyone feels the same way is up to them. where any of us draws the line is necessarily subjective, but i dont think that means the determination is without value.

    Wait, so are we simply telling each other how we feel about the issue now?

    And here I thought we were trying to have some sort of meaningful debate that actually has the possibility of reaching an end, with a winner and a loser. I suppose not; I mean, you can tell me how you feel and I can tell you how I feel and we can go at it for hundreds of pages.

    I won't address the rest of what you said because I have little interest in trying to refute your feelings. If you are interested in forming your arguments based on hard facts rather than on emotions, feel free to do so and we'll continue.

    ege02 on
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    TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    [
    Ketherial wrote: »
    1) i am mainly interested in guiding principles for human society. tangible benefits are secondary on my list of priorities. as such, i find appeals to the tangible benefit (or lack thereof) of the death penalty generally weak because my purpose in supporting the death penalty has nothing to do with whether or not crime rates go down.

    if however, due to the death penalty, crime rates in fact go up (i.e., tangible harm), then i might be willing to reconsider my stance on the death penalty. as it stands though, capital punishment has little effect on crime rate either way.
    But now you've completely dismissed three of the four points that we're supposed to be taking into account. You don't think that deterrance is relevant (its just an added bonus), you clearly aren't even considering you might be able to return the criminal to society and apparently keeping them away from society isn't doing a lot to the crime rate any more than just locking them up. You've only got punishment left, and punishment for no reason other than you think people should be punished regardless of the consequences of that punishment.
    Ketherial wrote: »
    2) with respect to guiding principles, as i have stated, i believe society should do everything in its power to bring about "fair" results. what that means specifically is that x is repaid with x (and not with 10x). the value of x is of course to be decided by society, but the guiding principle remains. if possible, no person should be rewarded 100x for action x or be punished 100x for crime x.
    You're morally opposed to lotteries? The huge thing you are missing is that the value of 'x' has nothing to do with the act commited - if I steal bread to feed to my starving family and get caught, is it 'fair' that I then have the same amount of food taken from me to feed the baker? If the baker took a loaf of bread from me, assuming he gets caught does he only owe me a loaf of bread?

    Punishment for no reason than for punishment's sake is sadism, in all other cases what the punishment is supposed to be achieving is more important. I really don't think making the world appear rational at the expense of the quality of life in our society is something we want to aim for. Not to mention the fact that we are really bad when it comes to want actually is rational rather than just appearing to be.
    Ketherial wrote: »
    3) attempting to label the desire for fairness "emotional" is exceedingly strange to me. if anything, it is a choice heavily supported by logic. the alternatives of course are randomness and unfairness, both of which i think are more properly considered illogical (if not emotional, per se). regardless of whether the desire for fairness is emotional or logical, i think most people would agree that fairness is superior to its alternatives.
    This is exactly the sort of thing I was getting at above, we are rubbish at this for reasons mostly likely of an evolutionary nature. Most of the time people (and animals) will pick a 'fair situation' where both suffer rather than a 'unfair' situation where everyone benefits but some benefit more than others. I'll refuse to get a grape if it means that Ted the Other Monkey gets three grapes.
    Ketherial wrote: »
    4) the principle of fairness necessarily dictates that people who commit crimes more heinous than others be punished more heinously. the punishment of a criminal, even if it is the same actual act as that which the criminal engaged in, is not in any way comparable to crime for various reasons ive stated before. also, i believe criminals give up various rights when they violate the rights of others. as ive stated, i do not believe in "inalienable" human rights. as such, punishment of a criminal is not a violation of any rights because the criminals no longer possess such rights.
    I don't believe anyone has any fundamental rights at all either, which makes it all the more important that you don't start screwing your philosophy up by adding in this other 'right to live in a fair world'. The only 'rights' you have are the codes that pretty much everyone needs to follow for a society to work well - soon as you start adding fundamental rights in again you change the nature of what society is supposed to do. In some cases this isn't a huge issue since the rights your adding in are more or less the reason for societies (life, liberty and happiness etc though to be honest only the last ultimately counts far as I see it) but your 'right to fairness' principle on its own is entirely arbitary unless you believe that fairness = happiness when this most definitely isn't the case.
    Ketherial wrote: »
    5) in my opinion, the depth of depravity of some crimes merit more punishment than simply life without parole. i would not be against torture for these kinds of criminals as i personally feel they have already given up whatever rights they might have once had and should now be made to feel as their victims felt. however, in light of our constitution and the admittedly noble desire to rid our society of violence, i bow down to the majority will that torture not be used (though again, i disagree with the conclusion). that being said, i see nothing wrong with ensuring that criminals actually suffer for their crimes.
    You're being a sadist. I don't mean it as an insult its just that's pretty much what your philosophy is here - its just purposeless infliction of suffering for your own pleasure.
    Ketherial wrote: »
    7) i do not feel the need to prohibit the government from using the death penalty. i do not see it as any different from allowing policing authorities to use deadly force or from the state's "right" to conduct war. although its use should be regulated (just as other uses of lethal force are regulated), i dont see any distinction, conceptually, between the death penalty and the state's use of lethal force in any other situation.
    You don't though, you've said earlier that the death penalty thing is entirely about fairness and the need for punishment (since deterrance and reform isn't an issue) rather than something which serves a specific purpose other than this.

    Tastyfish on
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    ZsetrekZsetrek Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Ketherial wrote: »
    Yes, Keth is a corporate lawyer. Specialising in contract law, IIRC, and working in Japan in a large firm. And not to belittle Keth's job or achievements, but there is a world of difference between a firm lawyer drafting contracts, and a criminal lawyer.

    A lawyer's first duty is to the law. It's along the lines of the Hippocratic oath - a self-imposed professional standard. Keth is kinda like a doctor who "does no harm", but has his own crackpot theories for why he doesn't: He may be as competent a doctor as any other, but you could be forgiven for wanting to go to another doctor for treatment - one who respects the principles that he serves.

    actually i dont see how attempting to achieve justice and fairness can in anyway be considered going against the principles of law.

    "Justice" and "fairness" are just words, Keth.

    Zsetrek on
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    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    gtrmp wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    Zsetrek wrote: »
    Gorak wrote: »
    So how do you feel about jailing people convicted of unlawful confinement?

    You mean lawfully confining them?

    what about lawfully killing them?
    It's OK if you're only following orders.

    it's okay to kill someone as long as someone told you to? now that is a really interesting position to take.

    Ketherial on
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    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    ege02 wrote: »
    If there are no tangible benefits for a particular law or state policy, why should it be followed, or even implemented in the first place?

    There is no such thing as fairness for fairness's sake or justice for justice's sake. We believe in justice because it is good for society; it has tangible benefits. If it didn't have any tangible benefits, there wouldn't have been any incentive for society to implement and follow a justice system.

    actually laws arent always about tangible benefits. we have morality laws (prostitution, gambling, etc.), decency laws (no nudity in public, selling "offensive" materials to minors), state certified marriage. none of these have "tangible" benefits.

    and there is definitely such a thing as fairness for fairness' sake. affirmative action comes to mind. we have more severe punishments for hate crimes. if i cared enough, i could come up with other examples.

    anyway, regardless of whether or not you agree with these laws, they do exist. they are laws that provide no "tangible" benefits, laws that enact fairness for fairness' sake. our society believes the legislature does have the right to exercise its influence both for tangible or intangible benefits.
    4) the principle of fairness necessarily dictates that people who commit crimes more heinous than others be punished more heinously. the punishment of a criminal, even if it is the same actual act as that which the criminal engaged in, is not in any way comparable to crime for various reasons ive stated before. also, i believe criminals give up various rights when they violate the rights of others. as ive stated, i do not believe in "inalienable" human rights. as such, punishment of a criminal is not a violation of any rights because the criminals no longer possess such rights.

    What you're talking about here is justice, not fairness.

    A judge who makes a decision without being influenced by one side more than the other is a fair judge. His decisions may or may not be just decisions, but they are fair decisions.

    no, what im talking about is fairness. if one person commits crime x and gets punishment x, why should someone who commits crime 1000x also only get punishment x?
    5) in my opinion, the depth of depravity of some crimes merit more punishment than simply life without parole. i would not be against torture for these kinds of criminals as i personally feel they have already given up whatever rights they might have once had and should now be made to feel as their victims felt. however, in light of our constitution and the admittedly noble desire to rid our society of violence, i bow down to the majority will that torture not be used (though again, i disagree with the conclusion). that being said, i see nothing wrong with ensuring that criminals actually suffer for their crimes.

    This. The bolded part.

    The fact that you "personally feel" one way or another is not reason enough to implement that law. This is why people are saying that your argument is based on emotion, i.e. what you feel is "just".

    this is only in response to your belief that inalienable rights exist. obviously, the law doesnt really recognize any such thing, but even if our constitution does (no cruel and unusual punishment, for example), it allows the death penalty.
    This is precisely why tangible benefits take priority: they can be objectively measured and analyzed. This is why when you say that tangible benefits are second on your list of priorities, you're basically automatically forfeiting the debate.

    no, im simply refusing to debate under your artificial conditions. if you only want to debate about the value of the death penalty in respect of tangible benefits, that's fine and good.

    but that's not the whole picture. that's not even why most people support the death penalty. so if you don't want to address the issue, that's fine. but you should realize that you're only seeing half of the picture.
    6) i have stated repeatedly that how i weigh the gravity of any specific crime (and whether or not it deserves the death penalty) is not any more or less valid than anyone else's stance on the matter. it will be up to our legislature, judges and juries to decide.

    personally, i have stated that a serial murder who rapes and kills 30 people clearly crosses the lwop line for me into the death penalty zone. whether or not anyone feels the same way is up to them. where any of us draws the line is necessarily subjective, but i dont think that means the determination is without value.

    Wait, so are we simply telling each other how we feel about the issue now?

    And here I thought we were trying to have some sort of meaningful debate that actually has the possibility of reaching an end, with a winner and a loser. I suppose not; I mean, you can tell me how you feel and I can tell you how I feel and we can go at it for hundreds of pages.

    I won't address the rest of what you said because I have little interest in trying to refute your feelings. If you are interested in forming your arguments based on hard facts rather than on emotions, feel free to do so and we'll continue.

    i think you should recognize that any stance you actually take on whether the death penalty is deserved or not is one based on feelings in so much that what someone "deserves" is not calculated by some kind of universal formula. that being said, it is possible to hold reasonable views regarding what just punishment and just reward are.

    i understand that you keep trying to link this to tangible benefit. that's fine and good. fortunately or unfortunately for you, neither the law nor society is only concerned with tangible benefit. we do care about how people feel. we do care about what people want, even if their reasons for wanting something dont make sense to you. tangible benefits such as peace and security are important, but those arent the only important things.

    Ketherial on
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    FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Ketherial wrote: »
    gtrmp wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    Zsetrek wrote: »
    Gorak wrote: »
    So how do you feel about jailing people convicted of unlawful confinement?

    You mean lawfully confining them?

    what about lawfully killing them?
    It's OK if you're only following orders.

    it's okay to kill someone as long as someone told you to? now that is a really interesting position to take.
    They're making fun of you, just FYI.

    Fencingsax on
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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    no, what im talking about is fairness. if one person commits crime x and gets punishment x, why should someone who commits crime 1000x also only get punishment x?
    I don't see how the death penalty would help make it fairer in any way. If a person kills 30 people and gets sentenced to death, why should someone who kill 60 people using torture only get the death penalty? Should we torture the latter person to make the punishment "fairer"?
    this is only in response to your belief that inalienable rights exist. obviously, the law doesnt really recognize any such thing, but even if our constitution does (no cruel and unusual punishment, for example), it allows the death penalty.
    Where does it allow the death penalty? If the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment, it would be illegal under the constitution.
    we do care about how people feel. we do care about what people want, even if their reasons for wanting something dont make sense to you.
    So what about how the family of the executed feel?

    Couscous on
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    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Tastyfish wrote: »
    [
    Ketherial wrote: »
    1) i am mainly interested in guiding principles for human society. tangible benefits are secondary on my list of priorities. as such, i find appeals to the tangible benefit (or lack thereof) of the death penalty generally weak because my purpose in supporting the death penalty has nothing to do with whether or not crime rates go down.

    if however, due to the death penalty, crime rates in fact go up (i.e., tangible harm), then i might be willing to reconsider my stance on the death penalty. as it stands though, capital punishment has little effect on crime rate either way.
    But now you've completely dismissed three of the four points that we're supposed to be taking into account. You don't think that deterrance is relevant (its just an added bonus), you clearly aren't even considering you might be able to return the criminal to society and apparently keeping them away from society isn't doing a lot to the crime rate any more than just locking them up. You've only got punishment left, and punishment for no reason other than you think people should be punished regardless of the consequences of that punishment.

    i havent dimissed them altogether with respect to the penal system, i simply think they have less importance when discussing the death penalty. besides, it's not as if the death penalty in any way detracts from any other purpose.
    You're morally opposed to lotteries?

    im morally opposed to society being run as a lottery, yes.
    The huge thing you are missing is that the value of 'x' has nothing to do with the act commited - if I steal bread to feed to my starving family and get caught, is it 'fair' that I then have the same amount of food taken from me to feed the baker? If the baker took a loaf of bread from me, assuming he gets caught does he only owe me a loaf of bread?

    what you actually deserve in terms of punishment does not equate solely to the profit you made from the crime. just as the harm that arises in connection with any crime does not only amount to the lost item. violation of a person's security, privacy, etc., are all important concerns.

    i have said it again and again: tangible, measurable benefits and harms are not the only things the law attempts to address.
    Punishment for no reason than for punishment's sake is sadism, in all other cases what the punishment is supposed to be achieving is more important. I really don't think making the world appear rational at the expense of the quality of life in our society is something we want to aim for. Not to mention the fact that we are really bad when it comes to want actually is rational rather than just appearing to be.

    i dont see how the death penalty affects the quality of life in our society. it affects the quality of life of the death row convict, but he is not a part of our society. even without the death penalty, he is just a guy with lwop sentence. he will never return to society.
    Ketherial wrote: »
    3) attempting to label the desire for fairness "emotional" is exceedingly strange to me. if anything, it is a choice heavily supported by logic. the alternatives of course are randomness and unfairness, both of which i think are more properly considered illogical (if not emotional, per se). regardless of whether the desire for fairness is emotional or logical, i think most people would agree that fairness is superior to its alternatives.
    This is exactly the sort of thing I was getting at above, we are rubbish at this for reasons mostly likely of an evolutionary nature. Most of the time people (and animals) will pick a 'fair situation' where both suffer rather than a 'unfair' situation where everyone benefits but some benefit more than others. I'll refuse to get a grape if it means that Ted the Other Monkey gets three grapes.

    ive never thought of this phenomenon as rubbish. i actually point to this as an example of how much we value fairness and equality. our society values fairness over actual benefit in most situations.

    consider: legislation that grants all people $100,000 of tax rebates over and above what they have now, except black people, who only get a $50 rebate (over and above what they have now). do you support this? logically you should right?

    but shit, fairness actually matters to you doesnt it? even more than $100,000? how about if i make that number $10,000,000 and i make it a gift instead of a rebate? do you still choose fairness or do you choose tangible benefit? hey, the blacks get $50 more than they would have. it's not like they get no benefit, right?
    Ketherial wrote: »
    I don't believe anyone has any fundamental rights at all either, which makes it all the more important that you don't start screwing your philosophy up by adding in this other 'right to live in a fair world'. The only 'rights' you have are the codes that pretty much everyone needs to follow for a society to work well - soon as you start adding fundamental rights in again you change the nature of what society is supposed to do. In some cases this isn't a huge issue since the rights your adding in are more or less the reason for societies (life, liberty and happiness etc though to be honest only the last ultimately counts far as I see it) but your 'right to fairness' principle on its own is entirely arbitary unless you believe that fairness = happiness when this most definitely isn't the case.

    fairness is not a right, it's a goal.
    Ketherial wrote: »
    You're being a sadist. I don't mean it as an insult its just that's pretty much what your philosophy is here - its just purposeless infliction of suffering for your own pleasure.

    i dont see it as purposeless and i dont get any pleasure from it. the purpose is to inflict suffering on the criminal, not to cause pleasure for anyone else.
    Ketherial wrote: »
    7) i do not feel the need to prohibit the government from using the death penalty. i do not see it as any different from allowing policing authorities to use deadly force or from the state's "right" to conduct war. although its use should be regulated (just as other uses of lethal force are regulated), i dont see any distinction, conceptually, between the death penalty and the state's use of lethal force in any other situation.
    You don't though, you've said earlier that the death penalty thing is entirely about fairness and the need for punishment (since deterrance and reform isn't an issue) rather than something which serves a specific purpose other than this.

    not sure what you are saying here. i dont see any conceptual distinction between state sponsored death in the form of war or in the form of the death penalty. both serve specific purposes. one may be liberty, one may be for fairness. am i not getting you?

    Ketherial on
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    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    gtrmp wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    Zsetrek wrote: »
    Gorak wrote: »
    So how do you feel about jailing people convicted of unlawful confinement?

    You mean lawfully confining them?

    what about lawfully killing them?
    It's OK if you're only following orders.

    it's okay to kill someone as long as someone told you to? now that is a really interesting position to take.
    They're making fun of you, just FYI.

    :(

    i thought he was talking about soldiers and police officers.

    thanks for the heads up.

    Ketherial on
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    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    titmouse wrote: »
    no, what im talking about is fairness. if one person commits crime x and gets punishment x, why should someone who commits crime 1000x also only get punishment x?
    I don't see how the death penalty would help make it fairer in any way. If a person kills 30 people and gets sentenced to death, why should someone who kill 60 people using torture only get the death penalty? Should we torture the latter person to make the punishment "fairer"?

    i have already stated that i would support torture of a criminal in order to make them suffer. however, i bow down to the majority rule on the 8th amendment, even though i disagree with it.
    this is only in response to your belief that inalienable rights exist. obviously, the law doesnt really recognize any such thing, but even if our constitution does (no cruel and unusual punishment, for example), it allows the death penalty.
    Where does it allow the death penalty? If the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment, it would be illegal under the constitution.

    but the sc has already ruled that it's not cruel and unusual.
    we do care about how people feel. we do care about what people want, even if their reasons for wanting something dont make sense to you.
    So what about how the family of the executed feel?

    a good point, but i dont see why that only applies to the death penalty. i can only assume that criminal's family's feelings are accounted for in our penal system and in the severity of the punishment given.

    and besides, we value a first party participant more than we do a third party observer.

    Ketherial on
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    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Zsetrek wrote: »
    "Justice" and "fairness" are just words, Keth.

    let me rephrase: what are the principles of law?

    how does my position on the death penalty go against such principles (if you actually think it does)?

    Ketherial on
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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    i can only assume that criminal's family's feelings are accounted for in our penal system and in the severity of the punishment given.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That is a good one.
    i have already stated that i would support torture of a criminal in order to make them suffer. however, i bow down to the majority rule on the 8th amendment, even though i disagree with it.
    OK. You are just fucked up.
    but the sc has already ruled that it's not cruel and unusual.
    The SC can change its opinion. It just takes a few new judges.

    Couscous on
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    FirstComradeStalinFirstComradeStalin Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Did Ketherial just argue that a $100,000 gift to every citizen but excluding blacks for no reason, is something a government should have no qualms about doing, because at least everyone gets something?

    You're right, fairness is a goal, not a right, but only when we're talking about what people do with their own lives. When it comes to the government, however, it is a right.

    FirstComradeStalin on
    Picture1-4.png
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    ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2007
    Ketherial wrote: »
    actually laws arent always about tangible benefits. we have morality laws (prostitution, gambling, etc.), decency laws (no nudity in public, selling "offensive" materials to minors), state certified marriage. none of these have "tangible" benefits.

    Laws regarding prostitution and gambling don't exist simply because they are about morals. They exist because they also have tangible benefits. For example, both prostitution and gambling have been linked to an increase in crime, in the case of the latter, money laundering particularly.

    Selling offensive materials to minors is illegal because they are believed to be detrimental to their psychological growth.

    Even though these laws have a moral basis, they wouldn't exist if they didn't have any tangible benefits. Or rather, they shouldn't exist. Because the law is, or should be, impartial to morality. Ideally speaking, that is.

    The principle of objective justice, and all.
    and there is definitely such a thing as fairness for fairness' sake. affirmative action comes to mind. we have more severe punishments for hate crimes. if i cared enough, i could come up with other examples.

    anyway, regardless of whether or not you agree with these laws, they do exist. they are laws that provide no "tangible" benefits, laws that enact fairness for fairness' sake. our society believes the legislature does have the right to exercise its influence both for tangible or intangible benefits.

    "Such laws already exist" is a poor argument to make. It's a logical fallacy; the fact that they exist doesn't say anything about whether or not they actually should.
    4) the principle of fairness necessarily dictates that people who commit crimes more heinous than others be punished more heinously. the punishment of a criminal, even if it is the same actual act as that which the criminal engaged in, is not in any way comparable to crime for various reasons ive stated before. also, i believe criminals give up various rights when they violate the rights of others. as ive stated, i do not believe in "inalienable" human rights. as such, punishment of a criminal is not a violation of any rights because the criminals no longer possess such rights.

    What you're talking about here is justice, not fairness.

    A judge who makes a decision without being influenced by one side more than the other is a fair judge. His decisions may or may not be just decisions, but they are fair decisions.

    no, what im talking about is fairness. if one person commits crime x and gets punishment x, why should someone who commits crime 1000x also only get punishment x?

    How did you get a law degree from Harvard when you don't know what "fair" means? Look it up in the dictionary. Never mind, I'll go ahead and provide the definition:

    # free from favoritism or self-interest or bias or deception; or conforming with established standards or rules; "a fair referee"; "fair deal"; "on a fair footing"; "a fair fight"; "by fair means or foul"
    # impartial: showing lack of favoritism; "the cold neutrality of an impartial judge"
    http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

    If two people who commit the same crime, under the same circumstances, get different punishments, that's injustice. The decisions can still be fair decisions if the system wasn't biased.
    This is precisely why tangible benefits take priority: they can be objectively measured and analyzed. This is why when you say that tangible benefits are second on your list of priorities, you're basically automatically forfeiting the debate.

    no, im simply refusing to debate under your artificial conditions. if you only want to debate about the value of the death penalty in respect of tangible benefits, that's fine and good.

    but that's not the whole picture. that's not even why most people support the death penalty. so if you don't want to address the issue, that's fine. but you should realize that you're only seeing half of the picture.

    I'm not seeing half the picture. I'm simply saying that arguing in favor of a law based almost purely on moral or emotional grounds is simply asinine (I said "almost purely" because you said you care at least a little about tangible benefits/detriments). You may call my conditions "artificial", but the fact stands that they are the only objective conditions and thus the only meaningful ones to discuss, because ideally, the law should be unaffected by subjectivity and morality. They are also the only meaningful ones to discuss, because discussing personal feelings doesn't get us anywhere. You agree?

    And just because unideal laws exist (moral laws, or decency laws such as public nudity) doesn't mean more such laws should be implemented. So your whole "such laws already exist" argument doesn't mean anything in the context of supporting the death penalty.
    i think you should recognize that any stance you actually take on whether the death penalty is deserved or not is one based on feelings in so much that what someone "deserves" is not calculated by some kind of universal formula. that being said, it is possible to hold reasonable views regarding what just punishment and just reward are.

    i understand that you keep trying to link this to tangible benefit. that's fine and good. fortunately or unfortunately for you, neither the law nor society is only concerned with tangible benefit. we do care about how people feel. we do care about what people want, even if their reasons for wanting something dont make sense to you. tangible benefits such as peace and security are important, but those arent the only important things.

    If a legal system takes into consideration subjective matters such as morality and how people "feel", it fails as a legal system. There is nothing wrong with caring about what people want and how they feel - in fact, I encourage it. For the purposes of determining punishments, however, tangible benefits are the only things -- or at least the main things -- we should be concerned about.

    ege02 on
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    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    titmouse wrote: »
    i can only assume that criminal's family's feelings are accounted for in our penal system and in the severity of the punishment given.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That is a good one.

    can you show that the family's feeling are not taken into account?
    but the sc has already ruled that it's not cruel and unusual.
    The SC can change its opinion. It just takes a few new judges.

    of course. and i would bow down to majority rules in such a situation as well, even though i would disagree with it.

    i simply cannot fathom the belief that "there is nothing a man can ever do that is deserving of death". i don't subscribe to that belief and i dont know why anyone does. i can think of plenty of things a man can do that deserve to be punished by death.

    Ketherial on
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    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    ege02 wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    actually laws arent always about tangible benefits. we have morality laws (prostitution, gambling, etc.), decency laws (no nudity in public, selling "offensive" materials to minors), state certified marriage. none of these have "tangible" benefits.

    Laws regarding prostitution and gambling don't exist simply because they are about morals. They exist because they also have tangible benefits. For example, both prostitution and gambling have been linked to an increase in crime, in the case of the latter, money laundering particularly.

    Selling offensive materials to minors is illegal because they are believed to be detrimental to their psychological growth.

    do you seriously consider nudity in public to be a cause of crime or detrimental to psychological growth? nude beaches = crime havens?
    Even though these laws have a moral basis, they wouldn't exist if they didn't have any tangible benefits. Or rather, they shouldn't exist. Because the law is, or should be, impartial to morality. Ideally speaking, that is.

    The principle of objective justice, and all.

    as ive proven, the law is not only about and should not only be able tangible benefit. if the law can be used to help us shape society into one that we like, why shouldnt we use it?

    we have legally granted freedoms such as free speech in order to create a society where people do not fear speaking out. are we really only interested in tangible benefits here? if we could make more money by censuring free speech, would you argue that the law should do so because tangible benefits > intangible benefits? of course not. stop being silly.

    the intangible benefits that our laws grant to us are just as, if not more important than the tangible benefits.
    and there is definitely such a thing as fairness for fairness' sake. affirmative action comes to mind. we have more severe punishments for hate crimes. if i cared enough, i could come up with other examples.

    anyway, regardless of whether or not you agree with these laws, they do exist. they are laws that provide no "tangible" benefits, laws that enact fairness for fairness' sake. our society believes the legislature does have the right to exercise its influence both for tangible or intangible benefits.

    "Such laws already exist" is a poor argument to make. It's a logical fallacy; the fact that they exist doesn't say anything about whether or not they actually should.

    god, you really need to close the gaps in your position. first you say:
    ege wrote:
    There is no such thing as fairness for fairness's sake or justice for justice's sake. We believe in justice because it is good for society; it has tangible benefits. If it didn't have any tangible benefits, there wouldn't have been any incentive for society to implement and follow a justice system.

    then when i show that you are simply factually incorrect, you backpeddle.

    anyway, you've got the cart before the horse. you say we believe in justice because we think it is good for society but you're wrong. we believe that a just and fair society is good. that's the right order. that's why we strive for justice. because we believe it is good.

    please see my fairness example to tastyfish above. we find beneifts for everyone, if undeserved and spread discriminatorily, to be offensive. we prefer the principle of justice over simply tangible benefits, even if everyone benefits.
    How did you get a law degree from Harvard when you don't know what "fair" means? Look it up in the dictionary. Never mind, I'll go ahead and provide the definition:

    # free from favoritism or self-interest or bias or deception; or conforming with established standards or rules; "a fair referee"; "fair deal"; "on a fair footing"; "a fair fight"; "by fair means or foul"
    # impartial: showing lack of favoritism; "the cold neutrality of an impartial judge"
    http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

    If two people who commit the same crime, under the same circumstances, get different punishments, that's injustice. The decisions can still be fair decisions if the system wasn't biased.

    what is the point of your semantics? you know what i learned at harvard? i learned that it's not the words that matter but the concepts.

    the concept is that we believe x should be rewarded with x and not 1000x. if x and y both commited a certain crime under identical circumstances and got different outcomes, most people would consider that both unfair and unjust (and any other word you want to use). now do you actually have a substantive point to make?
    I'm not seeing half the picture. I'm simply saying that arguing in favor of a law based almost purely on moral or emotional grounds is simply asinine (I said "almost purely" because you said you care at least a little about tangible benefits/detriments). You may call my conditions "artificial", but the fact stands that they are the only objective conditions and thus the only meaningful ones to discuss, because ideally, the law should be unaffected by subjectivity and morality. They are also the only meaningful ones to discuss, because discussing personal feelings doesn't get us anywhere. You agree?

    is rape subjective or objective? if one person thinks consent was given and the other thinks it wasnt is that a subjective issue or an objective one?

    objective conditions are not the only meaningful factors to be considered. if you think that, then why would you even be against the death penalty? the death penalty contributes almost zero tangible harm to society. less people are killed by the death penalty than by smoking, drinking, drunk driving, car accidents, malpractice, pretty much every possible tangible measure.

    you only care about the death penalty because you care about "moral" issues ("inalienable human rights"). unlike you, (i) im just more honest with myself and (ii) i accept that "morality", emotions and the subjective experience of life are important factors to consider when structuring laws.
    And just because unideal laws exist (moral laws, or decency laws such as public nudity) doesn't mean more such laws should be implemented. So your whole "such laws already exist" argument doesn't mean anything in the context of supporting the death penalty.

    my whole point is i dont think most people consider such laws un-ideal and i dont think most people consider "morality" outside of the influence of law (free speech for example). i think you are artificially limiting the scope of the discussion when in fact, for most people, the death penalty concept is not that simple.

    if anything you are the one trying to impose your subjective (and simplistic) conditions (i.e. i only want to consider tangible benefits) upon the discussion when in fact the discussion need not be subject to such conditions.
    i think you should recognize that any stance you actually take on whether the death penalty is deserved or not is one based on feelings in so much that what someone "deserves" is not calculated by some kind of universal formula. that being said, it is possible to hold reasonable views regarding what just punishment and just reward are.

    i understand that you keep trying to link this to tangible benefit. that's fine and good. fortunately or unfortunately for you, neither the law nor society is only concerned with tangible benefit. we do care about how people feel. we do care about what people want, even if their reasons for wanting something dont make sense to you. tangible benefits such as peace and security are important, but those arent the only important things.

    If a legal system takes into consideration subjective matters such as morality and how people "feel", it fails as a legal system. There is nothing wrong with caring about what people want and how they feel - in fact, I encourage it. For the purposes of determining punishments, however, tangible benefits are the only things -- or at least the main things -- we should be concerned about.

    your desire to limit things to what we can measure is simply unreasonable, unrealistic and inappropriate. aggravated assault and hate crimes are more damaging to society (even if the tangible results are identical) and hence should be (and are) punished more severely. legally protecting free speech, prohibiting discrimination, right to choose religion, etc., these are all principles that we fight for even if they provide only marginal measurable benefits. these are principles that we would fight for even if they provided no tangible benefit.

    the law should most definitely take into consideration intangibles in so far that important aspects of life consist of intangibles as well as tangibles.

    Ketherial on
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    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Did Ketherial just argue that a $100,000 gift to every citizen but excluding blacks for no reason, is something a government should have no qualms about doing, because at least everyone gets something?


    no i was arguing the opposite (i.e. fairness is more important than tangible benefits, even if everyone does benefit). congratulations on finally seeing my side and agreeing with me.
    You're right, fairness is a goal, not a right, but only when we're talking about what people do with their own lives. When it comes to the government, however, it is a right.

    i still think you are on my side. please re-read the thread and my posts.

    Ketherial on
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    ZythonZython Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Ketherial wrote: »
    titmouse wrote: »
    i can only assume that criminal's family's feelings are accounted for in our penal system and in the severity of the punishment given.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That is a good one.

    can you show that the family's feeling are not taken into account?

    Actually, you need to show that they are.

    My problem with the death penalty* is that is that it doesn't serve any purpose other than to enact vengence for the sake of it. What benefit is gained from it that wouldn't be gotten from life w/out parol? Another thing is that if an innocent man is killed under the death penalty, wouldn't that make the state guilty of murder?


    *or "socialized vengence" as I like to call it.

    Zython on
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    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    i am only answering you out of courtesy. each of your points has already been discussed and responded to.

    Ketherial on
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    Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    You realize that not everyone has read 27 pages of thread, right? And that let's be honest, they shouldn't really be required to?

    If you're not going to respond, just don't respond, rather than posting just for the sake of taking shots.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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    that's why we call it the struggle, you're supposed to sweat
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    ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2007
    if the law can be used to help us shape society into one that we like, why shouldnt we use it?

    If military force can be used to help us shape society into one that we like, why shouldn't we use it?

    Because clearly, just because something can be used that way doesn't mean it should be.

    It is not the responsibility of law to shape society into anything. The only things law should enforce are things that are good for society, and the only things the law should prevent are things that are bad for society. Therefore, as far as punishment goes, the main thing we should be concerned with is whether or not that punishment will prevent further crime, either by that person or by other people.
    objective conditions are not the only meaningful factors to be considered. if you think that, then why would you even be against the death penalty? the death penalty contributes almost zero tangible harm to society. less people are killed by the death penalty than by smoking, drinking, drunk driving, car accidents, malpractice, pretty much every possible tangible measure.

    Death penalty most certainly has a net harm on society. We know this because:

    a) It doesn't have any tangible benefits. It doesn't reduce crime.
    b) It costs us a shitload of money because the Constitution requires a long and complex judicial process for capital cases. It is far more expensive than life without parole. In California alone, this number is $114 million a year, and more than $250 million per execution (this cost is beyond the cost of keeping them locked up, by the way). The Attorney General spends 15% of its budget on death row cases. I can go on and on. Source.
    c) It also has the opportunity cost of converting the criminals into normal, valuable members of society.
    d) It also costs us innocent lives. In such cases, not only is the life simply lost, but so is the money spent keeping that person in death row. A double waste.

    I could go on and on. But the bottom line is, the death penalty definitely has a tangible harm on society. To argue otherwise is asinine.
    the law should most definitely take into consideration intangibles in so far that important aspects of life consist of intangibles as well as tangibles.

    Perhaps, but only because it isn't realistic to expect otherwise.

    And these intangibles should definitely not include subjective things like morality and emotions. It is not the job of the legal system to enforce morality.

    ege02 on
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    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Dyscord wrote: »
    You realize that not everyone has read 27 pages of thread, right? And that let's be honest, they shouldn't really be required to?

    If you're not going to respond, just don't respond, rather than posting just for the sake of taking shots.

    i dont think that's how we do things here in d&d.

    besides, it's better to know that your points have already been addressed than to be ignored. in the former case you can always go back and read earlier pages. in the latter, it's hard to continue participation because you might just think no one wants to talk to you.

    like i said, it was a courtesy. it surprises me that you thought of it as "taking a shot".

    Ketherial on
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    ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2007
    Ketherial wrote: »
    Dyscord wrote: »
    You realize that not everyone has read 27 pages of thread, right? And that let's be honest, they shouldn't really be required to?

    If you're not going to respond, just don't respond, rather than posting just for the sake of taking shots.

    i dont think that's how we do things here in d&d.

    besides, it's better to know that your points have already been addressed than to be ignored. in the former case you can always go back and read earlier pages. in the latter, it's hard to continue participation because you might just think no one wants to talk to you.

    like i said, it was a courtesy. it surprises me that you thought of it as "taking a shot".

    Umm, no. Late-comers aren't expected to read the whole damn thread. Just the last few pages.

    If you're tired of re-addressing the same points, make a new, organized post in which you summarize your points.

    ege02 on
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    ZsetrekZsetrek Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Keth - if I'm reading you right; if the US Supreme Court abolished the death penalty tomorrow, you'd believe that was a just and morally binding law? Doesn't that completely undermine your moral theory? Either you believe in an overarching theory of justice that transcends the written laws of society (your theory of "fairness and justice"), or you acknowledge that society's laws are in and of themselves determinative of what is right and just. Or are you just saying that you're a pragmatist who's prepared to put aside what's right for what will allow you to live day-to-day?

    Zsetrek on
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    TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Ketherial wrote: »
    Tastyfish wrote: »
    [
    Ketherial wrote: »
    1) i am mainly interested in guiding principles for human society. tangible benefits are secondary on my list of priorities. as such, i find appeals to the tangible benefit (or lack thereof) of the death penalty generally weak because my purpose in supporting the death penalty has nothing to do with whether or not crime rates go down.

    if however, due to the death penalty, crime rates in fact go up (i.e., tangible harm), then i might be willing to reconsider my stance on the death penalty. as it stands though, capital punishment has little effect on crime rate either way.
    But now you've completely dismissed three of the four points that we're supposed to be taking into account. You don't think that deterrance is relevant (its just an added bonus), you clearly aren't even considering you might be able to return the criminal to society and apparently keeping them away from society isn't doing a lot to the crime rate any more than just locking them up. You've only got punishment left, and punishment for no reason other than you think people should be punished regardless of the consequences of that punishment.

    i havent dimissed them altogether with respect to the penal system, i simply think they have less importance when discussing the death penalty. besides, it's not as if the death penalty in any way detracts from any other purpose.
    Lets talk hypothetically for the first part then, were the death penalty found to conflict with deterrance or the reduction of crime rates in general - would you then oppose it, or is the punishment of criminals worth more to society than the prevention of future crime? I understand this probably seems a slightly ridiculous question (what sort of madman is encouraged to commit crimes by the death penalty?) but for the sake of the argument its an important point to make.

    More relevantly, its important because it appears that this is the case - the more extreme the penalties for commiting crime are, the more likely someone will commit another. (at which point I throw myself upon the mercy of PA, seeing as I never bookmark these damn things and can only find things relating to economic cost - but this is a point that has come up enough times so either way someone should be able to find something to prove or disprove this point.)
    You're morally opposed to lotteries?

    im morally opposed to society being run as a lottery, yes.
    Lotteries in general, since it rewards people for little effort - unless you consider the risk involved to be part of the effort?
    The huge thing you are missing is that the value of 'x' has nothing to do with the act commited - if I steal bread to feed to my starving family and get caught, is it 'fair' that I then have the same amount of food taken from me to feed the baker? If the baker took a loaf of bread from me, assuming he gets caught does he only owe me a loaf of bread?

    what you actually deserve in terms of punishment does not equate solely to the profit you made from the crime. just as the harm that arises in connection with any crime does not only amount to the lost item. violation of a person's security, privacy, etc., are all important concerns.

    i have said it again and again: tangible, measurable benefits and harms are not the only things the law attempts to address.
    I'd say those things are tangible things - particularly on larger scales and especially purely on principle. If you want extreme punishments then you need to be able to demonstrate a tangible benefit since if executing people does nothing to the crime rate, whats the point?
    Punishment for no reason than for punishment's sake is sadism, in all other cases what the punishment is supposed to be achieving is more important. I really don't think making the world appear rational at the expense of the quality of life in our society is something we want to aim for. Not to mention the fact that we are really bad when it comes to want actually is rational rather than just appearing to be.

    i dont see how the death penalty affects the quality of life in our society. it affects the quality of life of the death row convict, but he is not a part of our society. even without the death penalty, he is just a guy with lwop sentence. he will never return to society.
    It affects the quality of life of the person, since with LWOP he can still prove his innocence. More importantly there may be options that do increase the QoL of society which will not be explored because of the death penalty and the often shitty reasoning that often supports it (It lowers crime because of its 0.00% recidivism rate! Killing people is cheap!) etc.
    Ketherial wrote: »
    3) attempting to label the desire for fairness "emotional" is exceedingly strange to me. if anything, it is a choice heavily supported by logic. the alternatives of course are randomness and unfairness, both of which i think are more properly considered illogical (if not emotional, per se). regardless of whether the desire for fairness is emotional or logical, i think most people would agree that fairness is superior to its alternatives.
    This is exactly the sort of thing I was getting at above, we are rubbish at this for reasons mostly likely of an evolutionary nature. Most of the time people (and animals) will pick a 'fair situation' where both suffer rather than a 'unfair' situation where everyone benefits but some benefit more than others. I'll refuse to get a grape if it means that Ted the Other Monkey gets three grapes.

    ive never thought of this phenomenon as rubbish. i actually point to this as an example of how much we value fairness and equality. our society values fairness over actual benefit in most situations.

    consider: legislation that grants all people $100,000 of tax rebates over and above what they have now, except black people, who only get a $50 rebate (over and above what they have now). do you support this? logically you should right?

    but shit, fairness actually matters to you doesnt it? even more than $100,000? how about if i make that number $10,000,000 and i make it a gift instead of a rebate? do you still choose fairness or do you choose tangible benefit? hey, the blacks get $50 more than they would have. it's not like they get no benefit, right?
    I'd happily screw someone over for £50,000 - no need to split things by race or anything. However where I black then the answer would probably be no, since I'm further dooming myself and my children to more exploitation. In all likelyhood that £50,000 wouldn't really do much anyway since not enough people have been screwed over and it renders most of my savings worthless anyway - were I a purely logical being with the correct information at my disposal, I would recognise the value of equality here. However - I'm not routing for equality because equality itself is fantastic - its because it serves a purpose and is better for society than everyone choosing what is best for just them.

    Your punishment example is very different from this, because there isn't the reasoning behind why we must have equal punishment


    Regarding 'Fairness is a goal, not a right' - fairness is part of a means to an end, rather than the goal itself. How can the goal be anything other than the largest amount of happiness for the largest amount of people?

    Tastyfish on
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    MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2007
    Ketherial wrote: »
    Medopine wrote: »
    I'm a third year law student, and I'd just like to emphasize this. I worked at a DA's office all summer, and the lawyers on both sides hold nothing CLOSE to the kind of attitude he does. They zealously advocate for their clients, but they do not do their job under the pretense that "guilty people must pay because they are bad." In fact in the section I work in, rehabilitation and treatment is the focus of the court.

    my personal reasons for why and how i uphold the law have nothing to do with my profession. im not sure why anyone thinks my stance on the death penalty and my reasoning for it have anything to do with the practice of law.

    Just making sure no one associates our profession with your views and attitudes.

    Carry on.

    Medopine on
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    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    ege02 wrote: »
    if the law can be used to help us shape society into one that we like, why shouldnt we use it?

    If military force can be used to help us shape society into one that we like, why shouldn't we use it?

    Because clearly, just because something can be used that way doesn't mean it should be.

    im not sure what you are saying here or why you are comparing the use of the law to the use of force.
    It is not the responsibility of law to shape society into anything. The only things law should enforce are things that are good for society, and the only things the law should prevent are things that are bad for society. Therefore, as far as punishment goes, the main thing we should be concerned with is whether or not that punishment will prevent further crime, either by that person or by other people.

    you have to be a little bit more clear with what you're saying. the first sentence above and the second are in direct conflict with each other. please reconcile.

    when the law enforces something that is "good" for society, it is necessarily shaping society. that's the whole point of the law. let me break it down into a clear, easy example for you.

    we have tax laws for two purposes:

    1) raising funds so that the government can function (direct)
    2) providing incentives for behavior that we like and disincentives for behavior that we dont like (secondary)

    both are important purposes, but one is direct (i.e., gov't cannot function without money) and one is secondary (i.e., we hope people will act in certain ways and if they don't they are taxed more heavily).

    the penal code is identically structured:

    1) punishing, rehabing and detaining criminals (direct)
    2) deterring other crimes (secondary)

    the direct purpose is what i am more interested in. the secondary purpose is less important to me especially when we are considering the death penalty.

    so the point is, law is used both for direct effects and for shaping society. i support the death penalty for both reasons: 1) it has the direct effect of punishing the criminal and 2) punishing a criminal helps create a fair, logical, balanced, just (whatever you want to call it) society.
    objective conditions are not the only meaningful factors to be considered. if you think that, then why would you even be against the death penalty? the death penalty contributes almost zero tangible harm to society. less people are killed by the death penalty than by smoking, drinking, drunk driving, car accidents, malpractice, pretty much every possible tangible measure.

    Death penalty most certainly has a net harm on society. We know this because:

    a) It doesn't have any tangible benefits. It doesn't reduce crime.
    b) It costs us a shitload of money because the Constitution requires a long and complex judicial process for capital cases. It is far more expensive than life without parole. In California alone, this number is $114 million a year, and more than $250 million per execution (this cost is beyond the cost of keeping them locked up, by the way). The Attorney General spends 15% of its budget on death row cases. I can go on and on. Source.
    c) It also has the opportunity cost of converting the criminals into normal, valuable members of society.
    d) It also costs us innocent lives. In such cases, not only is the life simply lost, but so is the money spent keeping that person in death row. A double waste.

    I could go on and on. But the bottom line is, the death penalty definitely has a tangible harm on society. To argue otherwise is asinine.

    but these harms you point out are miniscule when compared to truly harmful conduct, such as smoking, obesity, drunk driving, etc. it is estimated that 400,000 deaths are caused annually by smoking alone. http://www.solveyourproblem.com/quit-smoking/effects_of_smoking.shtml

    why arent you outraged at that? even the seemingly large cost number you bring up for the death penalty is spread out over years and years. the cost numbers for any of the problems i bring up above would soar into the billions, maybe the hundred billions.

    saying you care about the death penaly because it causes "tangible harm" to society means either you are really, really terrible at math or you are lying. just admit it. the reason you are against the death penalty is for moral reasons, not because it causes tangible harm to society.

    seriously, i cannot discuss this with you if you are going to be dishonest about the issue.

    Ketherial on
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    KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Zsetrek wrote: »
    Keth - if I'm reading you right; if the US Supreme Court abolished the death penalty tomorrow, you'd believe that was a just and morally binding law? Doesn't that completely undermine your moral theory? Either you believe in an overarching theory of justice that transcends the written laws of society (your theory of "fairness and justice"), or you acknowledge that society's laws are in and of themselves determinative of what is right and just. Or are you just saying that you're a pragmatist who's prepared to put aside what's right for what will allow you to live day-to-day?

    no, my personal moral theory is not based on what the supreme court decides. i apologize if i gave you that impression.

    i feel that people should get what they deserve. what people deserve, as judged by me, is ultimately determined by my upbringing and education. for example, 30 murders definitely = death penalty for me. in other words, i believe in my own personal overarching theory of justice.

    however, i am a moral relativist and i dont necessarily believe that what i say has any more validity than what others say. i accept that my opinion may be biased or off. as such, i apply the principle of "majority rules". i accept that laws need to be followed in order for society to function. and if the majority through election of the president through appointment of the sc justices (or simply through legislation) abolishes the death penalty, then i would bow down to such rule because i accept that majority rules.

    i would disagree with the majority decision, but it's not like that hasnt happened before (see bush administration). and the death penalty issue for me is not one that i feel so strongly about that i would change citizenship or whatever. i would simply accept that what i deem a criminal to "deserve" is harsher than what the majority deems to be deserved.

    Ketherial on
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