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An Gadaí
07-28-2011, 09:58 AM
It seems to be a standard configuration, at least amongst Americans, to be pro-life but also pro-death penalty. I understand the intellectual distinction but it strikes me that if you're wanting to preserve the sanctity of life (or whatever) then you should also include the scumbags, murderers, rapists, traitors etc. What are the mainstream Christian churches' viewpoint on execution?

Sal Ammoniac
07-28-2011, 10:40 AM
The Catholic Church is against both abortion and the death penalty.

Chessic Sense
07-28-2011, 10:57 AM
Of course. Almost all Catholics fit your criteria. Although I reject your premise right out of the gate - Why do I have to value the sanctity of life for everything if I value it for some things? Where's the contradiction in valuing innocent life but not guilty life?

gonzomax
07-28-2011, 11:14 AM
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/innocence-list-those-freed-death-row here is a list of 140 people who were on death row and innocent. Lots more have been executed.
There is no certainty in trials. The system is flawed like any other human endeavor.
Some people feel badly when an innocent gets executed. Some can shrug it off.
Some others think killing is wrong. That includes the state.

Rachellelogram
07-28-2011, 11:15 AM
Of course. Almost all Catholics fit your criteria. Although I reject your premise right out of the gate - Why do I have to value the sanctity of life for everything if I value it for some things? Where's the contradiction in valuing innocent life but not guilty life?
Guilty life is life. Innocent or guilty doesn't factor into whether life is life. In fact, a guilty person on death row tautologically has more of the attribute called "life" than a fetus. A fetus only has potential life.

Someone who holds this contradictory position (anti-choice and pro-death penalty) clearly does NOT value the "sanctity of life at all costs." Someone who holds this contradictory position has a clear agenda. They value the sanctity of unborn fetuses and telling women what they can and can't do with their bodies.

Bricker
07-28-2011, 11:18 AM
I am anti-death penalty and pro-life.

So that's one. :)

Omg a Black Conservative
07-28-2011, 11:32 AM
Guilty life is life. Innocent or guilty doesn't factor into whether life is life. In fact, a guilty person on death row tautologically has more of the attribute called "life" than a fetus. A fetus only has potential life.

Someone who holds this contradictory position (anti-choice and pro-death penalty) clearly does NOT value the "sanctity of life at all costs." Someone who holds this contradictory position has a clear agenda. They value the sanctity of unborn fetuses and telling women what they can and can't do with their bodies.

I think you should start over.

Rachellelogram
07-28-2011, 11:38 AM
I think you should start over.
I was answering Chessic's question, which questioned the initial assumption. My second paragraph is more of an organic hijack.

Scot Dutch
07-28-2011, 11:50 AM
I am anti-death penalty and pro-life.

So that's one. :)

Make it two!

The judicial system isn't perfect. Until it is, there is no logical argument to support capital punishment.

Hypnagogic Jerk
07-28-2011, 12:05 PM
A question, An Gadaí: is the Catholic church in Ireland anti-abortion and anti-death penalty? Or is the death penalty just not a political issue, such that there is no need to mention that you're opposed to it?

Fotheringay-Phipps
07-28-2011, 12:12 PM
Are there many pro-choice people who are also anti-murder?

Hey, either you have the choice of killing or not ...

justrob
07-28-2011, 03:14 PM
Are there many pro-choice people who are also anti-murder?

Hey, either you have the choice of killing or not ...

I am pro-choice and against the death penalty.

DianaG
07-28-2011, 03:16 PM
Of course. Almost all Catholics fit your criteria. Although I reject your premise right out of the gate - Why do I have to value the sanctity of life for everything if I value it for some things? Where's the contradiction in valuing innocent life but not guilty life?
Look up "sanctity" and "life". As long as you stop using those words together to explain your opposition to abortion, then there's no inherent contradiction in being both anti-abortion and pro-death penalty.

Chronos
07-28-2011, 03:17 PM
Pro-lifers are opposed to the death penalty. Unfortunately, they also tend to be shouted down by the much louder anti-abortionists.

Really Not All That Bright
07-28-2011, 03:19 PM
I am anti-death penalty and pro-life.

So that's one. :)
Are you against the death penalty in the abstract, or only as it exists today?

pikey pete
07-28-2011, 03:55 PM
this is easy to explain. Where would Christianity be without capital punishment?

Qin Shi Huangdi
07-28-2011, 08:33 PM
Pro-lifers are opposed to the death penalty. Unfortunately, they also tend to be shouted down by the much louder anti-abortionists.

We are pro-innocent life. We don't think necessarilly people like Charles Manson, Sirhan Sirhan or Anders Breivik have the right to life considering they forfited it by their murders.

Rachellelogram
07-28-2011, 09:45 PM
We are pro-innocent life. We don't think necessarilly people like Charles Manson, Sirhan Sirhan or Anders Breivik have the right to life considering they forfited it by their murders.
How can a religious person be comfortable sitting in judgment of Manson et.al.? Isn't that god's job?

Qin Shi Huangdi
07-28-2011, 09:50 PM
How can a religious person be comfortable sitting in judgment of Manson et.al.? Isn't that god's job?

We do not judge his afterlife (although its pretty obvious if he does not repent) but we judge him whether he committed the crime or not and punish him temporally.

Guinastasia
07-28-2011, 09:54 PM
I don't know, his parole hearings are pretty entertaining. (At this point, they're pretty much a joke -- there's no way he'll ever see the light of day. It's mostly just formality.)

Revenant Threshold
07-28-2011, 10:33 PM
We do not judge his afterlife (although its pretty obvious if he does not repent) but we judge him whether he committed the crime or not and punish him temporally. Why? We have God's justice avaliable; infallible and unavoidable. Why risk getting the guilty judgement wrong, or having the punishment not fit the crime, when inevitably the person will face a perfect judge?

Qin Shi Huangdi
07-28-2011, 10:34 PM
Why? We have God's justice avaliable; infallible and unavoidable. Why risk getting the guilty judgement wrong, or having the punishment not fit the crime, when inevitably the person will face a perfect judge?

Because for society to function there must be a temporal system of justice.

Revenant Threshold
07-28-2011, 10:40 PM
Because for society to function there must be a temporal system of justice. I don't see how any temporal matters can compare at all with the spiritual matters of eternity. They're inconsequential; a functional society, at the expense of a spritual wellbeing, is surely no contest.

Odesio
07-28-2011, 11:05 PM
I don't see how any temporal matters can compare at all with the spiritual matters of eternity. They're inconsequential; a functional society, at the expense of a spritual wellbeing, is surely no contest.

That seems silly. If temporal matters were unimportant than it seems odd that God would have humans exist on Earth to begin with. (I'm an atheist thought so what do I know?) Even from a biblical perspective, what we do on Earth isn't unimportant.

Der Trihs
07-28-2011, 11:12 PM
That seems silly. If temporal matters were unimportant than it seems odd that God would have humans exist on Earth to begin with. (I'm an atheist thought so what do I know?) Even from a biblical perspective, what we do on Earth isn't unimportant.Revenant Threshold doesn't actually believe that sort of thing IIIRC, he's just playing rhetorically with Qin Shi Huangdi, who does.

UDS
07-28-2011, 11:25 PM
A question, An Gadaí: is the Catholic church in Ireland anti-abortion and anti-death penalty? Or is the death penalty just not a political issue, such that there is no need to mention that you're opposed to it?
There's no death penalty in Ireland. There's no significant call for its reintroduction. It's not a live political issue. It's a racing certainty that if it were to become a political issue, the Catholic church (which of course has burned most of its political influence) would line up against the death penalty.

punch line loser
07-29-2011, 01:48 AM
i think it's true that pro- vs. anti-choice debates and pro- vs. anti-capital punishment debates address different issues, each with perhaps similar but very distinct moral and legal ramifications

that said, if the right to life is truly inalienable then i think it's hypocritical to deny anyone theirs since we (theoretically?) aren't able to deny them their other inalienable rights like, say, a fair trial

though come to think of it that may not make sense because imprisoning someone could be construed as a denial of their right to liberty, and i'm not proposing abolishing the prison system

someone help me out with this line of thought

UDS
07-29-2011, 02:26 AM
i think it's true that pro- vs. anti-choice debates and pro- vs. anti-capital punishment debates address different issues, each with perhaps similar but very distinct moral and legal ramifications

that said, if the right to life is truly inalienable then i think it's hypocritical to deny anyone theirs since we (theoretically?) aren't able to deny them their other inalienable rights like, say, a fair trial

though come to think of it that may not make sense because imprisoning someone could be construed as a denial of their right to liberty, and i'm not proposing abolishing the prison system

someone help me out with this line of thought
You can assert the existence of a right - or of any moral value - without necessarily asserting that it is an absolute right/value. So we can say that, say, depriving someone of liberty raises serious moral issues, and cannot be done morally unless demanding criteria, which are supported by other moral right/values, are satisfied.

Hence it’s possible to assert that there is a right to liberty and, at the same time, the existence of other rights justifies, or even requires, the deprivation of somebody’s liberty.

By similar reasoning, it’s possible to assert that there is a right to life, and at the same time that in certain circumstances we are justified in depriving another of that right. By such reasoning we can be pro-life and yet allow the death penalty, or pro-choice and yet reject the death penalty, or accept both, or reject both. None of these positions is necessarily incoherent; to make that judgment you need to examine the specific reasoning used in arriving at them, and the specific values (along with respect for life) which support that reasoning.

Bricker
07-29-2011, 07:48 AM
Are you against the death penalty in the abstract, or only as it exists today?

I can imagine a society, or situation, in which there was no meaningful way to ensure that a killer stopped killing -- other than putting him to death. So I would not oppose the death penalty in a society that could not safely confine a convicted killer, because the death penalty becomes, in essence, self-defense.

In that sense, I suppose I am against it as it exists today. But I'm not sure that's what you meant.

janeslogin
07-29-2011, 05:22 PM
Back in the '60s many of us tried to make the argument that "pro-life" persons didn't give a damn about life, they were really "pro-birth".

I don't think anything has changed except we lost our fight to control the jargon.

code_grey
07-29-2011, 05:30 PM
How can a religious person be comfortable sitting in judgment of Manson et.al.? Isn't that god's job?
Genesis 9:6 "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man."

Incidentally, this law is described as given to all mankind rather than specifically to Jews.

Der Trihs
07-29-2011, 05:36 PM
I can imagine a society, or situation, in which there was no meaningful way to ensure that a killer stopped killing -- other than putting him to death. So I would not oppose the death penalty in a society that could not safely confine a convicted killer, because the death penalty becomes, in essence, self-defense.

Also known as the "the cops should just shoot the Joker" argument. :D

An Gadaí
07-29-2011, 07:09 PM
A question, An Gadaí: is the Catholic church in Ireland anti-abortion and anti-death penalty? Or is the death penalty just not a political issue, such that there is no need to mention that you're opposed to it?

It's not much of an issue. We had the death penalty on the books but it has been removed since a 2001 amendment to our constitution. Our last execution was in 1954.

punch line loser
07-31-2011, 08:31 PM
i think my main sticking point with the death penalty is that it's so irrevocable. mistakes are made, and you can't compensate an innocent corpse

Martin Hyde
07-31-2011, 09:10 PM
I am anti-death penalty and pro-life. While not religious my sentiments on the matter can be summed up by an article John Paul II wrote back in the 80s. While I couldn't summon it from the bowels of the internet via Google, it basically comes down to what I felt was a compelling argument that the reason we condemn murder so much is because a murderer steals from their victim all the possibilities they had in life if their life had not been stolen from them, in essence they stole what they could have been, the life they could have lived. JP2 argues that by snuffing out nascent human life you are stealing the potential it had to live a full life that regular humans would recognize as rewarding and valuable.

At the same time I have long said that technology will eventually end abortion as a significant issue in our society.

Martin Hyde
07-31-2011, 09:17 PM
i think my main sticking point with the death penalty is that it's so irrevocable. mistakes are made, and you can't compensate an innocent corpse

I have a strange stance on crime and punishment. I think crimes committed that irrevocably cause serious harm deserve a permanent punishment. This has zero to do with deterrence, it is instead to me, about a matter of innate human justice.

At the same time, I do not think that permanent punishment can be death. I do not believe it is possible for the State as an actor to morally kill one of its citizens in a staged execution (other scenarios in which the State kills one of its citizens might be acceptable. For example if an agent of the State kills a citizen getting ready to detonate a bomb in a shopping mall or etc.)

I've long said most non-violent crimes should never result in incarceration unless the defendant is a "habitual offender" and other forms of rehabilitation focused punishments have failed to reform the individual.

However, dismembering, rape, murder, those crimes require in my opinion a person to be permanently removed from being able to live a full, happy life. The perpetrator should be locked away permanently. However, their life should not be one of torture, prisons should not be dens of rape and constant beatings. However, for persons sentenced to a whole life warrant they also should be very minimalist. There should be access to an exercise yard, access to books and magazines, and whatever the inmate can purchase from the commissary. I think persons sentenced to a life sentence should not be allowed to participate in continuing education or any rehabilitation service, because the expectation should be that they die in prison.

Not long ago I was made aware of an incident in which two young men in their early 20s viciously beat another young man of roughly the same age. After the victim fell to the ground, one of the two assailants "punted" his head. The victim is permanently in a "minimally conscious state" and has essentially no hope of ever living a real life again. He cannot respond to external stimuli, cannot care for himself in any way, and most people would essentially say he is dead in all but name. The person who "punted" his head was sentenced to 10 years and is expected to be released in 3-5, the other assailant was sentenced to 24 months and is already out on parole as far as I know.

To me, that is a "permanent wrong" and a person who perpetrates it does not deserve a chance at living a full, happy life. They don't deserve to be put to death, though, but they definitely deserve to have their life taken from them.

sqweels
08-01-2011, 10:06 PM
There are 3 types of sanctioned killing:


Killing animals
Killing fetuses
killing murders/enemies


So life has to be both sentient and innocent in order to qualify for society's protection.

SecretaryofEvil
08-03-2011, 01:50 PM
As others have pointed out, the Catholic Church in America is actively anti-abortion and anti-death penalty. I'm pro-choice, but I don't see why one couldn't be anti-abortion and pro-death penalty. The idea would, presumably, be that an unborn baby is innocent human life, whereas the murderer is guilty human life, and that it's ok to do mean things to people who have done bad things, but not ok to do mean things to people who have not yet done anything wrong. It doesn't necessarily mesh with the "sanctity of life argument," used by the Catholic Church, but I'm fairly certain that a lot of other churches don't espouse that particular line of reasoning.

Triskadecamus
08-04-2011, 12:58 AM
I am not pro abortion. I am very much anti-government control of reproductive rights. If the government has the right to require full term gestation, they have assumed total responisiblity for all aspects of that life. Of course that would be expensive.

I am opposed to the actual death penalty, and don't believe in theoretical death penalties or unicorns.

Tris