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Old 02-15-2018, 04:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by McSweeney View Post
Why though? If you want to send the message that "killing is wrong" then maybe you can justify killing a terrorist in a war because you are killing 1 person for the sake of preventing him from killing 100 people (arbitrary number) but why the murderer? Wouldn't it be more just to put him in prison for life? He isn't in danger of killing anyone anymore, so you get a +1 profit of death prevention vs executing him.
There is a positive feedback loop for pleasure killing, which is something I don't want to encourage. Since the rewards/punishment system of the brain is very basal, pleasure killing goes beyond merely self-destructive activities like drug addiction and gluttony.

It's easier to prevent gluttony/drug addiction in the first place than to rehabilitate someone who is psychologically and/or physiologically addicted, and I equate pleasure killing to the same.

Someone who lacks empathy is a much harder scenario to evaluate, and is probably a case-by-case basis. But by and large, someone who cares little for life beyond their own logically wouldn't kill unless they had to fearing lawful punishment. So, powerful punishment is necessary to force them to behave. I don't think life in prison is a strong enough deterrent, death is the ultimate deterrent.

Originally Posted by McSweeney View Post
There's also the possibility of wrongfully convicting people and then executing them. This is the biggest reason why I'm against the death penalty. Of course, it's also no picnic for a wrongfully convicted person to spend life in prison, but at least there's always hope that new evidence will emerge down the road that will exonerate him. The other reason is that if, as a society, you want to send the message that killing is never okay (barring self defence or other valid reason) then it's hypocritical for the state to execute people.
Justice and the priorities of the government are distinct from the values of the individual. I'm strictly speaking from my own philosophy, but I'm willing to compromise somewhat as a concession to live and operate in this society. If I wasn't, I would be in a Buddhist monastery right now, raking a rock garden.
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