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    (Original post by Cristocracy)
    Very well then; I can accept this. I accept the view that rights come with responsibilities. You ignore the responsibilities, you forfeit the rights.
    Then you should change your language from 'rights' to 'privileges' because you're no longer advocating a view of rights or human rights. You're advocating human privileges.

    As I already mentioned below, I am not basing my assumptions on that fact that it has a proven deterrence effect. I am arguing that, if the deterrence effect cannot be proved either why, i.e. on balance, the result is indeterminate, the state should err on the side of implementing capital punishment. This is not fallacious reasoning. You are doing the exact example of a strawman argument.
    No, I'm not. Let's go back a few pages and look at the instances where you're telling other posters that the relevant study proves your position. You're now trying to weaken (hedge) your own claims in an attempt to backtrack.

    You suggest that executions (i.e death) is special. Yet you not given me a reason why life is so special. Is it because
    once you take away, you can never give it back? Because the same applies to time.
    We could come up with any number of reasons why life is to be treated as a special case. Your constant appeals to doctrines found in law, which aren't useful here, have surely made you aware of the idea that life holds a special position in our thinking above and beyond time/imprisonment.

    We could use a capability/human value approach from Nussbaum; intrinsic worth from Kant. We could hold a metaphysical view about the value of consciousness. Any number of reasons.

    Your argument so far is merely to state that despite not being able to compensate and return time itself; you can at least attempt to make up for it through some other way. But again, this is sidestepping-the time itself still, under no circumstances, can be returned. Yet you support incarceration. Thus, permanence cannot be the 'special factor' that makes death such a special punishment. It has to be something else. My question is, what is it.
    False. Permanence can be a relevant factor. Firstly, you fallacious assume that I have to be able to give back the relevant thing. In the instance of incarceration I can compensate. In the case of death, I cannot.

    With death I permanently deprive you of the ability to receive any form of compensation.

    So by choosing to incarcerate, the state is not merely committing and omission. It is a positive act-the act of jailing-that inevitable leads to innocent lives lost.
    No, it's not. This is attempting to attribute but for causation wholly incorrectly and thereby attribute blame. The state did the incarcerating. But for the other inmate killing the relevant imprisoned person, etc. there would have been no death.

    If I do the positive action of giving birth to a child, am I responsible for whatever inevitable ends result? No.

    The state didn't kill the person, they incarcerated them. There is a categorical distinction between the two, identifiable under the law of identity.

    It will never be 0%-meaning that someone innocent is bound to die in prison.
    But, in this instance, we have a chance to save some of these innocents. Whereas under your model, they're all dying.

    Therefore, if your deontological position is that killing is always wrong, you must reject incarceration unless you can prove to me, beyond any doubt (which you claim is impossible; we are never 100% certain of anything) that a prison system can achieve 100% safe convictions and 100% prisoner safety
    (1) The deontologist is not committed to a view that killing is always wrong.

    (2) Even supposing that they were, this argument doesn't follow. My placing someone into prison isn't the act of killing them. You're effectively trying to construct an argument that persons are responsible for all of the effects of their actions - this is a consequentialist view point, yet again; and it expects individuals to be able to know, in advance, the exact outcomes of their actions. Which, of course, is the exact problem of consequentialism and its clash with epistemology.

    I am not using a legal doctrine per se. I am using the logic behind it. Legal doctrine is backed by logic and ethics.
    Legal doctrine tends to have very, very limited understanding of logic and ethics. Most judges have never studied philosophy, and most have very limited knowledge of the subject.

    The reasoning is simple: Sometimes, we must look at the consequences of an action to determine punishment. Looking solely at intent or deontological arguments can lead to absurd results-which in my example, is the case of the man recklessly firing into a crowd despite holding no real intention to injury anyone.
    The deontologist can reach the same conclusion. He acted recklessly. The deontologist is capable of claiming that he ought to have considered the interests of others, the likelihood that his action would injure someone, etc. and then decide not to do it because it would violate the moral rights of those around him.

    You seem to have a very limited understanding of contemporary work in deontology.

    Is a clear support of the omission/commission divide. You might not have used the exact words, but they mean the exact same thing.
    I reject the omission/commission divide. There's no such thing. An omission is itself an action (assuming that the actor was in a relevant position of knowledge).

    The classic trolley example in ethics, for example, usually asks the person to decide between pulling the lever or not. Pulling the lever is an action. Not pulling the lever is also an action (it's the action of staying where you are, or doing another thing, etc.).

    Its not a 'needless' punishment. Needless is punishing someone entirely wrongly.
    False. Needless is whenever it fails to serve the justificatory purpose. It is needless for me to pay $10 for an item that costs only $8. Anything beyond the necessary and sufficient conditions is needless.

    This is merely imposing a more severe punishment that they might (might, because some people still think this is just) otherwise deserve.
    If they don't deserve it, then it's beyond the necessary and sufficient conditions of justice and moral desert and is therefore needless excess.

    Agreed. But using one failure to support another failure is horrible reasoning, I'm sure you can agree. Pointing to a mistake to justify another mistake can never be warranted.
    That's not the argument being made. It's forcing consistency.


    I disagree.
    Without having read the works of Singer and Unger you're not in much of a position to offer an opinion as to whether or not you agree.


    The state has extensive and very wide-ranging coercive powers which individuals cannot possibly have.
    I need not have coercive powers nor be a state in order to prevent death; and moral obligation in such a case doesn't rest on such.

    There is a reason why the Convention of human rights (again, look to the reasoning) cannot be applied horizontally; it is simply too interventionist to treat us as our brother's keepers. We cannot be expected to care for others at our own expense because we are not made to care for others.
    You're making assumptions about human nature which you haven't provided any substantiating argument for. You've presupposed certain political views, which again you've offered no substantiating arguments for. You're trying to argue against works you haven't read; and you're trying to argue that a moral obligation doesn't exist because of normative reasons. I hate to tell you, but meta-ethics doesn't care about normative reasoning. If there's a moral obligation to X, then you have a moral obligation to X regardless of how difficult you might think it is. This applies to subjectivism at the social level and objectivism.

    I don't disagree. But this is where a state might legitimately plead impossibility. It is absolutely impossible for a state to achieve sufficient military might to dominate the entire world and impose the (correct) way of living on it.
    (1) Who said anything about military might?
    (2) You've just argued for positive liberty authoritarianism in the most textbook example one could provide. See Isaiah Berlin.
    (3) Providing benefits doesn't require militaristic intervention and certainly not conquest.
    (4) You want to conquer people to try to meet moral obligations? The contradictory reasoning there should be patently evident. Going to war, acting culturally imperalistic, etc. are certainly not moral things to do and they're certainly not going to fulfill moral obligations.

    This is the exact example of impossibility; not a merely hard decision but a downright impossible one.

    In theory however, I dont disagree

    Are you prepared to commit to such a complete and extreme deontological position?
    Yes

    There is interesting work in the theory of justice that refutes your argument in its entirety, based on its form the content of its premises without having to resort to deotonology. It was originally formulated in relation to theory of justice in transfer and the difference principle. The difference principle allows you to pay e.g. doctors more money than others if so doing increases the level of care which they provide to their patients. The argument against this states the doctor has a moral obligation to treat the patients at the relevant high standard of care anyway, so there is no moral obligation to incentivize his action. This states that in paying him more, we're allowing for or encouraging him to behave immorally (treat his patients less well) as the benchmark for performance and then paying him more to do what he's supposed to be doing anyway.

    Applied here, the state doesn't have a responsibility to ensure that people are behaving the way that they ought to by incentivizing their action through killing others. It's a negative incentive, but it still counts as an incentive (positive/negative incentive distinction is used in e.g. psychology). The state doesn't have a moral responsibility to kill people to ensure that others do what they're supposed to be doing already. It would be more true here because it's not merely the paying of money (perhaps an action without consequences), because there are actual consequences here (the deprivation of life at the hand of the state).

    If I can remember the name of the philosopher who puts forward this argument, I'll edit the post and include it.
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    No, I'm not. Let's go back a few pages and look at the instances where you're telling other posters that the relevant study proves your position. You're now trying to weaken (hedge) your own claims in an attempt to backtrack.
    Yes you are, because I've already shifted my position several posts back while you, continuously bring this up again and again despite my shift. Strawman much?

    [quote]We could come up with any number of reasons why life is to be treated as a special case. Your constant appeals to doctrines found in law, which aren't useful here, have surely made you aware of the idea that life holds a special position in our thinking above and beyond time/imprisonment.

    We could use a capability/human value approach from Nussbaum; intrinsic worth from Kant. We could hold a metaphysical view about the value of consciousness. Any number of reasons. /[quote]

    Again, not the issue. I've not appealed to the law per se, but the reasoning-I've made that extremely clear.
    I refuse to accept your bare assertion that life holds a special place. I demand that you explain why.

    I can also argue that, since Kant places a special 'intrinsic worth' on life, and the murderer chooses to take life, it being so special, then our only suitable response, to condemn his actions for an act so deplorable, is to impose a punishment equally harsh-all other punishments being inadequate to express our moral disgust and outrage

    Firstly, you fallacious assume that I have to be able to give back the relevant thing. In the instance of incarceration I can compensate. In the case of death, I cannot.
    I can also similarly argue a posthumorous acquittal + giving him a beautiful tombstone is adequate compensation, because I don't have to give back the exact same thing.

    In the case of death, I might not be able to give back anything, but you assume that if the person is alive when he is acquitted, I can give back something of value-Imagine if a prisoner dies a month after release, at the age of 80. Or perhaps just 3 days later. Will any compensation at all be adequate? I doubt so.

    No, it's not. This is attempting to attribute but for causation wholly incorrectly and thereby attribute blame. The state did the incarcerating. But for the other inmate killing the relevant imprisoned person, etc. there would have been no death.

    If I do the positive action of giving birth to a child, am I responsible for whatever inevitable ends result? No.
    It is not wrong because you said so. you have not disproved my logic, you merely said it is wrong.
    Also, the inmate can easily die of old age or sickness (and therefore nobody committed the second wrong to break the chain of causation)

    The state didn't kill the person, they incarcerated them. There is a categorical distinction between the two, identifiable under the law of identity.
    Whose appealing solely to doctrines of law now?

    But, in this instance, we have a chance to save some of these innocents. Whereas under your model, they're all dying.
    Not the point.. If killing is always wrong, then killing one person is wrong.

    The deontologist is not committed to a view that killing is always wrong.
    You have therefore still not justified why the killing of one murderer is not worth the risk of being able to potentially save a far larger number of lives.

    this is a consequentialist view point, yet again; and it expects individuals to be able to know, in advance, the exact outcomes of their actions
    No, it does not, notice how I've always used the word risk? This is an acknowledge that it is a balance of probabilities and factors, not a complete awareness/knowledge

    Legal doctrine tends to have very, very limited understanding of logic and ethics. Most judges have never studied philosophy, and most have very limited knowledge of the subject.
    Again, bare assertion. Oxford (where most judges graduated from) compulsorily teaches Jurisprudence; which is ethics based. Despite it being part of a law degree course, it is taught to an extremely high standard, as per all Oxford courses (Naturally)

    The deontologist is capable of claiming that he ought to have considered the interests of others, the likelihood that his action would injure someone, etc. and then decide not to do it because it would violate the moral rights of those around him.

    You seem to have a very limited understanding of contemporary work in deontology.
    Deontologies look at the act itself, not the considerations behind it.
    Also, what if he did the balancing test but still decide to go through with the act (due to mental disabilities)? Subjectively, he decided it will not violate the moral rights of others.
    Objectively, we disagree

    The classic trolley example in ethics, for example, usually asks the person to decide between pulling the lever or not. Pulling the lever is an action. Not pulling the lever is also an action (it's the action of staying where you are, or doing another thing, etc.).
    Imposing the capital punishment is an action. Not imposing it is also an action. This simply rephrases the question and brings nothing else.

    [quote]That's not the argument being made. It's forcing consistency. /[quote]

    I am forcing consistency. I demand that a set of principles be robust enough to endure any situation it can possibly face.

    Without having read the works of Singer and Unger you're not in much of a position to offer an opinion as to whether or not you agree.
    I can easily adopt a libertarian view and simply state that nobody is allowed to infringe on my rights unless I have infringed theirs.

    You want to conquer people to try to meet moral obligations? The contradictory reasoning there should be patently evident. Going to war, acting culturally imperalistic, etc. are certainly not moral things to do and they're certainly not going to fulfill moral obligations.
    Of course it doesnt. Using force to prevent others from infringing on the rights of others is hardly contradictory. My position is that unless you have injured the rights of others, no one can infringe on yours.

    So if I can conquering people who are known to silt the throat of homosexuals, I am perfectly justified in using force to do so

    The difference principle allows you to pay e.g. doctors more money than others if so doing increases the level of care which they provide to their patients. The argument against this states the doctor has a moral obligation to treat the patients at the relevant high standard of care anyway, so there is no moral obligation to incentivize his action. This states that in paying him more, we're allowing for or encouraging him to behave immorally (treat his patients less well) as the benchmark for performance and then paying him more to do what he's supposed to be doing anyway.
    This is the example of ethical arguing in a vacuum without considering practical limitations and facts. This argument ignores that the fact that doctors have a 'best working period,' perhaps fresh off a day-off or vacation. The first patient that he sees will inevitably receive better care, as the doctor himself is a better state of mind and feeling refreshed. Conversely, a doctor nearing the end of his shift (even if it were just a 6 hour shift and not the usual 36 hour shifts) will feel more tired, and will treat his patients less well. This is unavoidable fact.

    Why then, should a rich and wealthy patient not be allowed to pay the doctor for his 'best working period?' This slot must clearly go to someone; and it is fallacious to suggest that paying him for this 'best slot' is therefore encouraging him to treat everyone else less well when he will treat every next patient less well, due to diminishing working capacity. This is indisputable fact, unless you someone how a way to maintain a doctor's energy consistently throughout all 36 hours of his shift. I'm very sure all the patients and doctors in the world would thank you very much for your discovery.

    Applied here, the state doesn't have a responsibility to ensure that people are behaving the way that they ought to by incentivizing their action through killing others. It's a negative incentive, but it still counts as an incentive (positive/negative incentive distinction is used in e.g. psychology). The state doesn't have a moral responsibility to kill people to ensure that others do what they're supposed to be doing already. It would be more true here because it's not merely the paying of money (perhaps an action without consequences), because there are actual consequences here (the deprivation of life at the hand of the state).
    Ok, so, as I mentioned above, if the state simply refuses to punish anyone for any crime, it is justifiable isnt it? Because the state clearly has no moral responsibility to ensure that others do what they're supposed to already be doing. The state has no responsibility to ensure that people do not steal, because they should not be stealing. The state also has no responsibility to ensure people to do not punch each other, because they should not be violent towards each other.

    So if a state choose to not interfere at all (ignoring the reasons it employs to reach this conclusion), it is fair because the state has no responsibility is it?

    Further, I can easily refute this by saying that politicians who are elected will, one way or another have made promises about the criminal law and sanctions. They will have at least expressed some ideas on how to treat crime. Therefore they have committed themselves to a state of action; they therefore cannot turn around and plead inaction if elected into office
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    (Original post by Cristocracy)
    Yes you are, because I've already shifted my position several posts back while you, continuously bring this up again and again despite my shift. Strawman much?
    I'm not creating a strawman. I'm merely demonstrating that you came into this thread touting a piece of research and holding up your position as if was absolutely correct and disregarding the posts of any other users with contrary opinions or statements.

    Again, not the issue. I've not appealed to the law per se, but the reasoning-I've made that extremely clear.
    I refuse to accept your bare assertion that life holds a special place. I demand that you explain why.
    You like to appeal to all the various irrelevant legal doctrines. There are plenty of judgments that talk about intrinsic value of life and human dignity across multiple jurisdictions. Pick some and read them.

    I can also argue that, since Kant places a special 'intrinsic worth' on life, and the murderer chooses to take life, it being so special, then our only suitable response, to condemn his actions for an act so deplorable, is to impose a punishment equally harsh-all other punishments being inadequate to express our moral disgust and outrage
    It's painfully obvious that you've never studied Kant in any capacity. This clearly and blatantly violates the categorical imperative. It's also logically self-contradictory. If life is so special and it's morally wrong to end it, then it's morally wrong to end it. The idea that you can punish the individual by depriving them of their own laugh is so completely anathema to Kant, that the idea that you even think this is a tenable position shows you lack relevant familiarity with Kant's work.

    I can also similarly argue a posthumorous acquittal + giving him a beautiful tombstone is adequate compensation, because I don't have to give back the exact same thing.
    (1) These are nowhere near equal in value
    (2) You cannot give compensation to a dead person. The person is dead. They're incapable of possessing, obtaining, using or enjoying the benefits of such compensation.

    This is a ridiculous argument.

    In the case of death, I might not be able to give back anything, but you assume that if the person is alive when he is acquitted, I can give back something of value-Imagine if a prisoner dies a month after release, at the age of 80. Or perhaps just 3 days later. Will any compensation at all be adequate? I doubt so.
    Alright. Because I'm tired of this ridiculous argument, let's go about it this way: Your reasoning here is just downright fallacious. Peter Unger has identified this as the fallacy of futility thinking.

    Come up with a new non-fallacious argument please.

    It is not wrong because you said so. you have not disproved my logic, you merely said it is wrong.
    Sadly for you, I did. You're trying to allocate blame onto the state and say that the state is somehow responsible for 'killing' the individual. This is clearly wrong. The state didn't kill the incarcerated person. Another inmate did, or the person's suicide did. Some act of a party which wasn't the state is directly responsible for the killing. At best you can claim that the state put the person in a position such that the state allowed them to die; though even this is questionable. Did they 'allow' them? Was it accidental? There's a massive (categorical) difference between allowing something to happen and it being accidental. The first presupposes knowledge, whereas the second does not.

    Also, the inmate can easily die of old age or sickness (and therefore nobody committed the second wrong to break the chain of causation)
    So the state wouldn't be responsible for the death because they don't control old age or sickness....

    Whose appealing solely to doctrines of law now?
    The law of identity is a law of formal logic, i.e. philosophy. If you don't know the relevant philosophy, then it's time to stop arguing with someone who knows better than you do.

    Not the point.. If killing is always wrong, then killing one person is wrong.
    Yes, and me imprisoning someone isn't me killing them so your argument has no force.

    You have therefore still not justified why the killing of one murderer is not worth the risk of being able to potentially save a far larger number of lives.
    ... You need better, non-fallacious argument. I'm getting very tired of your clear inability to deal with philosophical argument. The deonotologist doesn't engage in consequentialist reasoning. So your statement here isn't an objection because it presupposes consequentialism and tries to criticize the deontologist for engaging in such a form of reasoning.

    Killing, according to the deontologist, need not always be wrong. But the type of 'kill one to [potentially] save others' objection argument you're attempting to make here is an objection which relies on a consequentialist form of reasoning. As such, it's not an objection against the relevant position at all. It's nonsense.

    Again, bare assertion.
    I have a law degree. I've read judgments across many jurisdictions. I also know, personally, many legal philosophers. I'm also going for my masters in legal philosophy.

    Lawyers lack an in-depth knowledge of philosophy and how to do philosophy. I'm sorry if this hurts your ego or something, but it's very true.

    Oxford (where most judges graduated from) compulsorily teaches Jurisprudence; which is ethics based. Despite it being part of a law degree course, it is taught to an extremely high standard, as per all Oxford courses (Naturally)
    ... You seriously think that because students take a single year-long course in jurisprudence which is an incredibly simplistic introductory overview course that judges have in-depth familiarity with contemporary ethics and jurisprudential thought?

    Here's an excellent example: Joseph Raz is a contemporary legal philosopher. He's done tons of work in exclusive positivism and the authority of law. In particular, he's argued (very convincingly and which no one refutes) that, prima facie, including morality within the rule of recognition would violate the authoritative nature of law because it requires individuals to engage in first-personal deliberations, contrary to the authoritative nature of law which presupposes the ability of law to act as a source of exclusionary reasons for action.

    Raz's argument as to the nature of authority is based on formal symbolic logic. Tell me, when is the last time an undergraduate law student studying studying jurisprudence studied first-order symbolic logic? That's right, they don't.

    Jurisprudence, as taught at any law school, is to the field of normative ethics and legal philosophy as learning science is in year 9 compared to learning quantum mechanics is university. I know, because I've studied jurisprudence at law school; but I also hold a philosophy degree. And the things taught in a jurisprudence course are simplified for non-philosophy (i.e. law) students.

    Deontologies look at the act itself, not the considerations behind it.
    Also, what if he did the balancing test but still decide to go through with the act (due to mental disabilities)? Subjectively, he decided it will not violate the moral rights of others.
    Objectively, we disagree
    Are you trying to give an example where the individual, due to mental inability, lacked mens rea?

    I can easily adopt a libertarian view and simply state that nobody is allowed to infringe on my rights unless I have infringed theirs.
    ... I'm going to repeat, without having read the work of Singer or Unger you're in no position to be offering any form of disagreement. In this case, I'll just give the highlight as to why: You've conflated the idea of rights with having moral obligation; this view of rights in no way refutes the arguments presented by Singer or Unger because both deal with what moral obligations persons have and nothing to do with individual liberty.

    Of course it doesnt. Using force to prevent others from infringing on the rights of others is hardly contradictory.
    Yet again, you're attempting to refute something by using entirely incompatible forms of reasoning and making wholly irrelevant appeals.

    The argument, if you recall, was that states have moral obligations to non-citizens (as nationality, ethnicity, geographic location, etc. are all morally arbitrary).

    Invading a country with militaristic might is hardly the way to go about achieving these ends. Again, see Berlin's argument against positive freedom, as you're committing a textbook example of it. People have a right to self-determination, to not be invaded and so on and so forth.

    So if I can conquering people who are known to silt the throat of homosexuals, I am perfectly justified in using force to do so
    Sure, if you're going to accept that some form of objective moral realism is true. In which case, then the nature of morality (meta-ethics) becomes relevant to your whole argument here.

    This is the example of ethical arguing in a vacuum without considering practical limitations and facts. This argument ignores that the fact that doctors have a 'best working period,' perhaps fresh off a day-off or vacation. The first patient that he sees will inevitably receive better care, as the doctor himself is a better state of mind and feeling refreshed. Conversely, a doctor nearing the end of his shift (even if it were just a 6 hour shift and not the usual 36 hour shifts) will feel more tired, and will treat his patients less well. This is unavoidable fact.
    .... This is an example of an objection which completely fails to understand the argument it's trying to object to. Really, you shouldn't be trying to object to arguments that you don't actually know because it's just making you silly, frankly. It's like me objecting to something in quantum mechanics. I don't anything about quantum mechanics, so my objecting to something there would be silly. In much the same way, since you lack the relevant familiarity with the subject, you objecting to an argument about which you lack relevant knowledge is silly.

    In case you aren't aware, what is or is not ethically the case is independent from and in no way reliant on whether or not that obligation is difficult to achieve or not.

    The argument goes that morally the doctor has an obligation to treat all patients to the highest level of care regardless of his pay.

    Why then, should a rich and wealthy patient not be allowed to pay the doctor for his 'best working period?' This slot must clearly go to someone; and it is fallacious to suggest that paying him for this 'best slot' is therefore encouraging him to treat everyone else less well when he will treat every next patient less well, due to diminishing working capacity. This is indisputable fact, unless you someone how a way to maintain a doctor's energy consistently throughout all 36 hours of his shift. I'm very sure all the patients and doctors in the world would thank you very much for your discovery.
    Probably because their wealth is a morally arbitrary characteristic and in no way impacts upon the moral appropriateness of such. Money cannot moral rightness.

    Ok, so, as I mentioned above, if the state simply refuses to punish anyone for any crime, it is justifiable isnt it?
    No. You've a habit of trying to recycle invalid or inaccurate counter arguments.


    Further, I can easily refute this by saying that politicians who are elected will, one way or another have made promises about the criminal law and sanctions. They will have at least expressed some ideas on how to treat crime. Therefore they have committed themselves to a state of action; they therefore cannot turn around and plead inaction if elected into office
    ... This presupposes a normative state, and that politicians have obligations to perform actions even if those actions are immoral, etc.

    In a nutshell: You've repeatedly attempted to construct criticisms that demonstrate you either lack familiarity with the relevant ethics or otherwise, you're not used to dealing with a philosophical mode of thinking. This is evident in how you go about reasoning and trying to object to e.g. deontological arguments by presupposing a consequentialist framework. Again evident in your lack of knowledge of Kant. Again evident in your lack of knowledge of Singer and Unger and so on and so forth.

    Currently, this isn't really a debate. It's you stating things that are wrong, fallacious or demonstrable of lack of knowledge of subject matter, and just serving to make me repeat myself.

    As such, until you've gone off and read the relevant materials (like how not to commit the fallacy of futility thinking; how not to object to deonotology on consequentialist grounds; the relevant work of Singer and Rawls), etc. I'm going to go do more productive things with my time. This is an area where I have more knowledge than yourself by fact of having studied it for four years. And philosophy is one of those subjects where if you're going to engage in it, you do actually need to know quite a bit about it.
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    (Original post by hollyobxox)
    There is no right or wrong answers when discussing a topic like capital punishment we are all entiteled to our own opinion
    Yeah just like we're all entitled to our own opinion on black and gay people...


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    In a nutshell: You've repeatedly attempted to construct criticisms that demonstrate you either lack familiarity with the relevant ethics or otherwise, you're not used to dealing with a philosophical mode of thinking. This is evident in how you go about reasoning and trying to object to e.g. deontological arguments by presupposing a consequentialist framework. Again evident in your lack of knowledge of Kant. Again evident in your lack of knowledge of Singer and Unger and so on and so forth.
    In a nutshell, all you have done so far is to classify and attempt to slot things into a neat school of thought, then vacillate between Kantian ethics and deontological arguments as and when it suits you. And then you bring in Rawls ontop of everything else.

    and then, worst of all, despite claiming that judges have no understanding of ethical theory, when pressed to explain why life is so inherently valuable, you resort to the convenient 'read the many judgements which state life is valuable' comeback. Which, after all this while, still does not explain why it is so.

    And further, you repeatedly state consequentialist thought as inferior to deontologist, or at the least suggest that all deontologists can reject consequentialist thought. In this case, I can simply claim that as a liberatarian, I simply do not have to consider any of your arguments; I can just point back reject any of them.
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    (Original post by Cristocracy)
    In a nutshell, all you have done so far is to classify and attempt to slot things into a neat school of thought, then vacillate between Kantian ethics and deontological arguments as and when it suits you. And then you bring in Rawls ontop of everything else.
    You're yet again demonstrating total lack of relevant familiarity with the subject (demonstrable of my point that law schools do not teach ethics in any depth manner). Kant is a deontologist. I can't 'vacillate' between Kant and deontological arguments because Kant's argument is deontological.

    Rawls' theory of justice is relevant since we're dealing with justice. You seem to be objecting to the inclusion of a particular philosopher as though I'm somehow therefore changing the line of reasoning. Rawls fits into deontology. Rawls' work is, largely, meta-ethically neutral insofar as it doesn't presuppose a particular ethic.

    and then, worst of all, despite claiming that judges have no understanding of ethical theory, when pressed to explain why life is so inherently valuable, you resort to the convenient 'read the many judgements which state life is valuable' comeback. Which, after all this while, still does not explain why it is so.
    You've been espousing legal doctrines as carrying or representing acceptable sources. Since you're a law student, you ought to be familiar with these various judgments. There are many different theories in ethics as to the value of human life. Pick one.

    Or, for more detailed reasoning, turn to the relevant philosophers. Kant, for example, expresses a view as the intrinsic value of human life and consciousness. Nussbaum and Sen do as well. As do a plethora of contemporary ethicists, particularly those working in human rights theory.

    And further, you repeatedly state consequentialist thought as inferior to deontologist, or at the least suggest that all deontologists can reject consequentialist thought.
    I've never claimed that deontological thought is superior to consequentialism; nor that consequentialism is inferior to deontology. I'm not God, I lack absolute knowledge as to what it meta-ethically true.

    In this case, I can simply claim that as a liberatarian, I simply do not have to consider any of your arguments; I can just point back reject any of them.
    ... Libertarianism is utterly irrelevant. You can be libertarian and deontological. Libertarianism and consequentialism are wholly different theories. One is a theory of political philosophy. The other a theory of ethics. Libertarianism is a brand of 'negative liberty' theory. Consequentialism is a particular variety of normative ethical theory. Please develop a better understanding of these very different areas of political philosophy and ethics.

    And yes, you can claim a consequentialist viewpoint and potentially justify your argument that way. Though the epistemologist would take you to task on your lack of knowledge and your attempt to justify a particular practice without having the relevant knowledge to justify any particular act. You'd be in what is effectively known as a state of action/decision paralysis.
 
 
 

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