Why is capital punishment/the death penalty a controversial topic?

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isabellap98
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Hi, I'm currently writing an essay on the death penalty and was trying to think of ideas for why is capital punishment aka the death penalty such a controversial topic in society? Could this could be between governments or personal views of countries/states that do or do not use the death penalty?
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MadVisionary
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Spkrblst
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(Original post by isabellap98)
Why is capital punishment aka the death penalty such a controversial topic in society? Could this could be between governments or personal views of countries/states that do or do not use the death penalty?
You really don't see why this is controversial? Can you not think in more than one perspective? I'm not a highly religious person, nor do I agree with the death penalty, but it isn't controversial because of governments views, it's controversial in general. Even the most evil people that walk this planet, it's not our say as to whether they live or die, who are you or anyone to decide that? I could refer you to that quote from the bible "let him who is without sin cast the first stone"... Basically It's quite obvious to see why it's so controversial lol...
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Willy Pete
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(Original post by isabellap98)
Hi, I'm currently writing an essay on the death penalty and was trying to think of ideas for why is capital punishment aka the death penalty such a controversial topic in society? Could this could be between governments or personal views of countries/states that do or do not use the death penalty?
Are you seriously asking why lawful murder (an oxymoron I know) might be controversial?
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doodle_333
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I think it's clear why it's controversial. It's super emotive because we're talking about heinous crimes AND killing people. It's also about as serious a consequence as we can get - death.
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tazarooni89
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(Original post by Spkrblst)
I could refer you to that quote from the bible "let him who is without sin cast the first stone"...
That's odd, considering that the Bible is in favour of the death penalty for the most part...
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Good bloke
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(Original post by tazarooni89)
That's odd, considering that the Bible is in favour of the death penalty for the most part...
That is because the Bible was written at a time when the death penalty was deemed to be a moral punishment. In the democratic west we have developed beyond that now and no longer believe that capital and corporal punishments are a moral activity. Of course, there are still plenty of people in the world who still live in ancient and mediaeval times, not having advanced beyond superstitious beliefs, but fortunately they do not control our laws.
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tazarooni89
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(Original post by Good bloke)
That is because the Bible was written at a time when the death penalty was deemed to be a moral punishment.
That's exactly why I find it odd to quote the Bible in order to make a point against capital punishment.

In the democratic west we have developed beyond that now and no longer believe that capital and corporal punishments are a moral activity.
Do you not consider a country like the USA, which in recent times has been using both capital punishment and corporal punishment, to be part of the "democratic West"?
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Good bloke
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(Original post by tazarooni89)
Do you not consider a country like the USA, which in recent times has been using both capital punishment and corporal punishment, to be part of the "democratic West"?
I do. I should have said "civilised democratic west". The USA is infected by superstition, I'm afraid, having been populated by people getting away from the civilising effects of the Enlightenment in Europe, and not yet having escaped the corrosive effects of Abraham and his seed.
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tazarooni89
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(Original post by Good bloke)
I do. I should have said "civilised democratic west". The USA is infected by superstition, I'm afraid, having been populated by people getting away from the civilising effects of the Enlightenment in Europe, and not yet having escaped the corrosive effects of Abraham and his seed.
I must say this is highly reminiscent of the "no true scotsman" fallacy.
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Good bloke
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(Original post by tazarooni89)
I must say this is highly reminiscent of the "no true scotsman" fallacy.
You think a country so riven by superstition to the extent that even its lawmakers are strongly influenced by such backward beliefs is fully civilised. I don't. I don't see how Scotsmen come into it. Europe, secular in fact, if not in name, is far more advanced than much of the USA in this respect, which is secular in name but not in nature.

Obviously, countries where laws are driven significantly by backward superstitious beliefs are the least civilised. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are the most obvious examples, where adherence to mediaeval superstitions dominates life to the extent common humanity is submerged under dogmatic cruelty.
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999tigger
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(Original post by isabellap98)
Hi, I'm currently writing an essay on the death penalty and was trying to think of ideas for why is capital punishment aka the death penalty such a controversial topic in society? Could this could be between governments or personal views of countries/states that do or do not use the death penalty?
Because people have different ideas about whether its a suitable form of punishment and whether it works.

Governments dont tend to argue with other governments about their use of the death penalty unless the system looks corrupt i.e using prisoners for organs or just killing political prisoners in unfair trials.

I think its more controversial between individuals.
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tazarooni89
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(Original post by Good bloke)
You think a country so riven by superstition to the extent that even its lawmakers are strongly influenced by such backward beliefs is fully civilised. I don't. I don't see how Scotsmen come into it. Europe, secular in fact, if not in name, is far more advanced than much of the USA in this respect, which is secular in name but not in nature.

Obviously, countries where laws are driven significantly by backward superstitious beliefs are the least civilised. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are the most obvious examples, where adherence to mediaeval superstitions dominates life to the extent common humanity is submerged under dogmatic cruelty.
Well, this is how the "no true scotsman" fallacy works:

Philosophy professor Bradley Dowden explains the fallacy as an "ad hoc rescue" of a refuted generalization attempt.

The following is a simplified rendition of the fallacy:
Person A: "No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."
Person B: "But my uncle Angus likes sugar with his porridge."
Person A: "Ah yes, but no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."
Just replace "Scotsman" with "Western Democracy", "true" with "civilised", and "sugar on porridge" with any belief or practice you disagree with, and you've just made exactly the same argument.
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Good bloke
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(Original post by tazarooni89)
you've just made exactly the same argument.
No I haven't. I've said something far more significant. I've said that the USA is not fully civilised, like the more secular European countries, because of the prevalence and influence of religious beliefs there. But you wouldn't want to confront that so you try to deflect the discussion to claim that I committed a fallacy (which I didn't - I highlighted a clear, substantial and valid distinction).
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tazarooni89
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(Original post by Good bloke)
No I haven't. I've said something far more significant. I've said that the USA is not fully civilised, like the more secular European countries, because of the prevalence and influence of religious beliefs there. But you wouldn't want to confront that so you try to deflect the discussion to claim that I committed a fallacy (which I didn't - I highlighted a clear, substantial and valid distinction).
This means absolutely nothing! It's an entirely tautological statement.

You're just using the word "civilised" as a synonym for "not religious", and "backwards" as a synonym for "religious" (or any other concept that you disagree with), without first establishing that this is true in any objective sense.

This makes it no different in any way from just saying "Religious countries are more religious than countries which aren't".


The only fact conveyed by your post is that you happen to disagree with religion. But I knew that already.
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Good bloke
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(Original post by tazarooni89)
You're just using the word "civilised" as a synonym for "not religious", and "backwards" as a synonym for "religious" (or any other concept that you disagree with).
No. I'm using 'civilised' to indicate a country that no longer bases its laws largely on ancient superstitious beliefs, having reflected on morality in the twenty-first century and 'backwards' to describe a situation where the people of a country continue to behave irrationally to the extent they lynch people or destroy their property when they express different beliefs or don't show sufficient 'respect' for their superstitions.
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tazarooni89
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(Original post by Good bloke)
No. I'm using 'civilised' to indicate a country that no longer bases its laws largely on ancient superstitious beliefs
That's exactly the same as what I just said.
'You're just using the word "civilised" as a synonym for "not religious".

Until you can replace your concepts of being "civilised", "backwards", "superstitious" and "irrational" with something a little more objective and factually substantiated, your point will continue to remain meaningless besides having told us that you disagree with religion.
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FloralHybrid
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(Original post by tazarooni89)
That's odd, considering that the Bible is in favour of the death penalty for the most part...
Well, it’s, controversial.

A running theme throughout Christianity is forgiveness. Killing someone for their crime is hardly forgiving them. So there’s arguments in the bible for, and against the death penalty.
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QE2
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(Original post by isabellap98)
Hi, I'm currently writing an essay on the death penalty and was trying to think of ideas for why is capital punishment aka the death penalty such a controversial topic in society? Could this could be between governments or personal views of countries/states that do or do not use the death penalty?
It is not at all "controversial". Capital punishment is a barbaric anachronism, anathema to modern, liberal democracies, the antithesis of tolerant, enlightened civilisation. That is all.
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Napp
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^^ Apparently unaware of what controversial means :rolleyes:
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