Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Capital Punishment

I read this interesting article by Barkha Dutt recently where she makes a case for capital punishment. Personally, I find death sentence regressive as well as morally wrong. But some of the arguments in the article are pretty compelling:

"...we empowered our State to go to war and kill if needed. Not just do we sanction it; we make heroes of the men who bring home the body bags of enemy soldiers. We believe territorial integrity is worthy enough to both die and kill for. Why would we respond differently to a terrorist who declares war directly on our people?..."


Suveer said...

Technically speaking, you're right. Capital punishment is morally wrong. Morally, that is.
From an Ethical perspective though, it can be totally justified.

Morals & Ethics, what's the difference? Morals are universal laws. There are very few.
Ethics are contextual. It's the rules we people make amongst ourselves that state how we ought to treat each other. Some of them we formalise and turn into law. Hence, as many contexts, those many ethics.

Simple analogy. There is nothing immoral about nudity as such. But, it is unethical in certain contexts (Juhu beach, Mumbai) and perfectly fine under others (Mykonos, Greece).

Problems arise when of course dealing with Justice for heinous crimes. Many a times, in these 'contexts', the 'ethics' justifies and thereby gives us public sanction to go ahead with an 'immoral' (or regressive) act.

After all, only humans are blessed/cursed with the capacity to see the bigger picture, right?
Until we ALL actually do see the bigger picture, we lay confused, undecided between morals and ethics.

My $0.02's worth.

Radha said...

Suveer, you king of semantics! You were born to be an MBA!!!

Anyway from whatever I could decipher from that maze of words u've written, I disagree on all counts. Ethics are absolute and not dependent on context or social norms. Going nude on Juhu beach is peculiar & stupid but not unethical by any stretch of imagination.

I believe a judge in the courtroom does not have the right to kill another man, even a criminal, irrespective of the context. It just is wrong.

clickable said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Radha said...

Thanks...but I somehow couldnt get the article you're refering to...

clickable said...

See if this works:

Radha said...

Thanks for the link!
That was an interesting read!

M said...

There is nothing wrong in executing a murderer or rapist who could be a danger to the society if he or she is left free.

Radha said...

While I agree that it is in the interest of the society to keep any person deemed dangerous to society behind bars, I dont agree that we as the society have the right to decide whether that man should live or die. Killing a man is the most animal solution to any social problem, we are more civilised than that!

Prometheus said...

Prometheus feels banning capital punishment would be like bandaging a snake bite, if you can imagine one. Yes, the wound does need a bandage, but after the venom has been removed.

The very act of killing another being, for whatever purposes, is the venom that needs to be drawn out of our genes.

Till such time, the capital punishment is an effective deterrent and an ergonomic option. At the present rate of crime, humans would need to colonize the moon and make it a penal colony housing criminals.

This incident underscores the point: There was this rapist/killer in the UK who was recently freed. He raped and killed another teenager on the very day of his release.

Radha said...

Hello Prometheus,

Statistics prove that capital punishment does not deter crime rate any more than life imprisonment. EU countries that have abolished death sentences have found that the crime rates continued to be the same.

Mel said...

he just attacked parliamant. a lot of people get away with a lot more. He wouldn't do it if there was no call to. Atleast he didn't bomb a train and kill innocents. Atleast he had the balls to strike where it really mattered. Don't hang him.