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  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    For others it is just a moral matter: Kill and you shall be killed (but this killing is somehow different, because, hm, we are the righteous ones and so forth).
    Hmm no I don't believe in kill and be killed. I only believe in the death penalty if someone will inevitably continue killing anyone he or she can get his or her hands on. A person who cannot be rehabilitated who is truly dangerous.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Well, you could easily spin it the other way and say that it is in identifying with our species/society/community that we appreciate our fellow human being's own right to existence andf learn empathy while seeing myself as an independent individual who owes nothing to the rest of the world and doesn't expect much good from it either might make it easier to ask why on earth I should let that fellow human being live when they cause trouble.
    I was not attempting to postulate what could or ought to be thought or done; I simply tried to put into words what I believe to be a common phenomenon and its workings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Not saying we should all go and hug the guy and get him some cookies, but emotionality doesn't seem advisable and declaring people a wolfshead* out of purely economical reasoning shakes the very basis of society. Our society is build on the assumption of the inherent value of human life and suddenly making exeptions seems to undermine that very ethical basis. Just a thought.

    *"Caput gerat lupinum!"/"Let his be a wolf's head" - in Old English law, an individual who was declared an outlaw and may be killed on sight as if the person was a wolf or wild animal.
    Locke, whose theories were a great influence on the US, holds that a man who has violated the - in his case natural - law by trying to take (or taking) the life of another loses the protection of the law and can be put to death like a dangerous, wild animal (I believe his example is also a wolf). His theory, or rather its content, which is quite humble, lives on the this day for the same reason it was conceived: it is so simple and feels so right. I doubt the average man would disagree with Locke.

  3. #93
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    All we know is that he killed people. We no nothing about the person, or what motivated him. He seems mentally ill. What if he suffers from organic mental illness? What if he was raped as a child? What if he is schizophrnic? If he was a victim as a child, should that be reason to think the death penalty is just in his case? Because he should have been able to overcome it? What if he has a brain tumor? does that obviate his actions in some way? There is a thing called due process. Even the most callous killers were granted a trial at Nuremburg...
    The point is that we simply don't know, and no amount of armchair morality will give a sufficient answer at this point.

  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    I was not attempting to postulate what could or ought to be thought or done; I simply tried to put into words what I believe to be a common phenomenon and its workings.
    I got that. However, you did seem to imply that lynch mob mentality is a result of group think. Then you (ironically?) praised individualism. I merely did an experiment to see if you could as well say that those btwo things can lead to the opposite of what you stated (namely that a strong indicudualist might care less for the rights of a prisoner than somebody with greater social awareness).


    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Locke, whose theories were a great influence on the US, holds that a man who has violated the - in his case natural - law by trying to take (or taking) the life of another loses the protection of the law and can be put to death like a dangerous, wild animal (I believe his example is also a wolf). His theory, or rather its content, which is quite humble, lives on the this day for the same reason it was conceived: it is so simple and feels so right. I doubt the average man would disagree with Locke.
    Ahhh, I think I see what you are doing here. Not sure if it's going to work, but I wish you luck!
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  5. #95
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    I got that. However, you did seem to imply that lynch mob mentality is a result of group think. Then you (ironically?) praised individualism. I merely did an experiment to see if you could as well say that those btwo things can lead to the opposite of what you stated (namely that a strong indicudualist might care less for the rights of a prisoner than somebody with greater social awareness).
    I do believe there are people who are prudent enough to refrain from a thus induced bloodlust and yet feel a deep bond with the society they live in (people like you, it seems). But they are a minority. I praised individualism, on the other hand, simply because it prevents one from falling prey to ideologies and ideologically veiled crusades.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Ahhh, I think I see what you are doing here. Not sure if it's going to work, but I wish you luck!
    Of course it is not going to work; still, it could generate fun.

  6. #96
    Senior Member guesswho's Avatar
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    My 2 cents:
    We cannot give him a penalty equal or similar to what he's done.

    That being said, I believe that his insanity is more painful than death, he wants to die...obviously. Why give him what he wants?

  7. #97
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    It's chilling to think that Loughner shot down over a dozen people less than 20 miles away from where I live. Somehow, the tight distance makes this issue even more jarring.

    It barely matters what happens to the man at this point. He's detained; the disease is "cured". Giving him the death penalty would be a crude act of vengeance, no more righteous than putting a dog out of its misery. The videos on his Youtube channels were red flags that he suffers from a sort of psychosis. If he does, then I don't think his conscience could be held any more accountable than the gun he used.

    What saddens me is that no one acted upon noticing that this man was careening into loony land. Teachers, friends, co-workers and family members all noticed acute changes in his outlook and behavior, yet none of them intervened. Right when he was boiling over, he was in possession of an automatic handgun. The gun laws here are extraordinarily loose; while less common than alcoholic beverages, the requirements for possessing and carrying powerful firearms aren't a far cry from alcohol regulation.

    This was an accident waiting to happen.

    To convolute the crux of the matter, political pundits on both sides are using the shooting as ammunition against each other. For instance, the right paints this guy out to be a Communist because he lists the Communist Manifesto as one of his favorite books; while the left portays him as a fascist because he also has Mein Kampf listed. What ever political compulsions this man had, they were too delusional and distorted to be associated with any mainstream or extreme viewpoint.

  8. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Should adults act on feelings of revenge? And if so, under what condition and in which framework?
    Yes. They ensure that antisocial traits are weeded out of society over time.

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    I don't think I'll ever quite understand the point of view of people who would be more lenient on a murderer than the murderer was on his victims.
    An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not_Me View Post
    Yes. They ensure that antisocial traits are weeded out of society over time.
    Must be the famous Ni humor I keep hearing about. So there is an evil/antisocial gene and by killing everyone who has it we become a peaceful society? Or what do you mean by "antosocial traits"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kasper View Post
    An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
    This. The murderer's crime is disrespecting another human being's right to life. The moment you decide to kill him (or her), you too decide that another person's life is expendable, thus lowering yourself a bit closer to their ethical level. The physical act is the same, the difference is only in the motivation and social acceptance in that killing somebody who has already killed is socially sanctioned in some societies. Oh, yeah, that and a judge's signature.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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