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Author Topic:   Death Penalty and Stanley Tookie Williams
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3984 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 3 of 166 (268675)
12-13-2005 4:15 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
12-12-2005 9:53 PM


I've never understood the prolife\prodeath position.

You know I'm not prolife so I can't quite argue exactly why they hold the positions that they do. If they truly believe in all life itself being sacred then it seems that the death penalty is a bit odd.

However, being in favor of capital punishment I can tell you what I see as a difference between the two situations, using an assumption that abortion is wrong (which I don't actually have).

A fetus has not commited a crime and is not a likely threat to someone's life. A killer really has commited a crime and poses a threat to the lives of others. If one really holds that life is important, one could view removal of threats to life as justified.

It is not that they are prodeath as you put it, but that is the only guarantee they have of removing a greater (proven) threat to life, as well as punishing someone for having taken a life. And although one may say the latter seems inconsistent, I do not believe it is. If you cherish those that preserve life, then rejecting those that destroy it seems relatively consistent. In any case the former part (removing a threat) seems wholly consistent.

I will back berberry's statement that it is bizarre for anyone who is in favor of capital punishment... as I am... to not recognize the needs for stricter controls on its use. Frankly that could be said for any punishment. Our current system is more about wealth than about guilt or innocence of a crime when it comes to cases based on circumstantial evidence.

In this case it does appear that the death penalty makes little to no sense. Whatever he might have been he does not appear to be a threat to anyone now, and has been a force to grow peace and save lives. Gang killings in specific would be hard for me to push for the death penalty. They are pretty obviously socially driven phenomena, and not internal, compulsive drives to kill at any and all times.

This message has been edited by holmes, 12-13-2005 04:17 AM


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by RAZD, posted 12-12-2005 9:53 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by RAZD, posted 12-13-2005 7:44 AM Silent H has responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3984 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 6 of 166 (268705)
12-13-2005 8:26 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by RAZD
12-13-2005 7:44 AM


Re: doesn't make sense. He's dead.
You can be pro-punishment and pro-life by advocating life imprisonment as an alternative.

Yes, or you can be that and be for capital punishment. If one believes that the loss of life is the worse thing which can be done/have happen to onesself, then execution is the strongest punishment.

I agree that if a person's actual position is that ALL life is sacred and must be maintained, that pro death penalty is inconsistent. But there is a difference between all innocent life is sacred, and all life is sacred. Once one is a criminal and specifically a criminal that enacts their own executions at will, that is a patently different thing than a growing fetus (or in their minds a child).

One either believes in the concept of rehabilitation or one doesn't, and it seems to me that personal rehabilitation is one of the basic concepts of religion.

I agree that punishment isn't a very worthwhile enterprise for a govt. Rehabilitation is something that should be the goal. Of course there is still the use of execution to remove an ongoing threat. I do believe that there are some people that there is no point in trying to rehabilitate.

It does not seem correct that you can tell others that personal rehabilitation is a basic concept of religion. There are many which not only allow for punishment but actually support revenge. That a person can get right before God is a completely different question of being able to get right as a human being or with their community.

Xianity would have some idea of repentance and some degree of rehabilitation. But that does not always mean one has become less of a threat or undeserving of punishment (for those that like that). Part of rehabilitation to them would be responsibility for ones actions, and that might be accepting the punishment due.

Schwarzenegger specifically cited Williams' lack of taking responsibility as a reason he did not overrule the jury's decision. And while I personally would have... I do not like circumstantial cases, and do not favor death penalty for simple killings (rehabilitation likely)... I think he had a viable position.

Its not like he found the guy guilty, or that he was judge of the case. A real jury did find the guy guilty and it had been upheld in appeal. Thus it is an extraordinary situation where an executive would overrule the decision of the PEOPLE.

He said he looked it over and found no reason to doubt their decision, and found no remorse from Williams for his actions, and thus he was not going to OVERRULE the decision of the PEOPLE.

Tookie Williams alive would continue to stem the flow of violence that will cause more deaths than those he personally caused.

Would he have? Even being against his execution I'm not quite sure I can say that. He wrote his books and they will do the good that they will do, whether he's dead or not. The damage he caused was irreperable. The families of the victims felt that this was justice and so was good for them.

Heck he didn't even seem that bent out of shape by this event. Maybe internally he felt it was just. I dunno.

In any case I'm not exactly convinced of a moral calculus where a person's crime is lessened by the good he does elsewhere and later when faced with sanctions.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by RAZD, posted 12-13-2005 7:44 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 95 by RAZD, posted 12-14-2005 10:43 PM Silent H has responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3984 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 7 of 166 (268709)
12-13-2005 8:34 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Parasomnium
12-13-2005 8:03 AM


Great country, America...

Please no sarcasm from a nation that is enacting racist policies, and indeed has set up concentration camps... I mean deportation centers... and is so negligent that it allows its prisoners to burn while screaming for help.

Oh yeah, and then not doing jack about those that were in charge of these processes.

Oh yeah, and backing the US in every one of its odious endeavours in Iraq.

Oh yeah, and cutting its social programs while looking to invest in greater military programs.

Both the US and the Netherlands are going through the worst periods in their histories right now. Neither is in a position to be pointing fingers at each other in such a collective manner.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Parasomnium, posted 12-13-2005 8:03 AM Parasomnium has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Parasomnium, posted 12-13-2005 8:39 AM Silent H has not yet responded
 Message 75 by 8upwidit2, posted 12-14-2005 1:35 PM Silent H has responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3984 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 10 of 166 (268735)
12-13-2005 10:08 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Omnivorous
12-13-2005 9:48 AM


Re: My changed mind
it is better for some of the guilty to escape justice than for an innocent to be falsely imprisoned or executed.

I agree, but the argument that since there are errors execution must be done away with is an extreme position. In fact I see you mention false imprisonment. Would you agree the even larger numbers of false imprisonment should end imprisonment?

It seems to me there is a very large problem with our justice system. It has not been commited to any specific doctrine (punishment, rehabilitation, restitution), nor has it been commited to procedural adjustment to produce accurate results.

I don't see how the adverserial process has proved itself useful at all. Indeed I think it is both costly and inaccurate.

That is not to mention police procedures have not been adjusted so as to produce accurate evidentiary results, but rather political results.

A postponement of death penalties makes sense until new evidentiary rules are set in so that mistakes will not be made again. That is not impossible.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Omnivorous, posted 12-13-2005 9:48 AM Omnivorous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Omnivorous, posted 12-13-2005 10:24 AM Silent H has responded
 Message 13 by crashfrog, posted 12-13-2005 11:26 AM Silent H has responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3984 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 14 of 166 (268777)
12-13-2005 11:54 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Omnivorous
12-13-2005 10:24 AM


Re: My changed mind
I would not argue that imprisonment should be abandoned; the difference is that imprisonment is reversible--execution is not.

Its reversible? How? How do you give a person's time back that they spent behind bars? How do you grant a person's life back that died within prison?

The outrage of an innocent person being convicted of any crime is the same. Sentenced to any punishment is the same. There is no idea that "life imprisonment" is less of a death sentence in that the person is not going to die under our care anyway.

Sometimes antideath penalty advocates argue that life imprisonment is WORSE than the death penalty, so there is a bit of inconsistency from that side (though I realize you may not actually hold that position).

If the evidence is more than circumstantial and the person freely admits their guilt and is agreeable to be executed... what would be the problem with it in that case?


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Omnivorous, posted 12-13-2005 10:24 AM Omnivorous has not yet responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3984 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 15 of 166 (268792)
12-13-2005 12:25 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by crashfrog
12-13-2005 11:26 AM


Re: My changed mind
False execution is a moral outrage of a greater degree than not executing, but still punishing, a criminal who deserves it.

That doesn't compute. False execution or false imprisonment is inherently punishing a person who does not deserve it and not punishing a criminal who deserves it.

Did you mean to say that imprisonment is at least a punishment for a criminal, but if found false would be a lesser outrage than a false execution?

In any case that is still not reasonable. To argue that there are currently errors in a procedure to detect guilt therefore a specific sentence based on guilt is wrong, is extreme.

There are two errors being commited within that. The first is holding sentencing culpable for errors within judging. The second is arbitrarily finding a singular sentence as culpable.

Fining someone is ALSO a punishment, but thankfully does not take time away from a person's life which can never be given back. And indeed it does not put one at risk for death while in captivity. Thus fining is a punishment for criminals, but if found false is less of a moral outrage than false imprisonment.

Shouldn't we then be arguing that there should be nothing but fines?

The idea that there's an evidentiary standard that can lead to absolute certainty is certainly not a self-evident position, nor is it indicated by any evidence or argument...

We've already been over this in an earlier thread. It ended with me defining a process after everyone challenged me to present one, and someone saying it was actually pretty good yet all my critics nowhere to be found.

I'll review: Absolute theoretical certainty is not required for absolute practical certainty. Absolute practical certainty is all that is necessary for executions to be operated and fulfill their practical role.

I will raise the same question to you as with omni. If there was solid direct evidence (not merely circumstantial) of a murder being commited by a specific person, and that person readily admits to the murder, and consents to the death penalty... what is the problem with execution in that instance?

In fact the opposite is true - the fact that we don't now employ such an evidentiary standard in any field is evidence that no such standard exists.

1) The fact that we do not have something now in no way at all provides evidence that no such standard exists. That falls directly under the "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" umbrella.

2) While we do not use rule sets which involve absolute theoretical certainty, we certainly do use rule sets which involve absolute practical certainty. It is my guess that you do not deny the holocaust happened. And indeed it is my guess that during the 1940s (if you were in the US) you would not be questioning whether Nazi germany should be fought and its agents killed when found.

(As an added logical puzzle) Here is a moral dilemma which strikes at the heart of the dilemma RAZD raised in his OP. For those that believe war is necessary sometimes, how does one argue against the death penalty. War will almost inherently mean the loss of innocent lives. Yet at some point we generally will agree it is worthwhile as a course of action.

We can restrict executions to such a degree there would be no practical doubt that anything other than a criminal is being killed. The same cannot be said for war.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by crashfrog, posted 12-13-2005 11:26 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by crashfrog, posted 12-13-2005 1:37 PM Silent H has responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3984 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 18 of 166 (268824)
12-13-2005 1:57 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by macaroniandcheese
12-13-2005 1:14 PM


Re: My changed mind
stanley williams had the chance to make a difference in this world and our laws ruined that chance. we have wounded ourselves and we will continue to do so until we realize the inherent flaws in the system.

Uh... Williams ruined not only his own chance, but the chance of those he murdered. The laws did not make him murder.

execution as punishment cannot stand because we are so flawed that we cannot ensure the guilt of those we kill.

That is a bare assertion which is not true. For instance you have some reason to doubt that Dahmer did not murder? Gacy?

Let's move this up more dramatically, how about the Nazis, specifically Hitler. It is your position that we are so flawed as a species we cannot determine with any certainty that the holocaust occured and that it was directed at least in part by Hitler?

execution has long been defeated as a deterrent. it doesn't work.

That is absolutely correct. Execution does not work as a deterrent. It will certainly keep some people in line, but it won't keep everyone in line, particularly the people that are likely to murder.

therefore, there is no standing for capital punishment.

I'm sorry, where did that therefore come from? Deterence is not the only reason for executions. There is punishment (essentially revenge) and there is removal of a threat to the community.

Personally I am not into punishment for punishment's sake but clearly those that are could view that as a valid reason to keep it. One could punish a killer for taking another's life by forcing them to forfeit their own.

I do believe there is reason to remove threats to the community. Some people do nothing but pose a risk to other lives. It pisses me off that that is true about the world but it happens. Not everyone wants to play nice.

it doesn't resolve the anguish of victims and families and it doesn't prevent more crime.

Uh... says who? Well resolve might not be the right word but many families/friends of victims do get some relief when the murderer has been killed. And many are anguished when they see murderers gaining and enjoying lasting notoriety and fame behind bars.

And while it does not prevent crime in a deterent fashion, it certainly does end the killing from that specific murderer.

it is pure, mindless, agressive rage and civilized governments should not participate in it.

Who are you to be arbiter of what is civilized?

Allowing those that have killed and enjoy killing to continue living and indeed giving them a venue for fame and perhaps a better life, does not seem "civil" to me. That seems to be rewarding the very people who engage in pure, mindless, aggressive rage.

To my mind a quick and painless death to those that pose a proven and continued risk the community is merciful and civilized to both the murderer and the community.

This has raised a question in my mind. For all the people who are decrying capital punishment, have anyone of you actually seen someone get murdered, or almost murdered by another person? Has anyone actually been around such an event and seen a murderer (or attempted murderer) in action? Indeed have any of you had someone you know murdered, or almost murdered?

Before anyone asks... the answer is yes, on more than one occassion. I have very little concept of why many of you claim some murderers cannot be known, and that some people can be "saved" to perform wonderful miracles for society. It is pure fantasy as far as I can tell.

Civilization is not a padded and delusional utopia. Civilization to me is having the intelligence and guts to live with the gritty truths of life and make it liveable for those that are willing to join in with it.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by macaroniandcheese, posted 12-13-2005 1:14 PM macaroniandcheese has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by macaroniandcheese, posted 12-13-2005 2:57 PM Silent H has responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3984 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 20 of 166 (268846)
12-13-2005 3:02 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by crashfrog
12-13-2005 1:37 PM


Re: My changed mind
But the outrage of a lesser sentence than is deserved is much less than the outrage of execution when it is not deserved, not least of which because no one ever stands trial for the murder of a falsely executed man.

Now I understand what you were saying. Your original wording did not make your point clear to me.

That last part is a very interesting point. No one serves time for the imprisonment of and innocent man either. You are correct that there is some measure of injustice within our justice system, which rewards convictions and not necessarily justice.

I'm perfectly willing to accept that you perform the moral calculus with different values than I do; but that shouldn't lead you to criticise my position as "extreme" when, in fact, it's a perfectly reasonable and pragmatic compromise between two moral outrages.

I explained very carefully why it was extreme. It involves two errors. I see you did not deal with those points at all.

If you said to me "I don't like executions and so I do not think the state should be employing them" then that would be beyond criticism. In that case we'd simply be using different moral rules. The specific arguments you used and under discussion involved factual statements combined with logic. There are errors within the facts and the logic.

No, because the moral outrage of false imprisonment is less than the moral outrage of never imprisoning anyone who deserves it.

I think you may be equivocating between imprisoning and punishing. Being fined is still a punishment... or how about simple house arrest?

It doesn't seem to me that "the outrage of a lesser sentence than is deserved is much less then the outrage of imprisonment when it is not deserved" is inconsistent with the logic you are using... unless you are going to be arbitrary.

You ended up with a process with evidentiary standards that, by definition, could never be met; and thus, you wound up with a situation in which the death penalty could never be given.

In other words, you came over to my side. What was I supposed to argue with? You surrendered.

I'm not sure what world you are living on. The evidentiary standards could very well be met and indeed had been met in real cases. Yeah, even killers asking to be killed exists.

I certainly did not outline a case where executions never could happen, even if they would be much rarer than they occur today.

And as far as surrendering is concerned, it ended where it did because I said what I did and every critic packed up their marbles and went home. I had people agreeing with my position, and I was prepared to start moving the line forward. I don't think absolute confession is necessary. That was simply a plank I threw in to make things more clear.

"Absolute practical certainty"? It's not self-evident that such a thing is possible. By definition, in fact, it would appear that if your certainty was "practical", then it could not be "absolute".

That isn't true at all. Absolute theoretical certainty would involve clear knowledge on all possible explanations. Absolute practical certainty involves clear knowledge on all plausible explanations. We can set a boundary on implausibility of explanation such that it is only possible in an absurdly theoretical world that a person is innocent.

The problem is that they may not be guilty, merely suicidal and extremely unlucky, and it's not the purpose of the state to employ the apparatus of justice and allow a murderer to go free in order to help someone commit suicide.

Again, the possibility of this happening is absurd on its face. If the evidentiary rules exclude mere circumstantial evidence, you cannot simply have an unlucky person who happens to be suicidal falling into a guilty verdict. It would require a suicidal person actually setting themselves up to be killed by the system.

That in itself would require aiding and abetting a real murder which makes them complicit in a murder anyway. And in any case, why would it be a greater moral outrage to kill a person who is so intent on killing himself he frames himself for murder (and lets a real murderer get away), than not killing a known murderer?

in fact, have succeeded only in developing explanations for why such a system cannot exist.

To explain theoretical issues, not to determine if they tied their shoe this morning or not. You are discussing a community you are not a part of and appear to not want to be a part of, so your discussion of their findings sort of falls like a lead balloon to me.

Still holding out for a perpetual motion machine, as well?

You did not show evidence of absence. In any case I am holding out for the time you are more adamant on sticking to logic, than sticking to a position. That may be just as futile.

...I do not have "absolute practical certainty" (whatever that could possibly be) that the Holocaust happened, merely a tentative conclusion that it did.

A tentative conclusion that millions were killed in concentration camps, despite photographic and eye witness accounts of its occurence, as well as remnants you can see and touch and test?

The jews aren't fossils buried in time or chemical/physical entities we cannot observe, some are still alive to tell the story. You have truly lost the line between practical and theoretical reality. That is not good.

Here is the difference between theoretical and practical certainty. If you believe there is no difference then you have no reason to criticize holocaust deniers. And our lack of evidence will only grow with time.

Honestly, as a prosecutor in post war germany you'd tell hundreds of survivors of a concentration camp, that they might possibly be wrong about whether the guard soldiers caught at the camp and on records as being a guard at the camp, killed or was responsible for killings at the camp, evidenced by bodies found at that camp?

but at least, war is symmetrical. (Or it should be.) Two armies clash with nothing but their skill at arms and the genius of their tactics, and a fair bit of luck, to determine the victor.

War is never guaranteed symmetrical, and my point was that even when one tries to keep it army against army, some innocent people get caught up and killed.

But sometimes force must be used to repel force, violence is sometimes the appropriate answer to violence. Defense, in my mind, is the only appropriate use of violence. But self-defense by the state generally isn't the rationale for the death penalty.

Ahhhhhh... now that was sweet. This is better, straightforward. I agree that defense is the only justifiable use of force by the state.

The question is then raised whether a single person can pose a threat to the state. Certainly not in the same way as another nation, as in wholesale destruction (well that is changing with tech), but certainly as a persistent threat to lives within that state. Given that in a democratic republic the state is of by and for the people, a killer is a threat to that state.

A state will kill wild animals, particularly rabid animals. Do animals pose a threat to the state? Not as much as a person, and the battle is even more uneven. Is that wrong? Are serial killers that much different than a rabid animal, such that they should not be treated in the same way?


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by crashfrog, posted 12-13-2005 1:37 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by crashfrog, posted 12-13-2005 4:11 PM Silent H has responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3984 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 21 of 166 (268851)
12-13-2005 3:13 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by macaroniandcheese
12-13-2005 2:57 PM


Re: My changed mind
our judicial system seem to be pudding heads. until no one is ever released from a wrongful sentence, i cannot stand behind execution.

I agree our judicial system is flawed. I am also for delaying capital sentences until clear and consistent rules are put in place and cases rereviewed.

That is wholly different than arguing executions cannot be part of a civilized society and carried out in a reasonable manner.

life in prison is a substantial punishment. i am one of those people not opposed to labor prisons. make them serve the society they betrayed. make them sort our garbage or something.

Even innocent people? I am just as concerned about the innocent man in a labor camp as the one in the electric chair.

but don't decide who lives and dies. that reduces you to their level.

But it doesn't reduce me to their level. A killer randomly decides who lives and dies. A state takes a person who has done such a thing and prevents them from doing so again. Everyone will die at some point. It does not make sense to allow those that do kill at will, to continue having such a chance.

How does imprisoning a person who has kidnapped someone or stolen from someone not reduce us to their level? Can you not see the difference?

I will ask my question again... have you ever witnessed a murder or a murderer in the act of murdering? If so, could you not see the difference between you stopping that person by killing them, and them having decided to kill that other person in the first place?


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by macaroniandcheese, posted 12-13-2005 2:57 PM macaroniandcheese has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by macaroniandcheese, posted 12-13-2005 3:21 PM Silent H has responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3984 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 57 of 166 (269148)
12-14-2005 9:16 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by macaroniandcheese
12-13-2005 3:21 PM


Re: My changed mind
i don't think it is necessary to kill someone to prevent them from committing a crime.

I'm not advocating it in the case of all crime, just murder. And yes that is sometimes the only way, at least the only practical way to prevent a person from commiting another murder.

capital punishment is an act of revenge. nothing more, nothing less. eye for an eye and all that bullshit

You don't like it. That's fine. But you cannot simply reassert that it is only revenge. I have given another reason and it is valid.

There really are people commited to violence and murder. Morrissey had it right when he said:

"If you think peace is a common goal
that goes to show
how little you know."


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by macaroniandcheese, posted 12-13-2005 3:21 PM macaroniandcheese has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by macaroniandcheese, posted 12-14-2005 9:29 AM Silent H has responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3984 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 59 of 166 (269166)
12-14-2005 10:08 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by crashfrog
12-13-2005 4:11 PM


Re: My changed mind
What would you think about the idea of expert juries?

I think they'd be another interesting thread topic. I cannot give a simple up/down on that idea. What I will say is this: our current justice system is flawed and we should be seriously investigating alternatives, including such things as expert juries.

To suggest then that there's a "flaw" in reasoning that we should adopt the outcome that leads to the smaller of the two outrages is simply nonsense.

Vocabulary does not make you right. I am unimpressed with terms. Indeed what you just said I was suggesting indicates you were not following my argument.

There were two critical flaws in your argument. I had them listed. First you never answered my criticism, now you just asserted they were prima fascie ridiculous. I take it that means you still cannot deal with them. If they were that easy you could hae simply dealt with them the first time.

It doesn't seem to me that it's inconsistent, either. I'm glad we agree.

That would make my claim that your position exhibited arbitrary application justified. That inherently removes your claim of prima fascie ridiculousness to at least one of my charges.

You responded to a claim that "we can never have the elimination of all doubt" with a situation of "but what if we had a situation of no doubt, plus a confession?" It's kind of a strawman, but we'll go with it. Yes, in such a situation, the death penalty could be justly administered. But such a situation, by definition, will never be present, so you've come over to my side - a practical ban on the administration of the death penalty.

That's not what I said. You are building strawmen. I most certainly believe executions can and should be done, and with proper rules would still be done. There really are murders where absolute practical certainty exists.

How do we know that the universe we live in doesn't occasionally allow for things to occur that we consider "absurd"? The boundary is arbitrary, of course; thus, absolute certainty of any kind cannot be achieved.

You are arguing against practical certainty by appealing to theoretical certainty. That is circular. I do not believe that a nation nor any individual should live according to concepts of theoretical certainty. It is absurd.

If a nation invades and we see planes dropping bombs, it does not make sense to think it is possible that the easter bunny has employed fairy wagons and is dropping treats for all the children. That is a possible theoretical absurdity, and you'd be a fool to follow it. That's something nice to mull over in the protective cover of an air raid shelter.

This is only true if you define "circumstantial" as "forgable", in which case it's circularly true. What makes you think a ban on circumstantial evidence is going to prevent forged or tampered evidence?

I just went through this in my argument. Am I to assume you are not reading my posts completely?

What you have just argued is that a person who wants to die might be able to create evidence, or have others create evidence to convict themself (its the plot of the movie ZigZag by the way). As I have already said such a move is itself complicity in a murder, they would be helping the real murderer get away, and so what the hell do I care in a practical sense if they then get nailed for that murder?

If you are trying to suggest that we cannot create rules of evidence, particularly with regard to overlapping nature and discovery, such as to preclude forgery by others to frame someone, then I think you are simply wrong. It would make cap cases harder to initiate but not impossible.

Lets give an example of the killer (I think it was in australia) who went on a shooting spree with at least a dozen separate witnesses and different cameras filming him in the act. I believe he was shot down on the scene or killed himself, but lets say he was knocked out and captured. How on earth could that practically be considered a case where evidence could have been forged against that man?

The evidence is a tradition of scientific philosophy that directly asserts that no technique of empiricism can eliminate the doubt you hope to eliminate. As a self-avowed philosopher, you should be aware of this evidence already.

As a nonphilosopher you are showing why you shouldn't be trying to pull this on me. You will please show me what body of philosophers directly assert that no technique of empiricism can eliminate practical doubt. The best you will find is an assertion of no elimination of theoretical doubt. I'm on board with that.

If you want to continue with this one, open a different thread. It will end up getting long. I can tell you right now I'll be impressed if you can make your case. That was one of my focuses within philosophy.

You really appear to be conflating science with all knowledge and that is a fatal flaw.

And just to let you know, even if all philosophers asserted such a thing that would not be evidence of absence of a thing, only evidence of absence of their discovery of such a thing. All ID theorists assert that mechanisms of certain biological phenomena cannot be explained through natural mechanisms. Evo theorists thoroughly agree that they have not, but that does not mean cannot.

For a guy who believes theoretically anything can happen, its amazing for you to accept that as criticial evidence for something.

The likelyhood is, of course, that they're not wrong about significant details of the Holocaust, but I can absolutely guarantee you that any single survivor or account is going to be in error about some aspect.

That's why my example didn't involve single survivor accounts. Why are you avoiding my example. Let me make it more specific, you are the captain in charge of a unit which has overtaken a camp. Within the camp you find dead people, dying people, and a group of guards. The dying people (who you revive) tell you these guards beat and starved and in many other ways killed the dead ones, and within camp records you have documents reporting the deaths of captives at the hands of these guards, and indeed orders to do so. Documents from other locations outside the camp verify that those guards are who they are (pictures and id numbers) as well as that those dying and dead were prisoners.

Are you seriously going to suggest that there is some plausible practical doubt about what went on here?

I mean, we could all be brains in jars, with false memories, in which case everybody is wrong about the Holocaust. Solipcism itself provides a level of doubt that you cannot eliminate.

That is theoretical, not practical. If we are all brains in jars with false memories then not only would we be wrong about the holocaust, we'd also be incapable of killing others. It would take other mechanisms. And if you want to build a causal chain of action such that a brain's decision to kill will actually result in the death of another brain, then there is no knowing whether the choice to NOT kill actually results in the deaths of the brain one intended to save as well as three other brains, and all memories adjusted so that replacement brains are not noticed.

It depends on what you consider a "serial killler." Consistent M.O.? If a cop shoots a perp in a convinience store holdup one year, and then, ten years later, shoots another perp in the same situation, did he just become a serial killer?

That is an honest question, but not pertinent to the discussion at hand. Consistent MO is clearly not enough, but that does not suggest none can be arrived at for a practical purpose.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by crashfrog, posted 12-13-2005 4:11 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by crashfrog, posted 12-14-2005 1:08 PM Silent H has responded
 Message 89 by RAZD, posted 12-14-2005 5:24 PM Silent H has not yet responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3984 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 60 of 166 (269172)
12-14-2005 10:24 AM
Reply to: Message 58 by macaroniandcheese
12-14-2005 9:29 AM


Re: My changed mind
i don't think it's the only way,

It is for some, that was my point. Unless you are planning on turning people who are bent on violence and murder into "brains in vats" and so incapable of such conduct... maybe paralyzing them... execution is about the only way.

nor do i find it an acceptable solution.

That's fine. I have no argument with anyone that does not like it and would like to do something else. That is a taste and nonarguable.

It is all the false justification around it that I am arguing with. I DO find it acceptable and in your rantings have essentially called me uncivilized, illogical, and devoid of facts. The fact of the matter is I am on the money on facts and logic.

We can still have two different opinions on what we want to do. Since it is a govt by us, our tastes will be taken into consideration.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by macaroniandcheese, posted 12-14-2005 9:29 AM macaroniandcheese has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 61 by macaroniandcheese, posted 12-14-2005 10:30 AM Silent H has responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3984 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 62 of 166 (269174)
12-14-2005 10:35 AM
Reply to: Message 52 by bobbins
12-13-2005 11:27 PM


Re: Revenge
Ahem...

I did not assume diddly squat - I just accused use of wilful misuse of numbers.

As much as stats are never definitive of causation, your accusation was completely uncalled for. Lam even suggested why such graphs should not necessarily be taken on appearance.

Indeed, I do not buy deterrence arguments for capital punishment and would not readily appeal to that graph, despite the fact that it would support that position... and I am for the death penalty!

But lets discuss some dishonesty from your side. You initially created a list of what CP could be used for and yet conveniently leave off what I had been arguing over several posts within this thread. There is another reason.

I might also add that you then went on to rip into the US's practice of capital punishment. I'm sorry but this is coming from a guy in a nation that helped the US execute tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

Or does it matter less when the colored guy getting killed is outside one's borders?

I'm pretty sick of hearing EU commentary on what the US does regarding capital punishment. First of all it is a state by state issue, not a national issue. Second blood is on the hands of pretty much the entire EU, much more blood than the few executed within the US, and the people more innocent.

Its sheer hypocrisy. We kill but we don't execute our own civilians. Bully for you.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by bobbins, posted 12-13-2005 11:27 PM bobbins has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 90 by bobbins, posted 12-14-2005 8:11 PM Silent H has responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3984 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 63 of 166 (269180)
12-14-2005 10:43 AM
Reply to: Message 61 by macaroniandcheese
12-14-2005 10:30 AM


Re: My changed mind
somehow solitary isn't good enough for you?

I wouldn't say "not good enough" since I am not asserting it should be done for punishment. It is not a practical response in my opinion.

If a person has killed and poses a real risk for killing again, then it makes no sense for a govt to store them away and devote resources to that permanent storage.

oh sure, hannibal got out, but that was a movie.

Uh... are you seriously claiming that prisoners do not escape, particularly violent criminals who then go on to kill some more? Yes hannibal was in a movie.

i am personally of the opinion that the most torturous thing of all would be an extended life devoid of stimuli and companionship, not death. death is an escape, whether you believe in more or not.

Heheheh... I already skewered the hypocrisy of this position. If indeed life imprisonment is WORSE than simply being killed, why would it make sense to argue we shouldn't execute people because some of them might be innocent?

If you really believe the statement above it seems that the more humane thing is to kill the convicted whether they are innocent of guilty. That would be the lesser punishment. Your position... not mine.

i can't believe you. sorry, i live in florida where it is govt by jeb.

Good point. I should have said its SUPPOSED to be a govt by us, and if it were then our tastes SHOULD be taken into consideration.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by macaroniandcheese, posted 12-14-2005 10:30 AM macaroniandcheese has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by macaroniandcheese, posted 12-14-2005 10:58 AM Silent H has responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3984 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 65 of 166 (269193)
12-14-2005 11:02 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by macaroniandcheese
12-14-2005 10:58 AM


Re: My changed mind
it's way more expensive to execute someone. maybe you should find me some figures. i would, but i'm completely lost as to where to look.

I'm not going to bother looking for economic figures as that is not my argument. I did not say it would be cheaper, specifically within our current system.

I said it did not make sense to store what amounts to rabid animals and devote resources to such storage. The cost involved with prosecuting a trial has nothing to do with that at all.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by macaroniandcheese, posted 12-14-2005 10:58 AM macaroniandcheese has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by macaroniandcheese, posted 12-14-2005 11:09 AM Silent H has responded

  
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