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The death penalty and Christianity - how does that work?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by nnmartin, May 3, 2012.

  1. Poisonshady313

    Poisonshady313 Well-Known Member

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    Nobody is saying that the flaws in the system are trivial. I'm saying that the loss of innocent life is greater when you fail to execute murderers.

    In an imperfect system where you cannot guarantee that bad things won't happen to innocent people, I prefer to do less harm.

    The 11 innocent victims of Kenneth McDuff were no less innocent than the individuals on your list of wrongly executed people.

    And in the past 35 years, I believe more innocent people have been murdered by convicted murderers who should have been in jail or dead than have been wrongly executed.
     
  2. tumbleweed41

    tumbleweed41 Resident Liberal Hippie

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    So it's a numbers game.

    It is OK for the State to murder a few innocent, if the odds are we get more of the guilty.
     
  3. Poisonshady313

    Poisonshady313 Well-Known Member

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    If the state releases a murderer, and that murderer murders again, I hold the state responsible.

    If the state had to make a mistake, I would prefer it affect less people, not more.
     
  4. Marble

    Marble Rolling Marble

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    I'm not a Christian, but I never understood why in the USA Christians advocate death penalty (and fight against abortion at the same time, but that is stuff for another thread).
     
  5. Poisonshady313

    Poisonshady313 Well-Known Member

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    Without starting a new thread, and without myself being a Christian, I can offer a quick simple answer.

    It's not purely about death vs not death.

    A fetus did nothing wrong and ought not to be killed.
    An individual guilty of a capital crime as earned himself capital punishment.

    Other posters in this thread point out a good point... how can Christians point to a verse in Genesis if they believe they are under the 'New Testament'?

    A question we have yet to see addressed by a Christian in this thread.
     
  6. InChrist

    InChrist Free4ever

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    Christians point to Genesis because the whole counsel of God, the OT and the NT, give insight into God's perspective on various issues. Concerning personal salvation and living a godly life Christians are under Christ as revealed in the NT, but the NT also states that God has instituted human governments which are supposed to protect society from evildoers (Romans 13:1-4).
     
  7. nnmartin

    nnmartin Well-Known Member

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    But is there is biblical reference in the New Testament that supports this idea?
     
  8. nnmartin

    nnmartin Well-Known Member

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    do you mean like Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot?
     
  9. Poisonshady313

    Poisonshady313 Well-Known Member

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    Don't know, don't care. I'm not a Christian and I don't pretend to be.

    Given that the OP starts out asking about a passage that is in the Torah, I figured it would only be appropriate that Jews participate in this discussion, even if the thread title only mentions Christianity.
     
  10. F0uad

    F0uad Well-Known Member

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    I think the Death penalty should be legalized in my own country there have been to many people who took there judgement in there own hands killing/mascaraing whole family's because of one's action.

    Anyway i am personally against secularism so there are allot of things i disagree with, i prefer a Sharia-law (like in the caliphates) the Jewish law is a little to hard for me though but i would prefer it above secularism.
     
  11. Marble

    Marble Rolling Marble

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    Can one ever be absolutely sure of a person's quilt?
    Here on earth, all justice is man made: Sentence someone to prison for life and he turns out to be innocent later you can release him - but what if he was killed?
     
  12. nnmartin

    nnmartin Well-Known Member

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    ok, for sure - all are welcome to join in my merry thread:)
     
  13. Poisonshady313

    Poisonshady313 Well-Known Member

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    That should be the standard before imposing ANY sentence, not just death. If "beyond a reasonable doubt" is the standard... then that's the standard. And the appeals process makes sure that standard is upheld.

    You know, a person who turns out to be innocent can die serving a life sentence. Maybe murdered by a fellow inmate. Maybe they commit suicide because they can't handle being falsely imprisoned. Maybe they get substandard medical treatment, and die of something they would have lived through if they weren't in prison. Maybe they're truly innocent, but they are never exonerated, so they serve a full life sentence and die in prison.

    Yet we still lock people up and we still sentence them to life sentences.

    Are those people any less innocent than a wrongly executed person?
    Did the lack of a death penalty save their lives?
    Is the state any less culpable for their deaths than wrongful executions?

    When an innocent person dies in prison, do you find it morally acceptable because you can say "at least they could have been exonerated"? Do you think that means anything to the innocent yet deceased individual? Or his/her family?
     
  14. Poisonshady313

    Poisonshady313 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. :)
     
  15. kai

    kai ragamuffin

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    Theology?

    People tend to bend, or "coffee shop menu", theology to suit themselves.
     
  16. nnmartin

    nnmartin Well-Known Member

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    of course then , this leads to the much wider question of 'why have a theology at all if we can bend it to fit our needs?'

    earlier I mentioned Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot - should we have followed them because God had supposedly put them in power - that would seem unlikely.

    but we could easily mention other leaders that people would have a harder time criticising.

    How about JFK or Lyndon-Johnson - didn't they bomb and kill many innocent Vietnamese , or why did God put Ho Chi Minh in charge anyway?

    How about George Bush, Thatcher, Lenin, Gandhi, Churchill etc..?

    didn't they also make orders that killed a few in their times as well.......
     
  17. kai

    kai ragamuffin

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    Some people use any means at hand to gain the upper hand, and if picking a few quotes from some scripture here and there helps them ,then that's what they will do. And going to church or claiming to be a Christian doesn't necessarily make you act like one. ( however a Christian is supposed to act?)
     
  18. nnmartin

    nnmartin Well-Known Member

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    yes, for sure;)



    and where are the Christian apologists on this thread?

    notably quiet as usual....
     
  19. Vultar

    Vultar Active Member

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    It is a simple matter of "If good kills evil then good becomes evil" and evil wins.
    Only when evil kills evil does good win.

    So just let the evil eliminate the evil.
     
  20. waitasec

    waitasec Veteran Member

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    but then they conveniently ignore
    deuteronomy 21:18-21

    18 If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” 21 Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.

    strange...:sarcastic
     
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