Arguments for and Against Capital Punishment

Topics: Murder, Human rights, Morality Pages: 1 (294 words) Published: March 11, 2012
Capital Punishment
What are some of the arguments used for and against capital punishment? Some of the basic arguments for and against the taking of human life in certain instances are suicide and war. Most religious arguments in taking of human life believe it is Gods responsibly not our place in deciding when a life should be taken. How does the ethical debate on capital punishment touch on the issues of the value of human life, human rights, and human dignity? Only when an innocent life has been taken.

If you had a loved one who was murdered, would you want to have the option of capital punishment for the convicted murderer? Why or why not? In his crucifixion narrative, Luke is careful to note just deserts. The one thief responds in defense of Jesus: “We are receiving the due reward for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong” (Luke 23:41). Legal sanctions exist for non-Christians and Christians alike, ranging from speeding to strangulation. Salvific redemption in no way eradicates the consequences of our actions, whether they are pre- or post-conversion. Frequently misunderstood by Christians is the “eye-for-an-eye” (Exod. 21:24) maxim to which Jesus alluded (Matt. 5:38). As understood in Jesus’ day, it meant restitution, not retaliation. If one blinds another’s eye, one compensates the victim — in money — for the value of the eye. The Talmud says repeatedly, “Eye for eye means pecuniary compensation,” and Jewish courts apparently never read physical punishment into the lex talion.    A more thorough discussion of the ethics of capital punishment can be found in J. D. Charles, “Outrageous Atrocity or Moral Imperative: The Ethics of Capital Punishment,” Studies in Christian Ethics, 6, 2 (1993): 1-14.
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