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The Death Penalty

Crime Death Penalty

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#21 Bouree57

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 06:13 PM

Gee, 17 posts by the time I got here. But the good news is my job is pretty much already done.

1) The abortion smoke screen. Equating mass murder or serial murders to a woman's right to control of her own body.

2) The "our justice system is flawed therefore we might be executing innocent people" excuse. This is one is actually my favorite.

3) The death penalty is overused and abused.

4) We can't ever know 100% that someone killed another person.

5) People who murder are insane and therefore should not be executed.

I've responded to the abortion smoke screen in another thread so I won't repeat myself.

2)

emsparks, on 10-12-04, 9:38am, said:

What purpose is served by the execution of the innocent? What is an expectable error rate? We talk about zero tolerance in Drug cases yet we can tolerate the death for whatever reason of innocent defendants at the hands of state executioners?
You are blaming a flawed judgical system on the punishment. But your response is not to argue for fixing a system that everyone complains about. It's not to complain about uncivic minded individuals who moan and groan about doing jury duty. No, all we have to do is get rid of the punishment and then we'll be okay.  

Why is it okay for innocent people to be locked up in a cage for the rest of their natural lives? Why is it okay for an innocent man or woman to miss watching their children grow up? Why is it okay for those children to not have Mommy or Daddy there to raise them? Innocent people lose parts of their life that they will never get back, but that's not anyone's focus ever.

If our judgical system is flawed (and I believe that it is), changing the punishment is not the answer. The answer is to fix the problem at it's core. I support the Barry Schecks of the world who work toward identifying those innocent people on death row. But he shouldn't be stopping there.

3) The death penalty is overused and abused. No one brought this up but I'll address it anyway.

Yes it is overused and abused. The death penalty is an extreme punishment and should only be used in extreme situations. More disturbing is the number of minorities that on death row as opposed to caucasians. But that goes back to our flawed judgical system.

4)

Nikcara, on 10-12-04, 01:02 PM, said:

 
I disagree with the dealth penalty. If we were 100% able to absolutely know that a person was guilty, my response would still be "maybe". I can see the case for killing serial rapists, child molesters, or murderers, but really for most of those cases we simply aren't sure that we finally got the right guy. Too many times it's become 'well, we got someone and that will just have to do'
It is possible to know that someone 100% murdered another person and not just because of eyewitness accounts. Technology is making that more and more possible every day. It won't happen with every murder, but then every murder isn't or shouldn't be eligible for the death penalty.

5)

GoldenCoal, on 10-12-04, 04:09 PM, said:

If someone murders another person, normally they should feel remorse at what they have done, and thus some decency in them, so I could not advocate killing them.
If someone kills another person, and doesn't feel remorse, that is a psycological illness and should be treated, confined to a mental hospital. Whether they should go free or go to jail afterwards I don't know.
Sorry but that just isn't the case. Insanity has a legal definition and not feeling remorse isn't part of that definition. There is no medical proof that a lack of remorse equates to insanity. It has more to do with the ability to appreciate whether your crime is illegal.

Serial killers may never feel remorse but they certainly know that what they are doing is illegal. Timothy McVeigh knew what he was doing as well. The children were nothing more than collateral damage to him. He was a cold heart inhumane monster, but very much sane.

And the winner is:

Steven_Q, on 10-12-04, 12:34 PM, said:

It isn't enough that you point at someone's crime and say 'because X did Y he deserves to die' without examining the underlying social construct that makes it okay for goverments to legally murder people.
The only agrument against the death penalty is the punishment itself. The rest is just a smoke screen. Why do we feel we have the right to terminate someone's life based on errant behavior? I do feel that at this time we have no better choice for many reasons and I would love to spent the next hour discussing this but RL is in my way right now and I'll have to come back.

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Edited by Bouree57, 12 October 2004 - 06:15 PM.

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#22 GoldenCoal

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 06:26 PM

Quote

Sorry but that just isn't the case. Insanity has a legal definition and not feeling remorse isn't part of that definition.
  And thus the reason I did not use the word "insanity."

#23 Rhys

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 07:52 PM

I can't agree that the flawed judicial system isn't a valid argument against capital punishment.  One innocent person executed is too many.  No, it's not right that innocent people are locked up, but at least then, you can release them, and maybe even provide some compensation to help them get re-established.

On the other hand, the judicial system should be improved as much as we can, even without capital punishment.


I don't think I can support capital punishment - that's part of it, but not all of it.  I do support a legitimate government's right to use it, but I wouldn't choose it.

I think part of it comes down to what you think the justice system should accomplish.  I don't want revenge.  What I'd really like is for the criminals to be rehabilitated into productive members of society, with no chance of re-offending, and truly wanting to "make up for" their crime (as much as possible).  Unfortunately, there's no sure-fire way to make this happen.  (Incidentally, watch the B5 episode "Passing through Gethsemane"...)


What I'm really opposed to is "country-club prisons"...


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#24 Mary Rose

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 08:31 PM

I'm for the death penalty.  It's justified in my eyes because we have the right to protect outrselves from criminals by whatever means necessary.

I'm curious.  For those who are against it, if a friend or family member was murdered and they caught the murderer would you still be against it?
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#25 Echo

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 08:56 PM

While I have to agree with several of your [Bouree's] "off-topics", there are a few I'd have to disagree with.

1) Agree.  :D I agree, totally off topic. Abortion does not have any place in this discussion.

2) Disagree.  :angry: I'll be responding to 2 and 4 simultaneously here, because I see the two as very closely related, even possibly the same point.

We are human beings. We are not omniscient. As such, the legal system *cannot* prove 100% that a person committed a crime. Since we first started with the idea of a legal system, we've argued that "using modern techniques, we can be almost certain that the judgement is correct". Despite this, new technologies keep getting developed that disprove previous testemony. Why should our current modern tech be any different? I'm sure something new and more accurate will come along eventually, which could well disprove current testimony.

Even so, with some of the best equipment available, we may be able to get as close as 99.9% certain, but there must always be some small measure of doubt. That is not necessarily a flaw in the justice system, that is a flaw in our nature. This natural flaw is aggravated by the justice system though, meaning that it is not only possible, but probably that an innocent person *could* be sentenced to death.

Clean up the legal system all you want, it still can't be perfect. And killing someone is an awfully permanant way of dealing with the situation. That is why it is a better option "for innocent people to be locked up in a cage for the rest of their natural lives". While they're still alive and in prison, there is still the option of freeing them should their innocence be proved, and providing reparations as Rhys pointed out. If they have family, they can still have regular contact with one another. The difference here is that innocent people may lose *part* of their lives that they never get back, but under capital punishment they would lose *all* of their lives.

3) Agree.  :D While this certainly doesn't help to make the case *for* capital punishment, as you said, this relates more to the method of sentencing than the sentence itself.

4) Disagree.  :angry: I tend to see this as being directly related to point two, so look there for my reasoning.

5) Unsure.  :eh: The term 'insane', as you pointed out, is a legally defined term and can be used in court as a mitigating factor. That said, a large proportion of people on death row do suffer from a mental illness that may not be legally classed as 'insanity' in a courtroom, but which played a significant part in the crime and subsequent trial(s). (cite) In your Timothy McVeigh example, I believe you just described sociopathy, a condition not legally considered insane, but still a well recognised mental illness. (cite) So I'll have to go on 'unsure' as to whether this is relevant to the discussion or not.

I'll close by pointing out that, coming from a country that outlawed capital punishment around the same time I was born, with the last actual execution taking place about 17 years before that, I have always found the idea that America, a country I saw as being a world leader in so many things, supported and actively used capital punishment, to be quite distressing. Those are, of course, my personal feelings, and my personal feelings aren't evidence either for or against a case. Still, I felt like putting them out there anyway. ;)

(post script - Mary Rose: While that is hard to say, having never been in the situation, I would have to say yes, I would still be against it. There are only a few things I can imagine would cause me worse guilt than knowing that in response to the death of a loved one, another person had been killed in order to make me feel "safe". If I compromised my fundamental beliefs as to what is morally right and wrong for the sake of revenge, I have to think that I would hate myself utterly for it.)

#26 Mary Rose

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 08:59 PM

Thank you, Echo.  I appreciate your answer to my question.
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#27 GoldenCoal

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 09:08 PM

In response to Mary Rose, I do not know. Though I don't think that my feelings ought to be a reason for either supporting nor denying the death penalty. Emotion is not morality. However, I try to determine morals by being somewhat detached from what I feel, so while my intial reaction could be "That person should die," I'm pretty sure that I would go back to not thinking there is a proper use of the death penalty. But again, you never know how something is going to effect you until it happens.

#28 Gefiltefishmon

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 11:17 PM

Maryrose

Very much like the above - yeah, if a family member were murdered, I would not support the death penalty for the murderer.

My spiritual beliefs do not allow me the ability to seek revenge.
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#29 Godeskian

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 01:08 AM

Mary Rose, on Oct 13 2004, 02:31 AM, said:

I'm curious.  For those who are against it, if a friend or family member was murdered and they caught the murderer would you still be against it?

Without ever actually having been placed in that position my answer is yes. I would still be against the death penalty. That doesn't mean that I am against punishment. As a humanist I cannot support the pre-meditated murder of anyone.

Edited by Steven_Q, 13 October 2004 - 01:10 AM.

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#30 Bouree57

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 03:10 AM

Echo, on Oct 12 2004, 08:56 PM, said:

2) Disagree.  :angry: I'll be responding to 2 and 4 simultaneously here, because I see the two as very closely related, even possibly the same point.

We are human beings. We are not omniscient. As such, the legal system *cannot* prove 100% that a person committed a crime. Since we first started with the idea of a legal system, we've argued that "using modern techniques, we can be almost certain that the judgement is correct". Despite this, new technologies keep getting developed that disprove previous testemony. Why should our current modern tech be any different? I'm sure something new and more accurate will come along eventually, which could well disprove current testimony.
Actually the legal system has been very reluctant to accept new technologies. But we can prove 100% on some cases (not every case). John Wayne Gacy had 30 bodies buried under his house and while he never confessed, DNA evidence linked him to each and every one. So can you honestly state that there is any doubt (however microscopic) that he killed those boys? There is and always will be more than technology at work here. It's an aid to investigations but logic and reason are tools as well.

Even so, this is a smoke screen because there is no cause and effect. Take away the death penalty and the problems still exist. The problems may influence your reasons both pro and con but they don't address the nature or the real issue of the death penalty.

Frankly I find this excuse more disturbing than the others. People get pretty worked up over an innocent person dying on death row, but innocent people can get murdered in prison as well. Prison isn't a nice place to be, nor are the people that reside there.

But because the innocent person isn't on death row many just assume that whatever happens is easily overcome with a few bucks in the pocket and pat on the back. Relationships can always resume in some form but what was lost can never be regained and can't be replaced. But no one really gives them a second thought. Yet this is the first the excuse that people run to when the death penalty comes up. The problems with our legal system go untouched or ignored.

Quote

5) Unsure.  :eh: The term 'insane', as you pointed out, is a legally defined term and can be used in court as a mitigating factor. That said, a large proportion of people on death row do suffer from a mental illness that may not be legally classed as 'insanity' in a courtroom, but which played a significant part in the crime and subsequent trial(s).
In your Timothy McVeigh example, I believe you just described sociopathy, a condition not legally considered insane, but still a well recognised mental illness.
Different states have different standards for what constitutes insanity but none that I know consider remorse a factor. If a person knows what they are doing is wrong, they are not insane. Personality disorders do not mean that they can't appreciate the gravity of their actions.

But even this is a smoke screen because insane or not, if a person commits a crime they will face some form of punishment/confinement. The punishment isn't the cause for an insane person's verdict. So again, there is no cause and effect there. Without the punishment, the problems still exist. I don't doubt that it influences your opinions though.

To answer Mary Rose's question, it depends. It depends on the nature of the crime committed. If a serial killer murdered my loved one, or if a mass murderer murdered my loved one, I'd want the death penalty.

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#31 Bouree57

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 04:07 AM

Steven_Q, on Oct 12 2004, 12:34 PM, said:

It isn't enough that you point at someone's crime and say 'because X did Y he deserves to die' without examining the underlying social construct that makes it okay for goverments to legally murder people.
The government has an obligation to protect its citizens. How do you protect citizens from those individuals that constitute a continuing threat? Furthermore what is society's obligation to those individuals whose behavior continuely causes harm to its citizens?

For me, it comes down to personal responsibility. I'm responsible for my actions and the harm I cause others. When I break the law, I should expect to pay the piper. So the law states that murder can be punished by death and therefore those of us who would never murder anyone anyway take that punishment seriously.

But there are those that don't consider the law when they act. They don't consider the hurt that their actions cause. They don't feel any personal responsibility for their actions. For some, there is no recourse beyond the death penalty that doesn't further burden society. . . today. Because from my point of view, society has no obligations to those individuals whose behavior continuely constitutes a threat. If we were talking about a nation who threatened us, we'd go to war and remove that threat as we have in the past.

Bottomline, we can't rehabilitate serial killers. I doubt we could convince terrorists to understand the error of their ways either. These individuals will pose a threat for as long as they live and currently the only way to remove that threat is the death penalty.

I'm a big fan of B5's death of personality concept. I think that would be a perfect solution. While it would preserve life, I think that the questions/concerns would still be the same and I think it should be. Unfortunately we aren't there yet.

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#32 Echo

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 04:22 AM

Bouree57, on Oct 13 2004, 06:10 PM, said:

Actually the legal system has been very reluctant to accept new technologies. But we can prove 100% on some cases (not every case). John Wayne Gacy had 30 bodies buried under his house and while he never confessed, DNA evidence linked him to each and every one. So can you honestly state that there is any doubt (however microscopic) that he killed those boys? There is and always will be more than technology at work here. It's an aid to investigations but logic and reason are tools as well.
In my mind? No, there is no doubt.

In reality, we can't be sure. Let's say that, before DNA testing evidence, a relatively new technology in historical and legal terms, a person was found with bodies under his/her house. The people of the time would be quite justified in saying that they were 100% certain that the owner of the house had perpetrated the crime, despite the lack of DNA evidence.

Given that we now have DNA evidence to further quash doubt, we could say that if we have no DNA proof, there may have other ways that the bodies could have been under a person's house. Only with DNA testing could we be 100% certain.

What we qualify as 100% certainty today is not necessarily what we will qualify as 100% certainty in 30 years time. That was the point I was trying to get across, although I may have confused the issue somewhat.

The reference to technology I made was in response to your statement that "Technology is making that [100% certainty] more and more possible every day."

Despite that very long winded discussion, I still haven't entirely addressed the issue, which was:

Bouree57, on Oct 13 2004, 06:10 PM, said:

Even so, this is a smoke screen because there is no cause and effect. Take away the death penalty and the problems still exist. The problems may influence your reasons both pro and con but they don't address the nature or the real issue of the death penalty.
In some respects this is true, and I'll acquiese to you that the quality of the legal system does not directly cause capital punishment to be wrong. The problem with the death penalty is actually its permanency, as opposed to the (potentially and partially) reversable nature of long term imprisonment. As such, I'd recommend an "agree to disagree" on the above (long-winded) topic. I would argue the generalised concept that, "Ignoring the efficiency or lack thereof in a legal system, it is possible for an innocent to be convicted of a crime that could be punishable with death".

Given that statement, the discussion turns to the more relevant argument about the permanent nature of the death penalty, something I'm certain that someone has already responded to.

Bouree57, on Oct 13 2004, 06:10 PM, said:

Frankly I find this excuse more disturbing than the others. People get pretty worked up over an innocent person dying on death row, but innocent people can get murdered in prison as well. Prison isn't a nice place to be, nor are the people that reside there.
I'd actually have to accuse this of being a "smoke screen" by your definitions. The state of the prison system is, according to your "remove the effect, test for the cause" litmus test, similarly irrelevant to the discussion. Given a "perfect" prison system, would your point still hold? (Note that I am not implying a country club prison system, but some sort of fantastical utopian prison system where the flaws of the existing system no longer exist. Something akin to the fantastical utopian legal system that would not convict innocents. ;))

Bouree57, on Oct 13 2004, 06:10 PM, said:

But because the innocent person isn't on death row many just assume that whatever happens is easily overcome with a few bucks in the pocket and pat on the back. Relationships can always resume in some form but what was lost can never be regained and can't be replaced. But no one really gives them a second thought. Yet this is the first the excuse that people run to when the death penalty comes up. The problems with our legal system go untouched or ignored.
Not necessarily true, but I certainly understand the argument. It does seem flippant to say that "if they're in prison, then we can fix it up if we stuff up".

If the legal system was able to convict with absolute certainty, or at least to a degree required to sentence a person to death, then we can assume that the person convicted will never need to be released on the grounds of a mistake. In this respect, death penalty or life imprisonment makes very little difference. However, if we accept the statement I made earlier, that "it is possible for an innocent to be convicted of a crime that could be punishable with death", then there is a whole world of difference. Some degree of reversability, no matter how incomplete, is still an improvement on the zero reversability of death.

Bouree57, on Oct 13 2004, 06:10 PM, said:

Different states have different standards for what constitutes insanity ... gravity of their actions.
Like I said, at this point I'm still unsure as to whether or not mental illness is a consideration. I was hoping to make clear the distinction between 'insanity', which would excuse a convictee of the death penalty and redirect them to a mental-health facility, and 'mental illness', which is not cause to avoid the death penalty, but may have been a contributing (not overruling, just contributing) factor to the crime committed.

The discussion as to whether it's relevant is one I'm somewhat undecided on. I would agree that it was irrelevant except for the very concerning statistics regarding the proportion of mentally ill to mentally well people on death row.

Echo

Edited by Echo, 13 October 2004 - 04:27 AM.


#33 Godeskian

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 04:29 AM

Quote

The government has an obligation to protect its citizens. How do you protect citizens from those individuals that constitute a continuing threat? Furthermore what is society's obligation to those individuals whose behavior continuely causes harm to its citizens?

Interesting questions. If you don't mind, I'll answer them in order.

Quote

For me, it comes down to personal responsibility. I'm responsible for my actions and the harm I cause others. When I break the law, I should expect to pay the piper.

I agree with you up to this point, actions have consequences. Where I disagree with you is that any law which mandates the death of yet more people is a just one. You've said you don't want to discuss non-relevant issues, and i'd say placing a justification behind a law is not a non-relevant issue, but at the very heart of it. I consider any death except by natural causes to be a problem, and I don't much care who commits the crime. For me, there is no difference between a man who throws a switch in an execution chamber, and a man who buys a gun and after planning how and when, shoots someone. Both are committing pre-meditated murder, the only difference between the two is that the US legally sanctions one, and condems another.

The only way we can have a decent discussion on this topic is if you don't dismiss debates about the validity of the laws as being a smoskescreen.

Quote

Because from my point of view, society has no obligations to those individuals whose behavior continuely constitutes a threat. If we were talking about a nation who threatened us, we'd go to war and remove that threat as we have in the past.

Setting aside your shift into the US's foreign policy, as it's not relevant to the discussion on the death penalty. I personally feel that any society that considers itself civilised has to find a better way to deal with it's malcontents and problems than by quietly murdering them and then pretending that it solves the problem. You may see the judicial murder of a criminal as an ending to the situation, but it really isn't. No one is an island, and the direct effects of such an event may affect the guilty parties families (who may well be innocent themselves)

Quote

Bottomline, we can't rehabilitate serial killers. I doubt we could convince terrorists to understand the error of their ways either. These individuals will pose a threat for as long as they live and currently the only way to remove that threat is the death penalty.

Or prison. I've noticed a number of people make reference to the fact that prisoners may escape as if this is such an every day occurance. Prison breakouts are not common, they are in fact, quite rare. and on the balance, a guilty man in prison can be put to a practical use as punishment for his crime, in a way that does benefit society. Hard labor, menial production work, things of that nature that neither impart a great chance to escape (assuming the guards take their duty seriously) nor stops them from being productive, if unwilling members of society.

And before you ask if I am willing to pay the price of that, I already do. I support every prison, every prison guard, every judge and jury with my tax money, and am content to do so.

Quote

I'm a big fan of B5's death of personality concept. I think that would be a perfect solution. While it would preserve life, I think that the questions/concerns would still be the same and I think it should be. Unfortunately we aren't there yet.

Issues of intentional abuse of such a system notwithstanding, I agree that from my perspective it would present a decent solution.

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#34 G1223

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 05:04 AM

True we could find a civilized way of dealing with a man who rapes a 10 yr old child. Surgically alter him so that violent behavior and be prevented.   That or drugs in such dosage as to prevent violent behavior.

Now the downsides are the person will be lobotized either drugs or by surgury. Meaning he will not able to interact with the world in reasonable manner. My brother with his mental problems takes drugs  that over a long period of time have effected his health.  And not in a good way. Yes he is not hearing voices anymore but he is looking at degiestive problems  or an ulcer.
Which in my brother's case will mean he's dosages will change and thet could mean a less effective substance will be used. Which means his condition will come back.  Same will happen with people who are on continued dosages of other mood controlling anti-Pyschotic medications.

The drugs used do have harmful effects on the subject in the long term so drugging killers is not going to work.

The surgury works but that is considered inhuiman.

So we lock him up. Hoping he will not get loose and commit more murders. Or we put him to death. Which means he definatly cannot commit more murders.


Now remember we are only talking about first degree murder which in the US is one of a few crimes that has the death penalty connected to it.
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#35 Chakotay

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 08:11 AM

prolog, on Oct 12 2004, 10:41 PM, said:

Gefiltefishmon, on Oct 12 2004, 09:13 PM, said:

As I stated in that other thread - The organized, sanctioned killing of anyone by the government is wrong.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Including war?  Is war always wrong?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



You can put me down as a concientious objector right now. Sorry, but I won't take another human life for whatever reason. I'll go onto the battlefield with a stretcher and a medical kit and try and save lives at the risk of my own, but I won't hold a gun and shoot, or press a button and launch a missile. No way.

As for whether war is always wrong? That's what politicians are for.  But killing is always wrong for me.
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#36 Godeskian

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 08:14 AM

pretty much what Chakotay said.

#37 Gefiltefishmon

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 04:53 PM

Ditto what Chakotay said.

Having been there and done that - I would never, ever do that again.

Until you've actually seen what happens to a human being when certain types of munitions hit them, I don't see how anyone could enjoy war. I've had to clean human remains out of tank treads, and scrape blood off of my boots. I will never intentionally kill another living human.
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#38 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 05:38 PM

Gefiltefishmon, on Oct 12 2004, 04:13 PM, said:

As I stated in that other thread - The organized, sanctioned killing of anyone by the government is wrong.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


So the USA should NOT send it's troops to war...ever? Even if invaded by a forgein army? Boy, Al-Queda would love that, now wouldn't they? So would any hostile forgein government for that matter.
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Looks like the Liberal Elite of Exisle have finally managed to silence the last remaining Conservative voice on the board.

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#39 G1223

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 06:29 PM

In this war you speak of.  A man is bleeding out and as you tend to him a enemy soldier rushes you with a knife. aArilfe lays near by you can use it to kill your attacker or you can allow the enemy solider to kill you and the wounded man you are tending to.


No one enjoys war but sometimes all talking gets is a person who makes you give up  your allies territory we saw that with Munich. Hitler had no more territorial demands. Then he wanted the danzig corridor.

There is a reason when a line is drawn in the sand. You either stand to it or you let the folks who you are opposed to walk all over you.
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#40 Norville

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 08:42 PM

Quote

Is war always wrong?

That depends upon whom you ask. Some religions would say yes (while others bend over backwards to excuse everything as "just war"). Some people would say to people of those religions that they've been "de-balled" and "feminized" for thinking that way. I know whose company I'd prefer. (Hint: not the people who use "feminized" as a weapon.)

Yes, I understand why war happens. I realize it's probably inevitable, human nature. But I always thought that part of the purpose of life was to work to improve human nature. Weird, I know. *shrug*

Chakotay said:

I'll go onto the battlefield with a stretcher and a medical kit and try and save lives at the risk of my own, but I won't hold a gun and shoot, or press a button and launch a missile. No way.

I'm a strange combination of pacifist and someone who really did think about serving my country in the military, someone who was raised to respect life but whose temper was vile enough to want to kill others. But I think I would've ended up as, say, an ambulance driver, so I wouldn't be killing. (I always respected the Doctor in "Doctor Who" in moments such as his picking up a gun, a companion laughing "You'd never use it!", and his agreeing "True, but he {their adversary} doesn't know that.")
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Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
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