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Sunday, July 3, 2011

There are no good arguments ...

... against capital punishment. For, all arguments against it, if ever applied consistently, must make human society, and the exercise of justice, impossible. The blanket opponents of capital punishment like to pose as exemplars of a “higher morality,” but they are, in fact, merely nihilists.

William Vallicella: Farrell, "Tookie," Hannity and Colmes, and Bad Arguments

Some years ago, I offered the same argument (see here) as Vallicella does in the above linked piece. And what I found is that almost no one, including "conservatives", is willing to attend (*) to it.

(*) A similar pattern can be seen in this thread on Victor Reppert's blog; in which most comment is directed at mindless opposition to one of the few correct (if controversial) moral propositions that Sam Harris asserts. And, it's controversial precisely because almost no one is willing to understand why it is correct, regardless of whether Harris himself understands either why it is correct or how it may correctly be applied to life-as-we-live-it.

Wm.Vallicella: … So the logical level is low out there in the Land of Talk and I repeat my call for logico-philosophical umpires for the shout shows. But I suspect I am fated to remain a vox clamantis in deserto.
Dude! You’re not a “voice crying (out) in the wilderness;” you are a fool -- you demand a level of respect, bordering on the obsequious, toward you and yours that you are not willing to extend to those who may offer real criticisms of the (false) positions that you and yours may take. Oddly (*), you are more respectful toward those who offer asinine criticisms of valid/correct positions that you and yours may take.

(*) not so odd, really, once one understands the psychology of it.


Drew said...

The other argument I can't stand is the idea that we should just put everyone in prison for life, so that we can later do additional investigation, and let them out ten years down the road if they're innocent.

Ilíon said...

As we see from Europe and the more "liberal" States in the US, that position is just a temporary stop on the road to "We shouldn't punish anyone (who is guilt of a horrible crime)". Well, they do need to make space in the prisons for those who are "guilty" of transgressing political correctness.

Drew said...

Well there's that. but what I'm saying is that their idea encourages the imprisonment of innocent people. I think jurors (and judges) are more likely to take their job seriously when they know the death penalty is at stake.

Ilíon said...

That's a good point.