Re: "Is the death penalty extropian?"

Brian D Williams (
Wed, 25 Nov 1998 13:52:15 -0800 (PST)


>Brian writes, in response to my characterizing capital punishment
>as initiation of force inconsistent with the non-aggression

>> The force was initiated by the murderer, so it is not

>Force was initiated by the murderer, but since the death penalty
>is not an immediate and direct response to the murderer's force,
>it does not qualify as defensive counterforce. Any harm inflicted
>after the fact is a *separate* application of force, and hence an
>initiation. Or is there some flaw in my reasoning here?

The flaw lies in the fact that I just re-read "the extropian Principals v2.6, and there is no non-aggression principal.

"have some fire Strawman"

>> As citizens of a government we are subject to legal definitions.

>I disagree. Most of us haven't chosen to be "citizens" in the
>first place, we are simply claimed as such by the nearest
>gangsters calling themselves "government". "Subject to legal
>definitions" is somewhat ambiguous, but if you mean we're somehow
>("morally" or otherwise) bound to define things the way the
>powers-that-be tell us to, I'd like to know why.

You don't have to agree on the definition, but if you violate it, you will be punished. In a world where private agreements handle these matters you can be assured my contract will call for the death of anyone who murders me.

>In response to my objection that there's no substantive difference
>between punishment and revenge:

>> Revenge: to inflict harm in return for an injury etc.
>> Punishment: To undergo pain, loss etc as for a crime.
>> (source: Websters New World dictionary.)

>OK, I ask again: wherein is the difference? Those definitions look
>to me like alternative ways of saying the same thing.

Punishment requires being convicted of a crime.

> No compensation or restitution is adequate or possible. Only
> justice in the form of equivalent punishment.

>Here you're simply assuming that justice equals punishment, or at
>least implying, without support, that punishment is just. But
>isn't justice in essence simply fairness? You need to _argue_ for
>the fairness of punishment, not just assert it in passing, and, as
>a first step, you should distinguish it from mere revenge, which
>you have so far failed to do.

Semantic's. The only fair punishment for the illegal malicious taking of another persons life is to forfeit yours.

I argue it is fair because it is the only thing a murderer has of equivalent value to what he/she took.

If an individual does it it is revenge.

If you are tried lawfully, fairly, and convicted. It will be just, fair, punishment.

Member,Extropy Institute