Re: Is the death penalty extropian?

Brian D Williams (
Fri, 27 Nov 1998 11:33:52 -0800 (PST)

From: Paul Hughes <>

>> The victim is dead, but not forgotten. It is in his/her best
>> interest, and ours, that justice is served.

>Your still implying such a magical technology because you just
>re-stated that killing the murderer is in the victims
>self-interest. I repeat, how can a dead person have
>self-interest? You have failed to demonstrate this.

I was speaking rhetorically, however every human society recognizes that it's members have inherent self-interest in not being murdered and prohibit it. Since in the case of a murder victim, the victim cannot act in that interest, the society does.

>> As I pointed out above, the debt cannot be repaid since the
>>value of the murderers life is less than that of the victim. Yet
>>justice demands he/she pay all they can.

>'Justice'?!? I could just as easily say that justice demands that
>you should die for speaking on a street corner. Certainly China
>views such penalties as justice for those who buck the Party's
>dogma. You accept as dogma that justice equals an 'eye for an
>eye'. I do not share your definition of 'Justice'. Since when is
>justice written down in stone? Why should I accept your definition
>over another? Imposing your sense of justice over others is not
>a very 'just' thing to do.

I am not China, nor do I advocate the death penalty for anything other than murder. The last time justice was written down in stone I believe was the code of Hammurabi.

>> You choose to forget the victim, I chose rationally to forget
>>the murderer.

>How have I forgotten the victim? The victim is dead, but not
>forgotten. You refuse to acknowledge that the victim is dead.
>The majority of your argument is resting on the imaginary concept
>that somehow we are helping the victim by killing their murderer.
>Are you suggesting that we are helping them in the afterlife? If
>so, what proof do you have that they live in this afterlife?

As I've already stated, since the victim was killed, it is the society that must act for them.

Since you are so opposed to the death penalty, I suggest you add a clause to your living will stating in the event of your horrible murder, you do not wish the killer to receive the death penalty.

If a member of the jury, I would honor your request.

Member,Extropy Institute