Re: Is the death penalty Extropian?
Tue, 24 Nov 1998 10:27:28 -0800 (PST)

Max M [] wrote:
>You can argue that a violent criminal is not that, and I would have to
>agree. But wouldn't it be better to lock up the criminal until he can be
>rewired with nanotech drugs or something else?

Now you just have to explain why "rewiring" criminals is somehow better than killing them. As I see it, there are just certain kinds of people you can't share a planet with, and you have to either exile them, kill them mentally with this kind of reprogramming, or kill them physically. I don't see why killing them mentally is an improvement over killing them physically, and personally I'd argue for precisely the opposite.

Your argument seems to be that you can reprogram them into a 'useful member of society' and that society will benefit from that. I find the idea of a legal system deciding what mental software people should run utterly abhorrent, regardless of any economic arguments. Given a choice between physical death or involuntary reprogramming into slave labor, I'll take death, thanks.

Interestingly, all the fictional treatments of this I can think of (1984, Clockwork Orange, Babylon 5) seem to agree with that.