Re Is the death penalty extropian

Brian D Williams (
Wed, 25 Nov 1998 10:52:20 -0800 (PST)


>At 07:15 AM 11/24/98 -0800, someone wrote:
>"Is the Death Penalty Extropian?"

>Absolutely not! Being an initiation of force, it's inconsistent
>with the non-aggression principle. We can certainly find extropian
>means of dealing with violent offenders, means that don't entail
>our becoming murderers ourselves.

The force was initiated by the murderer, so it is not inconsistent. As stated previously, by definition the death penalty is not murder.

>Someone else quoted Webster's definition of murder as "unlawful"
>killing. I would argue that that definition is conditioned by the
>statist equations "legal=good, illegal=bad", an egregiously false
>and destructive idea: how many of us support the War on Drugs or
>other prohibitions of victimless "crimes"? And as we all know, all
>sorts of predations by government and its beneficiaries are
>perfectly legal.

>I submit that murder is more sensibly defined as "unjustified" or
>"wrongful" killing, which to me means killing for any reason other
>than in immediate defense of life.

I suppose the murderer could classify what he/she did as a "hobby." As citizens of a government we are subject to legal definitions.

>Happy Day-Before-Turkey-Day (for all you Yanks),

Thank you, best wishes to you and yours.


>At 07:15 AM 11/24/98 -0800, ChuckKuecker <> wrote:

Actually I said this...

>>Second,I feel that the death penalty is the appropriate
>>punishment for the unlawful and malicious killing of a fellow
>>human being.

>Let's discuss whether "punishment" is appropriate to begin with.
>Quick, what's the difference between punishment and revenge? I see
>no real distinction; punishment is simply more "official" sounding
>(and often cloaked in "legality" - see my earlier posting) and is
>imposed by supposed "authorities".

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.)

It is considerably more than "official" sounding. As mentioned above as citizens of a government we are subject to legal definitions.

>What civil order requires is protection, and restitution where
>possible, not revenge.

Punishment, not revenge. Punishment for which in the case of murder may result in life-forfeit.

>It gets a little trickier, of course, where restitution is not
>(yet) possible, as in the case of murder. Some compensation can
>still be provided to the bereaved. Social ostracism and other
>non-aggressive measures can help insure that a
>murderously-inclined individual has little opportunity to repeat
>the offense. In incorrigible cases, exile is a possibility, not as
>punishment but as a defensive action.

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

>The guiding principle IMO should be to meet force with the least
>force necessary. There are all sorts of ways we can avoid becoming
>the sort of people we oppose.

I do not agree that taking these measures ever makes us even remotely like them.

>Surely we Extropians ought to be in the vanguard of the
>progress toward true civilization.

We are in complete agreement here. I too advocate taking appropriate measures early in life to try to prevent these things. But insist also in proper action when the unfortunate occurs.

Member,Extropy Institute