Re: Is the Death Penalty Extropian?

Paul Hughes (
Wed, 25 Nov 1998 19:23:48 -0800

Michael Lorrey wrote:

> Naturally we want as many extropic individuals living and as few entropic
> individuals living. Any measure which improves the gene pool to this end is
> useful.

If I didn't know better, I'd say you just summed up the central party line for the Nazi Party, but I know you probably didn't mean it that way. However, that is the trick isn't it - semantics. Bottom line, the means do not justify the ends. Committing entropic acts to increase extropy could be rationalized for the majority of atrocities committed throughout history. Bottom line, killing people (no matter how 'just') is not extropian; as you admitted - it is an entropic act.

> I doubt very much that there were absolutely no warning signs. That parents,
> neighbors and teachers chose to ignore such signs is not the childs fault.

And how often do we hear that? Just about every time somebody snaps and kills someone. "Gosh, he was so nice, I never suspected he had it in him." are the typical responses from friends and neighbors.

> So you are not talking from a view point of benefitting the victim or the
> criminal, but your own desire to get inside the head of the perpetrator.
> Thats about as scientific and extropic as a concentration camp doctor. Nor is
> using one anecdote a very scientific sampling from which to reach conclusions.

I'm arguing more from a 'Utilitarian' view rather than my own. Utilitarianism concerns itself with the greatest good for the greatest number. It can be postulated that a lot more good can come from understanding the underlying causes of murder, by studying the murders instead of killing them. But since your advocating that we kill them, how is this more humane than studying them - if the criminal were given the choice?

Paul Hughes