Re: Is the death penalty Extropian?

J. R. (
Sat, 28 Nov 1998 22:10:25 -0800

From: Brian D Williams <>
>"Is the Death Penalty Extropian?"
>We welcome all comments on this, please state your reasons as
>thoroughly as you can.

It seems to me the death penalty has nothing to do with extropy, because extropy searches for ways to make life (i.e., complex adaptive systems) more abundant, prosperous, excellent, healthy, beautiful, practical, autonomous, satisfying, enjoyable, and self-organized. Consequently, extropy means to decrease, if not to eliminate, violent crime and violent criminals. No one can eliminate a crime which has already occurred. So, to act extropically entails prevention more than deterrence or correction.

Extropians identify the cause of criminal behavior and deal with that rather than merely react to the behavior. Just about anything would probably work better than the death penalty. In fact, i guess that if you killed the parents of murderers, instead of the murderers, the crime of murder would drop to near zero in one generation, because we can sum up the cause of violent crime in three words: stupid, unfit parents.

But the death penalty receives plenty of good press because the prison industry, the just-us system, and corrupt politicians really do not have a motive for eliminating murder and other violent crimes -- crime puts Mercedes in their garages. Furthermore, extropians ought to find out what causes the illness that prompts people to work for the prison/punishment industry that perpetuates the problem.

We have the stars to reach, but we can't do it unless we detach from all dysfunctional death cultures, including those that support a death penalty. --J. R.

"Anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death, but nobody owns life." --Bill Burroughs, _Naked Lunch_