Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Values a la Carte

So now we're saying it's not okay to torture suspected terrorists (or anyone else)? Well, I believe that's a good thing, but it makes me wonder if it is still okay to execute convicted terrorists (or serial killers or anyone else). Is this a question of policy (innocent until proven guilty) or morality (love thy neighbor, thou shalt not kill)? If it's the former, I guess that makes sense. But in deciding to end a life I don't see how questions of morality can be avoided.

I'm philosophically opposed to state-sanctioned execution, if only for the utter hypocrisy of it all. "It's wrong to kill, and if you do it, we'll kill you." Now I have a new philosophical point to ponder: If we believe we have the right to decide to end someone's life, then why is torture such a big deal? Which is worse?


Anonymous said...

I think the difference is that the people we put to death were entitled to trial and were found to be guilty of a crime so heinous, death is appropriate (leaving aside the morality of it).

With torture, no one has been convicted of anything. You could conceivably torture an innocent man without end. Torture is bad enough to begin with, but torture without legal basis is worse.

Also, I think the framers believed that, yes, torture WAS worse than death. That's why they included no "cruel and unusual punishment" in the Constitution. Tis better to go quickly than slowly and painfully.

Merv said...

I'm philosophically opposed to dying because towel heads are hiding behind the freedom they critisize us for.
Make PETA happy, let people hunt towel heads