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Friday, December 16, 2005

temporary death post to answer some of the comments cause I don't have time to write a properly thought out post today

One of my problems with the death penalty is: Where do you draw the line? When is killing someone justified and the right thing to do?

Is it OK to kill in self defense when someone is trying to abuse/rape you? If I did kill somone who attacked me, would you say I should be punished accordingly and killed? After all s/he has lost their life even though they may not have been actually trying to kill me.

And what about killing someone who has just abused/raped you a few minutes ago? Is that a good enough reason for killing them? What if the abuse/rape happened a few days ago? Still justified?

OK...murdering someone who abused/raped you 20 years ago? murdering someone who abused/raped you 20 years ago but who unbeknownst to you has had extensive counselling? murdering someone who abused/raped you 20 years ago but you now know that they were abused and raped as a child and they have had counselling and found god/jesus has completely repented and are doing many good works in the community and everyone knows all of this?

The problem with line drawing is that different people draw different lines all over the place. None of them are wrong, just different.

Comments:
Death penalty and killing in self-defense are really two different things. Part of our capabilty as human beings is to differentiate. If I experienced any of the circumstances you describe, then I'd be in a better position to answer your questions.

My general principles, though, are:

1. Some one who attacks me forfeits their right to my consideration for their safety.

2. My life takes precendence over theirs in this circumstance.

3. There is no such thing as overkill if I feel my life is in danger.

4. If anyone attacks my kids, crank the above up a few notches.

Also, with the example you gave of some one having finished attacking you - you don't know that. You don't know what they will do if they are supposedly finished. Maybe finished means disposing of you.
 
I think these questions are somewhat harder to answer because people do too much thinking.

The concept of rights is the first part (yes, I still haven't written "that post").

People have created "rights" as a tool to help them weigh issues. However, when being attacked, rights don't really enter into it. They are only useful in the courtroom, not when some-one has undertaken a course of action currently causing you great anguish and possibly death.

There are actions, and consequences. People complain because consequences of their actions are not always known to them at the time. People feel if they knew the consequences, then they may not have taken that action. Thus, a lot of effort goes into blaming some-one else for not advising them of the consequences.

If a rapist said "I was only raping her, I wasn't going to kill her, the knife and the phrase, 'you will die bitch' was to make the rape progress with minimum fuss, so I have been unfairly treated when she pulled out a gun and shot my balls off."

then the rapist is wanting to revise his actions because in light of the now revealed consequences. However, given he was the trigger for the action, I say tough shit.

But your point about where the line is drawn is totally valid. That's why we have courts to see if the reaction was overkill. In the case of self defence, I think much needs to be taken into account with a situation people will have no real idea just how bad it is to be a target of unwarranted violence, and be fairly merciful towards the victim, even when the victim kicks arse.
 
In Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time the Jenn Aiel held to a simple philosophy called the Way of the Leaf which in some way mirrors my answer to this question.

I'm not going to find it, will have to read the series again. However, it goes something like: "Never kill when hurting is enough, never hurt when holding is enough, never hold when ... and so forth".

I think once the threat has been removed anything beyond that is murder. At the same time though, one can easily imagine a victim 20 years on waiting for the offender to be released from prison. Wondering if they'll come back.

At the end of the day it's as the wiser commentors before me have said - we have a justice system where a jury of our peers will usually examine the evidence and our case.
 
Good grief. It is not complicated. Here goes:

1. Attack me with a weapon, the attacker dies

2. Break into my house, the intruder dies

3. Attack me without a weapon in public, I keep hurting the attacker until the threat no longer exists

However, one can't live in fear. So, take the Ted "Swimmer" Kennedy approach and drive off that bridge when you come to it.
 
Tincanman:

Don't put too much faith in juries. Remember:

"When you go into court you are putting your fate into the hands of twelve people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty."

---Norm Crosby
 
That was me too, discussing Juries. But it wasn't so much putting faith in them, it was acknowledging that society made an effort to review and afford justice.

I came across a good link to the Belmont Club last night, and might be able to turn it into a post (workload dependant). At the least, a link will go up!
 
AL,

It is not always that simple.

And of course it is not that complicated in real life either. But this isn't real life, this is suze's blog where she over-analyses and complicates everything and encourages other people to join in - ie this is entertainment :)

Although...the over-analysis and complication is not a bad thing. Personally, it is how I think about things and how I make sure I am thinking the right things about things, and how I figure out why other people think seemingly ridiculous things. Don't you do that?
 
tcm, I used to read Robert Jordan, but then i started getting irritated with the characters and then I got impatient waiting for book number 561,576,389. I remember liking the Way of the Leaf.

My thoughts on killing and murder and death penalty haven't crystalised yet. I need a lot more input and subconcsious stewing time. And probably some sleep...
 
Ah. Well, he's just released Knife of Dreams (Book 10). Apparently the series is only going to go to 13, so that's okay. But, that delay gets annoying - I find I'm always rereading from book one when the next book comes out. (So yes, I've read book 1 ten times)

Was the party good?
 
I think I decided a while back to wait till he stopped writing before reading anymore - then I can just read all of them in a row with minimal forgetting.

The party itself was probably the bext party I've been to all year - lots of people, cool fancy dress costumes, wide range of ages, backgrounds, dogs, all very friedndly, great bands, great location. The me enjoying it is another story... for now lets just say that I should have enjoyed it. I did learn a lot though, which is never bad.
 
Suze, I over-analyse. I'm getting better, though. I did that brain sex test and found myself deciding that it wasn't so important that I get the spatial tests right (since I was female and I was sure that high scores in spatial would tip me more towards male), so started guessing since there was one that was really stressing me. Ended up getting 8/12 on that one, which completely surprised me. Anyway, that is an example of apparently over-analysing - which is what the husband called it when I told him.
 
People tell me I over-analyse like it's a bad thing. I'm not convinced however...I need something to occupy my brain! What do people who don't overanalyse think about?

That's funny that you stressed about hte spatial test :) I am halfway through the brain sex test. I didn't worry about the spatial part but I am stuck on the clasping hands part. I can't decide which thumb is on top! I use both equally.

You got a 50/50 split didn't you? I must go finish the test. I think I will toss a coin for the clasping hands question.
 
Over-analysis is not a bad thing (in most circumstances), but it's something to notice.

And then (if you must), analyse what you've noticed.
 
Ah Zen, you understand very well. Of course you must analyse what you notice. How could you not? ;)
 
I would agree -- how can you not analyze things... but I would also say that the vast majority of people don't analyze anything. They accept whatever sounds best to them and ignore the rest.
 
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