There are no moral absolutes. There are an infinite number of moral decisions, I believe, but no moral absolutes. The existence of moral absolutes is a fantasy that the conservative establishment uses to sell its snake oil to the rubes in their constituency (apparently, some so-called liberals are buying small vials of it, too). They wrap themselves in religion and patriotism (two reliable loci of absolutism) while they rape and rob us blind (often killing thousands of foreign brown people in the process).

The death penalty is an anachronistic, barbaric political tool, and its only function is to help morally timorous people feel better about themselves. As long as there are flawed humans on the planet, there will be criminals; some of them will be killers. How we deal with those who do the worst deeds reflects as much on us as it does on them.

Think of this from another angle: if we weren’t spending so much to lock up nonviolent drug offenders, might we not have enough resources to successfully deal with the most incorrigible and violent among us? Our societal approach to crime and punishment is steeped in feudal English barbarism and revolutionary-era hypocrisy (you know, a bastion of freedom being built on the backs of slaves). The flaws in our ‘justice’ system are intertwined with the existence of the death penalty; treating them as separate entities is a mistake. Start dealing honestly with that issue, and the death penalty will soon take its rightful place in the trash bin of civilized democratic societies.

2 comments on “

  1. Very good points all. I remember an anthropology class I took in college. The professor made a great analogy in our discussion of the death penalty. The purpose of the death penalty is the same as the ritualistic use of animal sacrifices, except in this case the object of worship is the State and not some deity. So it is indeed perhaps pretty primitive stuff.

  2. Thanks for visiting, Stepfather. I was reading a book today that used the word ‘primitive,’ and the context in which that word was used left me with an interesting thought.’Primitive’ does not always mean ‘backward’ or ‘inferior.’ In fact, one might say that the ‘primitives’ who stuck to sacrificing non-humans to appease their gods were less backward than those who advocate the sacrifice of humans to the state.

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