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the Death Penalty

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cyghost
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« on: December 13, 2011, 11:01:03 AM »

I'm against it.

I wouldn't complain too hard if applied to a rapist or murderer.

For drug trafficking it is a ludicrous and bizarrely over the top punishment. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Don't smuggle drugs in countries where they execute your for it. It is stupid. Very very very stupid.



That is the short version of my feelings on this.

*prompted by this of course.
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Faerie
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2011, 11:51:25 AM »

Also not in support of it.

I'm grateful we have the constitution we do, in spite of all the crime and murdering going abouts, the death penalty will do squat to change those stats in any case.

This girl was stupid, I feel for her family.

Here's another one:

http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/SA-woman-smuggles-drugs-in-dreadlocks-20111213

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cyghost
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2011, 12:02:58 PM »

Been pondering it since I heard about it but the poll on news 24 prompted me to actually make a post:

Quote
Unavoidable - it’s the law of the country 28% 7162 votes
Unacceptable - capital punishment is barbaric and draconian 12% 3116 votes
A strong message against drug trafficking 60% 15279 votes

Seriously 60%??  15279 peoples? WTF!!
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st0nes
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2011, 12:27:05 PM »

Been pondering it since I heard about it but the poll on news 24 prompted me to actually make a post:

Quote
Unavoidable - it’s the law of the country 28% 7162 votes
Unacceptable - capital punishment is barbaric and draconian 12% 3116 votes
A strong message against drug trafficking 60% 15279 votes

Seriously 60%??  15279 peoples? WTF!!
The sooner drugs are legalised the better.  Anyone who thinks it's acceptable to view the killing of a human being as "sending a message" has a serious problem with their moral compass.  They should learn to use email to send messages, or take out a full page ad in the Sunday Times.

Give us drugs not thugs.
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2011, 12:58:11 PM »

drug trafficing is making a stupid ass decision.
surely not worth getting killed for?
then again, trafficing the drugs, has a knock-on effect of possibly destroying people lives/careers/families.
but so does alchohol.
so it's all relative.
personally, i wouldnt impose hectic sentences, but rather make them spend a few years working in a rehad facility, to see what kind of effect the drugs have.
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Zulumoose
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2011, 13:41:05 PM »

The death penalty is an emotional issue, ONLY an emotional issue.

Logically it makes no sense whatsoever. It does not reduce crime and costs more in drawn out appeals and court time than life behind bars. Also the backed up courts allow more crimes to fall through the gaps, leading to a bigger crime problem overall.

If humans had any sense and looked at things logically they would only desire the actions that demonstrably lead to a lowering of crime, and preferably a more cost effective handling of existing crime as well.

Changes in law and enforcement should be based around credible evidence that they may have a positive effect, not on the whims of a society which gets its knowledge of crime issues from American TV dramas.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2011, 13:58:08 PM »

The sooner drugs are legalised the better.  Anyone who thinks it's acceptable to view the killing of a human being as "sending a message" has a serious problem with their moral compass.

Drugs are their own self-inflicted punishment. There shouldn't be additional punishment.

I agree that killing people to make a point is morally unjustifiable. But I'm sure it does make a loud point: If I were to smuggle drugs, I'd think thricely and then some about smuggling to a country with an "instant death ruling" like China, middle east, etc. But read on...

Seriously 60%??  15279 peoples? WTF!!

We do live in a country where you could earn yourself a burning necklace for swiping a cellphone.

This girl was stupid, I feel for her family.

I wonder aloud whether the metaphorical "they" don't maybe have her family tied up somewhere as insurance that she goes through with the deal (which now obviously she won't). Remember a lot of people end up smuggling drugs as a way of paying off a debt to some drug cartel, "or else".

This is what makes the whole death penalty thing stink. It is quite probable that the person at the airport never intended to be doing this shit in the first place.

So moreover, drugs are their own punishment.

But lastly, that is the law of that country. I don't have to like it to realise that once I cross into their country and commit a crime, I am subject to those laws. Good luck to anyone endeavouring to change China into a bleeding-heart liberal state from the outside. You only have a couple of thousand years of 'civilisation' to undo.

edit: formatting error.
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Benjammin
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2011, 14:38:05 PM »

When you look at the street cost of cocaine and meth vs the production cost it is as if you could grow gold. It really doesn't matter how many smugglers you execute. The cartels will just throw money and product at the problem. I suspect that the big stories of an individual getting caught is just the tip of a much more organised iceberg of bribed border officials and fake good shipments. We hear about the individuals because they are the most likely to get caught and they provide an emotional sensational story. The Chinese government can pretend they are doing something, they are doing nothing.

Glenn Greenwald had an excellent debate with the former bush drug czar John Walters, well worth a watch if you have the bandwidth http://www.salon.com/2011/11/15/debating_bushs_drug_czar_on_legalization/. If not he wrote a report for the Cato institute on decriminalisation in Portugal http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=10080 which is also interesting.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2011, 15:02:49 PM »

Penalties for transgressions against the law are typically about coercion, hardly about rehabilitation, despite that coercion is nicely dressed up and called “restitution.”  Ask yourself exactly what this “restitution” consists in and to whose benefit these supposed amends are made in most cases.  In criminal cases it’s very rarely for the actual victims, who instead are expected to content themselves with the thought that the perpetrators will receive punishment.  If rehabilitation was really a priority then traffic offenders caught red-handed would, for example, be detained on the spot for an hour to sit through road safety videos followed by a test without the possibility of any exceptions other than dire emergencies where lives are at stake.  If as a result you miss that all-important appointment, well, that’s just tough.

The death penalty is just coercion in its most extreme form:  Any chance of rehabilitation is obviously dispensed with and the “restitution” panders to our basest and most savage emotions, while those who advocate it are invariably the same voices that will tell you how its function is to preserve a civilised society.

'Luthon64
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brianvds
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2011, 21:27:02 PM »

Also not in support of it.

I'm grateful we have the constitution we do, in spite of all the crime and murdering going abouts, the death penalty will do squat to change those stats in any case.

This girl was stupid, I feel for her family.

Here's another one:

http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/SA-woman-smuggles-drugs-in-dreadlocks-20111213



Judged by the comments I read on News24, or at least on the Afrikaans edition of it, the only people still in favour of the death penalty are Christians. That is, those people in favour of neighbourly love, mercy, forgiveness, and so on...

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Brian
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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2011, 06:56:11 AM »

Quote
Judged by the comments I read on News24, or at least on the Afrikaans edition of it, the only people still in favour of the death penalty are Christians. That is, those people in favour of neighbourly love, mercy, forgiveness, and so on...

But of course! "an eye for an eye" and "if your eye bothers you, pluck it out" and so on...it's part of the culture of vengeance that religions sell to scare their flocks.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2011, 10:06:16 AM »

Also the same people who believe if they became athiests they would go on a sin-spree running through the streets naked, high on drugs and killing people.

They so love to claim they have a monopoly on morality.
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cyghost
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« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2011, 10:50:52 AM »

Why the extreme punishment for this by the East? Does anyone know?
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st0nes
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« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2011, 10:59:59 AM »

Why the extreme punishment for this by the East? Does anyone know?

I've heard it said that it may be a backlash from the 'opium wars', where the Brits (and, to a lesser extent, the yanks) sold huge quantities of opium to China in order to redress a trade imbalance.  There were an enoumous number of addicts created in China, and the Chinese still remember the social disruption caused.
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cyghost
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« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2011, 11:10:02 AM »

Thanks for the link, st0nes. Are they less harsh on their own citizens then? A sort of xenophobia?
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st0nes
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« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2011, 11:13:07 AM »

Thanks for the link, st0nes. Are they less harsh on their own citizens then? A sort of xenophobia?
I have no idea.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2014, 10:52:55 AM »

The question of the death penalty in SA has reemerged.  The attendant opinion poll shows that more than 90% of IOL readers who have so far chosen to respond are in favour of a referendum to decide the issue.

But the author forgets a few salient points.  First, several studies have shown that, as a deterrent, the death penalty is basically useless.  Second, a death penalty would violate our Constitution, an obstacle no referendum has the power to remove.  Third, if the considerations are mostly financial (i.e., the cost of keeping convicted criminals incarcerated and fed vs. disposing of them with finality), the essential immorality of capital punishment becomes even clearer.

Finally, “Executed by the will of the people” would make a very fine epitaph.  It would be a reminder, one to make the people proud of their democracy, whenever the state kills some incorrigible lowlife on their behalf.

'Luthon64
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Brian
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« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2014, 12:20:29 PM »

I am sickened by the hype around the murder of a soccer star. On the South Coast a few days ago a young woman (a tourist from the UK) in her twenties was raped and killed. Heard about it? Guess not. Every flippen politician is on the band wagon with the Senzo murder and then they have a massive debate whether his fuckbuddy should attend the funeral FFS! Now the death penalty raises its weary head again...the murders of children, farmers black and white, the aged etc etc gets little exposure besides the mention of them in the media. Court cases are focused on hype and newsworthiness and what bugs me is the sudden outburst of revulsion. If any good can come of Senzo's death, hopefully the security cluster may get a wake-up call and get to do their jobs more efficiently.
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cr1t
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« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2014, 14:37:15 PM »

The death penalty, only serves as a tool for revenge.
A sense of revenge I sometimes share, when I hear of the horrible things that happen to people.
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« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2014, 15:19:26 PM »

If memory serves, after the second world war, Germany abolished the death penalty (except, of course, for those minor little hangings after Nüremberg). The majority of Germans were actually in favour of the death penalty. Nowadays, the majority of Germans oppose it. Why? Simply because a new generation of Germans grew up without it and became used to the idea. I think South Africans will also come to opposed it in another generation or two.

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brianvds
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« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2014, 15:20:10 PM »

PS: Not having a TV has its advantages: I have no idea who the dead soccer star even was.
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Brian
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« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2014, 17:03:31 PM »

Just to add to my disgust: The Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban will now serve as the venue for Senzo's funeral. If it is for genuine grief for the loss of a star I have no problem but IMHO 99% of the "mourners" are there for the sake of publicity...probably also rent-a-grief-stricken-crowd plus politicians, TV cameras and at least two days of mourning...state funeral??? let's hope not: he was just a goalie FFS.  WTF!!
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ingwe
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« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2014, 17:11:20 PM »

Imagine the problems liable to emerge if the death penalty were to be reintroduced. Politically appointed judges ruling on groups like the boeremag crowd and others who are not of the current political flavor would be open to manipulation. The powers that be would only need a couple of the judges in their pockets to completely eliminate any creditable opposition.
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« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2015, 09:39:19 AM »

How hard can it be to kill? http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/04/17/oklahoma_execution_method_nitrogen_asphyxiation_bill_signed_by_governor.html?wpisrc=obinsite The more I think about it (the death penalty) the more I'm moving away from it. I was always for it but now I am a fence sitter, leaning over to the no side, I suppose.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2015, 12:49:55 PM »

These things are always ostensibly done to ease the suffering of the person receiving the execution. I disagree, I think most of this stuff is done to ease the suffering of the onlookers. I mean, Blindfold the person and just take them out. 0 suffering required.

But, for those doing the executing, a bit more messy. And therein lies the true problem.
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brianvds
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« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2015, 13:00:25 PM »

How hard can it be to kill? http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/04/17/oklahoma_execution_method_nitrogen_asphyxiation_bill_signed_by_governor.html?wpisrc=obinsite The more I think about it (the death penalty) the more I'm moving away from it. I was always for it but now I am a fence sitter, leaning over to the no side, I suppose.


As far as I can work out, nitrogen asphyxiation is about as painless a way to go as you get. It is sometimes used in auto-euthanasia devices too. So if we are going to execute people, I suppose it is as good a method as any. Won't eliminate the psychological torture of the thing, mind you.
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2015, 13:09:51 PM »

As far as I can work out, nitrogen asphyxiation is about as painless a way to go as you get.
Painless? It can be downright enjoyable!
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Mefiante
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« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2015, 14:22:50 PM »

Rigil, I think you’re probably thinking of something less permanent than N2 asphyxiation…

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The Vulcan
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« Reply #28 on: May 02, 2015, 05:31:07 AM »

Following recent discussions with some of my friends who are pro-death penalty and in light of  Robin Stransham-Ford’s recent ruling on his right to die, it is so weird that these friends are pro-death penalty, yet completely against euthanasia, assisted suicide and abortion.

I honestly don't get this, people claim moral reasons for not supporting pro-choice and euthanasia, and don't get me started on the gay issue, but when I question how they can be so pro-death penalty, they just say it's a completely different issue and basically refuse to have a discussion further when combining these different issues and questioning their moral positions on these.

How can people say euthanasia and abortion is wrong and immoral and yet support the death penalty? How does this promote well being?

Anyone who has ever seen a terminally ill cancer patient would appreciate a right to die, I just cannot wrap my mind around this warped logic and moral sense
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Brian
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« Reply #29 on: May 02, 2015, 08:36:53 AM »

In my view, most people who are pro-death penalty are quite/very conservative and also often religious. When you take that into consideration, it starts to make sense that they would in all likelihood be anti-abortion and anti-assisted suicide etc.as well 'coz the bible says so.
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Hermes
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« Reply #30 on: May 02, 2015, 15:27:11 PM »

How can people say euthanasia and abortion is wrong and immoral and yet support the death penalty? How does this promote well being?

There are different genera of moral systems, the most recognized three being deontological morality, consequential morality and virtue morality. 

Deontological moral systems rely on a prescribed set of laws, such as the Ten Commandments in Christianity.  Adherents tend to regard such laws as infallible and immutable.  The aim of their moral system is obedience to these laws as far as possible.

Consequential moral systems weigh the consequences of actions or omissions to determine the most desirable outcome and then act in accordance.  Adherents typically consider the wellbeing of fellow humans and other sentient beings as desirable.

Virtue-based moral systems value virtues of character such as wisdom, honesty, bravery, and then deduce associated behaviour.

It would appear that you argue from a consequential perspective whereas your friends do from a deontological one.  Their morals are not driven by the wellbeing of fellow humans.
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« Reply #31 on: May 03, 2015, 05:11:41 AM »

It would appear that you argue from a consequential perspective whereas your friends do from a deontological one.  Their morals are not driven by the wellbeing of fellow humans.

Yup. These are also the kind of people who think atheists must of necessity be completely immoral, seeing as they do not have a set of rules to live by. You even now and then hear them argue that the fact that they are moral is proof of the existence of God. :-)
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The Vulcan
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« Reply #32 on: May 03, 2015, 10:42:43 AM »

Sure, I can understand that, but I'm a bit hesitant of categorizing people that way, because, wouldn't thinking like that mean your setting yourself up for an us them scenario? Wouldn't that make me guilty of tribal mentality as well?

I think we share much the same common values and christians for the most part, are just trying be good people, the problem is that many people claim to hold beliefs I don't think they've really thought through or really believe when you press them on it, that's why if you mention any specific example, like the case with Robin, people readily and easily make him the "exception to the rule" or people who are supposedly pro-death penalty condemning the recent executions in India.
on
This is what I don't understand, why be so vehemently opposed and outspoken against these types of laws they are actually okay with on a human level, yet because of ideological differences people somehow think they prove they are good christians by being pro-life, anti-gay creationist racists?

Once you tell someone you're bi or once you actually bring home someone of a different colour, people are less bigoted and more accepting, once you actually know a terminally ill person and see the way they go, people are more compassionate and make all these "exceptions"

It's like you bring a black friend to your party, people are like, "he's not like the other blacks" or when you talk about a teen girl needing an abortion, they go:'o jeesh, she has her whole life ahead of her" and go on to make another exception to the rule.

Why do people stand in the way of other peoples rights out of ideologies, but once you humanize the situation, they make up all sorts of excuses why this or that situation isn't what they are talking about?

Take the euthanasia example, when discussing that, people usually object to making it legal for terminal patients by changing the argument and jumping to absolutes like the law permitting you to put your old people to sleep or depressed people getting euthanized.

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« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2015, 20:09:57 PM »

By distinguishing between deontological morals and consequential morals you are not catogerizing people, you are categorizing moral systems.  An individual will seldom exclusively abide by only one moral system.  Only the most fundamentalist members of a religion will adhere to religious prescripts without at least some consideration given to the consequences.  When people suspend adherence to religious prescripts on humanitarian grounds, but they do not admit that those prescripts are inherently fallible, then those people are not entirely honest with themselves.  And good intentions do not equate sound morals.
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The Vulcan
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« Reply #34 on: May 04, 2015, 12:22:30 PM »


That is right, Hermes and that is what I was trying to get at, people are just bullsh%%ing themselves when they try to hold the bible up as their moral code while also trying to sound politically correct and not bigoted when making all these BUT statements - if you go into specifics, I find people concede points on these kinds of topics easily as long as they get to qualify it with a BUT, it really stops a discussion dead in it's tracks right there, people can see the merit of e.g. euthanasia, but can't get around their religious holy books, why people feel the need to stand up for the bible's flawed moral teachings, I don't know.

Just this morning, justice minister, Masutha talked on morning live about why he is against euthanasia, and to his credit, avoided the religion aspect for the most part and focused on all the same arguments that is so old and useless in responding with rhetoric we haven heard before... but in the end, he still brought the discussion to an end when he said that god should be the one who decides when you must go...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuy6yZrqlbE
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« Reply #35 on: May 04, 2015, 12:59:01 PM »

This is all good old-fashioned Cognitive Dissonance, and IMHO one of the most fundemental, deep, unresolvable problems that lie at the heart non-founded belief systems (such as religion): The inevitable contradictions.

I can't claim I "don't understand" why or how people hold such beliefs because I used to engage in the same activity, and here's the thing: YES, I was operating in a system of belief/morality that was at it's best vague and myopic. I saw the world in such blurred terms that I just thought it was all too complicated to possibly make sense of and kinda gave up trying to. Once I de-converted though, I was stunned at the sudden clarity that came to my views and to the order of the world. The sudden crystal clear insights and deductions I could make once I discounted all the magical beings clouding the issue.

This is the thing, the brain can operate without absolutes... while holding contradictory beliefs. I was religious and didn't condemn homosexuals. As a child I at once believed in liberty and apartheid in the same breath. It's AMAZING what a person can do with a bit of rationalisation.

Quote from: The Vulcan
[...] he still brought the discussion to an end when he said that god should be the one who decides when you must go...

Great, I see our justice minister still reads entrails to determine the law in this country. I'm so glad. </sarcasm>
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #36 on: May 04, 2015, 13:05:59 PM »

Take the euthanasia example, when discussing that, people usually object to making it legal for terminal patients by changing the argument and jumping to absolutes like the law permitting you to put your old people to sleep or depressed people getting euthanized.

Take this for example: If you simply frame this in regards to personal liberty the counter to this is simple: Each person has complete control over what happens to their own body. If someone wants to die, they should be free to die. However this choice cannot be forced upon them.

So, the assumption being made can be said to be invalid: What's immoral about suicide in the first place?
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« Reply #37 on: May 04, 2015, 13:50:02 PM »

It is funny how much more unmuddled things become when you drop your wizardry and become a muggle, I also remember how I used to try and overcomplicate things and then opted for the oversimplified bible answer to tough questions as I tried to make the bible fit what I thought anyway...

Take this for example: If you simply frame this in regards to personal liberty the counter to this is simple: Each person has complete control over what happens to their own body. If someone wants to die, they should be free to die. However this choice cannot be forced upon them.


Exactly and many depressed and bankrupt people already jump off buildings, or find other ways of offing themselves, but euthanasia for terminally ill people isn't just about killing yourself, it's minimizing the pain of the terminally ill person and it's for the benefit of your loved ones not having to clean up after you, after having been with and shared your pain, to clean up your brain matter and to deal with that whole ugly sight on top of having to deal with what the cancer has already done to you.

When you are dying of cancer you start to think a lot about the life and people you will leave behind and this differs from depressed people who I reckon focus more on their own issues while still having a glimmer of hope for things to change.



So, the assumption being made can be said to be invalid: What's immoral about suicide in the first place?

Don't you know? Because of the bible and you'll go to Hell  Tongue
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