Friday, March 27, 2009

Any Questions?

From a comment here:

Oh goody. Abortionists are back. In keeping with the spirit of the article, let me explain the difference between abortion and adjudicated execution.

Both practices kill human beings. This is the similarity between the two. Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let's explore the differences, shall we. In the case of legal execution, the party being executed has committed a heinous crime against the body of society. He has proven himself to be a patent danger to other members of society and, in some cases, even to society itself. He has proven himself to be such a threat that his re-entry into society is unthinkable to a rational human being. This is the point where people invariably bring up the internment for life option. That would be valid, if the perpetual incarceration of the heinous criminal could be guaranteed. Unfortunately, it can not. Therefore, in order to guarantee that the heinous criminal can not re-enter society, either by escape or some type of judicial fiat, society resorts to execution of the individual to safeguard the rest of her citizens. I know, here comes the argument of "What if the society makes a mistake and the individual is innocent?" Well, in the first place. The condemned criminal is afforded a decade, or more, of legal appeals in which to prove his innocence and have his conviction set aside. But, the bottom line is if humanity and its constructs [society] were perfect, then we wouldn't have criminals and we wouldn't be having this discussion. Because of this lack of perfection, execution should be, and now is, reserved for those persons who have demonstrated their callous disregard for human life and through that their extreme danger to society.

Now, abortion. Those opposed to abortion hold a very simple belief. That is the belief that human life begins at conception, not at birth. Strangely, this is a belief that is apparently held by a majority of the states and the Federal government, as it has been legislatively deemed a homicide if a fetus as young as seven weeks is killed through criminal action. So if a fetus is a human being and a heinous mass murderer is a human being and your mother is a human being , why can't we just kill any of them at will? Because, the mass murderer is a demonstrable threat to society. Mom and the fetus are not. The mass murderer gets numerous opportunities to prove that he is, in fact, innocent of the crime. Yet, the harmless unborn individual has no such opportunity. With absolutely no judicial review, no appeals of sentence, in fact no crime, the unborn individual is killed out of hand; for convenience, by its mother.

Now, it is interesting to note that many people who oppose the death penalty support abortion. Why? Usually because, in their opinion, human life begins at birth, not conception. The question here is, what if they are wrong? Tens of millions of unborn children have been legally killed in the U.S alone, by their mothers, since the decision in Roe v. Wade. In the same time only a little over one hundred convicted murderers have been executed. All of the aborted human beings were innocent, while most, if not all, of the criminals were not.

Don't see a difference here? Look a little closer.


Anonymous said...

I find paragraph 2267 of the catechism more convincing. I have no problem with executing criminals when necessary to protect the innocent. But a wealthy industrial nation can afford to practice a greater measure of mercy because we can, effectively, guarantee secure lifetime imprisonment.

bill bannon said...

I find CCC 2267 to be a landmark in a Pope pushing his bizarre prudential judgement that life sentences are brand new...into a catechism where such bizarre prudential judgements do not belong. Catholicism has a real problem with massive conformism which by the way it should have on de fide issues but not on the vast number of issues that are less than that. Til Augustine, Catholicism veered to the pacifistic because we were not in power in the secular sense. As soon as we were, we went too far with executions. Now we are once again visiting the opposite extreme and calling it "development" and recognition of modern penology.
It is summer. I am walking along a street in Pamplona chewing on a Meyer's lemon and I hear a rumbling on the cobble stones beneath me.
It's BULL. Life sentences are not exclusive to modern penology. They are listed in the journals of the Inquisition. All you need is a room and food and a lock and disposal removal...ergo you simply need an affluent government.
But a Pope implies they are new and gives them a cover word...modern penology....and the lemmings follow him off the cliff.
When will God have Catholics who refuse to the lemming thing when de fide is not at stake at all?
Meanwhile Mexico is deconstructing due to not having a death penalty...and such empirical disasters on the news every night and on the MSNBC prison series every night have no effect on Catholics who have chosen the cliff already. Don't bother us we facts. We know the answer from our catechism even though Pius XII who also had modern penology affirmed the death penalty in 1952.

Anonymous said...

Well, Bill, your allegations of Lemming Catholicism are not exactly convincing. Give us some facts, or at least some philosophical arguments.

Is it not true that modern prisons effectively protect the public from the incarcerated population? If not, show me. Is it not true that sparing a man's life is more merciful and perhaps gives him more time to learn to repent than a summary execution? If not, explain your reasoning. Is it your argument that a society without capital punishment encourages crime? If so, make that argument, and make it convincingly. Derision may be en vogue, but it's not particularly persuasive.