Pro The Death Penalty

Nov 7th, 2008, in Opinion, by

Treespotter looks at capital punishment around the world, and an argument in favour of it.

On Death Penalty

I personally support death penalty. As a working principle, it follows the logic that people that kill other people with ease (bombers and drug dealers come to mind), should have no problems about being killed in their chosen professions. Similarly, we forgive death in war zones, why can’t the rule applies in civil environment?

I know many people who disagreed, most of the people commenting on this article in Global Voice are opposed to it.

Many of them are opposed to on moral reasons – scripture or otherwise. That is not the case as there is no religion that does not recognize some sort of capital punishment, including Christianity. Barron Clarke – a commenter on the said article – quoted the Judaic Christian saying of

an eye for an eye

in its modern interpretation to be understood as setting the limit of maximum execution and that I concur: capital punishment is the maximum punishment mentioned in the Christian doctrines, it should be exercised with caution and only as the very last recourse for the most severe of crimes. Various other parts of the Christian scriptures supported this view while maintaining to recognize death as a form of legal and legitimate form of punishment at the same time.

While Jesus didn’t live long enough to ever fight war or condemned anyone to death, various different European churches in all the different flavors of Christianity went on in killing in the name of God and execute condemned heresies for many centuries afterwards. There is no way to argue that Christian scripture doesn’t recognize capital punishment – the different churches change their views of capital punishment all across two millenias of Christian history, from applying it with zeal (eg. During the Inquisitions) or to not at all (when Christian churches no longer carry the authority to condemn and execute such punishment under secular governments).

Islam and Jews both recognize capital punishment as legit and legitimate. As a model for the Jew regime, Israel’s view on capital punishment is somewhat, understandably biased due to their very unique history in the last century and all Islamic government in the world have death penalty laws on the book.

Interpretations, however, vary from the different Moslem countries: Somali’s an anarchy-state and Saudi Arabia, a Wahabi-ancient kingdom state both maintain very orthodox and ancient interpretations of scriptures – including public beheadings, gender based capital discrimination and arbitrary moral sentencing in issuing deadly verdicts. Egypt and Jordan are more moderate include more consideration as well as more secular – and accountable – arbitration. The courts in these countries are also generally more accountable and open to outside influences when sentencing a person to death.

Indonesia – a country with large Moslem population and a secular government – is secular in state sanctioned capital punishments. The religious court does not have the power to condemn anyone to death and deals only with matrimony and dietary requirements. There is no reason to assume that the Indonesian court issued death sentences with religious bias (favoring any particular interpretation of scriptures). Capital punishment is only available on violent crimes or major drug-related cases and hardly ever issued for political views since Indonesia moved to a more peaceful democracy in the last decade.

The society is split and continued to grapple between its support and opposition of capital punishment. In a weird logic, the largest group opposing the execution of these particular three condemned men, is the single most vocal proponents of death penalty.

The public opinion on death penalties in all these countries are split the way it stirs passionate debates in the United States to this day. The Supreme Court ruled for each state to rule their own and some states, like Texas, prosecute death penalty aggressively in accordance to secular law, available and legitimate, under the protection of the Constitution of the United States.

Somalia and Taliban Afghanistan have no internationally recognized governments and death sentences are handed in arbitrary-summary condemnation performed by tribal court (often involving only a sole individual with a chief-like authority and nonnegotiable and opaque morals). The sentences vary wildly from one court to another within the same national borders. Death sentences are often times political in these courts (political oppositions face almost certain deaths under these governments), rather than moral (the world hears very little about it until they start killing young woman with kids).

Both countries have proven to be the most resilient to American attempt to change their political views – rather than religions.

Germany has museum of state-sanctioned murders, a holocaust that shatters the conscience of history to this very day. As a state policy, most of the modern western states abolished death penalties more influenced by the events in WW II rather than pre-war moral consideration.

The court in Nuremberg sentenced Nazi war criminals to death and executed quite a few. Those who were convicted were charged with state-sanction systematic murders were guilty in gross abuse of their political and executive powers, rather than their personal beliefs in regards to death penalty.

Indeed, in a perverse logic, a whole new set of laws were created to accommodate this new class of heinous crime and the resulting high court was set to deal with only the most extreme of crimes in the Hague. In a curious observation, it’s interesting that Hermann Goering, Saddam Husein, Milosevic and Pinochet, four of the most famous defendants in crimes against humanity trials of the last 60 years, all died before the court had the chance to sentence their crimes. Maybe there is a higher justice in the power of nature.

Post communist Russia make Stalin’s gulag archipelago a tourist destination these days. From a monarchy to a communist state to a now crowdy democracy, the Russians remain a firm believer in capital punishment.

Singapore government prosecutes death penalty aggressively in drug cases but not on political dissidents. This is a government with a peculiar obsession in legislative social engineering and it has very effectively been a successful deterrent creating an almost drug free in Singapore (neighboring Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand all have thriving underground illicit substance industries and most probably consume more illegal drugs collectively than any other country on the planet).

In imperial Japan, one form of honorable traditional conduct – an acceptance of failure – is to murder yourself. Hara Kiri is probably the most impressive execution of all death sentences. The Philippines, a proto-democracy with Catholic and American influences, death penalty had been repealed and reintroduced and repealed again during the last twenty years. China executes more people than any other country on the planet and recognizes abortion as a form of population control.

As a belief held globally, by population headcount, opposition to death penalty almost certainly forms only a small minority – mainly only to include those who represent power rather those with more acceptable morals. This was true for the ancient Roman empire when murderers of Roman citizens were swiftly dealt with in the most severe manners, often including burning down entire villages of the offending groups and remains true on the protection awarded to the conduct of American soldiers overseas by not having them placed under international laws.

Death penalty is made available in societies and civilizations by necessity and interests rather than moral, imposed by the more powerful rather than the righteous. It has nothing to do with religion or morals.

If one were to argue that it is not far, let me say that I don’t even believe in absolute, universal moral codes. While Life is a precious commodity across all civilizations in all of history, Death fluctuates in value. Stalin famously said that one person’s death is a tragedy and one million deaths are statistics. For the less brute, George Orwell put society in more elegant manners where all animals are equal, but some more equal than others.

Some are worth more than others and that is a hard thing to deal with. Life is the only thing worth dying for, is my own, personal morbid fascination with Death. Capital punishment is an interesting subject and probably deserves a further discussion. For now, in accordance to the prevailing law, I think all execution should carried out as swiftly as possible. Death and taxes – you will always pay your dues, that’s my personal beliefs.

I don’t mention their names on principle because I don’t want them turning up on Google searches.

That’s my own, personal morbid fascination with Death and I intend to write more on Death as a subject in the future.


81 Comments on “Pro The Death Penalty”

  1. tirta says:

    @t/s: thanks for clarifying.

    One last quibble, if I may. Here’s some of your earlier lines above, which I took as representative of your position:

    “Precisely in this regards, i view death penalty not as good vs evil thing (it is neither vengeance nor redemption). It is merely do to him as he had done unto others. It’s a claim of social justice = you are not allowed to take what does not belong to you, the way we deal with property ownership, society claim for the lives of its members.”

    Now if someone killed my loved ones, I see him as doing two things: (1) took away lives that weren’t his, and (2) took away my right to have relationships with those lives. In this context, my previous suggestion of killing the killer’s loved ones is neither about retribution nor anything between me and him, but simply about the golden rule (an eye for an eye) applied to him violating (2).

    So I guess you don’t think (2) exists as one of the individual rights, or am I reading you wrong again?

  2. Purba Negoro says:

    Rob

    really. How very wimp.
    Just shoot them and let God sort them out. Death by firing squad at least a good, clean soldier’s death- not like British rope and hangings.
    “Shoot me like a soldier, don’t hang me like a dog” – I believe your Western funded beloved IRA motto?

    The Indonesian criminal may live without honour but at least their death has some honour.

    Two assumptions you make- society is the cause of perpetrator criminality

    Society especially Indonesia has a duty to reform individuals
    Criinals can andshould eb reformed.

    No- total Western Leftist rubbish. Society is blameless- majority poor and abused people are law-abiding.
    Criminal is criminal by personal choice.
    Criminal should be punished not reformed. Reform however does exist in Idnoensia for selct prisoner who may be rehabilited- like drug addict and minor theif etc- they are taught construction and carpentery skills and made to build infrastructure and houses for the poor.

    In this way- we teach them to have some pride in themself and their work- and by extensions to be a good contributor to society- whose jail time was spent helping- not being a tax payer burden.

    So why should criminal (opting for life or path of criminality by their own choices) be a drain on law-abiding society?

    See how your society has lost its way- in Indonesia prisoner must grow their own food and clean, repair or build their own cells.

    No cable TV, jailhouse university, fancy bed and such luxury the law abiding poor are excluded from.

    Why should criminal get the opportunity and facility the law abiding do not have?

    Your society need to revisit the days of chan-gang and forced hard labour. Maybe then your parks are free of syringe for your children- caused by your other “social victiom” in need of hug loser- the drug addict

  3. Adrian Vickers says:

    Hi Treespotter

    I should have added that Buddhism and Jainism are both religions that are opposed to killing, and the Gandhian version of Hinduism (ahimsa) is also anti-violence. Some of the opponents of Islam say that as a religion it promotes violence, but I don’t agree.

    But here we have the problem that religious teachings and the actions of religious authorities are usually vastly different, which is why I’ve become disillusioned with religious authority. There are examples of Christian pacifist movements (Quakers would be the easiest one to select), religious leaders joined in the opposition to the Vietnam War in Australia (and opposed the invasion of Iraq), we were able to get rid of the death penalty in Australia because religious leaders joined the cause…

    Even the religions that have clear opposition to violence, such as Buddhism, exist in violent societies. During the anti-communist hysteria of the 1970s Buddhist monks in Thailand exhorted their followers to kill communists, and Buddhist leaders have contributed to the violence in Sri Lanka, and Pol Pot was trained in a Buddhist school.

  4. treespotter says:

    @Tirta: i don’t know how to make this any more clear. It has NOTHING to do with you. With all due respects to family of victims and loved ones – death penalty (or for that matter, any punishment awarded by the legal system) has only very little to do with victims/surviving loved ones.

    It is important for society to uphold the law and maintain peace. Indeed, Jefferson argued that it’s the sole purpose of the state. Case in point: even if one killed an orphan, or killed a protected species (a free roaming animal where noone has no claim) it will still be a crime. The punishment is available as an instrument to maintain social order.

    Each person has rights guaranteed by the law – it is the deceased rights that was robbed – not yours, or any other surviving members of the family. The law is there to uphold the rights of the DEAD victim, not the surviving members of society.

    I hope that’s clear enough?

    purbo negoro: I will let Rob respond to your comment, but i don’t believe that society – or the state – has any right to “reform” or impose any morals whatsoever upon its citizen. State has no business getting into morality, period.

    adrian: i think it is important to separate the scripture from its applied social order (in the form of the state). The hindhu states (states with majority of Hindhu population, but all of them are admittedly democractic secular gov’t) all applies death penalty. Buddha is very much similar to Jesus in the sense that it was an intensely private teaching in his days and his scriptural doctrines, and yet the state (or the church in European middle ages) influenced by their doctrines consistently carried capital punishments. Islam is exactly the same, the scripture is vague at best – explicitly recognizing capital punishment and yet one will be hard pressed to find any example of judicial execution during the prophet’s days – and yet the different states carried on with executions in their own interpretation. I think my article is clear that i consider only state-sanctioned capital punishment since to argue the doctrines of the diff religions require a theological discourse beyond the scope of this post. (i’m thinking about doing this for future posts, will be on my site).

    There’s always the case of different interpretations (sometimes extreme) – be it the pacifists as you point out or bin laden’s of Islam. Religions are intensely personal thing and one is always free to make interpretations of their self beliefs. the scope of my argument isn’t about theological doctrines, it’s about how societies across histories have chosen to collectively agreed on those interpretations and implement it in a formal nation-state structure.

    I merely point out that capital punishment is not a moral thing. It’s something that exists in the book, and there’s no reason to argue that it is somehow “good” or “bad” – indeed, better or worse, more civilised or less – than others.

    It is an instrument of social justice that society has more often than not, deems neccesary to implement.

    In my own opinion, some people will only learn what life means, when they’re faced with death. When people kills obviously they think it’s acceptable, and therefore it is clear that they should have no qualms about them being dead. That’s how i support capital punishment.

  5. treespotter says:

    and uh, Rob, the argument for mistakes – biases in the judicial process – that dispatched ‘innocent’ convicts to death row, that has nothing to do with Capital Punishment. that’s more problems with the system rather than with the punishment.

  6. Rob says:

    PN…

    For a smart fella you sometimes do not read carefully enough.

    I talked about both punishment and rehabilitation. The punishment is the jail time, the removal from society. During this period of punishment the State can provide opportunities for rehabilitation, that is preparing the convicted person for re-entry into the community.

    This is not leftist drivel and it is not about morality. It is plain and simple about preparing the convicted person for re-entry to the community. If the State is not going to take on this role then your assumption is that the mere prison time is sufficient to convince the convicted person that they should be better behaved next time they are on the “outside”. Recidivism is a serious problem and the opportunities provided in prison are an attempt to break that cycle.

    I rarely make assumptions of the kind you allege. I did not say that society makes criminals. Nevertheless, some people have more opportunities than others to choose a life of crime. That though is another argument entirely.

    I know you cannot address the issues and the substantive points that I make because you are blinded by your own ego and the belief that Purba knows best on everything. However, as usual this is because you presume too much and know too little!

  7. Rob says:

    Tree…

    How so?

    The biases and the dispatching of an innocent person has everything to do with capital punishment if they are executed, doesn’t it?

    My argument was that the procedural errors that occur undermine the validity of the punishment. If you cannot guarantee 100% guilt then there must be questions regarding the imposition of the penalty.

    I am sure that there are arguments like, “well he or she has been found guilty by a jury of their peers and that is enough”. There are plenty of examples of where this has been found to not be the case.

    I know that I will not convince you on this and you know that you will not convince me.

    To each their own!

  8. treespotter says:

    No court on earth could ever guarantee 100% guilt or innocence, death penalty (that i support) or life sentence (that i don’t) or any other sentence (that all of us do).

    We support the legal system because it’s the best option available. We dispatched the dead, when they killed other people, i’d say is a good reason.

    When they killed a few hundred, i’d say it’s the best we can do, even if we can’t ascertain the 100% guilt factor.

    Guilty by their peers is the best we can do, since we can’t ask God to arbitrage, some of us don’t even believe in gods. We do our best, and sometimes, we have to drive the truck and run them over.

  9. Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    @ Andy,

    Andy Says:

    November 8th, 2008 at 8:56 am
    In our country and country’s where the rule of law is respected and followed Rob that is true but have you seen the treatment of the Bali Bombers lately? They get time with their families, time out to pray, good food during Lebaran etc. Not to mention the photo shoots and TV appearances. They seem to get on telly more than Agnes Monica. They have not been doing hard time from what I can see. There have been other cases where terrorists (who didn’t receive the death penalty) have been given remissions of six months. Now when that happens each and every Lebaran they end up with a vastly reduced sentence. Ironic that Schapelle Corby, who was caught with a bit of grass, has received far lesser remissions during Christmas etc. If the Bali Bombers came from any other part of the world I too would probably say let them rot in jail. But not in a blantantly biased country with a dubious legal system

    Ah .. Andy the ignoramus.

    Unlike the know-all West, Indonesia deemed terrorism as a disease, not a crime. Under normal circumstances, the terrorist himself may be a lovable family man, a filial son or even your gentle friendly next door neighbour who would not even kill a fly. It is like a kid playing one too many violent arcade games, and the moment he stepped outside, feeling gutsy and looking for a fight. When sober and made aware of his consequences, he matured. Those who are beyond help, we tagged them. We do not believe in fighting fire with fire. Our approach had been very successful in detoxicating this Arab disease. This is the Javanese wisdom or the ‘Asian’ thing that dumb West will never understand.

    I myself have treated and cured more than a dozen Javanese brothers. Uneducated Javanese peasants are not thick headed. My sopir is a good example. One day I questioned him had nappy on his head and why he never shaved. He had worked with me for over a year then. He told me craps like rocket science in the quran and the West had stolen Allah’s technologies. I immediately sat him down and told him about the prophet morality, then his responsibilities and his priorities as a patriotic Indonesian. I printed out some pages off the Indonesian translation from FFI for him to take home to read. Next day, he asked for more articles and I gave him more. Then one day he came to work clean shaven and without nappy. It all happened less than a week to cure one and it works wonder. He thanked me and told me his family and many of his extended families are no longer real moslem.

  10. Ross says:

    Tree, it was not drunken humour, quite hard to achieve before noon, I’d have thought. It was contempt for and anger at the absurd charade of delays that the regime had the brass neck to offer again and again.
    Judging from your comments here and elsewhere, you seem to think we should all be restrained in our expressions of emotion at this time, but in fact I was delighted to see the swine shot. They deserved it, and the lack of remorse, from them or their kin, made their journey to hell the best news for ages.

  11. Orang Baik says:

    Purba,

    Your comments:

    “Maybe then your parks are free of syringe for your children- caused by your other “social victiom” in need of hug loser- the drug addict”

    Never in my life after travelling to 23 countries have I been offered drugs on the street more than in Indonesia!!!!!

    I also understand from my Malaysian experience that a high number of Malays are drug users.

    cheers.

  12. ET says:

    The death penalty for some crimes – like in this particular case of Amrozi cs – is in my opinion justified and should not be considered a punishment per se, but rather a delayed act of self-defence on behalf of those who didn’t have a chance to do so when the attacks were carried out. Or would it have been wrong for the victims to kill their aggressors if they had the chance before they were able to detonate their explosives? Was the killing of Dr. Azahari by the police while resisting arrest for his part in terrorist bombings also unjustified?
    These are rhetorical questions.

  13. Purba Negoro says:

    Treespotter
    take your liberal nonsense away. Spare us your liberal intellectual and moral colonialism.
    Your own decaying Western society are proof enough you and its advocates are a vacuous blabber with nothing concrete to show as proof.

    This is Indonesia- not the West.
    This is not a Jeffersonian society- this is a martial society in the midst of a social and economic failure called democracy.

    Every single measurable living standard of Indonesian society was far better under authoritarianism. And now the poor and the wealthy demand its’ return.

    Indonesia is PANCA SILA Democracy which states: Demokrasi tetapi bukan liberalisme- Democracy but not liberalism. Democracy is as we see fit.
    to quote Sukarno:
    “democracy is not an end in itself. No- it is merely a tool, a means- the end is a just and prosperous society”.

    Liberal democracy is proven poor form of government where the emotive is indulged with pandering to the rigths of the fickle individual.

    Indonesia rejects liberalism as proven rubbish doctrine,
    The Indonesian Republik and security apparatus of State is supreme over all-.
    All inhabitant of Indonesia agree by their citizenship and by extension their continued occupancy/residency of Indonesia to follow all rules, law and regulation of the State.
    The Indonesian Republik has the Right and Responsibility to maintain Social Order by whatever means the State deems necessary.
    It is implicit that all rights of individual are subordinate to the State
    Indonesia upholds the rights of majority as embodied by the State above any and all individual.
    This is Indonesian law- it is not subject to debate or alteration.

    This mean if SBY decide tomorrow for total Martial Law- it will be obeyed- no argument allowed.

    Yes- the State is right to kill whomever it see fit as enemy of State and or Society.

    At least in Indonesia we do not pretend to care nor subjectively apply or respect human rights- yet deny human rights on the basis of sovereign national resources and kill foreigner by the millions unlike the USA, UK or puppet Australia- under the coward convenient excuse of Cold War.

    Summarily- the West is a blabbing buffoonish hypocrite and has nothing of any substance to either say or to be listened to.

    Again I quote Sukarno:
    “Colonialism has also its modern dress, in the form of economic control, intellectual control, actual physical control by a small but alien community within a nation. It is a skillful and determined enemy. It does not give up its loot easily. Wherever, whenever and however it appears, colonialism is an evil thing, and one which must be eradicated from the earth.”

    NGO and liberal academic are the very worst colonial parasite and they shall not be spared any mercy in being eradicated or their infestation halted.

  14. Bas says:

    Treespotter,

    “My thoughts go like this, if we were going to throw away the key, then why even keeping him there at all? Put two in his head and do away with it. Why give anyone false hope and memories of sunrise? that’s cruel and unusual. If there was no parole, putting him in a small cage for the rest of his life is cruel and unusual. What would be the humane treatment of such person? How many sunrises would he be allowed to see in a week? or a month? or indeed, in the rest of his cursed life?”

    If he prefers that than death? What if he like it? There are always hope. Governments change. Laws are modified. Cultures evolve. One can escape…

    Are you an Indonesian official to decide what’s good for people and what is not?

    Give him the choice! Let him decide.

  15. Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    Orang Baik Says:

    Never in my life after travelling to 23 countries have I been offered drugs on the street more than in Indonesia!!!!!

    You seem to attract undesirables which lead me to believe it is the place you hang out, the way you dress, talk and act. Poo attracts flies.

  16. TheWrathOfGrapes says:

    It is interesting that the death penalty is viewed as a deterrent. The statistics on this would be mixed at best. The mere fact that people are still getting caught committing crimes that they know are subject to the death penalty suggests, at least in an anecdotal way, that it is not a deterrent.

    Rob, look at it this way. People are still getting caught committing capital crimes, but it is likely that more people who have done those crimes if there had not been the death penalty. We will never know for sure, but chances are that it would have SOME effect.

    To those who have been put to death, it is the ultimate deterrent. The drug traffiker is not around to spread more misery. The Bali bombers are no longer around to plant more bombs. Mind you, many of these criminals are serial killers.

  17. TheWrathOfGrapes says:

    typo – should read “likely that more people would have done those crimes if there had not been the death penalty.”

  18. treespotter says:

    purba negoro: I’m very impressed. You’re obviously a very learned man. I’m almost tempted to post a shorter reply to say that i completely agree with you point on point.

    This is Indonesia- not the West.
    This is not a Jeffersonian society- this is a martial society in the midst of a social and economic failure called democracy.

    One couldn’t put it better. Society of Thomas Jefferson was exactly such a tumultous time in the American revolution that it was probably best described in the way you just did.

    I’m curious if you have any basis to suggest that there is a measurable living standard that was better ten years ago? What exactly are you referring to?

    Liberal democracy is proven poor form of government where the emotive is indulged with pandering to the rigths of the fickle individual.

    I’m also curious of this proven poor form of liberal democractic government, if there’s any?

    Quoting Soekarno in indonesian constitutional interpretation i don’t find too credible since successive governments of Indonesia had very different opinions on Soekarno and the Founding Father himself spent his last days on a semi house arrest. His strict leftist tendencies in his vision of then infant indonesia reflects his political positioning at the time rather than an intellectual discourse (he was also leading a revolution at the time).

    I’m also very certain that SBY can not impose a martial law tomorrow.

    I’m not sure how a liberal academic become colonial parasite but i’ll take your word for it.

    That’s not even the scope of this article. I’m only saying, i support death penalty.

    Nothing to do with my world domination plan or anything.

  19. treespotter says:

    ross: well, you know, that’s just my personal bias 🙂

    bas: some people change, others don’t. Some people are deterred, others don’t. I won’t be resting my hopes for delivery of justice from any court system. You can not people in cages just for a hope that they may or may not be free someday – that’s cruel and unusual.

    The point about having a law, and therefore its effectiveness relies on whether its being carried out and enforced or not.

    I am not an indonesian official and i wasn’t even talking about these three bombers. My article was about my Pro Death Penalty position and not about supporting one side or another in the case of these three bombers.

  20. Barron Clarke says:

    Seeing how you have seen to selectively quote me let me tell you your understanding of how many aspects of religion creep in to creeds, and in this I include all the Major religions, is poor indeed. Mary, the mother of Jesus for instance did not officially become a virgin until the fourth Century. I dare say there might be many women who would like that sort of retrospection.
    That other Mary (Magdalene) is never mentioned as a prostitute or associated with the women at the well anywhere in the bible or any of the other gospels not part of the ‘official” word of God. In the eighth century the need to put women in their place in the ‘Church’ bought forth the ‘fact’ that women were inherently bad (e.g. Eve) and therefore MM had to be a whore.

    “Various other parts of the Christian scriptures supported this view while maintaining to recognize death as a form of legal and legitimate form of punishment at the same time.”

    This statement is just nonsense. One of false “facts” people think if they say it enough someone else will believe it.
    If you know the meaning of the word Testament find out what the New testament that jesus preached was.
    Nowhere in any of the Gospels, Gnostic or ‘official’, does jesus even suggest that execution is that way to go. In fact quite the opposite. “let you are without sin”, etc.

    If you intent to argue do it with facts not your interpretation of the Bible.

    What I just don’t understand that if the Bible, Koran, etc is supposedly the word of God why do humans need to interpret, censor and review it like god didn’t know his mind or what he/she was saying.

    If you and others want to believe in a god that begs for executions you are as bad as the deluded ones who carry out acts like Bali and now Mumbai or the people who used to

    “Similarly, we forgive death in war zones”
    That statement is also nonsense and has been for thousands of years. look at that wonderful Christian institution the Crusades. It all depends on who wins. there’s a Chinese saying that says the winner of a war and how its told is not so much about who is right but who is left.

    Most of the countries that have human sacrifice (execution) (I’m not being funny its the same thing) are dominated by a culture of rich and poor or religiously (not necessarily Islamic) dominated. As for the USA I would hardly hold up a country which allows its citizens to murder thousands of other citizens each year because of a political and judicial system.

    no matter which way you approach the subject execution is barbaric, does not serve as a deterrent and is used for exactly the same reasons cultures practice human sacrifice.

  21. Barron Clarke says:

    Just as a matter of interest I use my real name. I do this all through the internet and don’t hide behind some pseudonym.

  22. Purba Negoro says:

    Barron
    would you like a medal or a chest worthy to pin it on? How do we know you are telling the truth- Barron could be seen as made up?

    Your argument and logic is flawed:
    “no matter which way you approach the subject execution is barbaric”
    BUT this merely masks your own persepctive as YOU deem it barbaric- and a little bit lazy to persuade why.

    Then tactic of absurd reduction- you argue “if you believe in god that asks for vengeance- you’re as bad as those terrorists.”
    Hardly convincing.
    This is exactly the same as saying Hitler hated hunting.
    You hate hunting- so therefore you’re like Hitler.

    The argument surrounding capital punishment can be both perceived as barbaric and not barbaric: one or other or both simultaneously.
    Thus your argument is logically flawed and thus invalid.

    The USA is no model for anything to admire regarding law or clean politics.
    Japan has low homicide- death penalty
    Singapore- low homicide- death penalty
    Thailand- low homicide- death penalty
    China- homicide is very low- death penalty

    Thus we see your argument is also false.
    And in fact- in all society aside from US where capital punishment effectively used has far lower per capita homicide rates.
    The US has 2nd highest homicide rate in world.
    Hardly a model for civil society.
    The UK and French homicide rates have increased steadily since abolition of death penalty- and mass support exist for its return- shouted down by the know-all Leftists and liberal moaners.

    Furthermore- the Liberal West contests Cpaital Punishment- but exercise it routinely extrajudicially in Afghanistan and Iraq on non citizens.

    Therefore this is insultingly hypocritical yet typical of the West.
    We apply death penalty to those who transgress our internal laws following a trial.
    NOT hapless foreigner exercising his right to political expression in his home nation.

    Thus- all Western argument are fundamentally flawed by well established pre-existing hypocrisies.

  23. Gunung Batu says:

    I am against any kind of killing, for any reason. I against killing in the war. I’m thinking that we even should stop killing animals, trees, and plants. I wonder if we should make killing flies, mosquitos, cockroaches, viruses, and bacterias as illegal. I will consider my friends offer to be a vegetarian more seriously now.

  24. Barron Clarke says:

    To Purba Negoro

    I suggest you Google my name and you’ll see I’m real.

    The lack of logic and rhetorical argument in your fantastic and incorrect statements are matched only but the razor sharp wit. (would you like a medal or a chest worthy to pin it on? ) I can remember saying that exact statement over fifty years ago. Also this is a personal attack shows not only a lack of knowledge of the subject but an inability to argue effectively on the topic.
    The fact that I use my real name simply means whilst I have an opinion and wish to express it, I am prepared ( and allowed in my country) to use my real name.

    If it is not understood that execution is barbaric and is just a development of and uses the same justification as human sacrifice, which most civilsed people consider barbaric, then anything more I can say is useless.

    “The UK and French homicide rates have increased steadily since abolition of death penalty- and mass support exist for its return- shouted down by the know-all Leftists and liberal moaners.”
    I don’t know where you got this “fact” but again say it often enough and people will believe you. I know my facts and this is WRONG. Since 1750 the number of homicides per thousand has fallen in the U.K. and France by about 30%. Since 1900 the number of homicides per thousand people has continued to fall unlike Texas (the state with the highest execution rate.) or your beloved Indonesia (I have many Indonesian friends) where the crime rate continues to rise even for capital punishment crimes.
    Whilst it would not be true to say that there is no support for the death penalty in these two countries the populations have been polled from time to time and about 75% of the people are prefer living without the death penalty.

    Then tactic of absurd reduction- you argue “if you believe in god that asks for vengeance- you’re as bad as those terrorists.”
    Hardly convincing.
    This is exactly the same as saying Hitler hated hunting.
    You hate hunting- so therefore you’re like Hitler.

    Here’s the arguing of the right wing again. If he didn’t say it or it is not a fact say it long enough and they’ll believe you.

    What does that mean. my very misquoted argument relates not at all to the gobbledygook that follows it.

    Here’s what I said please go back and read it in context.
    “If you and others want to believe in a god that begs for executions you are as bad as the deluded ones who carry out acts like Bali and now Mumbai or the people who used to practice human sacrifice.”
    My point being that if you think any god wants executions then that is the same motive the people mentioned used for their deeds. (I hate having to explain two things
    arguments and jokes.)

    Japan has low homicide- death penalty How often have they used it in the last 20 years and for what? about 3 years ago Japan’s parliament made a statement that capital punishment did not work as a deterrent.

    Singapore- low homicide- death penalty An Example of a country which has a large gap between rich and poor. Its also against the law to have long hair if you are male.
    Access to or avoidance of the law is based on status and wealth.

    Thailand- low(this is incorrect) homicide- death penalty another example of a country with a large gap between rich and poor. Also poor democratic practises. Also endorses and uses torture as a form of punishment. Also one of the world’s largest suppliers of drugs. This country’s homicide rate has been on a major upswing for the last 20 years however they only use statistics from the courts. In other words to be a homicide you have to be bought before the court and found guilty. A bit like Mexico it has one of the lowest car accident rates in the world. Why? because it is a criminal offence to have a car accident there so nobody reports them!

    China- homicide is very low- death penalty Totalitarian State which needs to control its population with violence. It also endorses public use of torture and public executions. Has “unofficial” death squads.

    Sir out of respect to your country I won’t mention it in this list of disgraces.

    Its the stopped clock versus the slow clock argument.

    What about Australia’s homicide rate, what about Canada’s homicide rate and I could go on. There is NO correlation between a death penalty country and its rate of homicide. This HAS been proven.

    Liberal democracy is proven poor form of government where the emotive is indulged with pandering to the rigths of the fickle individual.

    Indonesia rejects liberalism as proven rubbish doctrine,
    The Indonesian Republik and security apparatus of State is supreme over all-.
    All inhabitant of Indonesia agree by their citizenship and by extension their continued occupancy/residency of Indonesia to follow all rules, law and regulation of the State.
    The Indonesian Republik has the Right and Responsibility to maintain Social Order by whatever means the State deems necessary.
    It is implicit that all rights of individual are subordinate to the State
    Indonesia upholds the rights of majority as embodied by the State above any and all individual.
    This is Indonesian law- it is not subject to debate or alteration.

    What is this Indonesian Republik if it is not the sum of the individuals that constitute it?
    Why else would it exist.
    This is the sort of propoganda that lead to the rise of national socialism in Europe in the 1920’s and 30’s. It is similar to parts of Mussolini’s manifesto and parts of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book.
    Indonesian law obviously changes why would you need a parliament.

    We liberal democrats not only uphold the rights of the majority but we also give the minority it go even if we disagree with them. Why we even let the stupid have their say.

    Better a liberal democrat ( and I’m proud of it I can think for my self) than a slave or a ventriloquists dummy.

    Purba Negoro I respect you because you are a human being and you are entitle to your view but if you are going to debate with me come with FACTS not state sponsored rhetoric masquerading truth.

  25. treespotter says:

    Barron,

    I’m not sure where you turn this into a theological discussion but a biblical theological debate isn’t the subject of my post. If you really want to disect the bibles – yes plural in all its variation setup during the first few hundred years of Christ – thyen by all means, i’ll participate, but that will be its own post. It’s been a while since i read the gospels, but one may always want to refresh.

    My post isn’t about the theological doctrines but rather its institutional interpretation as it was applied by the various Christian/Moslem empires centuries. One may want to argue of whether these interpretations represent ‘the truth’ but i wasn’t. I draw upon the examples of the institutions representing those religions and how/when they have the authority to execute, and therefore legitimizing death penalty within its domain of control (much of middle east for islam, europe during the middle ages, etc.).

    I have mentioned it REPEATEDLY – that for me, death is NOT about morals. I don’t believe in gods that ‘begs for execution’ – i am pointing out the fact that God created men/women as mortals: they DIE -> it’s a fact, not a moral judgement.

    I’ve made my arguments for deterrent, etc. in earlier comments and i won’t repeat them here.

    Judicial execution is very different to human sacrifice: one is a social act, the other is a celestial/divine/ceremonial act.

    I’ve a feeling from your offensive tone that you’re not of the kind who’d enjoy a cool headed debate so i’d keep this brief.

    My point remains: death has no inherent moral value, it isn’t neccesarily bad as it is good.

    Killing people isn’t barbaric – it’s human nature. It’s one of the first act done by the first human and i am sure will remain a fixture of humanity for the rest of our mortal history.

    We will also not debate of whether killing bacterias and mosquitoes in context of morality. Eradication of Mosquitoes is a central issue in my political beliefs.

    as for your name, with all due respect, i couldn’t care less if you’re real or not. I respect people of their opinion and less of their appearance.

  26. treespotter says:

    and uh, barry, before you start jumping up and down on me again, in the event that you can’t be bothered to actually read what I have written (you seem very passionate) – i don’t even believe that capital punishment works as deterrent either. You can go on along that line with PN 🙂

    I just believe that people that believe it’s okay to kill people shouldn’t have any problems about being killed and therefore it’s a perfectly legitimate instrument for society to use. Whether one would like to use it or not, of course it’s up to each society to decide for themselves. I’d like only to point out that going all morals about death is, quite simply, a sign of our mortal arrogance.

  27. Purba Negoro says:

    No your moral supremacist argument remains invalid.

    And if we consider civilisation- you insult us all with your smug ignorance.
    My nation, China, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia India all have far greater civilisations than anything USA Canada or Australia- can invent as ‘own’ they are nothing more than trite Angloceltic plantation colonies.

    Which- in terms of civilisation- do not measure so well considering their origins murdering thousands of non white indigenes to impose this illegal invasion, theft of land and resources.

    Nor their shared history of racially selective migration.

    We do not look up to the West- we see it as it truly is- ugly, decadent, self-indulgent, hypocritical and fundamentally flawed.

    Arbitrary imposition of convenient double standards is the hallmark of Western hypocrisy.

    There may be little proof of effect as deterrent in the WEST.

    Access to or avoidance of the law is based on status and wealth
    Oh how different indeed to the West- where fair play is order of the day.
    What a sick joke.

    Innocence can be bought just as easily in the West as in the ‘savage” real world.

    Demos kratie is rule of the majority- the oppression of the few by the many.
    We have read your classics including “Republic” as well as our own- do not insult our intelligence.

    What you have in the West is two party system perpetuating vested interests of party funders and status quo- giving the dull and apathetic electorate the illusion of choice.

    The Indonesian Republik and security apparatus of State is supreme over all-.
    All inhabitant of Indonesia agree by their citizenship and by extension their continued occupancy/residency of Indonesia to follow all rules, law and regulation of the State.
    The Indonesian Republik has the Right and Responsibility to maintain Social Order by whatever means the State deems necessary.
    It is implicit that all rights of individual are subordinate to the State
    Indonesia upholds the rights of majority as embodied by the State above any and all individual.
    This is Indonesian law- it is not subject to debate or alteration

    Don’t like our laws and constitution- that is just too bad.
    They will not change to suit the idiotic morally afflicted.

    This is Our Constitution- which states Demokrasi tetapi bukan Liberalisme as the very first declaration.
    Democracy but not Liberlism.
    Sukarno later qualified:
    “democracy is not an end NO! it is merely a means… to a just and prosperous scoety”.

    Indonesian democracy is not au fete British democracy- it is Indonesian democracy: deliberative and consensus based- as decided by the wisdom of peoples representatives.

    The unpleasant reality remains- we the Chinese, the Indonesian, the Myanmarese, the Russians etc- all perpetually stand on far higher and firmer moral ground than the West.

    We kill our own criminals- not create convenient lie and kill foreigners for their resources and our greed.

    The West cannot critique us in any seriousness- it is guilty of millionfolds more extrajudicial murder than us “savages” combined.

    Therefore- the West can shove its’ hollow arguments back up where it finds its’ large rubber fists, drugs balloons and source of where the West believes the sun radiates from.

    Unpleasant fact- we care nothing for liberalist drivel nor whether it placates the moral arrogance of the over privileged and under-educated Western ignoramus.

  28. Barron Clarke says:

    treespotter
    just one small comment about your statements
    My post isn’t about the theological doctrines but rather its institutional interpretation as it was applied by the various Christian/Moslem empires centuries. One may want to argue of whether these interpretations represent ‘the truth’ but i wasn’t. I draw upon the examples of the institutions representing those religions and how/when they have the authority to execute, and therefore legitimizing death penalty within its domain of control (much of middle east for islam, europe during the middle ages, etc.).”

    How can you put that forward when your original statement and the one I attacked was:
    “Various other parts of the Christian scriptures supported this view while maintaining to recognize death as a form of legal and legitimate form of punishment at the same time.” ( my emphasis)

    You made this and other pseudo theological arguments and statements which were refuted in my arguments.

    As for you Purba Negoro as I said before I won’t even take up the again ridiculous lack of any rational argument which I could again pull apart with ease. You’re points are just that of an arrogant prig who sees all from the west as evil. Well that sounds familiar. The points put lack any backing of fact just an irrational believe in state fed garbage.
    Save the one below because it shows the type morality Indonesia sees as right.

    The unpleasant reality remains- we the Chinese, the Indonesian, the Myanmarese, the Russians etc- all perpetually stand on far higher and firmer moral ground than the West.”
    The dark ages constitution doesn’t even hold up where Indonesia had to be kicked out of East Timor ( we have seen what the military did in the Dilli massacre) by the UN, still continued to fire upon peacekeeping forces and murdered three unarmed journalists from Australia. Also we know over 100,000 citizens of West Papua have been murdered by death squads because of their opposition to being taken over by Indonesia. So much for being non-barbaric and morally superior.

    The rest of your writings simply say we are superior therefore we are right. Again think of where this has been used before. Open your mind to other possibilities. You fail to answer any of my arguments and just throw out predictable Extremist (right and left) nonsense trying to disguise it as facts.

    Anyway you can attack me again, that’s fine. I finish where I start, any state which sees it has to maintain the death penalty is immoral, barbaric and simply inferior.

    I’ve wasted enough time on your pathetic attempts at debate. Just Stop. I won’t reply because the arguments (and I use the term loosely) are either nonsense, wrong or lies. I have better things to do than this.

    Old saying:
    Don’t try to teach pigs to sing:
    you won’t suceed
    and
    You just annoy the pigs.

  29. treespotter says:

    Barry,

    I’m not sure where I earned your hostility, but let me try to be the cool headed one here.

    You must be friggin jokin to say that Christian scriptures don’t have Capital Punishment. Either you’re too vitriolic in your new found hostility for me or your opinions cloud reasons beyond your own understanding (i am assuming you do understand things). Allow me to expand on my ‘pseudo’ statements:

    I am glad we’re limiting the arguments to New Testaments only – the old testaments i can have a field day with for references.

    – The New Testaments and the scriptures that follow was basically put together and sanctioned at the Council of Nicaea at the behest of the Emperor of Constantinople who did execute people on regular basis.

    – All the gospels spoke of adhering to the law (a view later rejected by Calvin and others) but affirmed by everyone from St. Agustine to Thomas Aquinas. The current law at the time, include Capital Punishment.

    There is NOT a religion on this planet where Capital Punishment is more central than Christianity since Christ himself was executed. That formed the entire theological basis of Christianity: whereas humanity had chosen to depart from the righteous path, Christ saved them and correct the wrong – most significantly by having himself executed.

    While one may ‘regret’ the death of Christ to one’s heart content, it is impossible to separate his execution from the scriptures as it is the most central underlying principle in Christian theology.

    The Execution was part of the Roman law – that Christ followed and respected, and lead to his own death. Quoting Matthew: “All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” – rebuking the apostle from taking the sword to defend him, showing his willingness to move on with the execution.

    It is therefore explicitly recognized as a social instrument to maintain social justice by Christ himself (indeed, the very point of Christ was to illustrate that social justice differs from divine justice, which is a point i tried to make repeatedly earlier, but i won’t lecture you on Christian theology, i’m sure my pseudo arguments are thoroughly familiar to such an educated man like yourself).

    we can cover calvinist later if you so insist.

    You’re busy jumping up and down about people being barbaric and all, Christ followed through with the execution and created the basis for the entire religion afterwards.

    Perhaps if you care to go beyond manic egos and personal attacks, we can continue having a somewhat civilized discussion, i consider it important when we’re actually talking about Christ & other holy people to behave at least respectably out of courtesy for their deaths.

    I can’t be bothered to google you – if that was meant for me, “Google Me” simply bears no credence, and well, means absolutely nothing unless you actually have something real to say.

    You’ve made your point – repeatedly, passionately and categorically – in your attacks and counter attacks with PN over there, and yet, except for your stubborn inclincations, you failed to explain one thing:

    How is Death Penalty Immoral and Barbaric?
    (i concede that it is inferior, but i consider it useful in certain cases).

  30. Barron Clarke says:

    Treespotter
    I am not hostile towards you and I feel you mixed up what I argued against your statements against what I said to Purba Negoro. Read my writing carefully and you’ll see this. The google me was meant for him because he made stupid remarks about not being sure I was using my real name.
    I try never to attack the person but will attack poor or incorrect argument.
    A couple in your latest attempt are below

    “You must be friggin jokin to say that Christian scriptures don’t have Capital Punishment.”
    This of course is a fine argument but is not backed up with examples from the Christian scriptures. I’ll even give the “unofficial” Gnostic gospels to quote.

    You also keep referring to Testaments in the plural. This show a lack of understanding of the word and a lack of knowledge of theology.

    Jesus neither respected the Roman law nor followed it. This is some sort of attempt to say Roman’s executed people, jesus respected their laws, therefore he approved of execution. Another one is because he was executed is approved of execution. Now there is logic and rational argument.
    That is what we call a carrot argument.
    Most people eat carrots, all people die, therefore carrots are lethal.
    We obey laws and hopefully if we disagree with them can try to change them. That of course depends on where you live.

    “All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword”

    Suggest you read Mathew and really find out the point that was being made. It certain does not pertain in even the most tenuous way to execution.

    oh yes. suggest you read the life of Constantine and you’ll see he converted to Christianity for political reasons. The Empire was failing, Christanity had grown and was very powerful and widespread. A deal was struck to make him titular head of the “church” for his patronage.

    Also most the early saints, starting with John were executed for putting god’s law before man’s. There are also many good books on this.

    Actually I have no particular religious beliefs but I have read widely on theology and worked in Religious schools for over 30 years. It was expected in most schools you had a good knowledge of the particular religion. I also suggest you about the reformation and
    I won’t go through the other psuedo historical nonense you have tried to tie together.

    Anyway I’m not wasting more time on this because it is way off the subject and the arguments are non-existent.

Comment on “Pro The Death Penalty”.

RSS
RSS feed
Email

Copyright Indonesia Matters 2006-20
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact