capitol punishmentgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Human rights (Amnesty International) : One Thread
I consider myself a kind and humane person very interested in social change, and the division that was caused by AI's coming out strongly against corporal punishment really upset me. I believe that it is just for some people to be killed for their crimes, specifically if they take the lives of more than one person on more than one occasion. And I respect that some people do not believe in capitol punishment, but I resent portraying people who do believe in this as being uncivilized, cruel, and not worthy of discussion on any liberal political agenda. I believe that I have a unique viewpoint with regards to this issue. I am a biologist and I comfortably call my religious philosophy pagan, by which I mean that I feel most aligned with ancient nature worshipping. The way that I view this very heated discussion of capitol punishment is with regards to humans viewing themselves as being somehow greater than other life on this planet. Humans are animals, and I think that we really overvalue our lives, especially with respect to other life on the planet. People who repeatedly torture and kill other people, should themselves be killed. That is an ancient animal behavior, and I think to portray humans as being somehow so civilized that they should not kill another human, despite how evil that human may be is absurd, and a violation of logic. And I think it is symptomatic of our human society pretending that we are acting on some higher plane. That higher plane modeled after this non-existent male sky/sun/war god that some 80% of Americans choose to believe in, a fact which I think reflects our deep problems with denial. Our penal system is completely insane, full of people suffering from drug abuse or poverty, and I think that AI would be better suited to pursue the freeing of these people rather than to be so involved in that portion of those Americans in jail for the repeated murders of other people.
That's my feelings on it.
-- mara (mara), October 02, 1997
I do not believe AI's decision to oppose the death penalty caused any division. Our group has never required members to oppose the death penalty, although some do. If one does not wish to participate in the death penalty campaign, then don't. That issue should not discourage anyone from working for those who have done nothing wrong.
I would not, and do not, think less of those who support the death penalty, I only advocate the opposite opinion. Please do not confuse those who favor abolition with those who fanatically oppose the death penalty. We are all individuals and oppose capital punishment in different ways.
Killing those who kill others is not an animal response, it is the unique human quality called revenge. I do not kill animals either, as I am vegetarian. I'm sorry you find so little value in life. Animals do not routinely kill their own species, we have that unique quality, and we therefor require a unique, non-animal solution.
AI is not a poverty or drug abuse charity. If you feel strongly toward these issues, you might consider other charities.
You do not need to act on a higher plane if you choose to do otherwise. I, however, will always attempt to rise above my instincts, despite my agnostic beliefs.
-- Nathan Solinsky (email@example.com), October 02, 1997.