Friends, I have strong opinions about many things.
But the only issue where I will say that I have actually ‘proved’ my point, is the death penalty. I say this because, to me, my argument seems impervious to attack, and because I have posted this argument on a number of websites and while many have tried to disprove it, it has never come under effective challenge.
Naturally, no one in favour of it ever admitted that they were wrong and that I was right (we are talking about human beings after all) but facing such stiff opposition has convinced me that I’ve got a serious point.
My argument goes as follows:
1. We know, for a fact, that there is always a small number of people who get convicted for crimes they did not commit.
2. Therefore, we know that if there is a death penalty a small number of people will be murdered by the State, for a crime they did not commit.
Now this isn’t really a problem, not yet. We already recognise that governments have the right to kill people, if it is absolutely necessary.
But that “necessity” is the key feature. Which brings us to:
3. Therefore, in order to be in favour of the death penalty you must believe that the death penalty offers some benefit that makes it more important than the life of an innocent person.
4. But there aren’t any.
5. Therefore, support of the death penalty is irrational.
In essence my argument rests on a simple idea: if you say that ‘x’ is a good reason for the death penalty, but ‘x’ is not more important than the life of an innocent person, then you lose.
But that’s too easy. So I’m also going to be looking at the most common justifications for the use of the death penalty, and explaining why my argument slaps them in the balls.
A. The Death Penalty Is A Just Punishment For Certain Crimes
Well actually, I agree with that statement (he said, simultaneously alienating half his fan base). There are some crimes that are so horrific that I feel the person who committed them doesn’t have any right to complain if they get killed themselves.
Furthermore, there are some criminals who have not only committed horrific acts but done so repeatedly and in full knowledge of the horror of what they are unleashing.
Such people deserve to die. They have surrendered all claims to being part of society.
However, that doesn’t mean that the death penalty is a good thing.
Remember my argument. If you are saying that the justness of the death penalty is the reason why you like it, then you are basically saying:
“Giving a just punishment to some criminals is more important than the life of an innocent person.”
Well, sorry, but that isn’t true. Providing a less “just” punishment on people who are actually guilty and thus not murdering the innocent sounds like a much better idea to me.
If you disagree, then post below.