Roundup

Is the death penalty a deterrent?  Of course it is.

Another provocative one from the Wintery Knight: His guidelines on courtship for Christian men and women.  I would tweak it just a bit myself, but overall I find it to be very solid, biblical and insightful. 

I liked the Bumbling Genius’ take on the police officer who is unfamiliar with or indifferent to the First Amendment (“It ain’t America no more”).  I think the man’s sign was unproductive, but the officer’s reaction and the non-reaction of the media and the President are very troubling and hypocritical.

President Obama is bearing false witness about other bearing false witness.  He seems shocked that we’d claim that his plans include government funded abortions, even though that has always been his claim and more honest politicians concede the point.

Cheney calls Democrats soft on national security and slams Obama’s politicized CIA probe — Yep.

0 thoughts on “Roundup”

  1. The death penalty is certainly a deterrent, but to get to the crux of the argument, you must show that the death penalty is more of a deterrent than is a life behind bars. Although the summary of this study may offer evidence that it is, I can’t reconcile that with the fact that states with the death penalty do not have lower murder rates than those without it.

    I don’t see how this justifies killing people. You seem to be contradicting yourself by supporting the death penalty because it might save other lives. That’s not an excuse we use anywhere else to justify taking a life.

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    1. Although the summary of this study may offer evidence that it is, I can’t reconcile that with the fact that states with the death penalty do not have lower murder rates than those without it.

      I haven’t seen the state vs. state study you are referring to, but I can think of many non-CP variables that would impact the murder rates.

      You seem to be contradicting yourself by supporting the death penalty because it might save other lives. That’s not an excuse we use anywhere else to justify taking a life.

      Sparing other lives is consistent with the pro-life ethic – i.e., abortions for ectopic pregnancies.

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      1. I haven’t seen the state vs. state study you are referring to, but I can think of many non-CP variables that would impact the murder rates.

        That could certainly be true, but I can think of a lot of non-CP variables that would affect the study you linked (indirectly) to. By the way, the numbers about the study are different than in the actual study. The increase in deaths due to commuted death sentences was 0.5, not 5. Doesn’t change the point though.

        Sparing other lives is consistent with the pro-life ethic – i.e., abortions for ectopic pregnancies.

        So, if you can kill one person to save 5, that’s okay? The two scenarios are not the same at all. It’s not like you are saving specific lives here – it’s nothing more than a hope that others MAY be deterred from committing similar crimes.

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      2. Ryan, you are ignoring the pesky fact that the person in question killed another human being in such a fashion as to warrant a First Degree Murder conviction and that the person failed 10+ years of appeals.

        This isn’t some random “let’s sacrifice one human being for the benefit of others” pitch such as the proponents of embryonic stem cell research support.

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      3. Neil, I see what you are saying, and I’m not a zealot on this issue. The fact is, allowing the state to kill one person to save others means that the state gets to decide which lives are more valuable than others. I am a firm believer that people can change, even after long periods of time, and although that will never change what they did, I think everyone deserves the opportunity to attempt to right a wrong, or make repercussions in some way, even if the person does not immediately feel remorse, or even confess.

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      4. One can indeed change. A person on death row can actually become a Christian. But, just because they are forgiven that doesn’t mean they should suddenly be exempted from paying the penalty – the consequences – of their crime. God is the one who established capital punishment for murder, so take it up with him.

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      5. If a person on death row becomes a Christian, could he not work to help others in prison turn their lives around? Perhaps help people that are going to be released some day? How could you want to kill a person that has realized his mistakes, and is trying to right a wrong?

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      6. He has to pay the penalty of his crime. “When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong.” Eccl. 8:11. So if you let the guy off because he is now a Christian, then everyone else will claim to be a Christian just to avoid punishment. Nope, I’m sorry but the consequences of one’s actions were known before hand.

        Besides, most likely he became a Christian through the ministry of a person doing prison ministries who will still be there to reach others for the Lord.

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      7. I have to agree with Ryan on this one. I am against abortion AND the death penalty.

        I have often wondered were it possible to get a jailhouse doctor in the manner we get a jailhouse lawyer? How many inventors have we sent to death row? We could have had a cure for cancer or even a better way to mobilize automobiles…anything.

        The knowledge of man is finite and embodies a beginning and an ending. The knowledge of God is infinite– it knows no bounds. We cannot presume to know more than the Father. Sure the law says, “Thou shall not kill….an eye for an eye, but it never says who will dole out this punishment.

        Seems to me it would be the one who made the law.

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      8. How many inventors have we sent to death row?

        Hi Mizclark,

        I don’t use those arguments much for pro-life or CP discussions. Each life has worth because humans are made in the image of God. If there is no God, then whoever has the power determines life.

        And how many inventors have those on death row killed? Using that analogy makes their crime worse.

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      9. I don’t think it would make their crimes worse. Murder, no matter who you murder, should have the same punishment. No life is worth more than another.

        This is why I don’t agree that victims should get to speak or address the judge before sentencing at a trial. They should be given the chance to say what they like, but after the decisions have been made. Otherwise, who is to speak for the homeless man killed in cold blood, but leaving no family or friends behind to say how much they missed him?

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      10. The type of people who are on death row most likely would never have invented cures for anyone, but that isn’t the issue. They committed a crime for which God ordained execution, therefore they can be executed and be in accordance with God’s law. “Thou shall not kill” is KJV 1611 English, while the true meaning of the word is “You shall not MURDER.” The Bible does indeed say who meets out the punishment – God gave that right to the state. Gen. 9:6, Romans 13:1-7

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      11. So do you condone lashings where God condoned lashings? Should we stone the disobedient children? You can’t follow the letter of the “law” in one case, and fall back on your better judgement in another.

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      12. Did God condone lashings? Where? Stoning of children? Where? Be very careful of context when you read things – they may not be what you think them to be.

        Also, there were a lot of laws in the O.T which were meant only for the nation of Israel – so be aware of that also, and the reasonings behind them.

        But capital punishment wasn’t just condoned by God – it was ordained by God. If you don’t like captial punishment, then you have to take that up with God, not with those who follow God’s teaching.

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      13. If you don’t like captial punishment, then you have to take that up with God

        I’m sure that’s exactly what the Saudis say to a women, just before they stone her to death for the crime of “being raped”.

        Considering there’s no way to “take it up with God” – at least I’ve never seen a comment card anywhere – we need to take it up with ourselves. The United States is a secular country, and the laws must be secular in nature, and must have real founding. You are free to refer to the Bible as much as you wish, but the government does not have that option.

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      14. We are free to use our Bibles and vote accordingly. See the 1st Amendment.

        And according to your logic, the Saudi’s would be on solid ground with killing rape victims provided their views were informed by secular reasoning and not religious. Right.

        And I don’t see how an atheist can refer to “real founding,” since you freely admit this is all just your opinion.

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      15. What one claims is from God and what is really from God are two different things. Saudis who stone a woman for being raped are not doing God’s will. The Muslim god is not the true God of the Bible.

        Why does a gov’t have to have secular-based laws to be “real founding”? God is real (“The fool says in his heart ‘there is no God'”). Without God as foundation, what basis does a gov’t have for saying anything is right or wrong -what is the standard of measure?

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    2. I think the “crux” as you call it is pretty clear. Many on death row plead to have their sentences changed to life. Very very few that get life ask to be executed.

      So I believe the death penalty is by far more of a deterrent than life behind bars.

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      1. Well dismemberment by lions would probably be higher than the plain old death penalty. What would your argument be against that?

        What about “the rack”? If it’s all about deterrent, why not go all in?

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      2. mizclark, I’ve noticed this air about you. It is like “mizclark has proclaimed it therefore it is!”. David was King. King’s killed and had people killed all the time. To try to equate the average person with King David is ludicrous. What David did was wrong, but he knew he’d get away with it with everyone except God.

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  2. The reason the death penalty isn’t as deterrent as it should be is because with current legal system they can file appeal after appeal after appeal for any trivial reason and be on death row for decades. In the old days sentence was passed and out you went – big time deterrent.

    The death penalty will certain deter the one who is executed – he’ll never murder again.

    As for life behind bars, why should we pay tax dollars to keep the guy alive? And what about how often they are the cause of more violence while in prison? How many have been let out on parole or for good behavior and have killed or committed other crimes? Life sentences always give the bad guy the hope of getting out and doesn’t really deter them. Knowing they will be executed, period, will certainly make them think twice.

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    1. So, you advocate the China method. One quick appeal immediately after the trial, and then death the afternoon of the appeal, if lost? Yeah, that’ll teach ’em.

      They’re made horrible mistakes, but these people are human beings like you and me. They must pay, of course, but the death penalty offers no chance for a person to try to make amends, in whatever way he can.

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      1. The only appeals should be if the evidence is all circumstantial and you may not be truly guilty. But if you are caught dead-to-rights and it was just that some technical error was made in the process of your trial, etc, sorry about the technical error but you are still guilty and must pay the penalty for the crime.

        Pre-meditated murder, which is the only kind I know of which is punished by CP, is not a “horrible mistake” – it was a planned out evil deed with the hope of not getting caught. Just how do you make amends to the person you murder?

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      2. Appeals on technicalities absolutely suck, I agree. But they exist for a reason. Without the ability to appeal on such grounds, the police would be free to conduct any and all searches they like, even if you are not a suspect. They could tap your phones all they like with impunity. Processes need to be followed to protect the rest of us.

        It’s next to impossible to make amends for a murder, but an admission of guilt along with an expression of remorse can be significant for a grieving family. You can’t make amends to the family, but you can help others in the same situation you may have been in, and possibly prevent another crime.

        Everyone has something to contribute to society, however small.

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      3. So why lock up anyone who is willing to just show remorse? What’s the point of punishment if you can just promise not to do it again?

        As for technicalities, I’m not talking about intentional stuff, and you know that. I’m talking about what you see on a daily basis – people getting off because some scheister lawyer finds some t that wasn’t crossed or an i that didn’t get dotted. Even so, if a guy is a serial killer, e.g., I don’t care what the cops have to do to get him off the streets.

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      4. You lock them up for the same reasons you want them to die. To keep society safe and punish them for their crimes. I’m not saying they need not be punished – remorseful or not. I’m just saying that ending their life does not really offer more punishment, and is not an action any state should have the right to take.

        As for the “technicalities”, I totally agree. A judge should be able to decide if the “technicality” actually affects the fairness of the trial, and if not, deal with it by giving the police department a small fine or something.

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      5. I beg to differ with you – executing them is a lot more punishment than life in prison.

        The government does indeed have the right to execute murderers – God gave them that right. He instituted capital punishment for the governments and not for the individual.

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      6. Did He give that right to any group that finds itself in power, in any old tyranny or apartheid or commie state or military government?

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      7. If God punishes them later, it’s rather meaningless to call it a “right.” A right is something the free exercise of which, lawmakers can’t punish you for.

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      8. Until we figure out how to bring the dead back to life, I don’t think there’s any way a murderer can make amends. After all, the person wronged is dead. Saying one is sorry and tending the grave doesn’t cut it. CP is what it is, punishment for capital crimes. Deterrence is irrelevant.

        As to lions ripping apart the sentenced, that falls under cruel and very unusual punishment. We now try to put murderers to death in ways far more humane than what their victims suffered.

        But here’s a way that would help as far as deterrence goes: allowed concealed carry in every state of the union. Fewer murders and fewer violent crimes occur where concealed carry exists.

        Another way: allow more religious speech in public schools, not so much as an established religion type of thing, but as a means of teaching why good behavior really matters. Kids in gangs can actually think death “ain’t no thang”. That attitude is easy to develop in a context of no higher authority. Expectations fall and bad behavior rises.

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      9. Anybody can make amends, and anybody can contribute to society no matter what crimes he has committed. You are confusing “making amends” with righting a wrong, and they are not the same thing.

        There’s no humane way of putting a person to death.

        As for gun laws, I need only cite the murder rates in Canada, UK, Japan, and others to show you that allowing people to have guns does not make society more safe.

        but as a means of teaching why good behavior really matters.

        Good behaviour matters every bit as much to atheists as it does to people who believe in God.

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      10. Re. gun laws — you seem to be implying that other than gun laws then everything else impacting murder rates is the same for Canada, UK, Japan and any spot in the U.S. If that is what you mean then I think you are mistaken.

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      11. There are many other factors – you’re right. But the same problem lies with the stats that show conceal and carry laws help.

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      12. That’s quite possible. It is hard to get apples to apples, but the last reports I saw were pretty compelling about it being safer in areas where you can carry.

        Not that I have a gun, though. I’m too careless.

        I do have a really, really sharp spear I brought back from Kenya, though!

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      13. If you can conceal your spear, I think you should have the right to carry it.

        How did you get that on the plane?

        I have my Swiss army knife. It make me feel like MacGyver.

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  3. Neil, I love how many on the left call we believers that A) are pro-capital punishment and B) anti-abortion hypocrites. Yet they have no problem being anti-capital punishment and pro-abortion.

    Seems to me the innocent should be protected and the guilty should pay the cost of their crimes, but what do I know? 🙂

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  4. Glenn you are exactly right. The death penalty cannot be a deterrent if it has no credibilty. The potential murder has to believe he will be executed if he is caught. Presently, I doubt if any murder really expects to be executed.

    I also agree that, at least as far as I know, no recipent of the death penalty has ever committed another murder.

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    1. I think you’d be surprised. Murderers guilty of 1st degree murder in death penalty states often say in interviews that they realized that what they were doing was punishable by death. They just thought they wouldn’t get caught.

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  5. As Glenn mentioned,

    Eccl. 8:11 – Solomon said “When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong.”

    Acts 25:11 – Paul said “For if I be an offender, or have committed ANY THING WORTHY OF DEATH, I REFUSE NOT TO DIE: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.

    Luke 23: 41 – Thief on cross said: “And we indeed JUSTLY; FOR WE RECEIVE THE DUE REWARD OF OUR DEEDS: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

    Allow me to be frank and don’t think I don’t have any affection:

    Although the question is if CP a deterrent, I think we focus too much on the deterrent part. CP is for crimes deserving of it. I believe the by-product of CP is that it deters. But money can’t be made if CP was used like it should be. I believe there would be less violent crimes. But the reason for a thousand appeals is to make money – judges, lawyers, lawmakers, prison system, etc…. it all comes down to money.

    Cut and dry murder with intent and motive – they should be taken next door after the guilty verdict and receive one .45 caliber to the head and one shotgun blast to the chest. That will cost about $5 instead of millions of law-abiding taxpayer dollars when we’re keeping them on death row for 20 years or 3 life sentences without parole….and that garbage is all about money too!!!

    Then let the rebellious juveniles who think that being violent is cool walk in the room right afterward and clean up the blood, brains and lungs from the wall and floor so they can see where they’re headed if they continue in a life of crime.

    We can save millions of dollars and really use and funnel that money towards education.

    And I believe people can change, too….not saying in all cases, but in most cases they’ve apparently they rejected the gospel long enough and carried out a violent murder….. by the way, they have time to repent while on their way next door.

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    1. It’s either a deterrent or it’s nothing more than revenge, and I think revenge is a terrible thing.

      We’ll never be able to carry out a death sentence cheaply, nor should we. If the state is to take a life – a life that cannot be given back – there MUST be no chance of error, and no chance that the person may have been mentally ill, or coerced, or otherwise not acting of his own free will. This takes lawyers, judges, psychiatrists, and much more. The death penalty is not cheaper as it stands.

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  6. Ryan,

    A state does indeed suffer when God brings it to collapse. The people of that state may also suffer, but that is the consequence of sin. States do not become corrupt without the help or apathy of its citizenry. A state can claim rights by God, but that doesn’t make it so. Rights are indeed granted by God to the state, but we use the Bible to determine what is right.

    Nazi Germany was able to evil only because the people of that nation permitted it. The USA is becoming more and more evil because the citizenry, especially the liberals, are assisting the gov’t in its evil.

    Hitler killed 12,000,000 people outside of war deaths but God didn’t give him that right.

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    1. You really believe that the United States, as a country can claim right given to it by God?

      Can you list any other instances where a group of people can get together and form an organization that, as a whole can commit acts that for an individual acting alone, would be a sin?

      Are the God given government rights granted at a national, or a state level? If me and my brother found someone committing a murder in plain view, can we hold a trial between the two of us right there, and kill the man because we are simply “carrying out God’s will’?

      Do you see the similarities between one group of people killing because they believe God condones it, and another group of people (perhaps in stolen airplanes) killing because they believe God condones it? As a species, we have shown an inept ability to determine who should be killed and who should not be killed. Perhaps it’s best to just let everybody live. Then, if we ever find out that we made a mistake, we have the chance to fix it.

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      1. As a species, we have shown an inept ability to determine who should be killed and who should not be killed.

        Agreed. Some people make the most bizarre and convoluted cases as to why unborn human beings can be crushed and dismembered. Go figure. It will happen over 20,000 times this week in the U.S. alone, compared to one (1) capital punishment. The person given a CP sentence had over 10 years of appeals, while the unborn have none.

        Oddly enough, few pro-legalized abortionists wring their hands over the possibility that their arguments might be wrong and that they won’t have a chance to fix potential mistakes.

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      2. Aren’t you always telling me to stay on topic?

        So if there were just one abortion per week, and one case of capital punishment, would it change your views on either? It wouldn’t change mine, so why bring it up?

        Still think the state should be able to kill people? What about juveniles?

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      3. I addressed the point you brought up, namely that it would be really, really bad to make a mistake in our reasoning about whether it was moral to kill a human being. You claimed we shouldn’t take that chance, but you completely abandon that reasoning with your abortion opinions.

        I think the state has the right to capital punishment, provided that the justice system can render a fair verdict.

        I also know that abortion kills an innocent human being every time, and the CP protestors are illogical and hypocritical to support abortion rights. And if they think I’m being inconsistent then they are being even more illogical (big difference between convicted murderer who lost 10 years of appeals vs. completely innocent unborn).

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      4. Juveniles? Until our century of raising kids to stay kids, young people in their teens were mature and considered adults. Gang members who routinely kill are teens.

        If you’re old enough to murder, you’re old enough to be executed for it. I’d be all for 14 and up being treated as adults.

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      5. If you’re old enough to murder, you’re old enough to be executed for it. I’d be all for 14 and up being treated as adults.

        Obvious moral issues aside, that’s pretty disturbing that you would kill a child for committing a crime, rather than look at an entire life that could easily be turned around.

        Do believe in any type of forgiveness at all?

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      6. Your problem is that you are calling a 14-year-old a child. It is only our current culture who still treats these young adults as children. Throught history these young people were marrying and running farms. It was nothing unusual for a 17-year-old guy marrying a 14-year-old girl and starting on their own as pioneers. The teens we have now are raised to remain immature and playing until they are done with college. My kids were raised to be adults and were always amazed at the immaturity of their peers.

        A 14-year-old is a young man or young woman. At 14 they know right from wrong, they know the law, they know the consequences. Our teen crime has increased exponentially ever since we started the “juvenile” bracket which lets them off with “spanking” whether they sell dope, rape or murder. They know they can get by with it.

        What has forgiveness got to do with it? If you tell someone the punishment for the crime will be such and such, you can forgive them but they still must suffer the consequences of their crime. If I told my child, “If you do such and such you will have to spend the rest of your evening in your room,” and yet they did such and such, should I then not send them to their room if they say they are sorry? They can say they are sorry, but they will still go to their room so they know the punishment is not just a bluff. If they get out of it by saying they are sorry, then every time they do something wrong all they have to do is say they are sorry and no punishment.

        Forgiveness just says, “I will not bring this incident to your account in the future” but you still have to pay the penalty. On a private person-to-person transaction, you could even waive the penalty, and even a state can do so, but then as a state you set a precedent that crime will not be punished for those who show remorse.

        Oh, and what are the moral issues which you mentioned? Your opinion or God’s?

        Do you really think a 14-year-old murderer can “easily be turned around” any more than a 30-year-old?

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      7. I guess if you’ve resolved yourself to the fact that the state can kill people, they can probably kill whomever they wish.

        Do you really think a 14-year-old murderer can “easily be turned around” any more than a 30-year-old?

        Yeah I do.

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      8. I resolve that the state can execute murderers, not “kill whomever they wish.” I resolve that because God ordained it. Just like I have “resolved” to myself that homosexual behavior is wrong because God said so. Just like I’ve resolved that abortion is wrong, because God said so.

        How can you resolve that abortion – doctors killing whomever they wish just because a woman comes to them – yet you cannot accept that a murderer should be executed?

        You’ve again demonstrated the problem with private moral beliefs which have no standard foundation; i.e., killing innocent babies is okay but killing murderers isn’t okay. Does not compute!

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      9. I only agree that abortion is okay in early stages where the baby has not yet developed any cognitive function. Cognitive function is what I believe makes us persons.

        A murderer is most definitely a person, and despite the harsh punishment he deserves, should not die for his crimes.

        So, anything that “God said” should be something that the government should enforce?

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      10. Ryan, did you read Romans 13? Does it say the governing authorities are just two guys who don’t like another? You build strawmen to knock down.

        The authorities God gives rights of governing are cities, counties, states, countries – whatever division is the authority. All authority is from God. If it is misused, the one wielding that authority will be held accountable.

        The difference in people flying into buildings murdering others and governments executing criminals is who is following a true God. There is, after all, only one true God. More than one God would be a contradiction, a logic fallacy.

        A larger question for you is how do you determine that what the 9/11 terrorists did is wrong or evil – on what basis do you make your judgment? What gives you the right to decide whether murder is wrong or whether abortion is right? Where do you find your moral standards? As Neil pointed out, you think murdering innocent children in the womb is okay because it is done by doctors, but executing criminals is wrong because it’s done by the state – where is your logic?

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      11. I’ve read all of Romans, yes, but not for quite some time, and it’s not coming up anytime soon in my book queue.

        More than one God would be a contradiction, a logic fallacy

        In my opinion, more than zero Gods is a logical fallacy, but if there can be one God, there is no reason there couldn’t be another.

        I’m not going to let you drag another thread through the dirt by claiming atheists have no grounding for their morals. I have moral ground to claim that terrorist attacks are wrong. I know you think they are wrong too, and I know you don’t need the Bible to know that. However, if the Bible told you to bomb a building full of people, you would have to do it wouldn’t you? I don’t think you would do it. I think you know it’s wrong, and it would cause you to throw the Bible away rather than bomb a building full of people.

        If that is the case (and I sure hope it is) then your morals exist outside of the Bible.

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      12. I’m not going to let you drag another thread through the dirt by claiming atheists have no grounding for their morals.

        Drag through the dirt? That sounds like you think it is morally wrong to present our point of view. Got any universal grounding for that claim?

        I have moral ground to claim that terrorist attacks are wrong.

        Please elaborate on your universal grounding.

        I know you think they are wrong too, and I know you don’t need the Bible to know that.

        Agreed, but the Bible reinforces it and clarifies what we should do.

        If that is the case (and I sure hope it is) then your morals exist outside of the Bible.

        We know. It even teaches in the book of Romans that the law is written on our hearts. There’s that book again!

        But you can’t just shout our argument about grounding down because you don’t like it. Spare us the straw man that we say you don’t have morals. We have never made that claim. We just point out that you don’t have philosophical grounding. You just have your opinions and no reason we should care about them other than majority rules, or whoever is in power rules. But that isn’t morality.

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      13. Neil, I know you don’t like every thread going off topic, and we’ve discussed it before. I was actually trying to help out. If you really believe I have no grounding for my morals, then my opinions aren’t really worth anything, and you’d be better off making this a Christian only site. I only avoided this issue to stick to the topic at hand, since you’ve warned me about it before.

        Yes, you’re right, our morals, in a sense, are written in our hearts. Humans have built in empathy, and the moral tendency exists in all of us. We do unto others as we would have done unto ourselves. Extending this to the terrorist example, most people would rather not have an airplane fly into the space we presently occupy, so it is right to not do that to others.

        So would you abandon the Bible if there was a passage in it that commanded you, in no uncertain terms, to do something that was against the morals in your heart, on par with terrorism?

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      14. Just saw this comment — WordPress was flaky yesterday and over 20 comments just hit my inbox.

        I have no intention to make this a Christian only site. My posts will reflect a Christian worldview, of course, but I welcome serious dialogue and skeptics who can follow some simple guidelines.

        Your point about empathy and flying planes into buildings fails. They obvioiusly thought it was “right” to do that, so how can you possibly criticize them? They didn’t think it was immoral, so with no universal foundation other than your personal opinions on the matters — which is the opposite of universality — you have no reason to object.

        So would you abandon the Bible if there was a passage in it that commanded you, in no uncertain terms, to do something that was against the morals in your heart, on par with terrorism?

        I encourage you to take another pass at the Bible when you are doing your reading. I know you love your hypothetical “command to do terrorism” example, but you have missed a rather obvioius point: The Bible already tells me to do all sorts of things that go against my human nature, and it does the same for you. You are the one who abandoned the Bible because of that, not me.

        You didn’t walk away because it told you to do something evil, but to do some things right: To acknowledge your sinful nature, agree that you need a Savior, agree that there really is a God to whom you are accountable, and to repent of your sins and trust in Jesus.

        But that is too much for most people. They want to go on relying on themselves as god and making up their own view of the universe. Bad idea.

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      15. How do you guys do that yellow blocking quotes thing?

        Neil did such a good job responding, I only have one point: God by definition is infinite – all powerful, all knowing, all present, etc. If there was another being which was infinite, then the two could not be distinguished – one can’t be infinite because in order to distinguish, one would have to lack something of the other’s, which would mean it was not infinite. So only one infinite being can exist logically. You may say no infinite being exists, but you can’t logically say more than one exists.

        If you say no God exists, then you are obviously all knowledgable yourself, which would make you God. But since you don’t have all knowledge, you can’t logically assert that there is not God. You can only say you don’t believe there is one, or you don’t know if there is one, but to dogmatically say there isn’t one requires total knowledge of everything in the universe. That’s why scripture says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.'” Only a fool would claim that kind of knowledge.

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      16. Like this (hopefully this shows up).

        <blockquote>
        put quoted stuff here
        </blockquote>

        Well, with your definition of God, I guess there must be one and only one, but that’s just your definition.

        If you say no God exists, then you are obviously all knowledgable yourself, which would make you God

        Huh? How do you get that? I’ve heard people say that before, and I have no idea how one could come to that conclusion.

        But since you don’t have all knowledge, you can’t logically assert that there is not God.

        Agreed. I make no such assertion. I’m willing to go as far as saying I’m reasonably quite sure there is no God. I think that is as far as one can go.

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      17. Hi Glenn,

        This should be interesting to try and explain the blockquotes without actually using them.

        You put a less than sign () without the parenthesis.

        That indents everything.

        To end the blockquote, type the same thing but with a “/” in front of the word blockquote (that turns it off).

        I’m sure I took 10x longer than necessary to explain that!

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  7. Mental illness, understandable. Doctors and lawyers come into play. Coercion, to a very small extent, understandable. But to break in someone’s home and kill the entire family for no other reason than I want the possessions that they’ve worked hard for is plain murder.

    I know there are people who are mentally ill and some who are coerced……….I don’t think the post is about those types of “criminals”. I believe the post is dealing generally about violent criminals who have their full mental capacity and who have decided to commit the crime. Most of the violent crimes can be stopped. I truly believe that. But it won’t be stopped because crime=money.

    And it’s called justice, not revenge. When there is a consequence for an act committed, it’s justice, not revenge being served.

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  8. Seasofbrightjuices says:

    If God punishes them later, it’s rather meaningless to call it a “right.” A right is something the free exercise of which, lawmakers can’t punish you for.

    I don’t understand what you mean. God gives the state the right to execute murderers. If they misuse that right, then God will punish them. It’s just like us – we have the right to free speech but the law will punish us if we yell “fire” in a theatre.

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  9. I only agree that abortion is okay in early stages where the baby has not yet developed any cognitive function. Cognitive function is what I believe makes us persons.

    So you have decided for yourself what constitutes value? So if an 80-year-old with alzheimer’s no longer has cognitive function, is it okay to kill him? If you can establish your own morals as to what is right and wrong, why can I not establish that capital punishment is right without even opening the Bible?

    A murderer is most definitely a person,… should not die for his crimes.

    This is your personal morality with no objective standard to base it on. If I use the same no objective standard, then I say he should die for his crimes and you have no right to object.

    So, anything that “God said” should be something that the government should enforce?

    It’s not a matter of what “God said,” when it comes to the gov’t. If God tells the gov’t to do something, then yes. But there isn’t much in the Scripture where this takes place outside of what God tells Israel. In the case of CP, God has ordained the punisment as execution. A state is NOT required to do so, but is authorized to do so. If one says they don’t like the idea of CP so let’s lock them up for life, that is okay. Even God extended mercy to David for his adultery/murder, and Christ extended mercy to the woman caught in adultery. But what you CANNOT say is that CP is wrong because God ordained it and said it is right. You CAN say we may use mercy and forgo the CP and be right about that also. But mercy is NOT required.

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    1. This is your personal morality with no objective standard to base it on.

      I’ve given you the objective moral standard that I live by, you just don’t like it. If you found out tomorrow that there is no God, and the Bible is entirely fiction, would you start killing people that you don’t want around, and stealing things from the helpless? I think you would know better, even without God.

      You CAN say we may use mercy and forgo the CP and be right about that also. But mercy is NOT required.

      Didn’t God teach about mercy as well? The Parable of The Unmerciful Servant is a good example of this. Why should God show mercy for your sins if you will not show mercy for the sins of others. Is that why you pawn it off on the government? So nobody needs to be personally responsible? If there was a God, I’m sure he’s be a little smarter than that.

      Micah 7:18 Who is a God like you, who pardons sins and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.

      Ezra 9:13 (NIV) “What has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins have deserved… Shall we again break your commands…?”

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      1. Ryan,

        your understanding of theology is so far off it is difficult to reach you.

        Firstly, you have NO “objective” moral standard – what you have is a “subjective” standard – a standard based on “because I said so.” Whether or not CP is right to you is based solely on your belief. You have no standard to hold it up against. So if I say CP is right, by what standard of measure can tell me I am wrong?
        If there is no God, and the Bible but fiction, then explain to me what would be wrong with killing people I don’t want around? What about “survival of the fittest?” If I am more fit and I don’t want some sickly person around propagating the human race, why can’t I just blast him off if that is my moral base? What right do you have to tell me that is wrong? Just your belief?

        I stated that God also shows mercy and that we CAN exercise mercy and not execute. Both passages you cited are about God in relation to the nation Israel. God does forgive those who come to him in repentance. But God also allows the consequences of their actions to be punished by the earthly authorities.

        God punishes unrepentant, unbelievers with eternal damnation, of which is much worse than CP. So should you complain to him about his punishment for those who have violated HIS laws?

        Mercy with CP would mean a quick death vs torture; it doesn’t have to mean to drop the punishment.

        But let’s go back to you: please give me an objective, all-culture, all-time standard as to why CP is wrong – on what standard can you make such a judgment?

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      2. And while he is at it, perhaps Ryan can explain why he is so sure that CP is wrong (because we just “might” be executing someone who is innocent, when he has never exhibited any concern here that he might be wrong about the 3,000+ slaughtered via abortion each day.

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      3. That’s not why I think CP is wrong. I don’t think even a confessed killer should be executed.

        I’m going to write down my views of why some abortions are okay and just cut and paste it every time you ask me to justify it. You know my views on that, why do you need to keep asking? It’s a fallacy to use my views on one subject to discredit me in another topic, but you seem to be holding the “free fallacy card”.

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      4. No, I’m just looking for a shred of consistency. You wring your hands over the possible 1% of CP’s done to innocent people (and that’s being generous). Worst case scenario that is one every two years. One person every two years. A tragedy, to be sure.

        But there will be 2,000,000 abortions during that time, during which 2,000,000 completely, absolutely, thoroughly innocent human beings will be crushed and dismembered without anesthetic. No appeals, no mercy, no anesthetic.

        And despite your surety about the acceptability of destroying “non-person human beings” you have expressed zero concern that you might be wrong and zero concern that many of those abortions don’t even meet your made up criteria for being “moral.”

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      5. You didn’t answer my question. If you found out the Bible was fiction, would you kill people? Would you steal if there were no consequences? I don’t kill people or steal, and I don’t believe anyone is watching me.

        Morals don’t come from a God. If God’s eyes looking over your shoulder are the only reason you are acting morally, then I’m afraid you are not a moral person.

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      6. Typical straw man arguments. If there is no God, then everything is permissible. Just because you have no foundation to defend your beliefs doesn’t mean you should put words in our mouths.

        You and other atheists don’t realize the irony of acting so proud for having morals without reference to God. It is comical how your morals are just fumes of Christianity and you don’t realize the absurdity of being proud over something that, according to you, is the result of random material chemical reactions.

        Morals came from God, and they are elaborated on in the Bible. Not having a Bible is no excuse. But having the knowledge you do and rejecting Jesus does make you more culpable.

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      7. I’m not surprised. No Christian has ever answered this question of mine. I’ll answer it for you, since I think I know you well enough for this one. If you found out there was no God tomorrow, I think you would probably treat people about the same. I think you would still take good care of your family, and I don’t think you would kill anyone – even if doing so would benefit you.

        You’re right that your morals are inside of you.

        I’ve never though about whether I’m proud of my morals. I don’t think I am. I could be a better person.

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      8. I thought it was obvious that I did answer your meaningless question. There is obviously a God and I have always known not to kill people, with or without the Bible.

        And you can’t escape Stereotype Land long enough to see the obvious: Christians weren’t Christians before they were Christians. I used to be an atheist and knew not to kill people.

        You also ignore that even if atheists want to kill people — and many do — they avoid it not because of a fear of God but a fear of the deterrents — say, such as the death penalty.

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      9. Me, grouchy? You need to meet me in person and see what a softy I am. I’ll give you a big hug.

        Of course I don’t think that is the only reason you don’t kill people. But deterrents reduce crime.

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      10. I’ll answer your question. IF there was no god, then what would put in your heart the moral code that God put there? You only say you don’t need God because you don’t recognize it is Him that puts the law in your heart. But I don’t think you or me or anyone would have any guilt about killing someone who got in our way if there was no God – after all, evolution is all about survival of the fittest.

        And morals are just “inside you” and not based on any objective standard, how can you say my morals are wrong and yours are right? It’s your opinion against mine!

        But the question you asked is like asking, “what would you do tomorrow if you found out the sun didn’t exist?” It’s a question about an absurdity – it can’t be answered!

        But how about you, Ryan, if you DID discover that God was real, how would that change your life?

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      11. But I don’t think you or me or anyone would have any guilt about killing someone who got in our way if there was no God – after all, evolution is all about survival of the fittest.

        I disagree. I don’t think you would kill anyone. And evolution is survival of the fittest, not killing everyone else. Evolution is more than individual survival. It’s survival of genes, many of which we share.

        if you DID discover that God was real, how would that change your life?

        I don’t really know. It wouldn’t change how I treat people, I don’t think. I can’t think of much I would change.

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      12. And evolution is survival of the fittest, not killing everyone else. Evolution is more than individual survival. It’s survival of genes, many of which we share.

        But by definition, evolution obviously involves killing others to suit your own desires. That doesn’t mean everyone does it, but in your scenario it has to be that way. You can’t blame original sin and/or Satan. Evolution is the root of everything for you — “good” or “bad” — at least if you are being consistent.

        I can’t think of much I would change.

        Then despite all your Bible reading I think you don’t understand what you disbelieve. For if understand the God of the Bible at all and you discover that He is real, you’d realize that you have an eternal problem on your hands.

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      13. But by definition, evolution obviously involves killing others to suit your own desires.

        I’m going to buy you a book.

        Evolution does not mean killing other animals. Some species have evolved to compete in this way, but most have not. Survival of the fittest simply means that the more fit you are for your habitat, the more likely you are to have babies.

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      14. I think you missed my point: If evolution explains how we got here and why we are the way we are, then it is “responsible” for killing, good deeds, Christianity, etc.

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  10. Glenn said: It’s just like us – we have the right to free speech but the law will punish us if we yell “fire” in a theatre.

    But we don’t have the right to yell fire in a theater. Various countries have laws against libel, holocaust denial, incitement to violence, what have you. They’re explicit limits on our rights. If we exercise our rights without falling foul of any explicit limits, there’s no legal basis to punish us. Rights are what we can’t be penalized for exercising, surely, by definition.

    Like

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