Should There Be a Death Penalty?
There should be a death penalty to punish capital crimes.
This statement does not seem to be a Q1 violation so long as:
- Your definition of "capital crime" is consistent with your other beliefs.
- You are not against the government putting people to death.
- You are convinced that either it is impossible for someone innocent to receive the death penalty or you think that the benefits of the death penalty outweigh the danger to innocent parties.
This is not a Q2 violation so long as you would not condemn someone who thought you deserved the death penalty for what they consider to be a capital crime.
When discussing this issue, you may want to divide it into two questions: "Is the death penalty moral?" and "Is the death penalty practical?"
Whether the death penalty is moral depends on whether or not you believe that any crime is so extreme that death is a just punishment. It also depends on whether or not you consider execution by the state to be moral.
Asking whether the death penalty is practical brings in a number of other factors. Is the death penalty morally justifiable given that in an imperfect justice system a certain number of innocent people may be executed? Is the death penalty in some sense cruel and unusual punishment? Is it meaningful if it cannot be carried out without a lengthy delay?
There are other factors you may think worth considering. Is the death penalty a deterrent to crime? Is it better or worse for the victim (or the victim’s survivors) than life imprisonment? Should world opinion be taken into account? Should it be reserved for only the most heinous criminals?
You are encouraged to leave your answers to the questions posed in this post in the comments section. This post is based on an excerpt from Ask Yourself to be Moral, by D. Cancilla, available at LuLu.com and Amazon.com. See the 2Q system page for details of the philosophical system mentioned in this post.