Death Penalty Paper - McGinnis 1 Ryan McGinnis Morality and...

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McGinnis 1 Ryan McGinnis Morality and Justice John Kane F 11:15 11/17/2006 Capital Punishment: The Radness That It Presents In discussing the implications of capital punishment, in this case the death penalty, I believe that it should be allowed and used in American society today. Reasons for why I believe that the death penalty should be used are that it provides a deterrent against committing murderous acts and that capital punishment is something which is justified by the idea of an “Eye for an Eye.” However, other philosophers, such as Stephen Nathanson, disagree with me. Nathanson argues that capital punishment takes away the sanctity of life. He also argues that the death penalty is an act of Barbarization, where the moral values of life are eroded. These arguments both present interesting ideas behind the societal institution of capital punishment and whether or not it should still be a part of modern American society or if it is something that should go the way of the Dodo. The reason for why I believe that the death penalty should be used in today’s society is that if someone commits a crime, in this case murder, that they should be held equally accountable for that crime. That is to say that my own personal philosophy falls within the lines of Hammurabi’s “An Eye for an Eye.” No single individual has the right to kill another individual. Along with this concept where no individual is allowed to kill another single individual, I also agree with Ernest Van Den Haag when he argues that capital punishment is used as a deterrent. By having the ability to put a murderer to death, it sets an example for all other individuals in society. This example is that if someone is to commit murder, that they know for a fact that they will have to face the repercussions of their act. I agree with Van Den Haag’s position because I know for a fact that I would not commit murder for the reason that if in the
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McGinnis 2 event I were to be caught, which likely based upon my personal luck, that I would have the possibility of being put to death for my act. For this reason, I choose not to commit murder.
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Death Penalty Paper - McGinnis 1 Ryan McGinnis Morality and...

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