Now that’s an interesting subject and it would seem that this subject certainly demands a little more argument before the prosecution can instruct the jury of “PUBLIC OPINION” to fully deliberate, correct?
For after all in order to arrive at a consensus of understanding from even just a twelve person panel all the FACTS must first allow the prejudice toward any such facts to be weighed and scaled.
And of course in doing so, the laypersons of the jury would then be obligated to apply jurisprudence and scale the merits for truthfulness, correct?
I’ve sat on a jury and as a Juror I watched how the best system in the world actually works! As a Juror I listened to the prosecution enter the evidence, heard the testimony of eye witnesses on behalf of the plaintiff and I evaluated the subjective scrutiny being inferred upon the credit-ability of the defendant behind closed doors, deliberately!
As I watched the ongoing debate of one’s own prejudice take form what I came away from realizing was that mankind has a flawed credit-ability, as we can’t really decipher fact from fiction anymore! Thus what happens too often is that we create a matrix reality for what’s at stake regarding the justification for capital punishment, as we’re primed to do.
The self ordained societal authority to KILL another human being for his or her crimes against humanity can certainly render a verdict so that a Judge’s gavel can pass sentence. Although one could just as convincingly present an opposing argument that only G_d has the authority to “take away” mankind, at least according to what is described as our legal system’s ethical and moral foundation, the word of G_d.
One of the best known passages from the book of Job,
Job 1:21; “He said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
What is most important here is to realize that in the adjudication of any such law the interpretations must be anchored upon the foundational system’s code of ethics and morality, which are founded in the tenets of the Judeo / Christian religious philosophies. These are what predicates the law’s justifications in the first place, correct?
Therefore the interpretation that affixes such authority to Judges to convict someone and apply the Death Sentence is claimed to be predicated upon the laws of G_d.
In translation of the biblical examples for “HIS” will be done we are administering “HIS” will for wicked; abominable, heinous crimes and acts that were clearly in defiance of the laws of G_d.
It was G_d who killed every human alive on this planet in the days of Noah (except Noah and his family).
It was G_d who killed every human alive in Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring cities (except Lot and his 2 daughters).
It was G_d who drowned Pharaoh’s army.
In the wilderness, G_d swallowed up those who rose up against Moses (I’ll compare Noah and Moses laws later).
G_d allowed all of Israel to die in the wilderness, denying them entrance into the land of Canaan.
He killed Adab and Abihu for making strange fire.
G_d killed Uzzah for touching the ark of the covenant.
G_d killed Herod, who after making a speech was said to have the voice of a G_d and not a man, but he gave not G_d the praise.
He killed Ananias and Sapphira for promising the church a piece of land but holding back part of the price.
So according to the tenets in of our Judeo / Christian religious philosophies, it is really G_d who holds the power of life and death in each one of us. It is appointed unto man once to die but after this, the judgment will come from G_d and G_d alone.
Heb 9:27; “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”
Death is a reservation which G_d has made for each of us, and we cannot delay it, nor can we prevent it and in the same light therefore we shouldn’t assume control over it.
The Torah records G_d killing multitudes of people and some people want to believe that this makes G_d a murderer. The misconception that “killing” and “murder” are synonymous is partially based upon the King James mistranslated sixth commandment, which reads,
“Thou shalt not kill”Exodus 20:13; “You shall not murder.”
However, the word kill is a translation of the Hebrew word ratsach, which nearly always refers to intentional killing without cause. The correct (correct or Koran, you decide) rendering of this word is “murder,” and all modern translations render the command as “You shall not murder.”
The Bible in Basic English best conveys its meaning: “Do not put anyone to death without cause.”
Thus, killing verses murdering have different translations depending upon who is in charge;
Killing; 1. an act of causing death, especially deliberately.
Synonyms; murder, assassination, homicide, manslaughter, elimination, putting to death
Murdering; 1.) kill (someone) unlawfully and with premeditation. “Somebody tried to murder Joe”
Synonyms; kill, put to death, assassinate, execute, liquidate, eliminate, dispatch, butcher, slaughter, massacre, wipe out; informal bump off, do in, do away with, knock off, blow away, blow someone’s brains out, take out, dispose of, ice, rub out, smoke, waste; literary slay “someone tried to murder him”
It’s a slippery slope when one lays claims to having been given the ownership of another life in G_d’s statement to Noah, especially because it was G_d speaking exclusively to Noah, and therefore it could have only pertained to him and those on the Ark at the time because everyone else was wipe off the face of the earth!
Some may argue that it was intended to be “The Law” going forward but, when this is referred to as “the first moral law”, well it seems to be an interpretation, not necessarily jurisprudence in rendering such a decision.
“I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.”
“It is the first law G_d gives Noah after the flood, after commanding him to be fruitful and multiply. Putting murderers to death is therefore the first moral law G_d gives the world.”
“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for G_d made man in his own image.”
Wouldn’t this be universally applied or would an Executioner have exemption status? It isn’t entirely clear that shedding a man’s blood is the same as handing down the draconian penalty for murder as justification for killing another human being…hum? There are laws handed down by G_d and then, there are also laws that have been contrived in the deliberations taking place between man and also laws that G_d seems to have changed with the times i.e.;
“Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.”
G_d told Noah that; “Everything that lives and moves about will be FOOD for you”…so, why did G_d then change it up by telling Moses to satisfy G_d’s new requirements for a Jewish law establishing what is called kosher…hum?
“These are the creatures which you may eat from all the animals that are on the earth. 3 Whatever divides a hoof, thus making split hoofs, and chews the cud, among the animals, that you may eat. 4 Nevertheless, you are not to eat of these, among those which chew the cud, or among those which divide the hoof: the camel, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you. 5 Likewise, the shaphan, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you; 6 the rabbit also, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you; 7 and the pig, for though it divides the hoof, thus making a split hoof, it does not chew cud, it is unclean to you. 8 You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.”
“These you may eat, whatever is in the water: all that have fins and scales, those in the water, in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat. 10 But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you, 11 and they shall be abhorrent to you; you may not eat of their flesh, and their carcasses you shall detest. 12 Whatever in the water does not have fins and scales is abhorrent to you.”
I could go on further with verse and chapter about the avoidance of the unclean but, my point is that G_d has made the laws and from time to time (at least according to Noah and Moses) G_d can also evidently redefine or change the interpretations for G_d’s laws but, man doesn’t have such authority.
As a believer, I believe that the words of G_d are his right to employ as he decides, just as the life in which G_d has given us is G_d’s right to do with as “G_d’s will be done”, not man’s will be done.
True, it can be assumed that a penalty is a statement about the seriousness of a crime and in making such a statement, one’s interpretation is that the G_d of the Bible deems the wrongful, deliberate taking of a human life injustice. But does this allow us to assume his authority? The pinnacle of injustice from my perspective is robbery, as this would be what is done in stealing a child’s innocence by a child molester!
Does allowing child molesters, murderers, rapist, and the likes to keep their own lives really diminish their evil? Do a murder’s actions somehow cheapen the worth of the human being or does it solely (or soulfully) reflect upon what will come to be for them.
In God’s words, Genesis 9:6; “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image”.
The definition of “shed blood” is to be injured or to be killed so, G_d left us with two choices in carrying out G_d’s laws;
Doesn’t solitary confinement offer something else? Throughout history prophets, scholars, theologians and many other well noted “Literates” have spent years in solitary isolation in prisons, caves, islands and faraway places. Some of their best works have come from such isolation. Thus, a little alone time can in fact allow some to make connection with G_d and in some (not all) cases offer a chance for an act of contrition on this side of the thin veil and before that final judgment day!
I have been at a public execution (a beheading in Saudi Arabia) and from what I personally observed, the finality of a death sentence (even something as gruesome as a beheading) doesn’t really hit home for the perpetrator.
I watched the sword line up and take aim and then, the swift downward slicing motion made its devastating cut through the back of the neck (trapezius) and continued the nanosecond slicing through the neck’s interior until only a sliver of the attached neck muscle remained (sternocleidomastoid).
The blade’s continued downward thrust was then drawn back into a military style stance while the body fell to the ground convulsing and the final twitches that could resembled any form of life left the severed brachiocephalic veins that join the superior vena cava and delivered what “blood could be shed” from the right atrium of the heart..hum?
It was a moment that I shall never forget to say the least and if for some strange reason I wasn’t paying attention, it was to be repeated when the “authorities” marched out the second man…OMG!
I thought to myself as a foreigner in a strange land that the electrified local crowd that was pushing me and my companion to the front row standing room only was also making a statement about retribution, which attempted to offer a language-less translation for an absolute.
You only needed to have an I.Q of three below a rock to get it! Do this and get that…hum? If you don’t want any of that then, don’t be doing any of this, right? Well they already knew that was what they’d be getting and that didn’t stop them, right? So, I guess so much for the deterrent argument.
Crimes against humanity come in many forms and have many faces. Those who commit such acts choose to disconnect from their responsibilities for being human. The real question (as I see it) isn’t to try to inflect more inhumanity upon their lost souls but, to try to live by example for how a human is suppose to behave.
Ridding humanity of their blight is certainly a quick and final way to get them out of the world but, at the current daily birth rate of the world (131.4 million births per year) verses the death rate (55.3 million people die each year) we should expect that some new ones shall be arriving and will also be testing the waters.
Thus, what is the answer and what can be universally understood and universally applied as a meaningful form of justice that represents us as authentically being human? G_d is love and as Christians are to believe, he so loved the world that he gave his only son to die on the cross for our original sins.
I realize that this is strange for those who don’t ascribe to such beliefs but, we should be able to agree that G_d represents a loving G_d who made mankind with loving intentions hopefully?
As an example, even when Cain killed his brother Able what was G_d’s response?
”9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 The Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. 11 Now you are cursed because of the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer give its strength to you. You will always travel from place to place on the earth.”
Wasn’t solitary confinement the sentence handed down?
“13 Then Cain said to the Lord, “I am being punished more than I can take! 14 See, this day You have made me go away from the land. And I will be hidden from Your face.”
Thus, once again the word of G_D speaks of such things for those who choose to lend an ear? As well, no doubt an equally compelling argument can be found in verse and chapter of G_d’s words for capital punishment but, these will also leave us with the same two choices?
No matter how much I’ve read or how much I’ve seen in life, I have come to a place that now chooses to stay anchored in the belief that being responsible, being authentic and most importantly being a loving representative of the light of G_d that can shine through me is my greatest challenge!
Even in the atheistic views of Thales, Pittacos, Bias, Solon, Cleovoulos, Periandros, and Chilon who were the seven sages given credit for the aphorisms inscribed as “The Delphic Maxims”, a responsibility for being human is attested to.
The 147 laconic verses represent (some say proverbs) a pre-dated intellect to the ancient classical Greek philosophers, like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, which I have two as my favorites, #8 and #147 (see HERE)
Plato’s account of the trial of Socrates; “When I left him, I reasoned thus with myself: I am wiser than this man, for neither of us appears to know anything great and good; but he fancies he knows something, although he knows nothing; whereas I, as I do not know anything, so I do not fancy I do. In this trifling particular, then, I appear to be wiser than he, because I do not fancy I know what I do not know.”
Thus for me, I choose to subscribe to the Socratic paradox; “I know that I know nothing”, “The only thing I know is that I know nothing”, “I know one thing; that I know nothing” and this keeps me anchored in the humility of possessing just a single grain of sand, as compared to all the grains of sand on all the beaches in the world and that grain of sand would be boosting the equivalence of any brilliance!