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Moral dilemma of a civilized society

Where is the moral dilemma of a civilized society when dealing with uncivilized people? I was reading about this story of a human monster that tricked a 10 year old girl into his apartment. He then smacked her on the head and smothered her [to death]. He almost cut her head off in some cannibalistic fantasy.

So how do we handle something like this. My first reaction……I would have blown the motherfvcker away with the shotgun. But that got me thinking, is that civilized. Oh I know that people will say what this guy did was monstrous and uncivilized so he should get what he deserved. But then THAT go me thinking. Is acting like a monster and killing him for killing someone else the right thing to do.

Oh don’t get me wrong! Emotionally I would feel muuuuuuuuuch better! Fo Sho! But in the terms of actually not lowering ourselves to the standard of those that we stand before a trail of the tribe…what do we do? We have the right to life, its right there in our founding documents but do we need to stuff this guy into a cell where he has cable TV, a library, a job punching license plates, and lovin’ from his cell buddy? Do we torture him? Lobotomize him? Or my favorite, stick him in a tub of piranhas?

How do you handle the scourge? Thoughts people, lets here what you have to say.

2 thoughts on “Moral dilemma of a civilized society”

  1. Capital punishment is always a tricky subject. The gut reaction is to kill kill kill, it’s a primal, base, and emotionally fulfilling way to end things for those that feel wronged. The problem is, does our desire for capital punishment come from a need to see justice done or a perception that a great wrong has been precipitated and we need to be liberated from that angst we get when we see something horrible and tragic? If we look at it as an ultimate form of justice, an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth situation then a huge portion of society is hugely guilty by association. If though we see it as a need to clear our emotional baggage, rather than a form of justice, we see it a lot more clearly and for what it is. Purging. Plain and simple capital punishment is what we use to purge ourselves emotionally of that mixed bag of hate, guilt, and terror that we feel when something like this happens. We feel vindicated when the perpetrator is caught, given the death sentence and then executed. This though does not make it right or wrong morally, despite the efforts to swing it one way or the other. Morally, killing has been going on for millions of years, every animal kills another to survive, we just find guilt in it because we should be able to “do better.” Unfortunately humans are animals and can have deeply animalistic tendencies that can’t be purged through psychotherapy, support groups, and self-help. People such as this particular murderer who obviously isn’t reticent about what he did, need to be put down before they cause further harm to another person. In the same way a rabid dog is put down to keep it from biting and infecting others, some people need to be put down as well to prevent them from causing further harm to society. Sure, it’s not pleasant, warm, and fuzzy to think about, however we need to realize that this isn’t a situation of morals but one of protection. I’m not going to crow about “the greater good” as this isn’t about that, this is simply about protecting individuals from a rabid human.

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  2. Unfortunately, down at my end of the world, this sort of tragedy has become so commonplace that it barely gets a mention in the media anymore unless more than one victim has been found.Capital punishment has been done away with in SA and one can see the results, criminals no longer fear the judicial system and some of them don’t mind being in prison where they are fed, entertained and looked after. In this case capital punisment is a combination of the ideas mentioned by toby (Justice, resolution etc) but is also a detterent to other criminals. Consequenses of their actions that have a fear factor involved ie: “If i do this crime and I get caught I will die therefor lets not…”In this day and age (Especially in SA but also the world over it seems) Criminals have more rights than the victims…As to my personal feelings… Weeelll… Hang draw THEN the piranha tank… in pieces… I believ that once someone has crossed the boundry into similar heinous crimes than they shoul lose ALL rights as a person if proven guilty.. thats my 2 cents anyhoo

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