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Callie

The Human Rights Poll

Human Rights  

55 members have voted

  1. 1. Is access to healthcare a human right?

    • Yes
      42
    • No
      9
    • Other
      4
  2. 2. Is access to education a human right?

    • Yes
      41
    • No
      10
    • Other
      4
  3. 3. Is access to the internet a human right?

    • Yes
      21
    • No
      27
    • Other
      7
  4. 4. Do humans have a right to reproduce?

    • Yes
      33
    • It depends
      15
    • No
      4
    • Other
      3
  5. 5. Torture should be...

    • Prohibited under all circumstances
      36
    • Permissible in some circumstances
      13
    • Other
      6
  6. 6. Do humans have a right to voluntary euthanasia?

    • Yes (under any or most circumstances)
      29
    • Yes (in the event of terminal illness)
      19
    • Yes (other)
      1
    • No
      4
    • Other
      2
  7. 7. The death penalty should be permissible for the following offenses:

    • Treason
      10
    • Terrorism
      15
    • Espionage
      7
    • Other crimes against the state
      2
    • Crimes against humanity
      19
    • Murder
      20
    • Rape
      13
    • Torture
      13
    • Child molestation
      12
    • Armed robbery
      3
    • Kidnapping
      7
    • Other violent offenses
      4
    • Drug trafficking
      2
    • Human trafficking
      12
    • Desertion
      5
    • Perjury leading to wrongful execution
      11
    • Other nonviolent offenses
      0
    • Never
      23
    • Other
      6
  8. 8. Abortion should be permissible in the following circumstances:

    • Upon request
      33
    • Rape
      38
    • Incest
      32
    • Fetal defects
      32
    • Fetus endangers mental health of mother
      34
    • Fetus endangers physical health of mother
      39
    • Socioeconomic factors (i.e. poverty)
      24
    • Never
      6
    • Other
      5
  9. 9. Humans begin to gain rights at what point?

    • Conception
      7
    • During the first trimester of pregnancy
      6
    • During the second trimester of pregnancy
      4
    • During the third trimester of pregnancy
      5
    • Birth
      24
    • After birth
      3
    • Other
      6
  10. 10. Is it ever ethical to use nuclear weapons in warfare?

    • Yes
      4
    • Yes (but only in extenuating circumstances)
      17
    • No
      28
    • Other
      6


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It used to be that two armies would meet up in a field or some other decently out of the way location. Heck, even castles were usually just self-contained forts rather than major urban centers. They would duke it out and then the winner would be declared, including a formal surrender (or else retreat).

 

And then the winner would siege the loser's city, storm it, kill everyone they saw and take everything worth taking, and either occupy it or go home. Civilized! Unless, of course, they had a personal grudge to settle, then they would lay waste to every piece of infrastructure around and make the entire area uninhabitable for decades. Cordial, minimally destructive warfare is mostly a myth, and when it's not, it's only because what's being fought over just isn't worth that much.

 

In that case, we have a historical record that no two countries with nuclear armaments have gone to war with each other. Nuclear weaponry is a certain means of guaranteeing sovereignty, and in great enough proportion, even of establishing hegemony.

 

For the absolutely worthless timeframe of less than a century. Sixty-ish years of relative, nominal peace between major powers is not exactly notable, especially after major, world-shaking conflict like the World Wars. If the choice was between, I dunno, the annexation of a region or the deployment of nuclear weapons, I would fully expect nuclear warfare from any state capable of it. It's absolute lunacy to say "Hey! Now that war is potentially more terrible than ever before, we'll never have war again! Every state will respect the sovereignty of every other, behave rationally and with humanitarian interests, and stop wanting things that other states have." This has been disproven many times.

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War doesn't really happen at all like this anymore. Enemies are enemies to be absolutely destroyed, not merely defeated. Total war exists.

 

But war between first-rate powers is something that hasn't happened since WW2. Most first-world powers waging war have more complex goals than victory over an enemy, and it's made things hard. Because we have the weaponry to absolutely crush conventional enemies, sure, but that doesn't work when fighting nonstate actors, or states that we want to keep while changing who's in power and the political system, or any of the other goals that have become very publicly messy since 9/11.

 

—Alorael, who agrees with Nalyd that while the doctrines of war have been more clearly stated and clearly studied in the last century or so, total war is not a new concept. Just go to the fate of Troy.

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Not only are healthcare and education basic human rights, But I would even go so far as to say that shelter, food, and running water are also human rights.

 

 

While I support consensual euthanasia for the terminally ill I am weary of giving it to just anyone as I feel that it may be used by those suffering from depression. In terms of the comatose or persistently vegetative I feel that the stated wishes of the person in the coma should be the guideline, but if those are unknown then it is up to the family to make that decision. Also I wouldn't trust the insurance companies NOT to euthanize people if they could make a profit and thought they could get away with it.

 

 

In the case of capital punishment I fully support the death penalty for the most heinous of crimes and have no problem with executing murderers, rapist, child molesters, and pedophiles, however I would also accept a lifetime sentence in those cases if the crime isn't overly heinous. But if somebody maims, tortures, and rapes children then that scum need to be executed.

 

 

For abortion It must be kept legal in cases of rape or if the mothers life or health are endangered, But I can also understand those that argue that after a certain point it should only be legal in those instances, other than that I don't feel too strongly on the issue.

 

 

The problem with nukes is they are completely indiscriminate and kill innocents and soldiers alike. Could America have gotten Japan to surrender with out them? That I don't know. The world would probably be better off without nuclear weapons. If they ever fell into the hands of somebody like Osama Bin Laden the results would be disastrous.

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It used to be that two armies would meet up in a field or some other decently out of the way location.

 

Unfortunately since logistics was a neglected component of the military arts, the two armies would pillage the country side for food on their way to that out of the way field. Since there was not a lot of agricultural surplus at the time, this often meant peasants starving to death no matter which side won. That ignores the peasants who were killed trying to protect their crops from being stollen or their women folk from being raped.

 

War has never been a clean, sanitary business. There have been various treaties to try and limit the suffering in the last 150+ years, but they have been only marginally effective.

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That's becoming more true with most combatants being rebel and terrorist forces that never signed a treaty and countries like Syria and Russia that only obey treaties when it is in their interests.

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In the case of capital punishment I fully support the death penalty for the most heinous of crimes and have no problem with executing… pedophiles

Pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder without any known cure. It strikes me as remarkably cruel to execute someone who has already been sentenced to indefinite civil commitment, let alone someone who is mentally ill.

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And yet we have no compunction about sentencing people with antisocial personality disorder (sociopaths/psychopaths) even though they, too, suffer from a mental illness. There is a difference, I agree, especially in that pedophilia is attraction to an unacceptable target of attraction. Resisting urges isn't easy, but failing to do so is a moral failure more than a psychiatric one. Pedophilia is a paraphilia, not an uncontrollable drive.

 

—Alorael, who would argue that all countries only abide by treaties when it's in their best interests. It's just that there can be disagreement about best interests and relative priorities. Whether being caught lying through your teeth has too many long-term consequences to be worthwhile for example.

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On the capital punishment discussion: For whatever it's worth, the U.S. Supreme Court has held repeatedly that it violates the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment to execute someone for anything other than murder. So if you were okay with executing somebody for stuff that didn't involve killing someone else, you're less defendant-friendly than the U.S. Supreme Court.

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And yet we have no compunction about sentencing people with antisocial personality disorder (sociopaths/psychopaths) even though they, too, suffer from a mental illness. There is a difference, I agree, especially in that pedophilia is attraction to an unacceptable target of attraction. Resisting urges isn't easy, but failing to do so is a moral failure more than a psychiatric one. Pedophilia is a paraphilia, not an uncontrollable drive.

I wouldn't have compunction about sentencing psychopaths in and of itself, but I would have compunction executing such people, and to a greater extent than other offenders.

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What is the death sentence even supposed to do? Life in prison seems for all purposes like it would be an equally effective deterrent, especially since it's not like executions are a perfect deterrent anyway. It's clearly not useful for rehabilitation. So, the only thing left as I understand it is for its punitive nature, which life in prison can also accomplish.

 

This isn't the Wild West with bandits hanging from gallows, and this isn't revolutionary France with its central guillotine. If anything establishes the deterrent factor, it's those kinds of semi-public executions. However, most people these days are executed far from society's gaze in a way that hardly produces a spectacle, ie in a sanitized room through lethal injection.

 

So, we kill people because we want to really punish them. Forgive me if I'm unimpressed.

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What is the death sentence even supposed to do? … So, we kill people because we want to really punish them. Forgive me if I'm unimpressed.

To expound upon this:

 

The justice system certainly deters crime to some extent, but that extent is uncertain. There are seemingly two ways to increase deterrence: to increase the severity of the sentence, and to increase enforcement and thereby decrease the potential to evade conviction. Presumably, the restriction or loss of one's freedoms is the primary means of deterrence. In the latter case, increased likelihood of conviction consequently increases the probability of lost freedoms. The former case does no such thing; it merely extends the loss of freedoms (or in the case of execution, nullifies them). Does increased severity also increase deterrence?

 

A maximum sentence of one year for murder would not effectively deter murder. Clearly, conviction alone is not adequate for deterrence. What about ten years? Maybe. Life imprisonment or death? Probably, but is it necessary? Fear of incarceration has to be substantiated by an appropriate length of imprisonment. What length of sentence is appropriate? Research is an option, but quite frankly, studies regarding the effect of severity on deterrence provide often conflicting and nebulous results; there certainly isn't a consensus. An offender likely has a decent comprehension of what one year of lost time amounts to, but does one truly understand the weight of forty years? Or life and death? Consequently, the effect of severity on deterrence might very well increase rapidly at first but later be subject to diminishing returns: a logarithmic curve.

 

One issue is that deterrence does not apply equally. For some offenders, deterrence might not be effective at all. Some people commit crimes out of a compulsion (i.e. pedophilia or substance addiction). Other crimes result from a strong, heat-of-the-moment emotional response (i.e. a person walking in on a cheating spouse). Finally, some criminals are convinced that they will evade capture. The length of incarceration or threat of death is relatively meaningless in such instances.

 

Execution doesn't deter some criminals, and for others, a lesser sentence may have been marginally less effective. In the U.S., life imprisonment is cheaper than incarceration. Execution serves no utilitarian purpose. The purpose is a thirst for punishment, for vengeance: a ritualized form of sadism. Maybe people really do need an outlet for sadism… but I doubt it.

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The death sentence carries a philosophical weight with it, analogous to the emotional weight of Kennedy's reaction to rapists and pedophiles. The death sentence effectively declares, "if you do this, we don't consider you part of humanity any more." Along that line, I think it has some real impact on how we construct our identity as a culture/people. As an individual, of course, I can delimit humanity however I like, distinct from my practice of killing; but on the larger, societal level, I think it's harder to disentangle. Is there a point at which we just have to throw our hands up and say "we must be courageous; this is a dead end and we simply have to cut it off"?

 

This is closely related to the question of abortion (and also infanticide, i.e., killing actual birthed humans while they are infants; and also animal rights). When is a being part of the human collective and when are they not? The distinction is drawn for a very different reason, for a question of ethics and behavior rather than a question of physical definition and sentience. But it's a similar one.

 

For me, the intersection of all this thinking is that I'm OK with the death penalty in theory, but when pressed on any individual case, can never come to the conclusion that I think it should be applied.

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For me, the question of an ideal death penalty — applied to all and only the very worst cases, applied efficiently and even-handedly, and so on — is somewhat challenging. The question of the death penalty we have in the U.S. is easy. It's grossly inefficient, horribly biased (racist, sexist, etc.), and not clearly fixable.

 

For example, as Facebook friends of mine probably saw me mention before, a prisoner sentenced to death in California takes, on average, 25 years to exhaust all his (and it's almost always "his") appeals, and 60% of the time, his capital sentence is reversed. In the modern era of death penalties, the state has sentenced over 900 people to die and executed 13. This is dysfunctional, and it's not clear that it can be fixed. We need to eliminate this nonsense. It serves no purpose, wastes huge amounts of time and money, and is mistake-ridden and inhumane. If I may paraphrase Justice Blackmun, I am quite finished tinkering with the machinery of death.

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I think that there are multiple reasons that the death penalty is broken.

1. Too much money to be made in long drawn out appeals. (That said, executions must be reserved to the highest standards of evidence, and appeals are necessary)

2. The rarity. It has become a spiral argument. It takes too long to execute a criminal, so lets refer fewer cases to the death penalty but look at each one of them harder, making it take even longer, etc. I do not accept an argument that the death penalty is or is not an effective deterrent based on any evidence in the last 50 years because they have been so poorly managed.

3. An amazing expansion of the definition of "Cruel and Unusual Punishment". Torture is wrong and has no place in a justice system. Dying hurts. So does living in prison and missing out on your life. Most methods of execution that we have rejected would have been perfectly fine when our constitution was being crafted. A method of execution should be chosen to minimize suffering, but there is no way to eliminate it. Drawing and Quartering is cruel and unusual. Hanging, Firing Squad, Lethal Injection and the Gas Chamber can all be very painful, but none of them (if done correctly) are designed to prolong suffering.

 

What we are currently doing as a society is not working. Our prison population is way too high. More needs to be done to keep people from breaking the law, both positive and negative reinforcement.

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The death penalty system in the US needs reform at the very least, yes, and prison populations (especially in the US) are enormous, yes. But are these two problems related? From the numbers I've seen, the people on death row don't make up a significant fraction of the total prison population. Unless you're suggesting that a better death penalty system would also deter people from committing crimes that are less extreme, or that the entire system, not just death penalties, needs to be changed.

 

To bring up a similar but separate topic, what do people here think about prison terms for white collar crimes?

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To bring up a similar but separate topic, what do people here think about prison terms for white collar crimes?

There are reasons why white collar crimes are referred to as sentencing to a country club. Most white collar criminals seem to get short terms for the dollar amount stolen compared to violent crime theft. They get sent to minimum security facilities under better conditions. When they get out they can easily resume their previous life style and in some cases go back to their criminal ways.

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One of the major roles of the penal system is segregation. We sentence people to deter further crimes, and to punish them, and maybe to try to rehabilitate them, but to many people the most important thing is that while in prison they can't do whatever landed them there. (Execution is an absolutely effective form of permanent segregation, but there aren't a lot of prison breaks and it takes so long to carry out death sentences that if escape were a worry it still wouldn't work.)

 

White collar crime carries less visceral fear and horror. A guy who takes $20 at gunpoint scares us a lot more than someone who tricks shareholders and pockets millions. Thus the sentencing.

 

—Alorael, who doesn't think it's right. White collar crime should have sentencing commensurate with damage. But he also doesn't see the need to put non-violent prisoners in supermax detention. Prison shouldn't be cushy, but it also doesn't benefit from being miserable. And it's more useful to rehabilitate and return prisoners to functional lives than to wreck them and turn them loose.

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And yet we have no compunction about sentencing people with antisocial personality disorder (sociopaths/psychopaths) even though they, too, suffer from a mental illness. There is a difference, I agree, especially in that pedophilia is attraction to an unacceptable target of attraction. Resisting urges isn't easy, but failing to do so is a moral failure more than a psychiatric one. Pedophilia is a paraphilia, not an uncontrollable drive.

 

I would strongly disagree with this on the basis that the Free Will required to resist "moral failings" is a social abstraction, and in reality physically impossible. Rationalization is always tempting; but there is no reason that a pedophile - or any other evildoer - couldn't know that his or her impulses were wrong, and nonetheless be incapable of resisting them. People just like to refuse to believe that, because they don't wish to entertain the possibility that the same could happen to them - that they would do something horrible, and be incapable of avoiding it, no matter how much they knew it was wrong.

 

I realize that a legal system which doesn't respect the concept of Free Will might sound horrible, but I don't think it would be necessarily, provided that concepts related to vengeance didn't make their way in

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I would strongly disagree with this on the basis that the Free Will required to resist "moral failings" is a social abstraction, and in reality physically impossible.

 

unfortunately this appears to be equally true of the free will required to resist incarcerating criminals in a pointlessly cruel penal system. oh well

 

(i don't even think "act as if you're the only person in the world with free will" is necessarily a bad moral principle for an individual to hold, but it doesn't scale up to civil ethics at all)

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unfortunately this appears to be equally true of the free will required to resist incarcerating criminals in a pointlessly cruel penal system. oh well

 

(i don't even think "act as if you're the only person in the world with free will" is necessarily a bad moral principle for an individual to hold, but it doesn't scale up to civil ethics at all)

 

Don't get me wrong, I do consider free will a useful abstract concept (like Newtonian mechanics, c.f. the philosophy thread). But I think it already starts showing its flaws as soon as one starts talking about criminal justice.

 

Edit: maybe a better analogy is software? What I'm saying is, we can build concepts and stuff on top of the physical way that our brains work, but we forget what's underneath all that at our peril.

 

Re "act as if you're the only person in the world with free will," I don't (and I'm not sure it's possible for a human to do so). OTOH I could see where that might, just maybe, work. It sounds like Solipsism Lite, but it's also congruent with "Act as if you have infinite power and responsibility."

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Rationalization is always tempting; but there is no reason that a pedophile - or any other evildoer - couldn't know that his or her impulses were wrong, and nonetheless be incapable of resisting them.

 

1. Saying that free will is physically impossible is not some simple statement of fact. It's highly contentious, physically but even more so philosophically. And it seems just as dangerous to build any kind of system assuming the absence of free will as to assume its existence, if not more so. Fortunately, I think actually neither assumption really has any bearing on law or penal codes.

 

2. In the absence of free will the penal system has the same tasks. Restrain the person incapable of resisting transgression so they cannot transgress again. Punish (publicly) so that other ids with such urges might be suppressed by better-armed egos cognizant of consequences. Rehabilitate so that eventually the transgressor will transgress no more. Free will doesn't enter into it.

 

3. All of this misses the point. All crimes are urges that apparently weren't resisted. Saying pedophilia is a special category because some people cannot resist says nothing; murderousness is exactly the same. Most people quash antisocial behavior consistently. Some people can't. The presence of the urge is only of limited predictive value.

 

—Alorael, who doesn't think the free will of others is important to the self any more than the possibility of p-zombies has any utility for daily life. Acting as though at least you have free will is critical, though. But trivial, too; you can't, after all, behave as though you don't. That's not a behavior you can undertake.

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1. Saying that free will is physically impossible is not some simple statement of fact. It's highly contentious, physically but even more so philosophically. And it seems just as dangerous to build any kind of system assuming the absence of free will as to assume its existence, if not more so. Fortunately, I think actually neither assumption really has any bearing on law or penal codes.

 

Fair enough, though I don't even begin to see how Free Will is possible without Dualism.

 

Also I guess I tend to cringe a little at the term "moral failing" in relation to law, because

1. I've personally seen people "fail morally" when mentally ill, or when overmedicated on drugs designed to treat such illness

2. Global society is one gigantic moral failure, to the point that taking both "human rights" and "punishment" seriously would itself present moral problems

 

I can't say I have much sympathy for those who deliberately harm and exploit others, but the fact is that with a little tweaking of brain chemistry, or even the wrong social influences, that could be anyone. Seriously, it is frightening how malleable people are.

 

2. In the absence of free will the penal system has the same tasks. Restrain the person incapable of resisting transgression so they cannot transgress again. Punish (publicly) so that other ids with such urges might be suppressed by better-armed egos cognizant of consequences. Rehabilitate so that eventually the transgressor will transgress no more. Free will doesn't enter into it.

 

I guess we agree on that much, though we might have different definitions of punishment. Sorry I jumped the gun, so to speak.

 

3. All of this misses the point. All crimes are urges that apparently weren't resisted. Saying pedophilia is a special category because some people cannot resist says nothing; murderousness is exactly the same. Most people quash antisocial behavior consistently. Some people can't. The presence of the urge is only of limited predictive value.

 

I didn't say pedophilia is a special category (see "or any other evildoer"). And I sure hope it didn't come across that way.

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Acting as though at least you have free will is critical, though. But trivial, too; you can't, after all, behave as though you don't. That's not a behavior you can undertake.

 

Exactly the opposite approach, over here.

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On a less depressing note, it's interesting how a bunch of people coming from completely different philosophical (and political) directions can largely agree on personal ethics.

 

Personally, I just think that it shows the irrelevance of certain questions in philosophy. I am focusing my gaze here on the question of free will.

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What is the death sentence even supposed to do?

 

I don't know, all I can see is criminals would then look before they leap.

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I don't know, all I can see is criminals would then look before they leap.

 

I'm not sure about this, for a number of reasons.

 

1. Rationalization again: "It won't happen to me, I won't get caught!"

 

2. Heat-of-the-moment crimes. People fire a gun in anger or whatever, they don't for one moment think about consequences.

 

3. Death of one's self is hard to imagine. 20+ years stuck in a prison is (IMO) more immediately palpable.

 

4. In the US, at least: statistics. Last I checked on it (which was admittedly a while back), US states instituting the death penalty did not have lower murder rates relative to population size vs. states which opt for life imprisonment.

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Theoretically, the death penalty is supposed to serve as a deterrent to crime/murder. Most of the people who are willing to kill are not that interested in putting their own lives at risk. The ones who are willing to put their lives at risk or to lose their lives in the process are impossible to stop. The other aspect is that the death penalty identifies certain actions that are "beyond the pale" and prevents the taxpayers for spending a lot of money each year to keep an individual in prison who has theoretically lost their right to life.

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1. The worse the consequence of getting caught, the less palatable this argument becomes for the rational criminal (not much you can do about the irrational ones).

2. Most states in the US only use the death penalty for Pre-meditated murder

3. Even the reality of prison life is hard to imagine, some scared straight type programs have been effective though. Some cable TV dramas though have had the opposite effect.

4. The death penalty has been so poorly and inconstantly applied, and in such a small number of cases, that I do not consider statistical data on its effectiveness or lack of effectiveness particularly valid. Or at least not for the last 50 years.

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You left off the death penalty being applied to innocent people wrongfully convicted when later testing provides exculpatory evidence or evidence was withheld by the prosecution.

 

For example the Sam Sheppard case.

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You left off the death penalty being applied to innocent people wrongfully convicted when later testing provides exculpatory evidence or evidence was withheld by the prosecution.

 

I do agree that death penalty has good and bad effects, so it is not to be taken lightly because the life of a person depends on the trial. True to that. And corrupt government officials can always use this to their own advantage.

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The bad effect is that innocent people die. What is the good effect? Is the threat of execution meaningfully more of a deterrent than life in prison?

 

—Alorael, who will bite. Nalyd, how do you act as though you don't have free will?

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Hm.

 

Healthcare? Forging an entire nation on the concept of "life" being a right, and then turning around an empowering others to extort the masses over that right is a perverse notion. This is a key part of the most fundamental right of all.

 

Education? While it might not seem as fundamental as many other rights, the expression and maintenance of basically all rights is dependent on this one. Again, yes.

 

Internet? ... While I don't consider it a "right" in the same category as "expression" or the like, I do look at it in a "it belongs to all of us" sense. In short, support net neutrality.

 

Reproduction? Yeah, controlled human breeding is a very dark and evil thing. Argue all the practicalities on this one you want, reproduction will always be a right on my end.

 

Torture? ... Honestly, if it was a choice between "break the kidnapper" or "let little Susy die in some hole" I can't honestly say "never".

 

Euthanasia? If Life is a right, by definition one must have the ability to waive it. Otherwise its an obligation, not a right.

 

Executions? The human capacity for evil is sadly without bounds - there comes a point when it can eclipse the fundamental value of the life it's expressed through.

 

Abortion? While I am repulsed by the notion of an abortion being an offhand matter of convenience, there are legitimate instances where I find justification. Rape, incest, and endangerment all qualify.

 

Instantiation? A human has rights as soon as it's alive. When it a human alive? I try to mirror the qualifications for death in my own personal view, though there is no medical consensus.

 

Nuclear Weapons? Like the question of torture, I sadly simply cannot discount that there's a point in which it becomes the lesser of two evils. I'd like to think no nation would be willing to go so far, but... well, look at how absolute the whole chemical weapons ban has turned out

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—Alorael, who will bite. Nalyd, how do you act as though you don't have free will?

 

Because there is literally no other way to behave.

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Randomizer, the appeals process is supposed to take care of that situation, and of course Sheppard was not sentenced to death, and the appeals process did work in his case as his conviction was thrown out on appeal. So, had his case been referred to the death penalty (which it was not), he would not have been executed.

 

Alorael, the theory is that threat of execution is a more effective deterrent. I do not believe that theory can be proven either way right now. Part of the basis of that theory is that when there is life, there is hope and life in prison if often not staying in prison for the rest of your life. For example, consider how much time and effort is spent every few years keeping Charles Manson in prison.

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The appeals process isn't infallible, either. Besides, it applies to all convictions, not just death penalty. The argument isn't "don't ever make a conviction because it could be wrong before appeals"; the argument is "since we inevitably cannot avoid 100% of false convictions no matter how high our standards and how involved our appeals processes, we should moderate our sentencing, especially as regards irreversible actions."

 

Regarding the theory about deterrents, even if the process were not so gummed up, you wouldn't be able to "prove" either stance based on statistics -- there are far, far too many variables at work in any conceivable comparison to claim that a single variable, like whether or not the death penalty is a possible sentence or not, has a definitive impact.

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Regarding the theory about deterrents, even if the process were not so gummed up, you wouldn't be able to "prove" either stance based on statistics -- there are far, far too many variables at work in any conceivable comparison to claim that a single variable, like whether or not the death penalty is a possible sentence or not, has a definitive impact.

Yes, I suspect a randomized control trial would raise some ethical problems.

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The execution of the death penalty prevents future crimes by serial killers. It's less useful for one time cases even when mass murders like the Colorado theater case that is still in trial stage.

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The execution of the death penalty prevents future crimes by serial killers.

No, it doesn't, not any more than life in prison without parole does. That's the primary comparison option, so there's no difference in terms of isolation; the possible differences are deterrence, cost, procedure, reversability, morality, etc.

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Yes, it does, because a serial killer alive in prison still has the opportunity to kill even though it's a small population of targets. Plus sentences can get changed due to changing views on the prisoners, over crowding, even escape is a possibility.

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Healthcare, Yes

 

Education, yes.

 

Internet, No. It's just a toy that isn't necessary for anything.

 

Reproduction, yes.

 

Torture, prohibited, it's not honorable

 

Euthanasia. Only in certain situations, like terminal illness or a similar condition

 

Death penalty, Yes, but for murder, rape, child molestation etc.

Abortion, Under extreme cases, where the birth was forced upon, or it will harm the mother. Apart from that, it is a person thats growing in there.

 

Rights , I chose from conception. Whether or not the child is in or out of it's mother is no difference.

 

Nukes. Noooo. To many negative consequences for little to no gain.

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Internet, No. It's just a toy that isn't necessary for anything.

 

This is unspeakably foolish. The internet is more than flash games and web forums. It contains the entirety of the knowledge of mankind. Everything we have learned and discovered has been uploaded to the internet by now. Its ability to allow rapid access to that knowledge in order to provide the power to do research, both today and in the future, is one of the foundations/pillars of how we've had explosive technological advancement in the last twenty years.

 

Why shouldn't the Internet be considered a right?

The knowledge contained within the internet is a right; however, the ultimate reason I didn't select that the internet, itself, should be considered a right is because it isn't realistic at the moment. Whether the idea includes wiring up sub-Saharan Africa or having so many satellite requests shooting across the sky that you can actually watch your cancer develop, there doesn't seem to be a way to grant access to everyone without moving heaven and earth. So, at this point, I'd say it should be considered a luxury.

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"Luxury" is a bit shallow on the subject of the internet. Yes, you can live without the internet, but you can live without a lot of things. You can live without literacy, for instance, or indoor plumbing. Neither of which are universal nor guaranteed, but the difference goes far, far beyond imitation vs. authentic leather padded buttscratchers.

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To me, internet access for the world is a nice to nave, not a right. Lets solve clean water and indoor plumbing first (which would save a whole bunch of lives) and worry about weather internet access is a "right" later. Even in a developed nation with water and indoor plumbing, I am willing to give you all of the internet access that you are willing to pay for and am willing to protect your freedom of speech (within the logical restrictions on free speech already in law such as libel, etc) but am not willing to pay for your access to the internet at a point of your choosing.

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There are rights and there are rights. Free speech is a right, but I actually don't think it's truly fundamental. You can have a good and just society with limits on it. I'd question very stringent limits, but some rules are okay. The right to live without being arbitrarily imprisoned, tortured, or killed is absolutely basic. There's not much leeway there. The right to healthcare is tricky. Everyone should receive some level of care, but it cannot be unlimited because it's the allocation of a limited resource.

 

For the internet, I think it's a fair way down the list of rights. Access to food and water, shelter, and a basic 20th century way of life is probably more important than the 21st century. But only probably; it doesn't actually take much infrastructure to charge cell phones and have wireless data access, and I think the ability to access information and communication really is becoming more and more important. In the first world, though, the internet is rapidly becoming a necessity if it isn't already. Think of how many services and how much information is practically unreachable without internet access. The amount of extra labor required by non-internet users is becoming a prohibitive gap.

 

—Alorael, who also thinks that in the wired, computer-driven world of today it's becoming an unacceptable handicap to raise children without computer and internet fluency. It's becoming very close to illiteracy and innumeracy in how crippling it is in very large sections of the workforce. Even blue collar jobs are seeing tablets show up in the strangest places.

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The Internet is the telephone of the last century in that it increases access. Like the telephone there are the privileged who have complete access and those that get some access from free versions at schools, libraries, and web cafes. People in remote areas and third world countries are the last to benefit.

 

Smart phones are being used in ways that weren't anticipated when they were built. For instance when I was getting my roof top heat pump diagnosed, the repairman could stick the camera phone into a hard to see area, snap a picture and show it to me on the ground. He had a permanent image instead of using a mirror to see the damage and could show me and fellow repairmen what the problem was.

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The internet is a luxury, a nice thing to have. While it may make some things easier, it by no means is necessary for day to day living. Civilisation survived for a very long time without it. Food, water and shelter are absolute necessites, and then you have basic personal rights like culture, faith, orientation etc. While the internet may or may not make these things easier in some fashion, it is not needed.

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