Let me start off by saying that I am for capital punishment in a very limited sense. That sense is fulfilled in Anders Breviks murderous rampage in
Norway a few years back.
Granted, a discussion of the morality of the execution of a murderer is underlined by ones personal philosophy. If one is all about the "here and
now", then the ridiculously lenient 21 year prison sentence with a chance for release at age 53 seems reasonable. Never mind the 77 human beings
murdered, 77 lives cut short, 77 lives no longer lived. They are past. Whats important at this point - to the ultra rationalist - is not simply
justice, but forgiveness as well.
Throughout Anders trial, he essentially sneered at Norway's judicial process. He knew, that he could both execute 77 children at a liberal summer
camp, and still live his life comfortably in prison for the next 21 years. In Anders prison cell, he has workout equipment, a TV and a laptop (albeit,
without internet access
To contrast what he did - murdered 77 human beings - with his life for the next 21 years, lived comfortably and easily in a Norwegian 3 room jail
cell, certainly I think can lead to the conclusion that this was a gross miscarriage of justice.
As said in the preamble, ones response to murder is based on ones conception of the human being. Today in liberal Europe, man and animal have been
almost made parallel in importance. Coeval with this occurrence is a preponderance on the relativity of our morals. Norway's judicial system is based
on a rather sanguine doctrine that all crimes are the consequence of either a) environment b) genes, leaving no room for individual self choice. Thus,
the only rational conclusion starting from this premise is leniency. How is poor Anders supposed to react to what he sees as the transformation for
the worse of his beloved Norway? poor Anders
is the focus of liberal Europe's attention. What he did he was compelled to do. In Norway and
other Scandinavian countries, free will has become a myth.
However, I think most thinking people know that what's typically called free will actually exists, somewhere between genes and environment. There does
exist an interval - unaccounted for by science (unfortunately for rationalists who want answers to everything
) where we can take control of
ourselves an act against either our instincts or environmental pressures.
Has Norway gone too far? Has their intellectual penchant for moral relativism devolved into a perverse worship of "non-violent" measures"? Can human
lives still be said to be of paramount importance if reforming the murder is of greater interest than requital for his unfathomable crimes?
For instance, this strikes me of sanctimony:
Bjorn Magnus Ihler, who survived the Utoya shootings, said that Norway’s treatment of Mr. Breivik was a sign of a fundamentally civilized
“If he is deemed not to be dangerous any more after 21 years, then he should be released,” Mr. Ihler said. “That’s how it should work.
That’s staying true to our principles, and the best evidence that he hasn’t changed our society.”
This is also redolent of the Adolph Eichmann case. Adolph Eichmann was one of the chief architects of the Nazi Holocaust, making him responsible for
the deaths of over 6 million Jews. 6 million. Regardless of Lenins statement that 1 death is a tragedy while 1 million is a statistic, I personally
subscribe to the belief that each person is a world, that each person is precious. In Israel and throughout Europe during the Eichmann trial, Marxist
intellectuals thought a proper punishment would be to force Eichmann to work on a Kibbutz. I have trouble seeing the logic of this. Or rather, I
shudder at the simplicity of the logic. Eichmann would have much preferred to work on a kibbutz, after all, the Nazi parties essential criticism of
Jews was their being over-civilized, and naive concerning human nature. Eichmann, like Brevik, probably laughed at such suggestions. He kills or
contributes to the murder of 6 million individual people, and what he gets as a punishment is a moral "you're bad, you've been tried", and than throw
him in a kibbutz so he too can work towards establishing the Jewish state?
Nobody likes punishment, yet, punishment is at times necessary. When training my dog, some degree of discipline is needed, some degree of stringency
is required to curtail her natural instinct. If I show too much love, it undermines the entire efficacy of my training. The question of course is, if
such a punishment dissuades people from committing further crimes, why adopt a more stringent penalty like capital punishment? That's a good question.
As said at the beginning of this thread, I think capital punishment should be applied with caution. Not all cased of murder deserve capital
punishment. Certain facts need to be taken into regard before anything can be definitively established. However, when a serial killer, or a mass
murderer like Anders Brevik has been tried and found guilty for his numerable murders, I think a healthy society is one which responds with a sense of
outrage at what was done. I can't help but thinking of the 77 souls (yes, souls) who were torn from this world prematurely by a psychopath who had
nothing but disdain, and indeed, probably anticipated such a milquetoast response to his calamitous actions. I think at certain point, to absolve the
killer the way Norway has done diminishes the gravity of the crime of murder.
edit on 27-1-2013 by dontreally because: (no reason