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Ladi Jay
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Another death topic

So, why is it that it's legal for someone to kill someone else (capital punishment) yet, that person can't kill themself (suicide)? Should suicide be made legal?

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Old Post 12-22-2004 07:03 PM
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KeN VeRsUs RyU
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capitol punishment isn't "someone". It's the government.

And also it is legal to have someone off lifesupport. That's a form of murder. or is it??????????

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Old Post 12-22-2004 07:54 PM
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PsychoSnowman
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morality can punish through an entity (i.e. government punishing a criminal). Individual actors cannot (i.e. people cannot kill others or themselves).

Morality rules our courts, with the court being god. Which is why, consistently abortion should be illegalized (I did not set advocacy, i was just saying if we follow the general scheme of things that it should be this way).

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Old Post 12-25-2004 07:51 AM
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aaqthree
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Morality rules our courts?

Is that why adultery is legal?

Come on, morality is separate from government. Capital punishment is a way to ensure order (ie, make sure that guy never rapes or kills someone again), not a way to ensure moral justice.

Something as subjective as morality has no place in government anyway. Everyone has a different conception of right and wrong; but there are standards of behavior that are deemed unacceptable for social conduct; that's why adultery, while being morally reprehensible, is legal, because it does not do anything to the society as a whole.

That's also why, regardless of what you believe on homosexuality, gay marriage should be legal.

And that's also why abortion should remain legal. Leave the moral issues to the people themselves.

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Old Post 12-28-2004 05:02 PM
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PsychoSnowman
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something as subjective as morality has no place in government, totally (as in, in totality, not as in me speaking hip 10 years ago), i agree. But, i think morality has to be implemented to some extent for the reasons you outlined about maintaining order. What you spoke of when you said something about standards of behavior made me think you were talking about ethics. Ethics and morals share quite a bit, and to where i would draw the exact line of difference i am not sure. Listen to any court case that deals with murder and there is a strong underlying message of morality being used as the offense's position. Even when i go on dictionary.com, the definitions coincide at least to some extent:

mo·ral·i·ty ( P ) Pronunciation Key (m-rl-t, mô-)
n. pl. mo·ral·i·ties
The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct.
A system of ideas of right and wrong conduct: religious morality; Christian morality.
Virtuous conduct.
A rule or lesson in moral conduct.

eth·ic ( P ) Pronunciation Key (thk)
n.

A set of principles of right conduct.
A theory or a system of moral values: “An ethic of service is at war with a craving for gain” (Gregg Easterbrook).
ethics (used with a sing. verb) The study of the general nature of morals and of the specific moral choices to be made by a person; moral philosophy.
ethics (used with a sing. or pl. verb) The rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession: medical ethics.

I think the law maintains a certain line of ethics that come about from both practicality and morality. Though the main motive sometimes does not seem to be for moral justice, hearing court cases certainly makes it seem like that is the main motive sometimes. Though you make a valid and good point.

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Old Post 12-29-2004 01:13 AM
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aaqthree
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Hmm.

It's impossible to eliminate the human, and, therefore moral, element of our justice system, obviously. So, many judges and juries may very well decide cases based on morality. And many lawyers may very well base their arguments on a moral or ethic. That's their choice, and if they think it'll help them win, so be it.

However, I think that since laws are intended to ensure order, morality doesn't necessarily HAVE to do anything with law. The order should come from the decision of whether or not certain behaviors will negatively affect the society as a whole. Of course, one may interpret the idea of "affecting society" subjectively (ie, does it affect society to kill an unborn child? Does stifling potential like that constitute affecting society? If so, then what does that say about other things, like socio-economic situations that may also stifle potential?). But I think that the unending stream of questions that I could pose like that could be simplified by trying to look at "affecting society" in a way that has to be objective: if you commit an action, does that change what we already have in a negative way? So any time someone is physically harmed, there is clearly a change. This makes the argument that something might happen "in potentia" unimportant; regardless of what MIGHT happen, our job is to figure out what HAS happened.

(Which, again, is why abortion should remain legal under the current system.)

Sorry for the digression, but I think that a discussion of the way the law works is essential to this topic. Punishment is clearly separate from crimes; I don't personally agree with capital punishment but saying that killing a rapist or murderer is the same as killing yourself just doesn't make sense. Suicide is negatively affecting society in the average case (don't make the argument that a person could be worthless, because that could also justify murder. Under this conception of law and governance, the extreme case really does not matter because that's another "in potentia" argument).

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Old Post 12-30-2004 05:41 AM
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PsychoSnowman
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Oh yes, of course morality does not have to do with our legal system, but i think the series of questions you posed certainly borders on morals rather than simply "affecting society." Outlawing abortion could be interpreted as either helping (by producing more people we have economic growth potentially, etc.) or it could be seen as hindering (population control, not as if that is a big concern at the moment, but i think we should recognize that people genuinely believe that steps should be taken to account for such in the future rather than brush it aside) our population and civilization as a whole. Federal laws against homosexual unions, i am not sure about the dire consequence that these unions would pose on society. Sure, marital benefits being handed out to more people, and potentially it could be wrongfully handed out to conmen, etc. But, i see laws like these that are being pushed for as being done so on the basis of morals. Especially when you hear President Bush's opinions on such things as stem cell research, and cloning. How he reiterates his beliefs and says he believes such things are wrong. I believe human cloning testing is banned in the united states, and is that because of any negative effects it would have on the current society? It depends on how you look at it, but questions like these make me think that certain laws are acted on behalf of morals, even in addition to the valid points you have brought up about legality being used on more of a level of order. I believe a combination of both exists in our system.

Perhaps i am wrong (and i might be), but i was under the impression that the law system outlined what shall not be done, etc., and also specified specifically what sort of punishment could be entailed in such deeds. I did not think that it was done on a court by court basis. In such a way, i think that separating law adn punishment can be done, but they are definately intertwined in that respect. Since punishment like capital punishment exists, and that is bound to our legal system, i find it hard to grasp that these punishments came without a trace of morals within them. Foucault, in his book "Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison" talked of how previously punishment was more of an "eye for an eye" type of deal, but as of recent it has become more of a deterrent for such crimes to not be commited in the future. I am not saying he is entirely correct, or that we should listen to him, but i think he knows a bit of what he talks about. He recognized that the foundations for the laws were based upon such "eye for an eye" types of deals, and that these laws, these same laws with similar punishment, have come under new interpretation where people interpret them as being something to keep order and to serve as more of a deterrent now than before.

Coincidence or not, these laws (the more obvious ones, like ones against murder) were founded a long time ago under a very christian society. And, though we do not have to interpret them as such, i think it is fair to look at it either way.

If lawyers use morals to advocate morally found laws (according to foucault), and the jury goes in their favor, whether or not the purpose of these laws are really just for "order" seems defeated. If morals act in the way of the law, then morality rules our courts (which was my original statement). It is not so much that morals create every law we have, but rather that it is used to punish and has a legal backing to support itself. Though the solution may be idealistic and utopian, it still is unfortunate in my opinion (the predicament). But, all in all, to each his own of course.

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that should always be read in a matter-of-fact tone.

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Old Post 01-10-2005 07:41 PM
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aaqthree
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quote:
Originally posted by PsychoSnowman
Oh yes, of course morality does not have to do with our legal system, but i think the series of questions you posed certainly borders on morals rather than simply "affecting society."


That's exactly why it's subjective, and hence the reason for needing to look at it in an objective manner.

quote:
Outlawing abortion could be interpreted as either helping (by producing more people we have economic growth potentially, etc.) or it could be seen as hindering (population control, not as if that is a big concern at the moment, but i think we should recognize that people genuinely believe that steps should be taken to account for such in the future rather than brush it aside) our population and civilization as a whole.


Well again, those are 'in potentia' arguments. Under what I was describing before, you cannot have those kinds of arguments because they are so subjective. You could say "what if" to anything.

quote:
Federal laws against homosexual unions, i am not sure about the dire consequence that these unions would pose on society. Sure, marital benefits being handed out to more people, and potentially it could be wrongfully handed out to conmen, etc. But, i see laws like these that are being pushed for as being done so on the basis of morals. Especially when you hear President Bush's opinions on such things as stem cell research, and cloning. How he reiterates his beliefs and says he believes such things are wrong. I believe human cloning testing is banned in the united states, and is that because of any negative effects it would have on the current society? It depends on how you look at it, but questions like these make me think that certain laws are acted on behalf of morals, even in addition to the valid points you have brought up about legality being used on more of a level of order. I believe a combination of both exists in our system.


Perhaps. Although, this idea is why I think that eventually, cloning and stem cell research will be fully legalized. Though, there are questions of the instability that could be caused by cloning, but I won't get into that.

Clearly Bush will say that kind of stuff because he's trying to appeal to the Christian right. In this past election, Bush voters overwhelmingly said that the main reason they voted for him was because of his "moral values" (since, as we all know, only neocons can have moral values).

quote:
Perhaps i am wrong (and i might be), but i was under the impression that the law system outlined what shall not be done, etc., and also specified specifically what sort of punishment could be entailed in such deeds. I did not think that it was done on a court by court basis. In such a way, i think that separating law adn punishment can be done, but they are definately intertwined in that respect. Since punishment like capital punishment exists, and that is bound to our legal system, i find it hard to grasp that these punishments came without a trace of morals within them. Foucault, in his book "Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison" talked of how previously punishment was more of an "eye for an eye" type of deal, but as of recent it has become more of a deterrent for such crimes to not be commited in the future. I am not saying he is entirely correct, or that we should listen to him, but i think he knows a bit of what he talks about. He recognized that the foundations for the laws were based upon such "eye for an eye" types of deals, and that these laws, these same laws with similar punishment, have come under new interpretation where people interpret them as being something to keep order and to serve as more of a deterrent now than before.


Obviously capital punishment is meant as a deterrent, but I do not see how that means that it's on a moral basis.

quote:
Coincidence or not, these laws (the more obvious ones, like ones against murder) were founded a long time ago under a very christian society. And, though we do not have to interpret them as such, i think it is fair to look at it either way.


The thing is, if you were to generalize, you cannot say that laws are based on morality when things like adultery, tobacco, and alcohol are legal. Is it moral that some companies make millions of dollars off a highly addictive, lethal substance like tobacco?

quote:
If lawyers use morals to advocate morally found laws (according to foucault), and the jury goes in their favor, whether or not the purpose of these laws are really just for "order" seems defeated.


I don't think it's fully defeated, because eventually the morality could be completely stripped from the law. Right now, the "morally founded laws" don't always seem so morally founded, so we have already started to move away from morality in the first place.

quote:
If morals act in the way of the law, then morality rules our courts (which was my original statement).


I can concede that morality does rule our courts many times. But I do not know if morality always rules our courts in the general or average case.

quote:
It is not so much that morals create every law we have, but rather that it is used to punish and has a legal backing to support itself. Though the solution may be idealistic and utopian, it still is unfortunate in my opinion (the predicament). But, all in all, to each his own of course.


Well, I think I can understand this. But a lot does rest on some claims you make here that I don't necessariliy agree with (ie, morality punishes, rather than the punishment itself being just used as a deterrent; and the idea of it having a "legal backing" to support itself...I don't necessarily think that it does).

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Old Post 01-11-2005 07:21 PM
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PsychoSnowman
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sorry, it has been a long time. I have been really busy with school. I did not run away, i will respond at a later date, though i do not know when that will be.

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Long messages do not equal aggravation of any sort,
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that should always be read in a matter-of-fact tone.

"Those womyn that seek equality with men, lack determination."

"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be wrong."
-Cromwell

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Old Post 01-31-2005 10:18 PM
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aaqthree
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Yeah I know what you mean. The stuff I posted in this thread was mostly during my break so I probably wouldn't be able to respond anyway.

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Old Post 02-06-2005 06:26 PM
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