Capital Punishment, Ethical Considerations
PHL464X Fall 2014
Capital punishment as defined by Thiroux, J. and Krasemann, K. (2012) is the inflection of death for certain crimes. Capital punishment is a widely debated topic. Some states have banned its use and others continue the practice. Philosophies differ on its use some call for an eye-for-eye type of punishment and others call for rehabilitation. The ethical debate of weather capital punishment is just and should be carried out are intense and some hold strong beliefs one way or the other. Theories For Capital Punishment
One theory to justify capital punishment would be Act Utilitarianism. “Act utilitarianism essentially says that everyone should perform that act which will bring about the greatest amount of good over bad for everyone affected by the act” (Thiroux, J. and Krasemann, K. 2012) capital punishment could be morally accepted since the punishment provides the greatest amount of good by inflicting the punishment and not allowing the perpetrator to commit further acts in the future. The greatest amount of good is accomplished since the perpetrator can no longer commit further acts and the family and friends of the victim receive closure knowing the act cannot be committed again and the person was adequately punished. Immanuel Kant states “the best equalizer of punishment and crime in the form of public justice is death.” (K, Immanuel. n.d.) This statement is in the eye-for-an-eye theory and that balance is achieved through the punishment by death. Theories Against Capital Punishment
One argument for the abolishment of capital punishment is the Value of Life Principal. “Human beings should revere life and accept death” (Thiroux, J. and Krasemann, K. 2012. p145) this principal places value on all human life and that it should be preserved. Another argument can be made with Rule Utilitarianism on the basis that a moral rule for...
References: Thiroux, J. and Krasemann, K. (2012). Ethics Theory and Practice. Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ.
K. Immanuel. (n.d.) Immanuel Kant’s collection. Google Books. Retrieved: http://books.google.com/books?id=H8BSAwAAQBAJ&pg=PT759&dq=immanuel+kant +capital+punishment&hl=en&sa=X&ei=iVZNVKi_HsqhyATSvYH4Cw&ved=0CDQQ6 AEwBA#v=onepage&q=immanuel%20kant%20capital%20punishment&f=false
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