This blog/journal posted 5 reasons why Christians should oppose the death penalty.1. Christians believe that life overcomes death.2. Jesus was executed by the state.3. The death penalty is a tool of white supremacy and racism.4. It is financially irresponsible.5. Notorious for killing innocent people.I have half a mind to write them a strongly worded letter. I am struggling to contain expletives at the moment.
My reaction stems from the non-sequiturness of their reasons."We should oppose the death penalty because Jesus was executed by the State."
Just because someone puts forward an argument against capital punishment, that you find cringeworthy, doesn't in itself constitute an argument for capital punishment.In the 19th century Victor Hugo (Les Miserables) and Charles Dickens (Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities) both inveighed against capital punishment, and the criminal justice system more generally, in admittedly harsher times. This is brilliantly portrayed in David Lean's 1946 film of Great Expectations. In those days public executions were popular crowd draws for which people paid for front row views!The utilitarian argument is difficult to resolve - does it deter or not? Hard to prove either way. I think I prefer the argument that focusses on reconciliation - believing it is possible for anyone to reform. An offender cannot make reparation from beyond the grave.."pay me what you owe" - a view that Jesus clearly condemned.
I say if God Himself instituted the death penalty, and says that the Law that prescribes it will never pass away, then we as Christians are safe to rely on it.
Quote from: kravarnik on July 29, 2020, 06:11:42 amI say if God Himself instituted the death penalty, and says that the Law that prescribes it will never pass away, then we as Christians are safe to rely on it.Why?The question begins in asking what makes God's sayso "good", and then what about that feature makes it "good", rinse and repeat.What you're doing is taking many things to be true that may just be supposition, and since that's the case, your reliance isn't safe at all, seems to me.As it is, if morality is only explainable in human terms and retributive justice is clearly a primative and immature view of morality compared to reformative and restorative notions of justice, then why on Earth would we think retributive justice is a mandate from God Himself?Theologically, transformative justice is far more compelling in that the goal of justice is to prevent perpetual evil, maximizing the goodness of all activities. If a criminal is not only reformed by being aware of more ways to accomplish things but that the desire to do evil is likewise gone, then indeed retributive justice is an impoverished view. A person aware of the good and embracing it will do his own best to right things. Scripturally, this is sufficient for atonement.I think that God's justice is like finding the love of your life where being in His presence compels us to be our best, something about Him transforms is completely. The question would then be whether God is the sort of being that cannot obtain justice in this highest sense because His presence doesn't have that sort of impact, or is justice really after all about aimless vengeance that seeks no other good but self satisfaction?