PRO-CAPITAL-PUNISHMENT ILLOGIC: LET HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN DRIVE THE FIRST CAR

I added the following to the Facebook group, "Abolish the Death Penalty II":

One of the things this group can do is be a forum where refutations to pro-capital punishment assertions may be stated, suggested, refined, etc. For example, one assertion is that the death penalty is simply a tool, as is a car, and that the tool itself isn't the problem but rather how it is wielded. This than brought to mind the following: "Let he who is without sin drive the first car."

Consider the tools. One tool is to take life as a penalty or punishment. The other is to get from place to place. The descriptions certainly could be expanded and semantics could take us all over the place into many interesting and fruitful discussions, but I have stated here the primary reasons for the death penalty and cars.

Note that in the terms "death penalty" and "capital punishment," deterrence and preclusion are not primary.

Now, consider the concept of unintended consequences. Even if the person being executed is guilty as charged, the intention is killing to penalize that is to punish. The consequence is not unintended.

Consider the difference though with driving a car where malice is not the motivation. What people call accidents do occur. They are truly unintended by the non-malicious driver. That driver does not intend to penalize or to punish anyone involved in any accident where the driver is at fault for whatever reason including gross negligence.

I won't belabor the point that the analogy between 1) committing the offense of capital punishment and 2) driving a car is illogical. It is actually an excuse for vengeance even if that vengeance is taken out on those innocent of the so-called capital crime.

I raise the fact here that the analogy is unworkable because the idea of "Let he who is without sin drive the first car" as a refutation is not known because it's never been used verbatim before this.

The idea that the death penalty is hypocritical is certainly known and properly asserted. The counter, "Let he who is without sin drive the first car," cuts right through the bad analogy. It does so in a memorable and self-evident way where those asserting its opposite should be convicted by conscience. However, we have seen that there are those who simply refuse and continue on in the hope that the Big Lie tactic of repeating and repeating the bad analogy will drown out the truth that the analogy is a farce and an embarrassment for anyone using it to promote killing criminals rather than rehabilitating them and also first addressing the root causes of crime in the first place, which is the real right approach even while we deal with ongoing crime.

The problems with cars can and should also be likewise addressed of course.

What I am not saying here though is that the taking of human life by fellow humans as deliberate punishment suddenly becomes acceptable once guilt can be accurately ascertained 100% of the time forevermore. Separation of the unrepentant and not yet rehabilitated is one thing. Tormenting and "eliminating" them is quite another spirit indeed.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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