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Meerkat
12-19-2006, 09:57 PM
The Christians will quickly say it really means "Thou shalt not murder," but if that was what it was meant to say, why doesn't it say that?

Murder is the premeditated taking of another human life. State execution is premeditated and even ritualized to the n'th degree.

"An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" just leads to more violence and besides, it's of the Old Testament and there is (was supposed to be) a new message.

IMO, when we take a human life we are no better than those we execute and arguably even worse.

Even Jeb Bush can no longer stomach lethal injection. Florida, and now California, has stopped all executions on humane grounds and the "cruel and unusual" provision of the Constitution.

At least in the recent past, it has cost considerably more to execute a person than to enprison them for life. Give the immorality of killing, it seems like enprisonment is the better, more humane choice. This does not even consider the possiblity of executing an innocent. What was the story about the 100th sheep and the other 99 are not safe if the 100th is not?

If, again as the Christians say, life is not ours to give, it should not be ours to take except in self-defense.

Please give this your most heart felt thought. Thank You.

eleseus
12-19-2006, 10:03 PM
Probably a translation issue. Ask a scholar of the Old Testament.

Nanoose
12-19-2006, 10:08 PM
The version I just checked says "Thou shalt not murder"

Gonzalo
12-19-2006, 10:29 PM
Nanoose, what version is it?

ishmael
12-19-2006, 10:30 PM
I'm no scholar, but Hebrew is often difficult to translate directly into English. I wouldn't be suprised if this is translated variously to suit different agendas.

The Hebrew Testament is an interesting and often contradictory text. You have that admonition, and then in another chapter the God of Abraham exhorts the Hebrews to put everyone to the sword.

As to the death penalty, that's one issue the arguments on this board have changed my mind about. I used to be okay with it but, at the very least, with all the questions about many innocents on death row who've been proved innocent with more modern forensics, it's time to take a step back.

As to keeping people on death row being cheaper, that argument has to be false. One trial, one appeal(which you'd get no matter the sentence), and then a firing squad or lethal injection or the electric chair, has got to be cheaper that keeping a thirty year old convict in high security prison for the next fifty years. IIRC, the cost of the latter is something around fifty grand a year.

Morally irrelevant. I've come around to being against the death penalty. Even in prison, there's a chance for redemption. After you're dead...well.

Wow, something Meer and I agree on. LOL.

WX
12-19-2006, 10:35 PM
"Thou shalt not murder", yeah well that's where a lot of religions fall down isn't it?
No where does it say in the commandments, Thou shallt not murder, except...But I reckon you will find plenty of instances in the Bible that contradict the commandments.

seafox
12-19-2006, 10:56 PM
Meerkat first of all your wrong in your premis. what makes a killing a murder is not the premeditation but its un-warrented-ness. solgers kill in battle with complete premeditation but it is not murder. those who deserve the death penality have warrented their exicution. fact is it would help if those who murder die as their victom did. one guy in salt lake city shot his sleeping wife in the head and threw her body in a trash dumpster. it took months of searching through trash to find her remains. ( as a side note the city lost over 800,000$ in parking and traphic tickits because police had to spend all that time searching) for him maybe some one should go wake him up nightly by shooting near his head and on some random night put the buillit into his scull. in another case three airforce inlisted personell robed a hi-fi shop raped one gal and forced people to drink draino. one guy they tried to kill by kicking a pen into his ear. perhapse they could have a machine rape those men and then pour draino down their throats.
the death penality lost a good deal of its effectiveness when they stoped hanging people in the city square.
on the other hand I think they should have the convicted murders go through chemical truth debreifing just to make sure they ar guilty and that all info is retreaved beforfe they are killed
teb bundy who killed in washington utah colorado and florida at least should not have been able to carry any secreats to his grave

glenallen
12-19-2006, 11:09 PM
....."Your most heartfelt thought"....

You ask a lot, pard!
I don't like the death penalty for a host of reasons.

Jeb Bush likes the death penalty because it impresses those who vote for him. Besides, he, like his brother "believe in it".

My biggest gripe with it is that the same bureaucrats who support killing certain felons is the same bureaucracy that imprisons a Dr. Kervorkian who sees a need for ending the suffering of people who demand it.

There is not much of forgiveness and turning the other cheek
among us. There is plenty of revenge, fear, power, fear, scorn, fear,
hatred, and fear among us.

TomF
12-20-2006, 08:47 AM
I won't pretend to be a scholar of Hebrew Scripture, more a student. But in the 10 commandments ... they are written out in two places in scripture, with minor variations. In both places, the hebrew word used in the 6th commandment is "ratsah."

Ratsah is a word used to describe criminal acts of killing, of murder. It's specific. Hebrew has another word, "harag," to describe all acts of killing - e.g. killing livestock, killing in self defence, killing accidentally, as well as murder.

Given that, it's fair to think that if the writer of the 6th commandment intended "don't murder" rather than a broader "don't kill." Both words are used in various places in Hebrew scripture, but the more specific one was used here.

Mrleft8
12-20-2006, 08:48 AM
How can we have a WBF sacrifice if we can't kill someone?

TomF
12-20-2006, 08:52 AM
How can we have a WBF sacrifice if we can't kill someone?That's easy. Use the right word.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
12-20-2006, 08:52 AM
How can we have a WBF sacrifice if we can't kill someone?

Doogie man - TomF has just said that killing is not necessarily ruled out - murder is.

Can't see a sacrifice as murder - more like judicious homicide.

Chris Coose
12-20-2006, 08:58 AM
I'll stick to the Buddhist teaching.
Thank you very much.

When it comes to killing ambiguity is comical.

Beowolf
12-20-2006, 09:00 AM
Meer, I couldn't agree with you more.

I'm no biblical scholar, not by a long shot but I seem to recall some New Testament phrasing along the lines of "Love you enemies," "Turn the other cheek," and "Love your neighbors as you love yourself."

We have no right to take the life of another and all people deserve the chance to find God in the course of their own lives. So yeah, life in prison is a viable option. Terminating one's life deprives them of this right.

At least that's how I feel on the matter.

Jeff

Milo Christensen
12-20-2006, 09:05 AM
...If, again as the Christians say, life is not ours to give, it should not be ours to take except in self-defense....

Ahhh, now I finally understand, abortion is self-defense.

ishmael
12-20-2006, 09:18 AM
Tom,

Thanks for that illumination. One I'll file away.

It doesn't really hinge the question of whether it's good or bad to put to death a heinous killer. That can still be considered not a murder, because it's a form of justice.

Having worked in, and thought about human psychology a bit, there are people who even with our religion, and our best efforts, really aren't redeemable. Barring a revelation from God, they are evil, small "e."

And one other thing that's overlooked is that often these people continue to work their evil, even from a prison cell. I read a report about Latin gangs chiefs who'd worked out elaborate schemes for communicating their commands to their lieutenants still on the streets. They were still commiting murder from behind bars.

So, concurrent with the "no death penalty" there has to be a complete isolation of these individuals from their outside contacts. If it means violating their civil rights, no more outside contact etc. so be it. We've spared your life, you don't get civil rights except the right to not be tortured. Like that. No more being a kingpin from prison.

And there's the rub, and an argument for continuing the death penalty, speeding it up.

Personally, I'd rather be put to death than languish in a prison with no power.

Popeye
12-20-2006, 09:23 AM
show me the button

Mrleft8
12-20-2006, 09:28 AM
Kilt is one form of kill past tense.... (IE: Killed) What does this say about dear Bacon boy's holiday garb....

Tom Montgomery
12-20-2006, 10:39 AM
...the 10 commandments ...are written out in two places in scripture, with minor variations. In both places, the hebrew word used in the 6th commandment is "ratsah."

Ratsah is a word used to describe criminal acts of killing, of murder. It's specific. Hebrew has another word, "harag," to describe all acts of killing - e.g. killing livestock, killing in self defence, killing accidentally, as well as murder.

Correct. The King James Bible mistranslated the word as "kill." Most modern translations use the more accurate word "murder."

Perhaps this is all very straightforward for Jews, but how are we to interpret the fifth commandment in a Christian context?

I think it is interesting that our current view of "just-war" is contrary to the belief of the early Christians. For that we have to thank, among others, the pagans Plato and Cicero.

http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=115

"The Gospel writers record that Jesus called his followers to a way of life in which violence and division are overcome by sacrificial love. We must not return evil for evil, Jesus taught, but must return good for evil; we must not hate those who wrong us but must love our enemies and give freely to those who hate us. These themes in Jesus’ ministry were deeply rooted in the Hebrew prophetic tradition, and Jesus’ ministry an his sacrificial death were a continuation and a fulfillment of that tradition. Followers of Jesus, Christian pacifists say, must follow both his example and his teachings: they must show love for all in their actions and seek healing and reconciliation in every situation."

"The early Christian community understood Jesus’ commands to prohibit the bearing of arms. Christians refused to join the military, even though the Roman army of the period was as much a police force as a conquering army. Those who converted to Christianity while in military service were instructed to refrain from killing, to pray for forgiveness for past acts of violence, and to seek release from their military obligations. A striking example of the pervasiveness of pacifism in the early church is the fact that Tertullian and Origen—church fathers who stood at opposite poles regarding the relation of faith to philosophical reasoning—each wrote a tract supporting Christians’ refusal to join the military."

"A profound change in the Christian attitude toward war occurred at the time of the emperor Constantine, whose conversion to Christianity helped bring the Christian community from the fringes to the center of Western society. From the time of Constantine to the present, pacifism has been a minority view in the Christian church. The just-war tradition, rooted in the ethical theories of Plato and Cicero and formulated within the Christian tradition by Augustine, Aquinas and the Protestant Reformers, defends military force as a last resort against grave injustice. According to this view, when the innocent are threatened by an unjust aggressor and all other remedies have failed, Jesus’ demand for sacrificial love may require us to use lethal force."

Leon m
12-20-2006, 11:29 AM
Bibles don't kill people, people kill people.

Nanoose
12-20-2006, 11:39 AM
"The Gospel writers record that Jesus called his followers to a way of life in which violence and division are overcome by sacrificial love. ...Jesusí ministry and his sacrificial death ...seek healing and reconciliation in every situation."

"According to this view, when the innocent are threatened by an unjust aggressor and all other remedies have failed, Jesusí demand for sacrificial love may require us to use lethal force."

Thanks, Tom. Seems pretty clear. Makes me wonder how different the world might look now if Christians refused to fight. And while listening to the news on the way in to work this morning I was struck with the news from Palestine on how Hamas and Fatah (??) immediately take to killing each other when they can't get their own way. A religion of peace and life, and a religion of violence and death contrasted.

Perhaps our greatest impact would have been in our refusal to bear arms....opportunities lost?

TomF
12-20-2006, 11:43 AM
...Makes me wonder how different the world might look now if Christians refused to fight. ....Perhaps our greatest impact would have been in our refusal to bear arms....opportunities lost?Certainly that's where the Quakers, Mennonites, Amish etc. ground their views.

Nanoose
12-20-2006, 11:47 AM
I came to faith after moving to a Mennonite community.

It takes 2 to fight. We learn that on the kindergarten playground. So if one group just doesn't show up, or simply won't fight, things end pretty quickly. And I bet the world sits up and asks what just happened. Very powerful....more powerful than fire power?!

Leon m
12-20-2006, 11:53 AM
The Christians will quickly say it really means "Thou shalt not murder," but if that was what it was meant to say, why doesn't it say that?

.

Ya can't be serious Meer...your just trolling right ?...just a little holiday christian fun...kinda like a cat with one of those mouse toys...:D

Meerkat
12-20-2006, 01:33 PM
When is killing not murder? Why, when everyone says it's ok!

By that logic, black lynching were just killing because everyone there was ok with it. The massacres in Dafur are ok because all the Janjawe are ok with it.

Does quibbling over "murder" versus "killing" make anyone any less dead? (And, oh yes, I can see the replies to this!)

TomF
12-20-2006, 01:41 PM
Hmmm.

What do you think, Meer? Is there a viable and legitimate distinction between the killing that a serial murderer does, and the killing that a police officer might do when interrupting that serial murderer?

A person is just as dead, either way.

Kaa
12-20-2006, 01:48 PM
It takes 2 to fight. We learn that on the kindergarten playground. So if one group just doesn't show up, or simply won't fight, things end pretty quickly.

Yes, things end pretty quickly, but you may not like the outcome.

From Jews in Germany to Tibetans in the now Chinese province of Tibet to educated people in Pol Pot's Cambodia -- there were a lot of people who didn't fight...

Kaa

Meerkat
12-20-2006, 01:52 PM
Hmmm.

What do you think, Meer? Is there a viable and legitimate distinction between the killing that a serial murderer does, and the killing that a police officer might do when interrupting that serial murderer?

A person is just as dead, either way.You really want me to answer this?

Police who kill suspects other than in self defense are tried for murder. I never excluded self defense.

Doesn't killing a killer via execution make you (at least a party to being) a killer too?

TomF
12-20-2006, 02:06 PM
You really want me to answer this?

Police who kill suspects other than in self defense are tried for murder. I never excluded self defense.

Doesn't killing a killer via execution make you (at least a party to being) a killer too?Yeah it does. Which is why I oppose capital punishment - though I must admit that I vascillate slightly with the truly horrific serial murderer types.

Jesus did, regularly, overturn some of the things written in Hebrew Scripture laws. Dispensed with "an eye for an eye," for example. Wasn't big on stoning adulterers either, and broke the Sabbath laws left and right. I think, frankly, that indicates that law must evolve over time to reflect what we learn about compassion.

Scott Rosen
12-21-2006, 05:31 PM
It takes 2 to fight. We learn that on the kindergarten playground. So if one group just doesn't show up, or simply won't fight, things end pretty quickly. And I bet the world sits up and asks what just happened. Very powerful....more powerful than fire power?!
Tell that to the six million who perished in the Nazi death camps. Or those in Darfur.

It's no coincidence that pacifists can flourish in a country like the US, where the rest of us imperfect humans are willing to use force to keep the peace.

non-violent resistance can only work in a war of ideas in which the adversaries share the same moral belief in a reverence for life. We Westerners don't have the faintest clue about blood feuds and tribal warfare, the likes of which consume places like Iraq. Ghandi wouldn't last 30 seconds in Bagdhad.

We lucky Americans, living in peace and prosperity and under the protection of the law, find it difficult to imagine someone hating us so much that they would get joy in killing us. But the bad guys are out there. And they would very much like to torture and kill you, if only you would give them the chance.

One day the lion will lie down with the lamb and we'll beat our swords into CQR anchors. Until then, it's best to keep sharp lookout. God doesn't want you to make it easy for your enemy to commit the sin of murder. If you want to show love for your enemy, the first thing is not to let him kill you.

jack grebe
12-21-2006, 05:40 PM
One day the lion will lie down with the lamb and we'll beat our swords into CQR anchors.Nice quote.........what chapter and verse:rolleyes:

Meerkat
12-21-2006, 05:42 PM
Talking about state execution here, not self defense...

Scott Rosen
12-21-2006, 05:51 PM
Hi Meer.

I think execution of criminals is immoral. It's a cowardly use of force by the strong against the weak and most vulnerable. Its main purpose is to satisfy a lust for vengence.

A criminal my "deserve" to die, but it doesn't follow that we have the right to kill him.

Meerkat
12-21-2006, 05:53 PM
Hi Scott;
Glad to see you posting here again.

I'd say we agree on the topic. :)

jack grebe
12-21-2006, 05:57 PM
Its main purpose is to satisfy a lust for vengence.It's wrong to want vengence? If not, then who is to avenge? The family of the wronged?

Scott Rosen
12-22-2006, 09:51 AM
It's wrong to want vengence? If not, then who is to avenge? The family of the wronged?
It's human to want vengeance. Trouble is, vengeance justs compounds the pain and suffering. You don't have to look too far in today's world to see the evidence of that.

Vengeance is like any other lust. The more you get, the more you want. It can never be satisfied. And exacting vengeance doesn't make one's pain go away.

We can do better.

Scott Rosen
12-22-2006, 10:09 AM
No doubt, there are an infinite number of good reasons to spare someone's life.

Mercy, forgiveness, redemption are, above all, rational, in that they promote happiness and peace for victim and criminal alike.

You can, but you don't have to, get religious about it.

Beowolf
12-22-2006, 10:43 AM
Meer, I couldn't agree with you more.

I'm no biblical scholar, not by a long shot but I seem to recall some New Testament phrasing along the lines of "Love you enemies," "Turn the other cheek," and "Love your neighbors as you love yourself."

We have no right to take the life of another and all people deserve the chance to find God in the course of their own lives. So yeah, life in prison is a viable option. Terminating one's life deprives them of this right.

At least that's how I feel on the matter.

Jeff


But on a loftier plane, I look at it this way: some of the key tenets of Christs' message were the concepts of forgivenness, repentance, and redemption, themes that even I, a non-Christian, believe strongly in. In a life of imprisonment, it's possible that the convicted killer will repent... and as a result, receive forgivenness and redemption (not from us, of course, but from whatever spirit moves him). This possibility, even if slim or remote, seems worthwhile, to me.

If a convicted killer never repents during his life of imprisonment, then executing him wouldn't have made any difference. If he does, then we've done something good by not executing him.

Now tell me who's the most invisible around here! ;) :mad: :D :mad:

geeman
12-22-2006, 10:43 AM
Now days in modern times, todays issues.It does complicate things when you know there are a lot of people that you dont even know that simply want you dead.Thats their agenda to kill you.