Christianity and the Concept of Capital Punishment

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By yorel
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CHRISTIANITY AND THE CONCEPT OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

Yorel Warr SIN: HISTORY OF AN IDEA November 13, 2013

CHRISTIANITY AND THE CONCEPT OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
The concept of capital punishment/death penalty forces Christians and non-Christians alike to question their morality. The idea that humans have the right to take life from those whom society have deemed undeserving of one is of constant debate. Many Christians find it easy to accept this practice for the worst of criminals. So one is left to question rather this practice of “an eye for an eye” as described in the Holy Scripture is appropriate or if it is just outright murder (sin). My perspective lies somewhere in the middle. On one hand I do not believe any human being has the right to take another’s life, yet on the other hand, there are some crimes so heinous that there seems to be only one appropriate punishment. In this paper I will examine the Christian perspective, practical applications and moral implications. DEATH PENALTY AND MORALITY
Some people believe that if there were no death penalty than our country would fall into anarchy. The death penalty, in their mind seems to be moral in the sense that it treats the defendant as a “free moral actor” in control of his/her own destiny. Dr. Ernest Van Den Hagg of Fordham University is an outspoken advocate of the death penalty. He stated that
"Common sense, lately bolstered by statistics, tells us that the death penalty will deter murder... People fear nothing more than death. Therefore, nothing will deter a criminal more than the fear of death... life in prison is less feared. Murderers clearly prefer it to execution -- otherwise, they would not try to be sentenced to life in prison…...

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