Philosophy Ethics and the Death Penalty

Decent Essays
Matthew Bojanowski
Dr. James Delaney
PHI 206
Assignment #4

Ernest Van den Haag strongly contends the need for capital punishment in our society in his article. Van den Haag provides a substantial amount of convincing facts and information to support “The Ultimate Punishment”. Van den Haag discusses such topics as maldistribution, deterrence to society, miscarriages of the penalty, and incidental and political issues (cost, relative suffering, and brutalization). The death penalty is indeed the harshest/ultimate punishment a convicted criminal can receive in our society. I agree with Van den Haag’s article. I am in favor of the death penalty system in the United States. Through capital punishment’s determent process, I feel it is a
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But what we can conclude is that any sort of punishment is not intended to compensate or offset a victim’s suffering. Punishment is intended to corroborate with the law and social order that has been established. Another argument against capital punishment is expressing the fact that we simply authorize, without question, the murdering through killing of the guilty. Murder is wrong and unlawful killing. Execution, however, is lawful and deserved punishment. Therefore, the physical similarities of murder and execution are irrelevant when arguing capital punishment.
Through the normative ethical theory of consequentialism, capital punishment is morally required for society to operate. Supporters of consequentialism believe acts are right based on the positive sequences they produce. Instilling fear into society is vital to capturing people’s attention. As deceiving and immoral as that may sound, it’s the inconceivable truth when dealing with crime and punishment. Therefore, consequentialists are committed to rules that help the betterment of society. Although studies have produced consistently inconclusive evidence to agree or disagree with this statement, I feel a large majority of society fears the ultimate end, death.
An example of an effective argument against consequentialism and Van den Haag’s viewpoint in capital punishment is that no amount
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