Euthanasia and Death Penalty
Euthanasia and death penalty are two controversy topics, that get a lot of attention in today’s life. The subject itself has the roots deep in the beginning of the humankind. It is interesting and maybe useful to learn the answer and if there is right or wrong in those actions.
The decision if a person should live or die depends on the state laws. There are both opponents and supporters of the subject. However different the opinions are, the state is the one that can decide for a person.
Already in Roman Empire the act of euthanasia was known and was conducted by people. Since it wasn’t in divergence with moral standards during those times, people were not condemning or judging those who performed it . Who has the right to decide if one is to live or to die, even if it is a punishment for heinous crime, or if a person has unimaginable sufferings. Can anyone measure the pain that one goes through while lying in bed unable to move?
Only a few states in the USA legalized euthanasia, but many states have death penalty. Is it fair to people, who did not commit any crimes, but go through pain and suffers, not being able to leave this world peacefully? But one who committed a crime maybe the one to die under merciful circumstances.
The word euthanasia derived from the Greek words that translate as easy death and means helping terminally ill persons to die in a fairly painless way .
As in the case of a death penalty, euthanasia has its supporters and opponents. Whether it one or the other depends on several facts, such as personal opinion, culture the person was brought up, religion that one practices or the lack of it, and, finally, circumstances surrounding the decision.
Usually, if the decease causes the unbearable physical and mental pain, that person will ask to be killed, but if this factor is eliminated, then there is no reason to die. When a person asks to kill him, in reality he is asking to help him.
Supporters of the death penalty have several arguments justifying the state-sanctioned murder of those who take life from other people. First of all, there is an old law – tooth for tooth, eye for eye. Then there is the practical argument: death sentence keeps many criminals from being killed. In addition, the death penalty for murderers prevents recurrence: if they are released from prison, they can again become murderers. The third argument is also pragmatic, although it is inferior: the state saves money by killing the murderers, instead of keeping them in prison for life at the expense of society.
The opponents state two ethical arguments. First of all, in modern democracy, punishment should not only be punitive, but should also try to reeducate a criminal to enable him to live in a society with other people. But while this argument is unconditional, those who have heard about modern prisons recognize that many inmates are immune to re-education, which is a fact that cannot be explained solely by conditions of detention.
The second ethical argument is based on the commandment Thou shalt not kill, which also warns states against murder. But the strength of this argument is undermined by the fact that the state may resort to the death penalty to prevent serious crimes, or to prevent war or rebellion.
Opponents of the death penalty also rely on utilitarian arguments. The death penalty is irreversible. If the offender turns out to be innocent, it is no longer possible to cancel the sentence. In addition, objectors harshly criticize the preventive effect of the death penalty.
Criminologists have confirmed by statistics that in those US states where the death penalty is allowed, the number of serious crimes has not decreased. Other criminologists, however, argue that such a conclusion, if it has sufficient justification, should apply to all criminal law: offenses are committed every day; nevertheless, if we did not have such prohibiting norms, the number of crimes would be even greater. In their view, capital punishment serves, at least, to limit people’s even thinking of a murder. Hence, from the point of view of consistent atheistic and materialistic consciousness, the death penalty is fundamentally permissible: life imprisonment, as an alternative, is completely meaningless from this point of view. And in general: “” If there is no God, then everything is allowed, “and the matter is only a reasonable, balanced determination of the degree of social expediency of certain measures.”
From the viewpoint of a Christian religion, the death penalty must be recognized as absolutely unacceptable, since it represents the ultimate violence against a person and the audacity of the final sentence to a person in his metaphysical sense .
First of all, it is necessary to recognize the clear fact that the state has the right to use the death penalty, as well as to dispose of the lives of its citizens in other forms (conscription for military service with the subsequent participation in hostilities). At the same time, the state should not be thought of as irresponsible and alien force for citizens, but as the highest expression of the will and life of the people, as a political and legal realization of the country. The recognition of the principle right of the state to use the death penalty means its acceptability but does not yet say anything in favor of its necessity . It is possible that the state, having the principle right to the death penalty, should nevertheless, if possible, refrain from using it, at least in peacetime: the death penalty, according to this point of view, is acceptable, but it is better to do without it. The arguments in favor of such a refusal are: the unavoidable risk of judicial errors, the need for executioners, the doubtful effectiveness of the death penalty, humanistic considerations. At the same time, the first three arguments that have a rational sense and a clear rationale, as a rule, come to the fore, and “humanistic considerations” play, at first glance, the role of some emotional reinforcement. In fact, they are the ones that determine the refusal of the civilized world from the death penalty. The risk of judicial errors, indeed, has always been, is and will be, the malice of the executioner’s “work”, and, could the death penalty truly ever reduce the crime. However, never in the whole history of mankind, these arguments were considered as a possible reason for refusing the death penalty. If it was canceled at any time, it was only due to the impulse of the moral sentiments of individual rulers. Looking at history, it is necessary to recognize the legislative consolidation of the death penalty as a rule from which exceptions were extremely rare. Why is the modern “civilized world” so stubbornly seeking to ban the death penalty? Perhaps crime has decreased, and social standards softened? Nothing of the kind, and rather the opposite. And even if that were so, there would be no need to legally stop the death penalty: after all, in a society of law-abiding people with a high legal conscience, it would be difficult for anyone that the death penalty is provided for by law for those crimes which nobody commits? The real reason for the movement of the modern “civilized world” to the elimination of the death penalty lies in its pacification and loss of the spiritual dimension, in materialism and the cult of bodily life, which have become both mass and state ideology . On the one hand, indeed, materialism means that There is no God and everything is allowed, that is, since man is nothing more than a material bio-object reflecting on the bone skeleton and covered with natural leather on the outside, through brain impulses to the extent that other material objects of a similar device do not and cannot have any reasonable grounds to protest against the cessation of some specific physiological processes in this biosystem, especially since this does not mean wow “destruction” nothing is destroyed (the soul is not there, and no “world” does not “die” together with man), but just matter passes into other forms of its eternal movement. But on the other hand, since this complex of specific physiological processes in the biomass that makes up the body, life for the materialist is exhausted, the physiological well-being and integrity of the body becomes for him a fundamental value. On the question of life and death, materialism demonstrates a very bad “dialectic.” It is materialism, which is not even able to raise (not just solve) the question of the meaning of life, materialism, which is not even able to distinguish life from death at the conceptual level (both of which are movements of matter), it is he who clings convulsively to life, and is afraid of panic to think about death, although there is no meaning for him either in life or in death. A humanistic and kind-hearted materialist extends these instincts of his own and beyond his individual physiological process – according to the feeling of solidarity he is pleased with someone’s successful physiology and terrifies someone’s transition to other forms of the movement of matter. It is not the Christian love for one’s neighbor that repels him from the death penalty, but the irrational fear of approaching the topic of death itself – fear threatening the tranquility of his own physiological process. A materialist, becoming humane and sympathetic, becomes completely powerless to decide anything in matters of life and death. And the more he clings to life ” reduced to the physiology of his biomass ” the more truly he lives his life ” taken in the fullness of this word ” loses: For who wants to save his soul, he will lose it, and who will lose his soul for my sake and the gospel he will save her ( The Soul Christ calls life here). For the religious-philosophical view, the prospect of eternity is open, and only in this perspective can fundamental solutions to human existence be obtained. The problem of the death penalty should also be comprehended, first of all, in these limiting grounds. There is no unity among believers regarding this problem. Commenting on the initiatives of the State Duma to toughen the punishment for pedophiles, Pedophiles should be shot: Russian parliamentarians insist on toughening penalties for committing sexual crimes. Priests expressed different opinions (Muslims were more unanimous in endorsing the death penalty). Punishment for pedophiles should be inevitable: Orthodox priests and muftis commented on the proposal to introduce the death penalty for pedophile rapists. Along with unconditional support for the death penalty right up to the Lynch courts, there are fair indications that the main attention should be paid not to the consequences, but to the causes – to propaganda of corruption in the media, and also sounds “rather negative” attitude moratorium. The priest and academic archpriest Gleb Kaleda, who for several years practiced suicide bombers in Butyrka, believed that people in prison often radically change their views, repenting of atrocities committed. And it turns out that we sentence one person to the death penalty, and we shoot a completely different one. However, it is this circumstance that, in our opinion, serves as an argument not
Is the purpose of punishment is to punish a person exactly in his spiritual, moral and physical condition, in which he committed a crime? Is it not the meaning and the most important task of punishment (not always, however, attainable by the most important task) the repentance of a criminal, his spiritual and moral transformation? What to do if for many people who are hardened in sin, repentance is impossible without facing the inevitable death? The testimony of Archpriest Gleb Kaleda about the prevalence of repentance among suicide bombers, so that we sentence one person to death, and we shoot a completely different one, is, in our opinion, evidence of the achievement of the most important task (super task!) Of criminal punishment. If it were as successful as the death penalty (more precisely, waiting for it), contributed to the spiritual and moral transformation of the criminal other types of punishment, the crime would be reduced not only by times, but by orders of magnitude. At the same time, of course, we must not forget that even the death penalty does not guarantee a repentance.
The only drawback is that people transformed by the expectation of the death penalty do not return to societies. However, this deficiency is more than offset by the acquisition: the saved soul of man. If, indeed, we execute a completely different person, if he repented and changed, becoming another, then eternity departs no longer a criminal, but a righteous person ” the first person to enter paradise was the repentant robber. If even the imminent death inevitably could not change the souls of the criminal, then his failure to return to society can hardly upset anyone. It would be absolutely fabulously wonderful if the condemned man, after going through the horror of inevitable death and being reborn in repentance, would have received pardon and would have returned to a different person after all, but this cannot be the rule. In order for the transformative potential of the death penalty to be revealed, the sentence should not be a joke, and death is not just probable, but it is inevitable. And even in this case, having pardoned the suicide bomber, we cannot know for sure who he had pardoned ” another person who had changed in repentance, or a person who was simply frightened, capable, taking a breath, to new crimes, or even embittered by the more moral restraints.
It must be said about the imminent risk of judicial errors, which is always cited as the most serious argument against the use of the death penalty. Indeed, there is no guarantee against such errors, however, as has already been said, this argument has never, in the whole history of mankind, been considered as the reason for refusing the death penalty. The necessity of not even measuring seven times, but measuring out seventy times seven times, before passing a death sentence on a person, is obvious. But it is also so obvious that physical death is not the absolute evil that humanistic materialism sees in it. If everything ends with physical death, then nothing at all makes sense: neither life nor death, nor truth, nor suffering, nor love, nor punishment. If death is a transition to eternity, if God’s will keeps the world and His love does not leave anyone, even those who have renounced it, – then there is no reason to fall into catalepsy from contact with the theme of suffering and death of the innocent. At the same time, we are far from the irresponsible position that atheism ascribes to the believing consciousness: they say, we will write everything down to God, and no problems. The theme of innocent suffering and death is a huge, deepest topic of religious thought. The presence in the law of capital punishment in the form of the death penalty is normal for a morally healthy society. The non-use of this measure as superfluous is an indicator of the criminological well-being of society. The refusal to legislate the death penalty, even in relation to crimes that clearly outrage public opinion and conscience, can only be regarded as a shameful weakness of the moral position of the legislator. The general principle of building a healthy sense of justice was perfectly expressed by F.M. Dostoevsky: Laws should be, perhaps, more severe, and the public atmosphere should be softer. So far, in the light of the abolition of the death penalty, everything looks “exactly the opposite.”