Capital Punishment And The Death Penalty Essay

1641 Words Dec 10th, 2015 7 Pages
There are several debatable issues that face our society today, and one of these issues is capital punishment. Also referred to as the death penalty, this issue involves the question of whether it is moral or immoral to kill humans who have been found guilty of a horrible crime, which in most cases is murder. I will defend my position that capital punishment, though immoral in most cases, can be moral in special instances by starting off with addressing the matters of retribution and justice with regards to capital punishment using Kantian and virtue ethics, respectively. Sequentially, I will highlight two objections to my position involving the issues with cost and inhumanity and innocence and offer responses. My first argument begins with looking at capital punishment from a Kantian perspective. The basis of Kant’s ethical theory is reason. With regards to this theory, an act that is moral is done out of duty dictated by reason. Immanuel Kant, the mind behind Kantianism, was a supporter of capital punishment. Let’s consider one of the main arguments for the death penalty. One of the main reasons capital punishment is supported is because it can be used a means of retribution. It must first of all be noted that retribution and revenge have different meanings. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, revenge is “to avenge (as oneself) usually by retaliating in kind or degree” or “to inflict injury in return for.” Retribution, on the other hand is “punishment for…

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