Secular Humanism - Death Penalty Essay

1056 Words May 3rd, 2011 5 Pages
Date: 15.03.2011

Death Penalty from a Secular Humanist Point of View

The United States remains in the minority of nations in the world that still uses death as penalty for certain crimes. Many see the penalty as barbaric and against American values. Others see it as a very important tool in fighting violent pre-meditated murder.

From my point of view as a secular humanist, death penalty should be banned as a form of punishment.

Secular humanism is a philosophical school of thought that advocates the use of reason, compassion, scientific inquiry, ethics, justice, and equality. It appeals to agnostics, atheists, freethinkers, rationalists, skeptics, and materialists. Secular Humanism often finds itself in conflict with religious
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Being subject to capital punishment often hinges on the quality of one’s legal counsel, which itself depends on one’s economic status, so the poor are more likely to be executed than the rich.

2. Value of human life: Human life has intrinsic value, even if a person has murdered another individual. The death penalty denies the sacredness of human life. Live is so precious that nobody should ever be killed, even by the state.

3. Deterrence: In my view deterrence plays no part whatsoever. Persons contemplating murder do not sit around the kitchen table and say I won't commit this murder if I face the death penalty, but I will do it if the penalty is life without parole. I do not believe persons contemplating or committing murder plan to get caught or weigh the consequences. Fear of the death penalty may cause a few to hesitate, but certainly not enough to keep it in force, and the truth is that there is no way of ever knowing whether or not the death penalty deters.

4. Financial costs to taxpayers of capital punishment are several times that of keeping someone in prison for life. Most people don't realize that carrying out one death sentence costs 2-5 times more than keeping that same criminal in prison for the rest of his life. How can this be? It has to do with the endless appeals, additional required procedures, and legal wrangling that

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