A Defense For The Death Penalty Analysis

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The death penalty has been a large debate topic over the past decade. Some are for it because of the “eye for an eye” principle and some are against it because of the moral issues in taking a life and the chance of killing an innocent person. “A Defense for the Death Penalty” written by Ernest Van den Haag, takes a position that validates the execution of the death penalty. I will be taking that same position but I will be referencing “The Principle of Utility” written by Jeremy Bentham. My specific argument from Bentham’s piece is that the death penalty has greater benefit for a greater amount of people. Not only will I discuss “The Principle of Utility” but I will also go further in depth on why the “eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” …show more content…
A negative value of life is when somebody would cause harm to a large community of people. A positive value of life can be when that person benefits that same large community of people. In order to argue in a position for the death penalty it needs validation. It is fair to assume that most if not all murderers sentenced to death have a negative value or a high future potential for negative value to a community of people. Once we have reached this point we can then go on and say that according to Bentham’s “Principle of Utility,” it is moral to take the life of one for the greater pleasure and less pain of a community of …show more content…
In this case our action is the death penalty. We can draw up a scenario and value pain and pleasure from both sides. Perhaps Jimmy is guilty in the murder of another man. In the simplest form the pain brought to the victim’s family and the community outweighs the pain given to the murderer and his family. We can go one step further to begin to address the fact that Jimmy cannot be functioning member of society any longer. If he were to add any value to society we can make a case for why he would not deserve the death penalty. However, in order to add value Jimmy would need to make up the value that the victim provided to society and then some in order to actually earn a positive value. At this point some can make the accusation that everyone who holds a negative value, regardless if they had committed murder or not, can be subject to the death penalty. I would tell those people that burglars do not deserve the death penalty like murderers do because, like I stated earlier, the quantity of pain or negative value is far greater when taking a life rather than taking jewelry. Jewelry can be replaced at a financial burden whereas taking a life is gone for

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