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Essay about Two Views of Capital Punishment

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Capital punishment has been a debatable subject for decades. Human thinking often ignores the equal-value relationship when it comes to the taking of life. Attention shifts from the victim’s life to that of the murderer. Immanuel Kant believes that moral laws apply equally, and if someone breaks the law, we should make sure that the law applies to everyone. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be such thing as morality. And without morality, life is meaningless. We should be morally strong and be able to kill the criminals, in order to prove that the laws are more important than human life.

On the other hand, John Stuart Mill states that breaking the law is part of utility. Although he thinks that the most appropriate punishment for a murderer is death, since the criminal is unworthy to live among mankind. Mill proposes that imprisonment with hard labor for life would be a much worse punishment. “ What comparison can there really be, in point of severity, between consigning a man to the short pang of a rapid death, and immuring him in a living tomb, there to linger out what may be a long life in the hardest and most monotonous toil, without any of its alleviations or rewards” (Mill 66). He is contradicting himself when making these two points.
According to Kant, a person is the subject whose actions can be imputed to him. “Only a rational being has the capacity to act in accordance with the representation of laws, that is, in accordance with principles, or has a will” (Kant 24). What differentiates us from animals is the ability of reasoning. Rational nature is distinguished from the rest of nature by this, that it sets itself an end (Kant 44). As murderers, death is the “end” which we have set for our lives and that’s exactly what we ...


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...e prevented and it will happen anyway? Capital punishment is a very touchy subject. Whenever it is brought up in discussions, it often causes arguments. People tend to take it personal and never get to an agreement. Still today, it isn’t legal in all parts of the world. But we cannot ever expect sure justice under the present governments. Killing a person after he or she has committed murder is from my point of view, the most logical thing to do. It might sound primitive, but it is the best way to punish a criminal. The cheapening of lives would be stopped and the equal value relationships will be taking into consideration.



Works Cited

• Mill, John Stuart, and George Sher. Utilitarianism. Second ed. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 2001. Print.
• Kant, Immanuel, and Mary J. Gregor. Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge UP, 1998. Print.


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