MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Capital Punishment Debate

February 27th, 2008 Viewed 11582 times
This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Capital Punishment

Alone amongst the dead header

The debate over whether capital punishment is a moral or even an effective form of punishment is one that generations have discussed. The concept of Capital punishment goes back at least to the time of Moses, where Cities of Refuge were created to protect those that unintentionally killed someone from the Avenger of Blood, but it may go all the way back to the first murder– that of Able, murdered by his brother Cain.

Indeed, in that instance, God spared Cain’s life and marked him forever as a punished one and let him live. Isn’t that a good reason to accept life in prison over Capital Punishment?

Mercy and Justice in Capital Punishment

February 28th, 2008 Viewed 4457 times
This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Capital Punishment

Alone amongst the dead header

When you think “Capital Punishment” I bet the first thought that crosses your mind is not “mercy.” In fact, in Amanda’s opening statement she believes that sparing someone the death penalty is both merciful and just.

When I first started trying to respond to this line of thought, I had the problem of pinning down exactly what mercy means. In my mind it’s a shifting and subjective concept. But when we finally agreed on what it was, we came to the following:

Mercy is not getting what we deserve.

The problem with stating that Capital Punishment is both merciful and just is that you have to define what just is first.

What is Mercy? Who Decides What is Just?

March 3rd, 2008 Viewed 4559 times
This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Capital Punishment

Alone amongst the dead header

These questions are at the heart of a debate I’m having with Amanda over the topic of Capital punishment. In this debate, Mercy is a red herring– a diversion.

First, our working definition is flawed1 . Mercy ties in compassion and has the flavor of sparing someone from a negative consequence, rather than just not getting what is deserved2 .


  1. Under the current working definition of mercy would permit something like this: If I purchased a 10 piece flatware set but was only given 9 pieces the person who sold them to me would have been merciful. []
  2. Hence why in VeggieTales Jonah, the two are the lessons to learn. Nineveh was not only spared God’s wrath via destruction, but they were given a second chance. []

You Can’t Have Mercy Without Justice

March 6th, 2008 Viewed 4122 times
This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Capital Punishment

Alone amongst the dead header

One of the hardest things when it comes to a debate is to realize both what is your key point and where you are weak. You also need to know exactly what things you can afford to compromise on and what you cannot.

In this debate I’m having with Amanda, she believes that mercy is the point of the discussion and wonders why I gloss over this to focus on the justice aspect. It’s specifically because of this:

Perhaps I should say that regardless of whether or not the death penalty is just (and I do not think it is), I believe that it matters more if it is merciful. [emphasis mine]

Capital Punishment: Justice, Jesus and the Cross

March 20th, 2008 Viewed 2382 times, 1 so far today
This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Capital Punishment

Alone amongst the dead header

We start this round finally making progress in our debate on the Death Penalty. For starters, Amanda admits that she does not believe the Death Penalty to be just. This necessitates that she’s not providing mercy for the convicted convict, but instead arguing for justice for the convict, and therefore negates her previous statement that sparing someone is both merciful and just. It’s simply is just.

Is the Death Penalty Just?

As far as the next statement, the verse I quoted does indeed support capital punishment– perhaps I need to provide the verse in context:

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.