December 17, 2003

Emerging From The Trench To Toss A Grenade

In response to this:

Killing. The death penalty. War. How do I justify the killing of another person? Well, there are no absolutes, but this is where I'm at. . .

You see, you can argue about evolution versus creationism and all that, but I think the brunt of evidence pretty much supports the assertion that, at some prior point in our development, human beings were basically animals. From here, you have to assume divine intervention, a genetic mutation or alien experimentation led to our grotesquely huge brains.

The point is, despite our humanity, we have strong animal instincts bubbling beneath the surface, and those instincts, I think, lead some of us down some pretty sick paths. And, until another divine intervention, genetic mutation, alien experimentation, or scientific breakthrough that discovers how to deactivate the "evil" gene, we're pretty much stuck with those instincts.

So, we're going to have murderers. We're going to have rapists. We're going to have serial rapist/murderers. We're going to have sick fuck pedophiles. We're going to have meglomaniacal dictators who rule countries through the stacking up of bones of the citizens they lord over. In short, we're going to have people who, despite their brains, are basically still animals, or at least they let themselves be animals, if only for a short while.

They should be punished.

But, you know what? There are people out in the world who believe that people who take another life, or who rape a child, or who kill hundreds of thousands, should be extended certain niceties. Locking them up is WRONG. Killing them is WRONG. Showing pictures of them with long ragged beards being given a physical is WRONG. Denying them the dignity they denied other is just plain WRONG.

fuck that.

I dabble in the writings of pacifists and those who denounce capital punishment and who believe everyone can be saved if we just show compassion and turn the other cheek. Trust me, it's hysterical reading. There are those who believe every injustice in the world can be confronted and defeated through a little non-violent opposition. Apparently, if the likes of Stalin, or Hitler or Saddam ever managed to wrest control of the United States and activate their regimes of terror and oppression, they'd quake in their boots when a crowd of one million decended in peaceful protest on Washington D.C.

Puh-lease. They'd be gassed and disposed of before they could chant "Hell no, we won't go." And they'd be warming up the guns for the next wave of protesters.

Does it dehumanize us to kill those who kill? I have a hard time seeing that. If someone locks a person up and tortures them and rapes them and slowly kills them, you'd have a hard time convincing me that that person shouldn't actually endure the same treatment as punishment. Of course, most people, thankfully, don't have the stomach for such cruelty, so what are we left with? A switch. An injection chamber. A noose. It just seems ludicrous to me that someone who murders someone else should be rewarded with life.

And don't even start to tell me that they somehow deserve DIGNITY. To me, dignity is something you earn the right to have, it's not something you automatically have a right to no matter the despicable nature of your crimes.

Sometimes, I think, an animal deserves to be treated as such, no matter what kind of human skin they may be wearing.

A LATE UPDATE THAT PROBABLY WON'T BE READ: If you're still following this post and comment thread, I suggest you go here.

Posted by Ryan at December 17, 2003 11:57 AM
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