Death Penalty and Abortion the same issue?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by 63dot, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #1
    Morally?

    Legally?

    I was listening to KGO (ABC Radio) and the talk show host was saying they are the same issue and some callers agreed and some disagreed. I actually have to agree on one level and disagree on the other. He insulted people who thought they were different issues and said you either had to be pro-death penalty and pro-choice, or anti-death penalty and pro-life, or you weren't being "consistent". While I am pro-life and anti-death penalty, I don't agree with the ABC host.

    When this came up in law school, students weighed in on both sides of calling it the same, but currently in the interpretations of the black letter of law, they are two distinctly different issues, at least in the United States in 2013.

    However, morally, or how I see it as a Christian (with some fellow protestants, and catholics, and with current Vatican point of view from John Paul II and unchallenged since then) is that all life is precious and only God can decide so both issues are not for humans to determine. Some may see that is as the Vatican equating "abortion" with "murder" since any act where a human determines another's death is guilty of murder/killing, as many conservative Christians who stand at the other side of the aisle from me say the Pope says (on at least abortion), but I think it's safe to say at least he meant both are wrong, but not necessarily the same thing. It's OK to say both are wrong but that doesn't automatically call both abortion and death penalty totally equal.

    So where do you weigh in on equating the two? Are they the same, period, and further, does that mean abortion is murder? Is the death penalty wrong because it's the murder in the name of the state? Where do you stand?
     
  2. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    #2
    They are completely different issues in my opinion since abortion does not deal with another life. Any reasonably intelligent person should be able to see the difference. I understand why religious people think otherwise.
     
  3. j.dstasio macrumors 6502

    j.dstasio

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    South Jersey
    #3
    If the teachings of Christian Bible are the only thing that one's morality is based on, then yes I could see someone saying they are the same issue.

    But if you look at them independently from a legal and ethical standpoint, they are nothing alike. I really can't see how someone with at least an average intelligence could make an argument from them being the same.
     
  4. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #4
    Not the same issue.

    One is sought by society, the other is sought by an individual (or a couple).

    One is based upon the actions of the guilty, the other is a decision made without that person's* involvement.

    I do see both of them in very much the same way - important that we keep them both legal, and remain very careful and judicious in how we use them.

    (*without arguing for or against "personhood")
     
  5. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #5
    I consider myself reasonably intelligent, or at least educated, and I know intellectually they are different issues, but I see a commonality.

    In the Ten Commandments, not the requirement for salvation by any means, but the yardstick of God's perfect code/justice/etc, is simply that "thou shalt not kill". Under equally strong biblical translations of original language, it can be both don't kill and/or don't murder. There's not too much wiggle room so one can see it as no death penalty and no abortion. Without abortion the fetus would likely become a person so aborting them is killing them, and some say murdering them. Looking back at the ancient translation, of which many say don't have a perfect modern English translation, many would agree that ending life is the key issue here. Death penalty, and abortion, end life.

    At the same time, I know we don't live in a theocratic society, and our founding fathers often influenced by enlightenment, saw to that clearly. Our laws are supposed to govern all, not just theists. In the strict reading of the laws, they are separate and one can also argue that a fetus is "not" life.

    It's not as easy thing for me to separate the two, but logically they are different issues under the law.
     
  6. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #6
    I happen to be pro-death penalty and pro-choice. Am I a rare breed? Doubt it.
     
  7. thehustleman macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2013
    #7
    Completely different.

    One is preventing a fetus from becoming a person, the other is killing a person (hypocriticaly so because usually they killed someone) that's already alive
     
  8. 63dot, Mar 8, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013

    63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #8
    I don't think faith has anything to do with intelligence. It's pretty clear that the taking of life, abortion or death penalty, is against every concept of Jesus and his teachings.

    Had Christians been more liberal in their interpretation of thou shalt not kill, then they would have set up an army to protect Jesus and to protect themselves. Jesus didn't say to love your enemy unless they attack you and then it's OK to kill them. ;) The only concept of taking a life that I understand from the time of Jesus and his followers is that you can use deadly force to protect your families. OK, that makes sense. Jesus was not for using deadly force to protect him though. When they went to take him to ultimately be crucified, Jesus stopped any armed resistance the disciples had in protecting him. He let the authorities take him.

    Christians, starting with Jesus, got slaughtered and offered no physical/military resistance, most likely stemming for the Jesus Christ concept of non violent action/resistance. Many early followers wanted Jesus to arm to hold up an armed resistance to the Romans. He certainly had the momentum to at least seriously attempt to oust the Romans from the region. Had Jesus or his disciples been there with the will to kill they would have axed more than a few Roman and Jewish leaders who had it in for them.

    ----------

    Morally, at least according to many Christians and the talk show host, you are "consistent" and not a hypocrite.

    All the combinations are common. Most of my fellow registered democrats as liberal as me are anti-death penalty but pro-choice. Most republicans I know are pro-life and pro-death penalty.

    I think there are lot of people like me who respect the law of this secular land and uphold the differences of the two concepts. Morally, at least from what I read in Bible (and commentaries) is that they are the same. What it ultimately points to is that only God can be the taker of life in a justifiable way, and we are not here to have a death penalty or to abort a fetus (obviously not in context with life of mother, incest, or rape).

    Ultimately, I agree with the talk show host, who is Jewish but an athiest, when he says they are the same, with bigger issue being, "can one man take the life of another, or not"? It may be splitting hairs to say that "ethically/morally" they are different because one involves a fetus and the other a person on death row. The result is the same in that at the end of the day, there is a body count. So in his view, and mine, you either cherish life to the standard of "no kill" or you don't.
     
  9. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    #9

    A fetus can grow into a person just like an egg can grow into a chicken. Would u equate eating a egg to killing a chicken?
    You are stopping the possibility of life. Not life itself. In my opinion.
     
  10. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #10
    Great argument. I wish you could have called into ABC radio with that one.

    BTW, I love eggs and I have no issues against eating chicken, either. :)
     
  11. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    #11
    To me they are the same and I'm equally against both.

    The latter will always vary from person to person based on when they believe life to begin.
     
  12. elistan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Denver/Boulder, CO
    #12
    I think of it this way: I can be put to death via the death penalty. I cannot be aborted as a fetus. That's a pretty big distinction in my book.
     
  13. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #13
    I am with you and probably not from any "logic" I try to put into it. Logically they are different issues and I understand that.

    What steers me is my faith and what seems to be a clear message that either God makes that call or man makes that call. Since I don't think man should make that call, I am pro-life and anti-death penalty.

    Interestingly, the talk show host thinks all talk of God is ridiculous, and on his secular and logical point of view, either man has the right to take life, or not so if you are against killing you have to ultimately be pro-life and anti-death penalty.

    His relatives were killed in the Holocaust and believes religion to be a part of it, so therefore religion is not only bad, it's unpractical. If killing makes it easier to survive (aborting unborn you can't financially support or taking out very dangerous criminals from this life), then all the more power to it. That's why he's pro-choice and pro-death penalty. It's a practical thing and makes society an easier place to live. Sure if only parents who could afford children should have them and dangerous murderers should be shot could lead to a more efficient society, but at what cost? We could live in a more educated and less crowded society if we sterilized all the poor people, but who would agree with that in a civilized society?
     
  14. CalWizrd Suspended

    CalWizrd

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    Location:
    NYC/Raleigh, NC
    #14
    I come down on the same sides as you do. So there are at least two of us.
     
  15. Moyank24 macrumors 601

    Moyank24

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    in a New York State of mind
    #15
    When I was younger I used to be the same. As I've gotten older, though, I've begun to have some doubts about the death penalty - only because of death row inmantes having convictions overturned due to new evidence (or the use of DNA in older cases).

    It's also worth nothing that being Pro-Choice doesn't automatically equate into being Pro-Abortion.
     
  16. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
  17. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #17
    Used to be pro death penalty but no longer. I'm pro-choice but I wouldn't label myself pro-abortion.
     
  18. Menel macrumors 603

    Menel

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    ATL
    #18
    You are not rare.
     
  19. edk99 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Location:
    FL
    #19
    Nice argument but to bad the eggs you buy in the store are unfertilized. :D

    Even though I grew up catholic my opinion on this is that they are 2 different issues. I lean pro-choice and pro-death penalty. See I do have some liberal in me.
     
  20. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    #20
    Maybe in the big city, the rich people go to their fancy grocery stores and buy special non-fertilized eggs, but to us here in the rest of America we still get ours the old fashioned way, a dozen brought fresh every morning with our milk delivery.
     
  21. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #21
    In the absence of a prohibition on war in the OT, and in view of the subsequent encouragement of and delight in the wholesale slaughter of men, women, children and animals, I think this particular commandment was largely ignored when inconvenient.

    ----------

    What, eggs and chicken?

    ----------

    Almost certainly more people than you think.
     
  22. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Location:
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    #22
    Actually, the Bible is rather neutral on the topic of abortion, and doesn't consider a child a true human being until after being delivered and taking it's first breath. An abortion wouldn't be murder per the religious definition because it's not actually a child until that point.

    Though I think we should stick to the third trimester/heartbeat line of demarcation.

    Yup. Thou Shalt Not Kill is actually a slight mistranslation. A closer match to the original Hebrew text (or Greek, can't remember which) would be Thou Shalt Not Murder.

    In other words, you can't kill anyone in cold blood, but if they're coming at you with an axe and a grudge, then hey...they're free game. Kill away.
     
  23. 63dot, Mar 8, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013

    63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #23
    Good points. On the mistranslation though, yes and no.

    Our American version of what murder is, or what killing is, does not fit neatly into the ancient text and context of what it means to "kill". Mostly for the best clarification is that to kill in their time meant a premeditation, and not accidentally running over your neighbor with a camel. For the easiest point of view of most scholars, it's thou shalt not kill with premeditation. Some like to give Israel the easy out and say, hmm, it must have meant thou shalt not murder and all that violence done by Israel in the OT was justified because that was all killing in self defense of the nation and God was OK with it. Well, clearly not, because much of the Bible has God pissed off at Israel. God's people abused their position terribly. If somebody thinks the Bible says it's OK to kill non-Israelites, just because, then they have the context all wrong.

    The ancient text does have a different word for what we would call self defense, but does Israel run with that in the OT? Of course and scholars can go all day on that one. ;)

    By the time Jesus came along, his teachings were not in sync with the understanding of what the Jews thought was acceptable with violence. It may have puzzled many that Jesus did not physically defend himself and carry weapons as many were out for his head. He held a high standard of non-violence that few even today would understand.

    The eye for an eye being changed with the fulfillment of the Messiah and then becoming "love your enemy" must have been really tough for people to swallow. Jews knew that when the Messiah came the whole game was going to change as the rules, too. Instead of following the law, which allowed for all types of killing, was no longer valid with Jesus. Over the years many self serving Israelites wanted the concept of Messiah to mean military leader who would fight for the cause of Isreal, not fight against evil in a spiritual war.

    I don't know if the centuries have made Christians any more willing to follow a peaceful path and the human nature of violence and conquest still rules the soul.
     
  24. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #24
    Ever heard of balut? It's a fertilized duck embryo, it's a delicacy in the Philippines and sold in some asian markets in the US. Yummy yummy in my tummy...;)
     

    Attached Files:

  25. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #25
    Not if it's unfertilized. You can only compare eating an egg to destroying a woman's unfertilized eggs, but not to destroying a fetus which has already been fertilized, like balut....

    I'm pro choice obviously, just saying it's a bad comparison.
     

Share This Page