Capital Punishment: Part One

     Capital punishment is a form of punishment that is only found among more patriarchal, less advanced countries and the United States of America. Capital punishment, as analyzed by Nathanson in his essay An Eye for an Eye, is vital to the forward-thinking society we ought to live in. Nathanson took Kantian ideas and critically analyzed them which led to his theory.  Kant’s moral theory that capital punishment is just by means of adequate punishment and treating one as they would treat another is deeply flawed and ought not be applied. Kant, although a great thinker, when it comes to his case of capital punishment, he seems lackadaisical in his Socratic contemplation of capital punishment.

     Ernest van den Haag took Kant’s idea of equality and transformed it into proportionality. Although, van den Haag’s ideals were the stepping stone to new thought, it still lacks answers to simple questions such as, “how ought we punish?”. Proportionality does not seem to eliminate the option of capital punishment. Capital punishment is inhumane and commits the tradition fallacy when people advocate it through the past. Many have the notion that since the dawn of justice and the concept of an eye for an eye exists that it is a plausible excuse to commit murder to one who has committed a murder already. Not only is pro-capital punishment movements hard to ethically support, capital punishment sets a bad example for society and regresses away from a transcendent society.  Nathanson continues to explain in his article that capital punishment is thought as a defense to deter the murderer from committing heinous actions again, but in reality, carries no defensive purpose. Ultimately, I agree mostly with Nathanson, pieces of van der Haag’s defense and believe that capital punishment ought to be abolished within all moral communities for the sake of preserving moral actions and seeking a higher consciousness for all.