Of all its admirable and unique revelations, Mankind may never attain the ultimate comprehension of the transcendental dynamics of the “life force” itself. What is the energy source of the implanted seed or spermatozoon that affects and governs its progressive development and maturity? What is the nature of the specialized and tenuous spark of life and its too often-unexpected extinction? What fuel powered the evolutionary process and the empirical course of its mutational progress? Such are deep and conceivably, unanswerable mysteries, ignored, or alternatively, simply accepted, like the “given,” in a geometry problem. In the latter mathematical discipline, the demonstrated solution is attained by the process of orderly and deductive reasoning from the general mathematical proposition as presented; but what is the primal source of that presented proposition [“the given]? The comforting attribution of non-rational or superstitious [ex., religious] explanations, to these profoundly ultimate questions are, in our view, useless and merely, facile admissions of the absence of such knowledge.
In view of the fact that Mankind merely may initiate [switch on] the human life process, but remains thoughtlessly ignorant as to the basic or primal source of the dynamics of the ensuing process, any punitive termination of its mature end product at the very least, is ignorantly presumptuous, or, at worst, maliciously, counter-anthropological. Such acts, albeit, empirically sanctioned by legal fiat, remain, nevertheless, acts of shameful anthropological trespass. In sum, humankind’s attempt to disturb dynamics that it does not understand is disgracefully immoral, as well as, hubristically offensive.
We briefly list below, the popular, valid arguments against “retributive State punishment” for intentional murder, known as “Capital Punishment.” We wholeheartedly, and without reservation, endorse them all; however, as intended by the specific theme of this essay, would additionally declare that the death penalty is far more profoundly, errant. The practice amounts to a blatant violation of man’s overriding and primal sacrament to Nature, implicitly given, in moral and contractual exchange, for the special gifts afforded to him, to preserve and enhance the quality of his life.
It is noteworthy that there can be no ultimately persuasive religious argument against capital punishment, since it is inarguable that, historically, in Western society capital punishment had its inception and support in Judeo-Christian Biblical Law.
The popular, cogent arguments against capital punishment as summarized include:
- It is imposed arbitrarily; racial prejudice playing a major role
- It is final and irreversible, so that mistakes cannot be rectified
- It has not proved to have its intended deterrent impact
- It is wastefully and enormously expensive
- It is often procedurally unreliable, causing horrendous suffering
- It prevents the opportunity of rehabilitation
- It is “cruel and unusual punishment”, specifically prohibited by the U.S. Constitution
- Long waiting times prior to execution, are excessively cruel and inhuman
- The “eye for an eye,” rationalization is cruel and atavistic
- It has been abolished in every advanced Nation, except Japan and the United
It is our considered view that in addition to the foregoing popular and meritorious criticisms of capital punishment, a more profound and fundamental offense exists in the implementation by the State of the death penalty, albeit, relative to the most heinous psychopath. Common-Law precedent and legislated Statutes, prohibiting and criminalizing the intentional taking of human life, are appropriately, founded on the universal acceptance of the precious and irreplaceable sanctity of human life. Yet, it should be is notable that many members of the race of humankind, whose moral perception has evolved sufficiently, feel the identically indistinguishable, cosmological guilt, applicable to the existence of the State death penalty, as an equal trespass against Nature and our eternally evolving species.