The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Supreme Court's death penalty ruling

The Supreme Court has just ruled that the death penalty could continue. And I approve. Sure, in many countries around the world, public opinion has gone against the death penalty, and the US has come in for criticism for maintaining it. But I feel that not having the death penalty for murder actually cheapens human life — namely, the lives of the victims.

If a person who has killed someone gets anything less than the death penalty, the punishment has not suited the crime. Nothing short of the death penalty can pay for taking another's life, and for that reason nothing short of the death penalty is a fair punishment for such a crime.

Appeals to humaneness make no sense here; the murderer was not sparing of the lives of his victims, so why should we be more sparing of the perpetrator's life?

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