What can be secular reasons for opposing the death penalty?
- In "Watching Saddam die"* by Joaquin Bernas, he wrote:
"...we try to humanize executions. Death by lethal injection is
supposed to be a painless transition to the afterlife. But the
heinousness of it is not just in the manner of carrying out the
sentence but in the very assault on the human dignity of the person.
"In the coming months, our legislators will almost certainly be faced
with the challenge of reviewing our law on the subject and with the
question of whether the death penalty should be totally removed from
our books. Those of them who favor the abolition of the death penalty
will be looking for arguments. Of course, there are "secular" reasons
for rejecting the death penalty. But I hope that legislators who
oppose the death penalty will not be embarrassed to borrow arguments
from the teaching of the Christian faith on the value of human life.
Even the "secular" reasons are ultimately rooted in our religious
belief, in the inalienable dignity of the human person."
Tony: Any comments/reactions to the above excerpt?
I value my own life. It's not any more or any less valuable than that
of anybody else's whether he be president or pauper. Well, that's the
theory. In practice though and as expected, I value my own life more
than anybody else's, specially my next-door neighbors'. :) It does
appear selfish and artificial but that is because in a godless world,
we strip away the veneer of "profundity" of [b]The Meaning Of
Life[/b](TM) as with non-belief "god" is after all just a practical
metaphor that cannot lend genuine substance, hence vacuous. The view
that the human life is precious may ultimately be "religious" but here
religion can also be non-theistic. Religious meaning, like the
non-theistic religious feeling identified with Sagan or Einstein?