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Philosophy exam 3
Terms in this set (60)
How does Mill show his utilitarian concern for consequences (to society) in this speech (Speech In Favor of Capital Punishment )?
The death penalty discourages potential criminals, it would be rare for innocent people to be executed, thus, the death penalty promotes the greatest good for society.
Mill wants to restrict the death penalty to what kinds of cases?
Does Mill think the death penalty is a cruel mode of deterring crimes compared to other forms of punishment? Why or why not?
Humanity to the criminal; as beyond comparison the least cruel mode in which it is possible adequately to defer from the crime.
How does the death penalty compare to life imprisonment?
It is much more rapid of a death rather than confining someone to a living tomb where they sit for a long life
Mr. Gilpin claims that the death penalty does not inspire terror and so does not prevent crime. How does Mill respond to this assertion?
he thinks although it inspires the most fear that it is the least cruel as the imagination of it is way out of proportion to the real thing. Influence not measured by effect on hardened criminals
According to Mill, a punishment's "practical power depends far less on what it is than on what it seems." What does he mean by this and what implications does this have for how we punish?
He means the the fear of the punishment needs to be enough to make people not do it. This is why the death penalty doesn't work because the terror of it is not shown much.
How does Mill describe the dreadfulness of death? Is death the greatest of ills for Mill?
he describes the thought of the death penalty as way out of proportion to how it actually is. He thinks although death is one of the greatest ills to a person that is does not inspire terror and is less cruel
The death penalty does not respect the sanctity of life since it destroys life and inflicts suffering. Does Mill agree with this sentiment? Why or why not?
We adopted a rule that he who violates that right in another
forfeits it for himself, and that while no other crime that he can
commit deprives him of his right to live, this shall. Taking one life sacrifices your right to live
What is the one argument against the death penalty which Mill concedes has weight? How does Mill respond to this argument with respect to the court system in his country?
The one argument against the death penalty that has weight is that if you wrongly put an innocent person to death, there is no way to fix the mix. It is a permanent, irreversible consequence to human error. He responds that "Our rules of evidence are even too favorable to the prisoner, even in a so grave a case as that of murder, the accused, in our system, has always the benefit of the merest shadow of a doubt.
What does Mill suggest with regards to the commutation of the death sentence, i.e. reduction of the death penalty?
In regards to the commutation of the death sentence, for example reduction of the death penalty, when there is anything unexplained and mysterious in the case, to raise more light on the situation which may be obtained at a future time
Does Mill favor the abolitionist movement?
No he believed "we need to strengthen our punishments, rather than weakening them."
How are categorical imperatives distinguished from hypothetical imperatives?
categorical imperatives are morally binding on everyone while hypothetical imperatives apply to particular persons.
Kant states the only good without qualification is the "good will." What does he mean by this?
To have a "good will", you need to be a rational being who consistently does her duty, has right intention
What does Kant mean that people are autonomous
When Kant says that people are autonomous, he means that people have the power within themselves to chose what they follow law wise or morally. Yes there are laws put in place, but we have the power to chose what we abide by.
WWhat should motivate us if our actions are to be morally worthy? Are sympathy and love good motives?
For actions to be morally worthy, the agent must have right intentions. Motivations that are morally worthy include desire to do one's duty, sake of principle, and out of respect for moral law. Sympathy and love are considered wrong intentions by Kant
What is Kant's 1st formulation of the Categorical Imperative (universalizability)?
Kant's 1st formulation is that CI is a general criterion or test that determines which moral principles are correct
How do the examples of breaking promises, committing suicide, wasting your talents and failing to help others fail under the 1st formulation?
-Breaking Promises: How can you make a promise when promises would no longer exist.
-Suicide: Self love seeks to preserve and destroy life.
-Wasting talents: Man's rational nature is to develop their natural gifts which contradicts one's will to waste their talents.
-Refusing help: can you will that everyone not help anyone when you might some day need help.
According to Kant's 2nd formulation are you ever allowed to use a person merely as a means to your end? If so, under what conditions?
it is okay to use others with respect. obtain informed consent, offer information (no deception), seek permission, promote rationality and autonomy.
How does Kant view the moral worth of persons as opposed to things/animals?
He considers people rational and says they have an unconditional worth and can not be killed or injured. Animals are nonrational they have a price, their valued objects and can be killed or injured.
-Does Mill agree with Kant about the moral consideration humans should give animals?
No. He believes animals can be sacrificed for the greater good but their moral worth still needs to be considered.
Who has the right of administering punishment?
the right to administer punishment is the right of a ruler/sovereign to make violators and criminals suffer.
According to Kant, can the future good of the criminal or of society justify punishment?
Yes, as long as the punishment is proportional to the crime
What does Kant think about the deterrence justification of punishment?
Kant believed that people should just be punished for the simple fact that they committed a crime
How would utilitarians view punishment as deterrence?
They believe punishment would deter potential offenders from commiting future crimes. promoting greater good for the society
Does Kant think that a criminal who agrees to medical experimentation for scientific research should be allowed a reduced punishment?
No because it goes against the principle of justice. Justice is not justice if sold for a price
What is the right of retaliation or lex talionis?
Law that states a punishment against an offender should be proportionate to the crime commited.
Why does Kant think humans have this right?
Humans follow the principle of equality.
Suppose a wealthy man slanders another person. What would Kant view to be the appropriate punishment in this case?
The powerful person must be slandered in public in the presence of the person wronged.
Given the right of retaliation, what is the fitting punishment for a person who steals?
A thief must give up his powers to the state and fall in to a slave condition. (Prison labor)
Does Kant accept lesser forms of punishment for murderers such as life imprisonment? Why or why not?
No because the murderer deserves to die and it is unfair to make prisoner suffer
What does he think of a society that would abolish the death penalty for murderers?
He believes that a society that abolished the death penalty is taking away the only just punishment for murderers. Capital punishment is what the murderer deserves.
Kant disagrees with the opinion of a person named Marquis Beccaria. What is Marquis Beccaria's view on the death penalty?
Marquis Beccaria's view on the Death penalty: believed long term imprisonment was a more powerful deterrent.
What feelings motivate Marquis Beccaria's view according to Kant?
Moved by compassionate sentimentality of a humane feeling
What two crimes does Kant claim are instances of homicide and not murder?
Maternal infanticide and killing of a soldier.
Is the death penalty morally required for these crimes?
These two acts are punishable but they cannot be punished by the supreme power of death.
In Kant's view, how should rape, pederasty and bestiality be punished?
Rape and pederasty: castration
Bestialty: permanent expulsion from civil society, since the criminal has made himself unworthy of human society
What are the two main justifications for punishment?
Retribution and Deterrence
What is the principle of lex talionis?
Punishment as payback as long as it is proportionate to the offense
What is the difference between general and specific deterrence?
General deterrence focuses on a general prevention of crime while specific deterrence focuses on a specific individual and preventing them from further committing crimes
What did Gelernter think of Karla Faye Tucker's and Theodore Kaczynski's crimes? Did either deserve the death penalty in Gelernter's opinion?
He believed that Kaczynski deserved it but not Tucker because Kaczynski continuously had the intent on harming others and continued on through his prosecution with no remorse while Tucker repented
To what extent should repentance be considered when deciding a just punishment?
Officials have no authority of accepting repentance from offender. Only the victim can forgive the offender.
How does Gelernter view modern America?
He claims that modern America has a moral upside-downness (killing people to show not to kill people)
How does the community at large view capital punishment as opposed to the cultural elite?
The community at large strongly favors capital punishment as opposed to the cultural elite where they strongly oppose it.
How does Gelernter characterize the cultural elite?
He characterizes the cultural elite as intellectuals because he states that intellectuals see the death penalty as representing an absolute speech from position of moral certainty.
According to Gelernter, is the main goal of the death penalty to deter or to avenge murders, or neither? Why or why not?
Neither, because we are making a statement "a communal proclamation": murder is intolerable
What communal proclamation do we make when we execute murderers?
That murder is absolutely evil and intolerable.
Does Gelernter think that life imprisonment can make the same point effectively in the United States?
He thinks it is more empathetic.
Can there be communities where the death penalty is no longer the necessary punishment for murder?
Yes they may exist, but America isn't one of them.
Gelernter faces these objections against his position: (1) the death penalty is overdoing it, (2) the U.S. is doing a bad job administering the death penalty, and (3) we are surrendering to our emotions. How does Gelernter reply to these objections?
1.Yes, if we live in a community where murder is a shocking anomaly; instead we shrug it off casually because it seems so common until it happens to us/people we know.
2.Yes we're doing a bad job, but just because we're doing a bad job doesn't mean that we should give it up.
3.We must steel ourselves, we don't yield to our emotions, we overcome them.
Is Reiman an abolitionist or a retentionist with respect to the death penalty in the United States?
What three popular arguments against the death penalty does Reiman discuss?
-(1) If murder is wrong, then death penalty is wrong
(2) No way to correct wrong done to innocent
(3) We are using criminal to deter crime = wrong
How does Reiman show these arguments to be weak?
(1) Wrong for X to harm Y → so wrong for Z to do same harm to X, (2) We accept the deaths of innocents as a cost of progress, (3) Wrong to use as mere means, we respect criminal's goals in reducing crime
Do we use individuals only as a means when we seek to deter future murderers through the death penalty?
No because death penalty justifies the murders.
How does Reiman argue that the death penalty is a just punishment for some murders? That is, how do lex talionis and Kantian arguments support the justice of the death penalty?
He argues that the death penalty is a just punishment because based on Lex Talionis, there is the right to be paid back with similar harm ( severity of offense = severity of punishment. And according to Kantian principle, a rational individual who kills another authorizes his own execution.
How might punishing less harshly than the death penalty be unjust according to Reiman?
It can only be unjust to actual victims and future victims if it is a reasonable deterrence or if it doesn't trivialize the crime
If the death penalty deters future murders, would the death penalty be just? Why or why not?
If the death penalty deters future murders then the death penalty is just; It deters further harm to actual/future victims
Does Remain think the death penalty is a deterrent based on the evidence?
He believes there is not suitable evidence that the DP can deter future murders.
In his third proposition, what example is the state making and to what good consequences does abolishing the death penalty lead?
It sets an example against cruelty, it rejects cruelty and promotes human progress/civilization
How does Reiman distinguish being just in principle versus just in practice?
He distinguishes that DP is just in principle in that it justifies the murder if it deters future murders, but it is unjust in practice because it is cruel and deters human progress.
According to Reiman, is the death penalty just in both senses? Why or why not?
It is only just in principle.
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