Jon opposes the death penalty for various reasons, but one of them is that the innocent have sometimes been punished. But this is no reason for opposing the death penalty — it is an argument for judicial reform. We don’t want the innocent spending the rest of their lives in the slammer either. Executing someone for something they didn’t do is horrendous. But life without parole under the same conditions is no day at the beach either.
I really wish that liberals would not play the race card in discussions of capital punishment because it gives encouragement to racists out there who want to argue from those same statistics that blacks, for example, are more likely to be guilty of violent crime. Justice really needs to be color blind, and we need to practice this in our debates. If we find it is not color blind, then let us address that problem — rather than tacitly approving racist life-time incarcerations over against racist executions.
Murray asks what war America has been in that meets the criteria of Christian just war criteria. A simple one is the War for Independence. Non-combatants were harmed in that war, as in all wars, but in just war theory this can never be adopted as a deliberate tactic, as it was in the bombing of Dresden. The name for that is terrorism.
Stan previously argued that the laws would never permit murder colonies. I pointed out that with abortion clinics they do just that. Stan responds that this is not murder because the law permits it! So he wins that argument, by definition at least. It appears that “facts and logic” are just what we need.
Re: agnosticism. In the Pledge of Allegiance case, the government’s case before the 9th circuit in favor of the “under God” phrase was as follows: no school children are being forced into any religious observance with the phrase because the phrase is religiously meaningless. So of course the government school system is formally agnostic. They just want to continue some of the observances for a while. I think it was Cicero who noted that the sacrifices continue after the faith in the gods is gone.
“Apologetics in the Void” are repostings from an on-going electronic discussion and debate I had some time ago with members of our local community, whose names I have changed. The list serve is called Vision 20/20, and hence the name “visionaries.” Reading just these posts probably feels like listening to one half of a phone conversation, but I don’t feel at liberty to publish what others have written. But I have been editing these posts (lightly) with intelligibility in mind.