Skip to comments.A Conversation about Who Has the Right to Kill
Posted on 03/27/2005 10:05:15 PM PST by CHACHI
--"I don't want to send the man to Hell, just to remove him from Earth," he said calmly.
--"But it isn't your prerogative to decide whether the man should die," came the irritated reply. "God decides these things. Courts decide these things. Not individuals."
--"Well, who then is the Court? The Court is a collection of individuals. God is an individual. You are contradicting yourself again."
--"Don't play games with me - you know what I mean. You don't have the authority to put someone to death. The Court does."
--"Oh, really? According to whom?"
--"According to the law, you idiot! Why are you pretending not to understand?"
--"I do understand. I'm asking you these stupid questions to help you see that you do not. For example, you say that the law gives authority to the Court to put a man to death. Who wrote the law?"
--"Legislators..." he said with arid boredom, verging on exasperation.
--"Exactly! Legislators wrote the law! Legislators or, in other words, a collection of individuals."
--"But they have the authority to make law! That's why we call them legislators."
--"They do? Who gave them that authority? Not I."
--"The Constitution gave them that authority and you know it."
--"And who wrote the Constitution?"
--"The Founding Fathers of the United States wrote it, as if you didn't know."
--"I thought so, but thanks for reminding me. Uh, by the way, what qualified them to write the Constitution?"
--"Well, they were members of Congress. They were the first American legislators. They were..."
--"They were another collection of individuals," followed by a long, pregnant pause.
--"Okay, but they weren't just a bunch of bums. They had a serious cause at hand and they needed to establish order in independent American society. They had the authority of a government, which is what they were founding. They were fighting for the freedoms we all enjoy today. They did what was right."
--"You are saying that they wrote the Constitution because they had to write it. I am asking, however, what qualified them to write it. But we are getting away from the earlier question of authority. What I hear you saying is that certain individuals gave authority to themselves and to other individuals to establish law and decide, among other things, issues of life and death. Is that correct?"
--"Is that what you are saying?"
--"Yes - but these individuals were leaders of their society, men who fought for its freedom and rights, and they were supported by the people. Don't you get it?"
--"Thank you for recognizing that they were a collection of individuals."
--"But they were defending the people! And they based the Constitution on solid principles of justice."
--"You are an idiot! Didn't you go to high school?! Didn't they teach you about the Declaration of Independence?! This is America! We're free because of the Constitution! If it weren't for the laws of this country, we would be oppressed like the people of Iraq or China or Cuba."
--"You are contradicting yourself again. And you are also wrong. The Declaration of Independence did not free us. It simply explained that we are free, and willing to fight to stay free. The Constitution did not free us, either. But because we are free, we have the right to dissent, to disagree with the Constitution, with Congress, and with anyone."
--"You are just arguing for argument's sake. You are disingenuous."
--"Then answer this: If Congress is so qualified to establish law, and so interested in our freedoms and rights, and if the Constitution is so perfect, why did slavery remain legal until Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, more than 80 years after the Declaration of Independence?"
--"That all happened a long time ago."
--"And so did the composition of the entire Constitution, which has been revised several times to protect rights previously violated by the Congress and the rest of American society."
--"Fine - men aren't perfect. That's why they need the law."
--"Of course we need the law. We need laws based on just principles to maintain order in society. I don't claim otherwise. I simply state that Congress is not the ultimate authority for establishing what is just. To the contrary, Congress has become a source of injustice."
--"Well, well, well...somebody had to write the law! Who would you have write the law."
--"That is a good question. Your intelligence is expanding by the minute."
--"A fool I may be, but I can tell when the men and women who write the law have their own interests before those of the people."
--"You are a scurrilous slanderer."
--"That is redundant. Learn how to speak correctly. And I am speaking the truth. There are many examples to illustrate how Congress has unjustly chosen to produce legislation, and otherwise wield its power, in ways that contradict the principles of justice that they have sworn to defend. Im an idiot, but I can see that for myself."
--"Well, you have gone through all these twists just to arrive at a point where you might justify killing that man on your own initiative, but you still have no right to do it."
--"According to you?"
--"Well, if you dont want to accept the authority of Congress, and you dont want to listen to me, you still have to deal with God. Are you going to tell me that God doesnt have the authority to tell you not to kill him."
--"I certainly never meant to give you that impression."
--"Thats a relief. At least you agree that God prohibits you from doing it."
--"I didnt say that."
--"You dont recognize Gods authority, either?!"
--"I do recognize Gods authority. I do not say that God prohibits me from killing him. Those are two separate issues."
--"You are sick you do know that?"
--"Sick? Why do you say that?"
--"You think God will approve of your killing him. That is sick."
--"I do not assume that God would approve. But I do not assume that He would disapprove, either. Why do you believe it is sick to think that God might approve of killing him?"
--"Everyone knows the Ten Commandments! Most of our laws are derived from them. What makes you think you can disobey Gods commandment against killing?"
--"From what you are asking, I think that you do not understand the commandment."
--"The commandment is clear: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Do you need a translation into Martian?"
--"No, thank you, although I didnt realize that you speak Martian. I agree that the commandment states what you claim, but not that it means what you state. You are taking a few words out of context, and ignoring other facts."
--"I dont even know why I am still talking to you."
--"You are still engaging me in conversation because you realize that you are lost and confused, and that you need me to help you focus on the truth."
--"Then enlighten me, O wise one."
--"Tell me: What is the Hebrew word for kill?"
--"I dont know."
--"Then how do you know that the word kill, in Thou Shalt Not Kill, is correctly translated?"
--"Dont be ridiculous. For hundreds of years translators of the Bible have all translated it that way."
--"But does the original word in Hebrew mean kill, or does it mean murder, or what does it really mean?"
--"Whats the difference? Everyone says that it means Kill", but you are trying to twist it into something else. That is very Machiavellian of you."
--"Nice word. Do you know what it means? Anyway it makes a great difference."
--"Thou shalt not kill means dont kill means do not kill. You cant change that."
--"I do not want to change anything. I want to define it correctly. Many different words mean to kill, but in different contexts, under different circumstances, for different purposes. God knows this."
--"Dont be sacrilegious! You cant speak for God!"
--"Certainly not. God has spoken for Himself. Do you believe in the Bible?"
--"Well, you believe in the Ten Commandments."
--"Yes, of course."
--"The same Bible that gives you the Ten Commandments also says those who carry out certain acts should be put to death, sometimes even stoned to death. That is not a contradiction, is it?"
--"No, they are lawbreakers, to be punished by death."
--"Thank you. That is the point. Therefore, I assert that Thou Shalt Not Kill really means Thou Shalt Not Murder, or possibly Thou Shalt Not Take Life Without Just Cause. Because the law with respect to execution of lawbreakers essentially says, Thou Shalt Kill the Lawbreaker. Do you see?"
--"You still have no right to kill him. You are not an authority."
--"You are saying, then, that those in power should execute him, since he is a lawbreaker, a serial killer, a terrorist, a drug trafficker, a "
--"Yes, yes those in power, in government, should take care of it. Otherwise there would be chaos if everyone took the law into their own hands."
--"Then why dont those in power take care of it?" Silence. A long pause.
--"They should, but if they dont, you still shouldnt."
--"I should wait patiently for justice to take place at the hands of those elected to office?"
--"Poppycock, balderdash, nonsense, horsefeathers, and your mothers underwear. While we wait patiently for the unjust to do justice, the killer continues to kill. Is that your idea of justice, proper use of authority, and "
--"But maybe they have a good reason for not killing him!"
--"Hmm and maybe they can explain it to all his thousands of victims, and to all the ones he will kill in the future. Not only do they not kill him, they do not allow anyone else to try. They have been helping him for decades. They are largely responsible for his continuation in power. And so they are accomplices of all his crimes."
--"They would do something if they could." --"Then why dont they let others try to do something?"
--"And why, if they are so concerned with keeping killers alive, are they allowing an innocent woman to be put to death by her husband?"
--"One thing has nothing to do with the other. Terri Schiavo is being taken off life support so that she can die naturally."
--"That is an absolute lie. Terri Schiavo is being denied food so that she will starve to death. And there is nothing to show that she wished to die, except the word of her bigamist husband, who has another wife and children, with whom he has lived for many years. The Fourteenth Amendment of your precious Constitution clarifies that no state has authority to put to death any person without due process of law. Her husband, therefore, has no right to kill her, and the state has no right to let him do it. The Federal government should act to prevent them from murdering her, by its authority under the Fourteenth Amendment. And the whole band of morons twiddles their thumbs and wonders what is right and what is wrong."
--"She should be given treatment, I suppose. There really exist effective treatments that have not been tried on her yet."
--"That is correct. They do exist and she has not received them. And she has the right to be defended by the congressional, executive, and judicial misfits who swore to protect and defend the Constitution. But for some infuriating complex of causes, these men prefer to ignore their sworn or moral duty, and to allow the innocent to perish at the hands of evil men, and to allow those evil men to continue to abuse the innocent."
The jaws of Hell can open much wider still to receive all those who choose to follow the path that leads there.
So...you want America to tear up laws written by men and go back to the Bible?
I don't think that would work out very well.
Great analysis, few will get it,especially those of the let's follow the judges at all costs.
Someone said judges are just lawyers in dresses.Generally most people dislike and distrust lawyers intensely.Yet they have an inexplicable reverence for judges.
Especially at the lower level,like Greer's, these guys try to become judges because they're really not very good lawyers. How sad .
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