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yd22     //     Sensual Delights Network   //      Yoni Dance Book Trilogy    //    Book one    //   The Dream Catcher's Dream   

     Chapter Nineteen   //   Assumptions Underlying Capital Punishment    yd22      yd22   //   gr      gr    //   29 Apr 2013  

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Book One

The Dream Catcher's Dream

Chapter Nineteen

The Assumptions Underlying Capital Punishment

 

 

 

 

OK.   I’ll share a social example.   Capital punishment is an easy area to see where the assumptions make a significant difference.   Our American society says, if you have committed a very serious crime such as murder, we are going to kill you as punishment.”

And what are the assumptions?”

Capital punishment assumes that the offender must be punished for his crime and that death of the physical body is punishment. 17-1   It also assumes that death is the end of life.”

I say, “It certainly appears to be the end of life.”

What something appears to be and what it actually is are two distinctly different things.   To Galileo’s inquisitors, the earth appeared to be flat.   To Louis Pasteur’s detractors, a germ-laden operating knife appeared to be clean.   To a hungry native, cutting down the rain forest to graze cattle appears to be a good idea.

Capital punishment appears to be the end of life, and for that physical body, yes, it certainly is, but then we need to look at the assumptions we make about what the physical body is.“

I say, “We know physical human bodies are made of earth matter.”

Herbert continues, “Yes, but who and what are you?   If I kill your physical body, did I kill you?   Are you your physical body?   Are you only your physical body?   Are you your physical body plus something else?   Are you something else that merely inhabits a physical body?   These are questions that no Earth-bound human being can answer with absolute provable certainty.”

So are you saying that capital punishment kills the physical body, but, from the broader, philosophical perspective, we have no idea what physical death really means?”  

Precisely!   In the context that we refer to as the greater reality of life, humans have no scientifically provable facts regarding what a human being actually is.   Everything is based on one or another of the three assumptions we’ve been talking about.

    In the Atheist assumption, the criminal is assumed to be only his body.   At death he ceases to exist.   If this assumption is correct, executing the body does indeed produce a significant consequence.

     In the Christian one-life-ism assumption, humans have only one Earth life and then go to heaven or hell forever.   The criminal is assumed to be his body, which, at death, is somehow magically transformed into what is called a soul.   If, after his crime and before his death, he prays to God for forgiveness, he (as a soul after death) goes to heaven forever to be with Jesus and all the most holy and saintly."

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So you are saying that an axe murderer goes to heaven, if, just before death, he says,  ‘Dear God, please forgive me.’   And you ‘re saying that he’ll be there in the same place with those who lived saintly lives like Mother Teresa?”

I am not saying that.   I am merely reporting the Christian assumption which says that.”

I ask, “What happens if the axe murderer just says, ‘God, please forgive me’ and he’s not really repentant of his behavior?”

Herbert laughs and says,  “You’ll have to ask God for the answer to that question.   Christian doctrine says the sinner must be repentant, but, here again, where do you draw the line between true, deep repentance at one end of the pole and just saying the words on the other.”

    Herbert continues,  “If the criminal doesn’t ask God for forgiveness, he goes to hell forever.   In light of the criminal’s choice to ask for forgiveness, execution of the physical body is almost irrelevant.   In fact, capital punishment could be considered a great blessing.”

A blessing?   You’ve got to be kidding!”

Well, just look at the Christian beliefs, and then you tell me.   If the Christian assumption is correct, by the death of the physical body, every criminal who has sincerely asked for God’s forgiveness is ushered directly into an eternal heaven of bliss and joy without having to endure any more of the pain and suffering of Earth life.   For a condemned human facing life in a miserable prison under the constant control of guards, and often at the mercy of sadistic, fellow prisoners, an immediate ride directly to heaven really is a great blessing."

So, instead of receiving a terrible punishment, the criminal is actually being given a wonderful gift.”

Yup!   If the Christians are right, he sure is.”  

So are you saying that an axe murderer, a terrorist, and even a man who has raped and then murdered dozens of women and children can get into heaven if, at any time before death, he, with sincerity, simply says, ‘Dear God, I’m sorry I did those bad things.   Please forgive me’?”   17-2

I am not saying that.   I didn't make any of this up.   I'm merely reporting what’s in the Christian theology.”

And are you are saying that the saintly person who commits a serious sin just before death gets shipped off to hell forever if he forgets to ask forgiveness?”

Again, I am not saying that.   I am merely reporting that is another of the Christian assumptions.”

And what about reincarnation?"

In the Reincarnation assumption, the criminal is assumed to be an eternal soul temporarily living in a physical body.   At death, he sheds that body as simply as you take off your clothes.   Execution is merely a ticket to a different dimension of reality.   By being executed, the criminal is simply freed of his ties to this life and is later reborn into another life.  

    What level or degree of consequence he brings to that next life from his crime is another unknown.   Some theories say he will reap the karmic consequences of his actions.   If the karmic assumption is correct, execution of the body merely shifts the time and place of retribution.

    Others say no consequences follow the body’s demise.   If this is correct, the criminal simply gets a free ticket out of a bad situation.   Thus, if the reincarnation assumption is correct, execution of the physical body produces either a positive or a neutral consequence.”

I say, “So unless atheism is the correct assumption, capital punishment is a weird joke on those who believe in it?”  

Yes, a blatantly-obvious, weird joke, sitting right under everyone’s noses, and yet, the bureaucrats and the advocates don’t see it.   Considering the significance of the consequences involved, it’s amazing that those promoting the death penalty don’t bothers to examine the issue and find out as much as possible about what they’re actually doing.  

    I have one more point to share with you relative to capital punishment, and that deals with correcting mistakes.   Suppose you apply the death penalty and later find you’ve made a mistake, how easy is it to correct your mistake?”

It’s literally impossible to correct.”   

And are there readily available alternatives that would be equally as effective at preventing the offender from repeating his offense?”

Yes, of course there are!”

And are these alternative actions more easily reversible, if they are later determined to be in error?”  

Infinitely more.”  

So,” Herbert continues, “is capital punishment forward-looking, crime prevention or backward-looking punishment?”  

Isn’t there some famous quote somewhere about the name of something describing what it stands for?   Following that standard, committing a socially-sanctioned murder could be labeled simply as ‘revenge’?”  

Now do you see how assumptions change the meaning of an action?”

Yes,” I reply, “assumptions obviously do make a big difference.”  

"Let me add a point of clarity here.   Regardless of what we believe or assume, reality is whatever reality is.  If we assume our beliefs are actual reality and we're wrong, we're living in a fairytale."  

"How do we eliminate or minimize our chances of unintentionally creating harm?"  

"You cannot eliminate the possibility of causing harm, but you minimize the chances of doing so, first by thoroughly examining the evidence and making a choice based upon the evidence and not on emotion ort on what you mama taught you when you were a very young child, second by being open to new information and reevaluating your choice when new information becomes available, and third, as much as possible, make choices that are correctible if they later turn out to be wrong.   .

"Am I corect in saying that we make a lot of assumptions.  

"Yes, we make hundreds of assumptions every day.   Most, obviously, are less dramatic than capital punishment.”

Are there other areas of life which give us very different perspectives when viewed from each of these three assumptions?”

Yes, but that’s another story for another day.”

Seems I’ve heard that line somewhere before.   Please just mention a couple of the areas you’re referring to.”

I’ll just mention the most profound farce of all — the anti-abortion war.   This huge controversy is based on fantasy, on illusion, and on totally unprovable, religious assumptions.”   17-3    

Why would anyone want to ignore the truth?”

Denial!  It’s their attempt to hide from the realities of life, but that’s several other stories for several other days so I’d rather not even get close to that question.”

I ask, “Is it that bad?”

I wouldn’t use the word bad; however, denial is a serious and far-reaching problem on both the social and personal levels.   It touches the core of the work that I do.   Denial touches the very core of life on this planet.”

End of Chapter Nineteen  -- 

The Assumptions Underlying Capital Punishment 

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Take me to Book One -- Twenty 

Assumptions underlying Forced Motherhood

 

 

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Footnotes and References

17-1   It also assumes that punishment will prevent other from committing similar offenses.   The evidence seems to indicate that, while some people are, indeed, stopped by fear of punishment, many are not, and some are even inspired by threat of punishment.  

17-2  According to the beliefs in some of the Christian denominations, in order to get into heaven, the repentant criminal must also have been baptized.   If the person wasn’t baptized as a child, that can be very easily done at any time prior to his/her execution.

 17-3  The assumptions underlying the anti-abortion war are either being completely ignored or are being peddled as if they were irrefutable truths.   Examining abortion within the context of each of these three assumptions also gives us some startlingly morbid conclusions about those who are forcing unwilling women to become mothers.  

For an overview of the abortion controversy is really all about, see the web site:  http://www.truth101.org/vs-ab-abortion.html#gr

To understand how the three religious assumptions affects the abortion controversy, see the web site: 
http://www.ReligiousAssumptions.com#gr  

To understand the grief and misery that is actually being peddled under the disguise of saving babies lives, see the web site:  http://www.pro-truth.net/08-pro-life-leaders.html#gr