The Bible and Just Punishment

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Mark Osgatharp, Sep 2, 2003.

  1. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Does death by stoning constitute unjust punishment by Biblical standards?

    Does corporal punishment by whipping constitute unjust punishment by Biblical standards?

    Is it possible for a man to be an authentic Christian and at the same time believe that crucifixion constitutes unjust punishment?

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  2. Gunther

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    Mark, as you and I know, both Christ and Paul spoke of capital punishment as a role for the government. It is up to the government to fulfill its functions.

    Some forms of punishment might be deemed cruel or unusual or inhuman, but that is an opinion matter.

    Say a guy rapes a girl. During the O.T., such a guy was to be killed. He just potentially ruined the life of another. I don't see why he should be given a "kind" death.

    I think that serious executions help deter crime.

    I heard one story (I can't verify the accuracy) of a man convicted of murder. He was put in a bag and thrown off a cliff. It was in Iran. Now, that is extremely civilized :rolleyes: , but it also is a deterrant.
     
  3. Brett

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    I don't really know if severe punishments and executions help deter crime. Here in Canada, we have some ridiculously light sentences, but overall, I think our violent crime rate is lower than the United States.

    Although I'm hardly a psychologist, I think that people who commit murder or rape would rarely think about either the severity of their crime or the potential punishment - passion, and the immediate 'satisfaction' of their crime, is probably the only factor influencing their decisions.

    That said, I've also heard stores that theft rates are lower in countries that chop that hand off the one responsible, so who knows?
     
  4. Pete Richert

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    Without agreeing or disagreeing over the effect of prison sentences, you simply can not point to one variable and declare cause and effect. There are thousands of other things different between the US and Canada that might also contribute or being the leading factor in this cause. You could just as well declare, snow deters crime, as Canada has more snow then the US and a less overall violent crime rate. A real study needs to be done with a control group where the only variable altered is the sentence itself and no study has been done on any national level. Perhaps sentences are the leading cause, perhaps they are a minor contributer, perhaps Canada has a lower rate despite . . . etc.

    I don't know if I would say the 'satisfaction' was the ONLY influencing factor by I agree for the most part. Most murder is a crime of passion, spur of the moment type thing, and not the planned murders that we see in movies, books, and tv. That is not to say though that the general tendincy towards violent action is detered by a society that generally quickly and harshly punishes such treatment. Any swear word that left my mouth as a child was definitly a "crime of passion" but the fact that this brought the sword from my parents generally kept my swearing quite below the average peer of mine.

    Like I said for Canada, this can only be proven if the variable is carefully isolated. That said, if I were in that country, I WOULDN'T STEAL ANYTHING!
     
  5. Caretaker

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    Well it is a fact that if those who murder are executed, the number of murderers is reduced.

    Cutting off the hand of those who steal greatly reduces their ability to steal.

    Caning the boy in Singapore might seem harsh, but I doubt if he felt like vandalizing another 100 cars afterwards.

    Treating the victimizer like a victim has led to a society where the criminal has very little deterrant.


    Drew
     
  6. InHim2002

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    so why then does the UK and every country in Western Europe (no capital punishment) have a lower rate of homocide than the USA?
     
  7. Pete Richert

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    I believe this was addressed in my own post, in response to the same statement made about Canada. I will repost it here changing Canada to UK and other relevant material.

    Without agreeing or disagreeing over the effect of punishments, you simply can not point to one variable and declare cause and effect. There are thousands of other things different between the US and the UK that might also contribute or being the leading factor in this cause. You could just as well declare, tea deters crime, as UK people drink more tea then their US counterparts and the UK has a less overall violent crime rate. A real study needs to be done with a control group where the only variable altered is the punishment itself and no study has been done on any national level. Perhaps punishement is the leading cause, or perhaps it is a minor contributer, perhaps UK has a lower rate despite . . . etc.

    For the original, see my post about three posts above.
     
  8. InHim2002

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    er?

    I was not responding to your post - I agree with what you have said :D
     
  9. Pete Richert

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    I know you weren't responding to me but I believe you made the same fallacy that another poster had posted.

    I believe from your statement you are disagreeing that serious executions help deter crime, since countries with no executions have less crime. I do not think this is nessisarily true.

    First off, I don't know whether executions deter crime or not.

    But the only way to tell for America is for America itself to stop executing people and see what happens. That way all other variables are equal. Crime may indeed increase and we might find we have a higher crime rate, not because of the executions, but despite the executions. I think it is very likely America has a lot of other things going for that causes more crime.

    For instance suger. There has been studies in prisons where, keeping all other things equal, the varied the amount of suger snacks (candy bars, etc) they gave to prisoners. Fights and violence was decreased by 40%. Since America leads the world by far in suger consumption, perhaps this is a larger cause to our violent crime then whether or not we execute.
    I'm not saying it is I'm just saying these things must be tested.
     
  10. InHim2002

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    the point is that it is, logically, the duty of the person making the positive statement to justify it.

    ie execution deters crime

    the burden of proof is on the person making the statement - they are the one implying a clear causal relationship and they, therefore, must justify it.

    As an aside - I agree with what you are saying - motives behind crime are far too complex to imply a clear relationship between crime and punishment for said crime.
     
  11. Mark Osgatharp

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    My question was not whether these punishments would deter crime or even whether or not they should be used. My question is whether or not they are just according to Biblical standards.

    Most people (at least in Western society) today, even those in favor of stiff punishment for crime, would say that crucifixion is unjust. And yet the Scriptures teach that we all deserve to be crucified.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  12. Brett

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    Well yeah, the scriptures do teach that cricifixion and stoning are just and appropriate punishements. At least they were in the OT - the new covenant of the NT nullifies these laws (of punishment - not the sins behind them) and presented a new one - turn the other cheek. Biblically, there's not much argument - stoning was an appropriate punishment in OT times, because it says so in Deuteronomy and such. But with the NT, I don't think that it is appropriate today, either biblically, or even as a deterrant to crime.
     
  13. gb93433

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    The fact is that the boy who was caned got into trouble again in the US.

    I had worked in Finland and the crime is near zero. For a crime of stealing the amount that the criminal had to pay back was three times. Two of it went to the person he stole from and one time went to the court.

    In Finland a school teacher has a lot of power. They do not have to deal with the disrespect of parents and other students in school. If that happens the teacher has the power to remove a student from the school. When I taught schoolin the US it was shocking at what I heard parents say. The problems with our schools today is not the teachers but the parents who will not take responsibility for their children and hold their children accountable for their actions. Too often we had a parent/teacher meeting about a child where six of his teachers were present along with the vice principal or principal. Near the end of the meeting I can't tell you how many times I would hear a parent say that their child would never do a thing like that. One time I had a parent who basically told me that I was a poor teacher. (The state of California commended me for being an excellent teacher as well as all of my evaluations). So I told the parent that she was welcome to come into my classroom anytime announced or unannounced. One time I told her that she was welcome to come sit in my office and I would close the blinds so she could watch her son when he came to class. But she had to promise that she wouldn't tell her son beforehand. Well, she never took me up on that. Every year it was my students who took the highest places in competitions among other schools. But still I had parents who would blame the lack of success of their child on me. What I found out was that most of the time when I had a problem with a student I had an even worse problem with the parent.

    I have a friend who is a lawyer and represents people on death row. What he has told me would curl your skin. He is there to insure a fair trial. The cases that he represents are seriously flawed. How would you like to be the accused and actually be innocent. He has had it happen more than once. How's that for justice?

    You can talk about what scripture teaches all you want but when we have a system that executes people who are innocent, we have problems. I am not against the death penalty but I am gainst executing innocent people. If you can insure that a lawyer representing the accused has not been drinking and will fairly represent the client well with say 500 dollars then you can convince me of the fairness of a trial in this country.

    Why is it that a country like Finland will have one maybe two murders per year in the entire country? Their national jail covered one city block. Yet we in the US will have many more murders in one day in almost any sizeable city.

    We must let the authority be the authority. The child must learn to fear and respect any authority figure in their life. As adults we do not teach that by showing disrespect toward or talk poorly about authority figures. I can remember when I was a child that if I got in trouble as a child and my dad heard about it I got in trouble at home. But today it is much different. Today we have parents who complain about how much homework their children get because they think school should be fun. Just take a look at the turn of the century and see what was required of high school students.
    I hate studying but what I learn is the reward. The reward is what spurs me on to study more.

    We must set out to prevent crime not spend money to take care of it later. When I first started teaching high school many years ago the average prison teacher at the time was making slightly more than twice what I was.
     
  14. Artimaeus

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    Just for the sake of accuracy and for revenge for all of the guys who have called me on generalized statments that weren't quite right, I give you this. [​IMG]

    Finland with a population of 5,088,333 had a homicide rate (1994) of 3.24 per 100,000 which translates to about 165 murders and if their population was the same as the US their number of murders would have been 8,835. This is hardly near zero.

    The United states with a population of 272,691,000 had a homicide rate (1999) of 5.70 per 100,000 which translates to about 15,543 murders and if our population was the same as Finlands our total murders would have been 290. While this is a noticeable and significant difference it is not the astronomical difference you were impling.

    A sizeable city with a population of a quarter of a million people would have a murder every 26 days not multiple murders every day.

    Mark, to answer your original posted question. Capital punishment is just if the person is guilty. Stoning was God ordered so it can't be inherently evil or bad. Cruciofixtion was not ordered by God so it could be cruel beyond need. I don't see torture as Biblical. I read a statistic once that said there were 243 executions in this country one year and not ONE of those people ever committed another crime so, yes, it did deter crime.
     
  15. Mark Osgatharp

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    But crucifixion is said to be the punishment deserved by us all. As it is written,

    "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."

    Insofar as crucifixion constitutes torture, torture is Biblical. It was our just penalty for sin. Even the theif crucified along with Christ acknowleded that he was receiving the just recompesne for his sins. It was on this acknowledgement and plea to Christ for mercy that he was granted eternal life.

    Therefore I say that a man cannot possibly be saved who thinks that crucifixion is an unjust punishment.

    Furthermore, that torture is Biblical is proven by the fact that God will torture all the impenitently wicked forever in hell fire. I am not suggesting that our governments should meet out this kind of punishment, for we are most unqualified to do so. But, in light of the the Scriptures, I cannot say that torture of any kind is inherently unjust punishment for sin.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  16. HankD

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    Of course in the US, he knew there wouldn't be a caning.

    HankD
     
  17. gb93433

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    Just for the sake of accuracy and for revenge for all of the guys who have called me on generalized statments that weren't quite right, I give you this. [​IMG]

    Finland with a population of 5,088,333 had a homicide rate (1994) of 3.24 per 100,000 which translates to about 165 murders and if their population was the same as the US their number of murders would have been 8,835. This is hardly near zero.

    The United states with a population of 272,691,000 had a homicide rate (1999) of 5.70 per 100,000 which translates to about 15,543 murders and if our population was the same as Finlands our total murders would have been 290. While this is a noticeable and significant difference it is not the astronomical difference you were impling.

    A sizeable city with a population of a quarter of a million people would have a murder every 26 days not multiple murders every day.

    Mark, to answer your original posted question. Capital punishment is just if the person is guilty. Stoning was God ordered so it can't be inherently evil or bad. Cruciofixtion was not ordered by God so it could be cruel beyond need. I don't see torture as Biblical. I read a statistic once that said there were 243 executions in this country one year and not ONE of those people ever committed another crime so, yes, it did deter crime.
    </font>[/QUOTE]I would be curious to know where you got your statistics. When I was living there I cannot remember a single time when I heard anything like this. I asked the people there who would know and they never told me of this kind of statistic. I can tell you for sure I felt much, much safer there than in the US. The police there did not even carry guns. So I find your stats rather disturbing.
     
  18. Artimaeus

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    Hi, gb93433, I did a Google Search for "Murder rates" and Finland. I found the statistics HERE
     
  19. Artimaeus

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    The "curse of the law" wasn't crucifixtion. Crucifixtion wouldn't be invented for several hundred years after the law. The curse of the law was death, but, since Christ would never violate the law, He couldn't receive the curse of the law. He could, however, be accursed by being (innocently ) hanged on a tree.

    Deut 21:22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: 23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

    Christ didn't hang on the tree because He was accursed, He was cursed because He hung on the tree.

    The thief was not making a judgement call on the validity of the style of crucifixtion itself only the fact that what he did was deserving of death. Whether or not he correctly evaluated the method of his death is not a part of salvation.

    WOW!!! Mark, the whole point of the crucifixtion of Christ is that it was UNJUST for Christ. Every aspect of His punishment was unjust, the pulling out of His beard, the beatings, the spitting on Him, the spear in His side, the crown of thorns, the mocking, the nails in His hands and feet, the hanging in agony for hours, the deprevation of food and water, EVERYTHING about it was unjust. If crucifixtion was unjust for Christ, it was probably unjust for a great many other people who committed far less crimes than the thief and were still crucified. There is no Biblical reason whatsoever for crucifixtion to be a JUST punishment for anyone

    Any punishment meted out by God is inherently just. We are, indeed, most unqualified to decide on torture. The Bible does not instruct us to torture and God nowhere gives His blessing on our doing so.
     
  20. Terry_Herrington

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    Mark said,

    "Therefore I say that a man cannot possibly be saved who thinks that crucifixion is an unjust punishment."

    What an ignorant statement! By your standards everyone who is saved will always come to your conclusions. How arrogant!
     

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