Capital Punishment In Lewis Vaughn's Contemporary Moral Arguments

1482 Words6 Pages
The morality of the death penalty is a huge debate in philosophy, and even the political system. This serious topic is controversial and has two main sides; there are abolitionists, which are “those who want to do away with capital punishment,” and there are also retentionists, that want to “retain the death penalty as a part of a system of legal punishment” (Vaughn 348). Both retentionists and abolitionists have strong believes on whether or not capital punishment is just. In the book, Contemporary Moral Arguments by Lewis Vaughn, there are readings by Kant, Cassell, and Stevenson that further describe the differences and sides to the death penalty. In addition, many ethical theories such as deontological and consequential ethics can side…show more content…
A consequentialist compares the good and the bad to see what is morally correct. Considering this topic has many pros and cons, a consequentialist can side with whichever side they believe is a lesser evil. A consequential abolitionist claims that the death penalty is not a better deterrent than a life without parole, therefore the death penalty should be abolished. However, a consequentialist retentionist says that capital punishment benefits our society because it prevents future crimes. They believe that potential criminals will not commit the crime because they are afraid of their…show more content…
If someone is willing to take away someone else’s life, then they need to be willing to give up their own and have consequences. I am a retentionist, and agree with Kant when he states that the criminal deserves to be punished; however, I do not agree that the death penalty is a stronger deterrent than a life without parole. If a criminal has the mindset to kill, they will not be worried about their consequences. I also do not agree with Kant’s retributivism. Although at first thought an ‘eye for an eye’ mentality seems reasonable, how would someone steal from themselves, or who would be the innocent person to rape the rapist? In addition, I agree that there are things that need to be changed in the system, and there needs to be less
Open Document