The Rescue Defence Of Capital Punishment By Steve Aspenson

744 Words3 Pages
Capital punishment has long been a heavily debated issue. In his article, “The Rescue Defence of Capital Punishment,” author Steve Aspenson make a moral argument in favor of capital punishment on the grounds that that is the only way to bring about justice and “rescue” murder victims. Aspenson argues as follows: 1. We have a general, prima facie duty to rescue victims from increasing harm. 2. Murder victims are increasingly harmed by the continuing life of their murderers. 3. Therefore, we have a prima facie duty to rescue murder victims by promptly ending the lives of their murderers. This paper will serve to show that capital punishment is not, in fact, ethically permissible. I will argue this by explaining the government’s duty to its people, and how capital punishment is indeed a violation of these prima facie duties. 1. The government has a duty to protect its people from harm (including murder, abuse of power, etc.). 2. Murder constitutes harm and abuse of power. 3. Capital punishment is murder 4. Therefore, capital punishment is unethical as it violates the government’s basic duty to protect its people. I will use both W.D. Ross’s Prima Facie Duties…show more content…
Ross came up with a list of seven basic prima facie duties as they apply to individuals. These duties included a duty to (1) reparation, (2) fidelity, (3) gratitude, (4) justice, (5) beneficence, (6) self-improvement, and (7) nonmaleficence. Tom Regan’s Rights Theory stems around the idea that every person has four basic, semi-universal rights: (1) the right not to be harmed, (2) the right to aid when their rights have been violated, (3) the right to self-defense, and (4) the liberty right. In this paper I will also discuss Tom Regan’s worse off principle. When applied to the Rights Theory, the worse off principle states that should rights conflict and the harms to one party be significantly worse than the harms to the other, then the rights of the better off should be
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