Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Brother, the Executioner

South Africa dropped the death penalty some years back. In a way, I think that's a good thing, although I realize that there are also arguments in its favour. My brother on the other hand, doesn't agree.

Its rather strange that we should differ as we do, because I'm an agnostic with atheist leanings and have no reason to be forgiving for the sake of my let's-hope-its-immortal-but-it seems-unlikely soul.

He, on the other hand should be full of forgiveness and hope that the evil will find God and forgiveness before they die. This implies that the evildoer should live as long as possible in order to increase his chances of attaining this end before kicking the bucket and departing this mortal coil.

Once this sinner has been through the repentance rigmarole he is automatically washed whiter than snow, becomes more innocent than a baby (who has original sin just for being human) and should therefore not be punished any more. In fact, they should let him go. Why should mankind hold grudges when God has already forgiven? Are we questioning His judgement? Maybe I'm interpreting my brother's faith too stringently though - only he is supposed to be a fundamentalist

He's very cross with me about the death penalty issue, but perhaps I should explain why. One day, on a road-trip he was holding forth at length on the subject and passionately declared that he not only felt that the death penalty should be re-instated, but that executions should be gory and held in public.

All I asked was whether he'd be swinging the axe or standing in the front row cheering. Now he's offended. I don't understand it one bit. Tch! My brother.

Today's pic: A young executioner of rodents - now that I approve of!


  1. The death penalty is a weird issue for me... I'm not really for it but I understand why someone would want someone who victimized their family to be executed. It even creeps me out thinking about it... as for your question I think it was a fair one & a rather funny one.

    Death Penalty doesn't seem to be much of a crime deterrent either people are still killing each other.This can be a real wedge issue when it comes to American politics.

  2. It was a fair question as written. :-)
    Another beautiful photo. Is this one of yours?

  3. Knotty problem. As a trendy lefty bleeding heart liberal pinko communistic TYrotsky-ist swine, I should be firmly against the death penalty. Yet I do find there are a few (a very few) people in this fair and beauitiful land of mine that are using the oxygen my grand-daughter has more right to. In other vwords, they're evil bastards who should be put down, just as we would put a rabid dog down.
    That said - no, I couldn't do the deed myself.
    In Iran, however, they continue the thoroughly evil practive of stoning people to death. They're harder on their women victims, of course.
    Have fun. Be good. And just remember that god isn't watching.

  4. Hi Karl: Yes, I also have mixed feelings about the death penalty: as a deterrent, it certainly does not work, though.

    Pamo: yes, its mine. I love photographing insects, but most of the pics don't come out.

    Aotea Writer: thanks for putting thought into this. As I've said, I've mixed feelings about it. One of the knottiest problems is who, in a 'civilized' society is to play executioner. There was a South African executioner who wrote a book. I should know what its called, but I don't. Anyway, it was disturbing and traumatic stuff. Executing people means killing in 'cold blood'. Emotionally, we might see someone as not being fit to live, but who is to kill him, and what sort of person is it who could do such a job?

    I think its better not to have the death penalty on a balance - but I'm aware of the arguments in its favour.