Posted by BK (184.108.40.206) on July 06, 2002 at 16:55:38:
In Reply to: arson, terrorism, burning, torture posted by Brett Zamir on July 06, 2002 at 11:23:26:
I used to be in Amnesty International in college, but I quit when they began preparing for a rally to stop the execution of a man who admitted to and was convicted of raping and killing a bunch of inocent children and women. The advocacy of the death penalty by Baha'is, let us remember, is not based on a revenge mentality, but rather a justice mentality. Such punishment has two outcomes. 1. It is a deterrant in this world because it establishes the precident that peole who commit such crimes, by reason of their choices, have no concept of the value of human life and therefore cannot be permitted to continue to live on the basis that they are not reformable. 2. It has a spiritual componant in that the killer, who would most likely choose otherwise and live if given the decision, must give his life as a pennance for the lives he took, so that in the next world the harshness of his judgement might be lessened.
As to the question of the punishment of those who commit arson as an act of terrorism. I believe that the same principles are equally applicable. Such people have no true concepts of the value of human life and suffering and they, for justice's sake, should not be permitted to live if their only understanding of this world would lead them to commit further crimes. As to whether they should be burned in return I think this can be interpreted figuratively in the future. They might be humanely executed and then their bodies might be burned. As you probably know, Baha'is emphasise the spiritual nature of the body after death in the laws on burial, so to cremate a body would be to establish a president that the person who lives in dishonor should not be honored in death either.
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