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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Dystopia of the Day - Professional Bodybuilder Condemns Children's Author to Death

The death penalty should be abolished, and here's why:

According to Locke, Hobbes, and most classical liberals, the commission of a crime constitutes a forfeiture of the criminal's rights. The extent of this is debateable- do they forfeit all their rights, by breaking the social contract, or do they only lose the rights that they have taken from others? Is theft punishable by death?

Eh. Most agree that murder, at least, is punishable by death. Looking closely at the ethical situation, we see that the criminal has not earned death per se, espeially when his death would harm the larger society further. He has simply forfeited his rights to life and liberty.

Why execute him? That's not an efficient use of our time and energy. Since the criminal has no rights, he can be branded and put into slavery for the remainder of his natural life. While manual labor may not be a cost effective use for slaves in the US anymore, this would be a great boon to pharmaceutical companies that need to test new drugs. If they accidentally kill a few test subjects, well, they were condemned anyway. At least they went out for a good cause. Since most lifers could be transitioned to slave labor, we would also have a large pool of organ donors on tap.

The problem with this plan is that it would be controlled by the government. If the government had any financial incentive to put prisoners into slavery, it would do so at an ever increasing rate until you were all the subjects of a brutal corporate state.

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