I was reading about how an internet company wants to transmit Timothy McVeigh's execution over the internet on a pay-per-view basis.
It disturbed me that society appears to be drifting backwards in this regard, that not only are there people who want to make money from this situation, there are also many people apparently willing to view it for entertainment purposes.
Of course, nothing would pack in the historical crowds like a public execution. But the gradual enlightenment of society made public executions a footnote of history, and the death penalty appeared to be following.
And that made me consider what my attitude is to the death penalty itself.
In WT land the death penalty is considered to be "divine justice". The bible brims to the covers with accounts of executions using the most excrutiating methods, such as stoning. The Wt's so-called good news is based on the mass execution of six billion people. "An eye for an eye must be balanced justice, right? After all, it's God's standard!"
But how grey the world becomes when we tear off the black and white blinkers of the Watchtower. Now I cannot let others dictate what my attitudes and positions on ethical situations must be. I must and I will decide for myself.
Yet, in the case of the death penalty, I have to say "I don't know."
It certainly satisfies the visceral and emotional desire for vengeance. It may or may not be a deterrent, depending on which study you quote. It certainly does prevent reoffending.
But a quote by Margaret Atwood springs to mind: "an eye for an eye leads only to more blindness."
Does capital punishment actually contribute to the level of violence by weaving it into the very fabric of society, thus hardening people to the knowledge that here is a person dying at the hands of the state, making it easier to accept next time? Or cheapening life so that those who might not have killed have less compunction about pulling the trigger?
Does society even have the moral right to take someone's life, no matter what that person has done? Do two wrongs make a right?
I don't know. It's too soon after WT mind-control for me to decide on this.
But what do you think? Did your views of capital punishment change when you left the WT?