Capital Punishment and Religion.

Essay by StartechUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, July 2003

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Empirical adequacy, logical consistence, and personal relevance are three simple tests that can be used to prove truth. When applied to a situation that involves a death row prisoner who has found God, the result may not be so simple. The complicating factor in this situation is the motive of the inmate and if he is using the attachment to God as a means.

The evidence that supports a person on death row, who claims to have found God, has to be his actions. The existence of God cannot be physically proven; therefore faith alone is not enough evidence to make this a strong argument. Empirical adequacy is physical evidence. Has this person demonstrated the behavior of a God-loving or rehabilitated individual? Death row prisoners form positive relationships, go to church, and even take steps to further their education. Although these characteristics are present, did they originate from a person who is devoted to the word of God or a person who fears death? The application of further tests must be made.

Logical consistency and personal relevancy are the next two steps in proving truth. Is it logically consistent for a person who has committed an abhorrent crime to adhere to religion? A natural law philosopher such as Thomas Aquinas would concur. God is the creator and the ultimate source of reality. It is possible to loathe the sin and love the sinner. No matter how heinous the crime, everyone ought to have the right to life. There is personal relevance in this issue on both sides of the argument, but the belief in the convicted felon is vital for the prisoner himself and is indeed more prevalent. Prevention of death is key.

According to other philosophers such as John Locke and Robert Nozik, the right to...