Since the dawn of humans on this planet traversing the cosmos humans have justified their actions as it relates to their fellow travellers, their brothers and sisters of earth. It harkens back to an ancient story of two brothers dwelling outside the gates of paradise lost.
The story of Cain and Abel has been told and retold down through time. When Moses, the Exiled Prince of Egypt, wrote down the story, it reminded people of where they came from and what had been lost.
The most famous question in the Old Testament is “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Of course this was not addressed to his parents, especially his mother who had given birth to both sons, but it was addressed to Yahweh (Hebrew ) who had frequent conversations with Cain. Yahweh had warned Cain not to allow his rejection and envy for Abel to master him. Cain could master these alien impulses.
From these ancient times human history has been splattered with innocent blood by individuals, groups and nations. Of course their shedding of their fellow humans’ blood was always a justified decision.
In 2011 men, women and children are killed each day on this orb hanging in infinite space. Many believe war is a justified decision to kill.
The necropolises of earth are lined with those who died in war. Untold numbers are buried in unmarked graves whose existence was found unacceptable to those who chose to exterminate them. There are many who were incinerated and their ashes scattered to the four winds.
Today, wars rage across this planet. The bloodlust of Cain seems to grow stronger. The Bloodlust is deemed a justified decision.
Unfortunately, like the ancient Romans who had to have their bread and circuses to feed their bloodlust it seems that in some countries like the USA the death penalty serves the same purpose. The Nazi leadership felt justified in their public executions.
When people clap and cheer at the number of executions in Texas during a presidential candidate debate, one has to wonder—what is it that resides within the human psyche to relish the death of another human being? Putting another human to death for whatever vicious crimes that individual has committed is a justified decision in many minds.
The debate on capital punishment has raged and will continue to rage like a sparring contest. A friend and politician posted on my Facebook account in regards to Troy Davis,
“No justice was served last night, life in prison is better for if evidence is later found, the person can be set free, but if a person is put to death and evidence of their innocence is later found, we can’t bring them back to life and the person who is truly guilty is forever free.”
Was Troy Davis an innocent man? He maintained his innocence until his life ended by lethal injection in Georgia. Lethal injection is one of those code words which polite society uses in place of poisoning. A detailed explanation of the process is listed in the link below.
To be honest I have mixed feelings about capital punishment. One part of me feels it is barbaric and animalistic to put another human to death. Equally, a part of me would embrace the concept if a friend or family member was murdered, raped, tortured by someone.
It is not an easy subject to debate, but it is a subject which needs to be debated. I have seen no evidence that capital punishment deters crime. Humans who allow their passions and warped inclinations to dominate their actions in bringing misery and death to fellow human beings will continue regardless of whether there is capital punishment.
Since we began with the story of Cain and Abel, why did Yahweh not use capital punishment on Cain? From our viewpoint Cain deserved to die since he committed cold-blooded murder. In fact Cain was marked so that no fellow human being was allowed to kill him. He probably lived a long life based on the Genesis longevity factor. Cain’s life was spared by Yahweh. Was this justice?
Where do you stand on the issue of capital punishment? Is there a right or wrong position? Is the death penalty a justified decision?
G. D. Williams © 2011
The Last Word