중앙데일리

[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Capital punishment foes miss out on the logic

Feb 15,2003
There has been a recent "blitz" against the death penalty in Korea. If Korea gets rid of capital punishment, it will be against the wishes of more than half its citizens; an elitist imposition of liberal values by a minority.

All men understand without being instructed that there exist laws that are of more intrinsic value than human life. Dying to save another human being, for example. If these laws are not "real" -- if they have no objective existence, and are just something our minds conjure up -- then no one would be justified in dying for them.

But if they are real, logic tells us that breaking such laws can only mean repayment by the most an offender can afford to give, in other words, his life.

Many objections come from Christians. The commandment "Thou shalt not kill," is more accurately translated in Hebrew and Greek (the Old and New Testament languages) as "You shall not murder." Not all killing is murder. According to Christianity, Jesus Christ did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it, atoning for us by making himself the perfect sacrifice, in perfect payment of the law. That law is obviously of more intrinsic value than humans, or it would not be just in having power over us, and condemning us to death for our sins.

Rejecting capital punishment on the grounds of cynicism about our ability to deliver justice is a sign of decadence, not enlightenment, in today's world.


by Don Campbell


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