Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

Voice for Peace

(13,141 posts)
64. great post, thought provoking, thank you!
Sat May 16, 2015, 12:20 AM
May 2015
From what we know of child development, there is every reason to imagine that children who grow up in a society that approves the killing of human beings will have lower inhibitions against killing than do children whose society teaches an absolute intolerance of killing.

Something is coming to mind, from Gibran, what he wrote about
crime and punishment.*

It has to do with the collective guilt and collective innocence of
us all.

Punishment, esp cruel punishment, rarely causes a person to look
within himself and examine his deeds.

Rehabilitation requires authentic remorse, and authentic understanding
of the crime. It requires feeling the pain and harm one has inflicted
on others. It also requires an opportunity for restitution.

These prisons offer none of that. They are mostly big black holes
swallowing up human lives.

*I'm still puzzling through the formless pigmy but the "god
self" I understand as the highest human potential -- not something
ethereal -- but the tangible, loving, compassionate human heart
and conscience. I also believe there are many 100% innocent
victims, but this is about the collective knowledge -- as you wrote
above. What the children grow up on: it affects the school, the
town, the state, the laws, the crime. It is absorbed through the
skin, through the food, through the sounds and smells.

Do you recall the forest which turns out to be a single tree,
although above ground it appears to be thousands of individual
trees? Underground, one root system.

Then one of the judges of the city stood forth and said,
"Speak to us of Crime and Punishment."

And he answered saying:
It is when your spirit goes wandering upon the wind,
That you, alone and unguarded,
commit a wrong unto others and therefore unto yourself.
And for that wrong committed must you knock
and wait a while unheeded at the gate of the blessed.

Like the ocean is your god-self;
It remains for ever undefiled.
And like the ether it lifts but the winged.

Even like the sun is your god-self;
It knows not the ways of the mole nor seeks it the holes of the serpent.
But your god-self does not dwell alone in your being.

Much in you is still man, and much in you is not yet man,
But a shapeless pigmy that walks asleep in the mist
searching for its own awakening.

And of the man in you would I now speak.
For it is he and not your god-self nor the pigmy in the mist,
that knows crime and the punishment of crime.

Oftentimes have I heard you speak of one who commits a wrong
as though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you
and an intruder upon your world.

But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise
beyond the highest which is in each one of you,
So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower
than the lowest which is in you also.

And as a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge
of the whole tree,
So the wrong-doer cannot do wrong without the hidden will of you all.

Like a procession you walk together towards your god-self.
You are the way and the wayfarers.
And when one of you falls down he falls for those behind him,
a caution against the stumbling stone.

Ay, and he falls for those ahead of him,
who though faster and surer of foot,
yet removed not the stumbling stone.

And this also, though the word lie heavy upon your hearts:
The murdered is not unaccountable for his own murder,
And the robbed is not blameless in being robbed.

The righteous is not innocent of the deeds of the wicked,
And the white-handed is not clean in the doings of the felon.

Yea, the guilty is oftentimes the victim of the injured,
And still more often the condemned is the burden-bearer
for the guiltless and unblamed.

You cannot separate the just from the unjust
and the good from the wicked;
For they stand together before the face of the sun
even as the black thread and the white are woven together.

And when the black thread breaks, the weaver shall look
into the whole cloth, and he shall examine the loom also.

If any of you would bring judgment the unfaithful wife,
Let him also weigh the heart of her husband in scales,
and measure his soul with measurements.

And let him who would lash the offender
look unto the spirit of the offended.

And if any of you would punish in the name of righteousness
and lay the ax unto the evil tree, let him see to its roots;

And verily he will find the roots of the good and the bad,
the fruitful and the fruitless, all entwined together
in the silent heart of the earth.

And you judges who would be just,
What judgment pronounce you upon him
who though honest in the flesh yet is a thief in spirit?

What penalty lay you upon him who slays in the flesh
yet is himself slain in the spirit?

And how prosecute you him who in action is a deceiver and an oppressor,
Yet who also is aggrieved and outraged?
And how shall you punish those whose remorse is already
greater than their misdeeds?

Is not remorse the justice which is administered by
that very law which you would fain serve?

Yet you cannot lay remorse upon the innocent
nor lift it from the heart of the guilty.

Unbidden shall it call in the night,
that men may wake and gaze upon themselves.

And you who would understand justice,
how shall you unless you look upon all deeds in the fullness of light?
Only then shall you know that the erect and the fallen
are but one man standing in twilight
between the night of his pigmy-self and the day of his god-self,

And that the corner-stone of the temple is not higher
than the lowest stone in its foundation.


Thoughts on the Death Penalty [View all] Jackpine Radical May 2015 OP
I'm 100% against the death penalty. onehandle May 2015 #1
+1 daleanime May 2015 #44
k&r uppityperson May 2015 #2
And then there was one less ten commandments seveneyes May 2015 #3
Those are the exact reasons I'm against the death penalty. NuclearDem May 2015 #4
Agree, but life in a supermax prison may be worse JustABozoOnThisBus May 2015 #5
Why a Supermax? Jackpine Radical May 2015 #9
I have no reason, other than the debates on DU over the last few days. JustABozoOnThisBus May 2015 #10
23 hours a day of solitary confinement for life. Jackpine Radical May 2015 #13
Here's what that "nothing" causes: F4lconF16 May 2015 #39
The American Oubliette... haikugal May 2015 #58
it is torture Voice for Peace May 2015 #59
Close the supermax. End life without parole eligibility. morningfog May 2015 #11
Agree. Thank you. nt F4lconF16 May 2015 #65
The Horror seveneyes May 2015 #15
+1 Jefferson23 May 2015 #6
I am against the death penalty, across the board petronius May 2015 #7
Across the Board seveneyes May 2015 #17
For decades it's been a fact that states without the death penalty have lower murder rates......... George II May 2015 #38
Correlation is not causation. rogerashton May 2015 #8
I'm quite aware of how to interpret a correlation. Jackpine Radical May 2015 #12
Getting up off the floor literally malaise May 2015 #16
What if the murder rate in those states would be higher without the DP? NotoriousRBG May 2015 #19
Why might that be? Jackpine Radical May 2015 #24
If only you had some peer reviewed evidence to back phil89 May 2015 #20
Peer-reviewed evidence? WTF is that? Jackpine Radical May 2015 #32
Makes sense to me, Doc. eom rogerashton May 2015 #66
Almost every other country in the world gets along just fine without a death penalty. SheilaT May 2015 #14
Almost every other country in the world gets along just fine with the USA picking up the defense tab seveneyes May 2015 #18
And how is that relevant to the death penalty? SheilaT May 2015 #21
So Goddamned relevant, it's often overlooked seveneyes May 2015 #22
Gosh. We have the death penalty so as to spare other countries from having it? SheilaT May 2015 #23
I trust we're dealing with a bit of Jackpine Radical May 2015 #25
Yep. Well, maybe more irony than sarcasm. Especially when SheilaT May 2015 #27
I guess the notion is that we're the wholesale death merchants to the world. Jackpine Radical May 2015 #29
Hmmm. I've been known to write science fiction, SheilaT May 2015 #33
Jeez, why not? Jackpine Radical May 2015 #34
I've already written a story in which SheilaT May 2015 #35
I so want to read that. F4lconF16 May 2015 #43
Sounds fascinating. BeanMusical May 2015 #51
Thanks for that. SheilaT May 2015 #57
It's so simple it is often ignored seveneyes May 2015 #26
Thanks for a great post!!!! +1000 nt Logical May 2015 #28
Ritualized Human Sacrifice. Downwinder May 2015 #30
100% against. No exceptions. Fearless May 2015 #31
I think it's good to keep Omnith May 2015 #36
Why? Jackpine Radical May 2015 #37
Society benefits by not having him part of it. Omnith May 2015 #42
How exactly was McVeigh part of society after he was incarcerated? nadinbrzezinski May 2015 #45
He wouldn't be in either case. Omnith May 2015 #47
You are referring me to a fiction book written under commission nadinbrzezinski May 2015 #48
I'm glad you hold life sacred Omnith May 2015 #49
I believe the state should not kill in my name nadinbrzezinski May 2015 #50
Cost to society? Omnith May 2015 #54
Funny, most nations can get along without murdering nadinbrzezinski May 2015 #55
I guess we just see things differently Omnith May 2015 #63
The death benefit is a negative to society Major Nikon May 2015 #67
+1 Well said. BeanMusical May 2015 #52
The death penalty is just the most extreme of our criminal system nadinbrzezinski May 2015 #40
I can't recommend this post enough. F4lconF16 May 2015 #46
Excellent contribution to this discussion Nadin. haikugal May 2015 #62
I fully agree. Jackpine Radical May 2015 #69
Grotesque. haikugal May 2015 #72
Add one more reason: criminal charges are more often brought against minorities and the poor jwirr May 2015 #41
Kick and R. BeanMusical May 2015 #53
I am opposed to the death penalty in all cases Blue_In_AK May 2015 #56
I'm in NC and I started out pro-death penalty, Jamastiene May 2015 #60
It really rings true to me. Jackpine Radical May 2015 #76
Am against the death penalty unless akbacchus_BC May 2015 #61
Then it sounds like you are against the death penalty in all cases Major Nikon May 2015 #68
great post, thought provoking, thank you! Voice for Peace May 2015 #64
Thank you so much for that! Jackpine Radical May 2015 #71
For many years I was on the fence about the death penalty davidpdx May 2015 #70
There is one place, and one place only hifiguy May 2015 #73
And that's the one place we in the US do not apply it. Seems the more people you kill, the less sabrina 1 May 2015 #74
Not even there, afaic. Jackpine Radical May 2015 #78
The death penalty is only one very visible facet... Orsino May 2015 #75
K&R! mvd May 2015 #77
Utah is a death penalty state... TeeYiYi May 2015 #79
A funny thing about geometric means-- Jackpine Radical May 2015 #80
Latest Discussions»General Discussion»Thoughts on the Death Pen...»Reply #64