[Buddha-l] Ethical Dilemmas

Dan Lusthaus vasubandhu at earthlink.net
Sun Jun 13 01:06:22 MDT 2010


>> Especially legal systems where the death penalty is still
>> > active, and where certain groups of the population seem to be more
>> present
>> > among the executed than others.
>> this sort of sloppy conflationaryism [to coin an ugly word] is a
>> disservice,
>> and hinders rather than sharpens thinking.
> "When one runs out of rational arguments, one resorts to name-calling and
> innuendo."

That was a description, not an argument. Comparing the US judicial and penal 
system to Aztec sacrifice -- I realize that sort of delusional demonization 
is popular in many quarters these days, but it is indeed the sort of 
conflational demagoguery that clouds the waters rather clarifying anything.

> > I don't get this. Please tell me first who are the bugs and who are the 
> > bug
> exterminators?
>> http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,946853,00.html

Follow the  link.

> A judicial system is about order and social peace. It's not perfect and
> can't allow itself to apologize for its mistakes and repair them due to
> potential loss of authority. The very rare exceptions confirm the rule. 
> The
> innocent that are condemned and perhaps executed are victims, but useful
> victims, since they help to maintain the social peace (Rta) AND the 
> judicial
> system. In some cases when public opinion is thirsty for "justice", it is
> better to find just any suspect and to keep that suspect until the mob 
> goes
> quiet again. If necessary the suspect may be released and another random
> suspect be arrested. In such cases there isn't even a condemnation and
> therefore not even a judicial mistake, but the fact is very similar to 
> that
> of a proper condemnation and/or execution. Such suspects are victims that
> pay the price of the Rta. They may not lose their biological life, but 
> they
> certainly lose plenty. Religion is everywhere, especially there where it 
> is
> said to be absent.

I understand that's how it works in much of the world, but the US system has 
taken many steps, from habeas corpus to Miranda rights, to multiple levels 
of appeal, to minimize this -- so much so that it gets accused of bending 
over so far backwards to provide rights to the accused that the victims and 
aggrieved have been protesting and fighting back. These things go in 
pendulum shifts.

While in practice that might go on, that is NOT the ethos, and when brought 
to light, not condoned or accepted.

Again, the underlying issue in all this would be innocence and guilt and the 
instruments by which that can be determined. The US legal system's motto is: 
Innocent until proven guilty. The actual practice may not always live up to 
that, but that is the express ideal.


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