Kant was of the opinion that rehabilitation of criminals is not particularly beneficial to both the offender and the offended person. This may be slightly wrong given that people can change or reform under the right guidance and assistance. Sometimes people do certain things due to prolonged ignorance. This ignorance may be due to illiteracy or just growing up in a hostile environment. Such may be the case for hooligans who come from poverty-stricken slums where crime occurs oftenly.
In such instances, rehabilitation may be a better option for the common good of that person and society. However, in other instances, Kant’s position is very much applicable and the only way to instill discipline in a person who has perpetrated a crime is to accord an appropriate punishment. Crimes, especially those committed by minors, can be curbed by punishing these minors before they become adept in such activities. This is the principle of spare the rod spoil the child. Merciless crimes such as killing also deserve an almost equivalent punishment.
Capital punishment is the death penalty for a criminal as is passed by a court of law or its equivalent in an orderly society. Capital punishment involves permanent incapacitation of the individual and is, therefore, a permanent method of removing the worst criminals from society. It also saves the government on money spent on the upkeep of prisoners by reducing the populations in such prisons as opposed to imprisoning criminals for life (Arguments for and against Capital Punishment).
Capital punishment has the capability of achieving a higher rate of deterrence from crime by other citizens due to the threat it poses. This means it effectively reduces the crime rate due to the conclusiveness of the consequences. However, capital punishment has its drawbacks. Because of its finality, it is impossible to compensate innocent individuals in case of injustice or wrong judgments. The family of the victim suffers tremendously as they await the imminent demise of their loved one and the loss that follows. Capital punishment may accelerate brutality in other members of society. They may enjoy the killing as a sport and hence undermine the value of human life (Pojman and Reiman, 1998).
The participants responded in a way that supports utilitarianism. Supporters of one candidate critically criticize the other. For instance, the republicans judged Mr. Kerry harshly since they believed that his view on overhauling social security did not satisfy their individual desires. However, they supported Mr. Bush’s view on Kenneth Ray. The democrats speak harshly of Kenneth Ray based on the associations with Bush and because of the corruption charges. However, for the Republicans, Kenneth Ray was a top contributor to Bush’s presidential reign hence they approached their judgment differently. What causes the least pain to them is the best approach. For both these participants, as long as the consequences of their leaders seems to resonate with their views and desires, it is okay for them. Decisions are not based on morality rather whether they may be true or false. The supporters of either politician seemed to be in tandem with the thoughts of their respective politicians even when their views changed on the subject. This clearly illustrates that morality was not an issue to them. Such a study indicates some instance of application of rule utilitarianism. However, critics have reasons to disregard the theory since their views indicate the participants employing some exceptions when it comes to discussing their leaders.
Making ethical decisions has become a vital part in making decisions in different fields. The idea whether to execute someone through a death penalty is still a contentious issue that is being debated. Some people argue that it is not morally right to kill someone. Killing someone through a death penalty does not translate in reduction, in crime. Ethical theories assists in understanding why some individuals act the way they do. Any argument needs to have a logical opinion.
One of the aspects that were exciting was the concept of utilitarianism. The idea that individuals base their actions without regarding morality is intriguing. Furthermore, individuals that utilize rule utilitarianism may make up some rule to satisfy their desires despite the fact that it may be morally wrong.
People often employ different ethical reasoning when arriving at decisions. Some of the issues that concern me are that what if an individual uses a combination of the various ethical theories in arriving at decisions. For instance, can one argue from both the utilitarianism perspective and a Kantian perspective? Can one argue to save a human life based on one ethical theory and ignore to save based on another one?
The material learnt in this unit is important in my life. It allows me to appreciate that one needs to have the capacity to argue for whatever cause you believe is right. Harm comes to people because someone else decided that it was the right thing to do. Such ideas can result to loss of innocent lives. Thus, morality needs to be a key part in making decisions in the various circumstances that face us in life.
Retrieved October 5, 2012, from http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/thoughts.html#pro
Pojman, L. P., & Reiman, J. H. (1998). The Death Penalty: for and against. Lanham, MD:
Rowman and Littlefield.