Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Death Penalty


(Picture courtesy of Blogger CK Hon)



Question:(Unedited)
Having mixed emotions concerning the death penalty, what is the Buddhist thoughts on this?

My comment:

Thank you for asking me.

The first of the 5 precepts which Buddhists follow is that of refraining from killing. It is very clear that killing a being (any being for that matter, let alone a human being) is an unwholesome act. No being likes to be killed. Everyone is afraid of being killed. The natural law of cause and effect rules supreme; that an unwholesome act will definitely produce an unwholesome result, sooner or later. Buddhists believe in this universal law of cause and effect. Once we understand this eternal law, we are more "forgiving" knowing that no one can escape any evil deed.

Coming back to capital punishment, this is man-made law; to bring to focus that crime does not pay, here and now, if one is caught. The question is : do we want to play god? or do we want to be all-compassionate? In this worldly affair it is always a very difficult decision.

2 comments:

A true Malaysian said...

Justin,

I personally against the death penalty imposed in the man-made laws for criminals who are found guilty in say, murder cases. Conviction under man-made laws is based on test of 'beyond reasonable doubt' where a murderer may not be found guilty if evidence against his or her case is not beyond reasonable doubt. So, man-made laws have their flaws.

Whereas, for nature law of cause and effect shall takes its own cause. A murderer shall be 'punished' for his or her murder sooner or later. The punishment maybe in existing life or future life(s). The only thing is that, if the 'effect' is not in the existing lifetime, then people may perceive this nature law of cause and effect does not exist, or not being fair. Ultimately, I believe only the murderer knows better the 'effect' or his or her 'cause'.

PM said...

Justin

For the murderers they do not want the death sentence. For the victims
they want to see justice done. If we don't have a set of human rules chaos will reign.

Cause & Effect should also apply to human rules otherwise there is no different between human and the animal kingdom.

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