Philosophy of Hugo Bedau and Ernest vd. Haag

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Man is by nature good as expressed by John Locke's Tabula Rasa Theory that: "the mind of an individual human being is born blank and that their identity is defined entirely by events after birth". Yet, as man journeys through self-discovery he begins to experience the desire to see the unexpected outcome of his deeds.


Soon he is called to pay for the sins of his nature.
The ultimate punishment for man's heinous crimes has continued to raise differing views in the civilized society. Hugo Bedau upholds the American Civil Liberties Union that "death penalty inherently violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment and the guarantee of due process of law and the equal protection of the laws". This idea is based on the premise that the state should not usurp the power of taking the lives of human beings especially in a "premeditated and with ceremony" under the guise of law. The punishment of death for a capital offense is frowned upon as too "harsh, freaky and arbitrary" to be constitutionally acceptable. He believes that this form of punishment is still based on the early days of barbarism when other forms of corporal punishment were acceptable. The killing of a person has no place in a civil humane society because it wastes the resources of the courts, the legal counsels, juries and other correctional personnel. Executions impart to the society the unmistakable message that "human life no longer deserves respect and that homicide is legitimate when justified by pragmatic concerns." He has also added: "that threat of severe punishment cannot deter criminals especially ones who are in the drug trade. ...
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