Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Death Penalty

It would appear that the same states that supported slavery, the same states that were in favour of Bush, the same states where the majority of the population votes against its own self interests, the states that hate "nanny government" but get more in federal subsidies than they pay in federal taxes, the states that are most religious, the states that have the most abortions, the states that have the most divorces, the states that have the most violence, the states that have the most murders, the "red states," the shit-for-brains states, are in favour of the death penalty.

I believe that religion and a hankering for the death penalty go hand-in-hand. If you were logical, religiousity would require you to be against the death penalty. But religion means never having to confront reality.

In the religion held by most of those in the "red states," if you do everything right and worship the tooth fairy the right way, you are granted an eternity of bliss (which is like an orgasm but without the messy bodily fluids and the wet spot in the bed). You can be an evil shit (i.e., a Dick Cheney) all your life yet recant on your death bed and earn your eternity of bliss.

Eternity is a fuck of a long time. Compared to eternity, a human lifespan is no more than the blink of an eye. Compared to eternity, a million human lifespans is no more than the blink of an eye. Compared to eternity, a gazillion human lifespans is no more than the blink of an eye. Eternity is infinite, and compared to infinity any number you can think of is so small in comparison that it may as well be zero.

Whether or not you think it better to imprison somebody or to execute them depends entirely upon religiousity. And, worse, if you are religious then your decision is hypocritical.

Consider Timothy McVeigh. Many deaths to his name. He converted to Christianity before being executed, so supposedly goes to Heaven. Suppose that there is a God, and an afterlife, and McVeigh happened to choose the one correct creed of all the thousands of creeds of Christianity, and that McVeigh was sincerely repentent of his sins, and so went to Heaven.

In this scenario, McVeigh has a few years of suffering on death row, then an eternity of fucking bliss. Compared to eternity, a human lifetime is but the blink of an eye, and a few years on death row is even less than the blink of an eye.

Now suppose that McVeigh had been given a life sentence rather than the death penalty, but had still converted. He'd have spent even more years suffering, but compared to eternity those twenty, or thirty, or fourty years would have been as naught.

So, y'know, it's pretty damned clear. If you want somebody to pay for his crimes, even though he later gets an eternal orgasm, you don't execute him. Killing him sends him off for an early bath. It takes him out of the hardship of the game and sends him off to the post-game celebrations early.

In the long run, if there is a Heaven and eternal orgasm. and a criminal converts to the right one of many thousands of Christian creeds and is sincere about repenting his sins, the difference between execution and a life sentence is trivial. The life sentence results in more suffering, and by any standard of logic ought to be preferred by the shit-for-brains people. However, if the invisible easter bunny myth is just another fairy tale, then a life sentence is more of a punishment than execution. Life in prison is not pleasant. It's not meant to be. The more time you spend in prison, the less enjoyable it is. Death is an early release from prison, and even if there is no afterlife you might prefer an early end to your woes. But if you think you're on a fast track to perpetual orgasm, bring that death penalty on!

Of course, when faced with death, even the religious try to avoid it. Deep down they know the tales of the magic tooth fairy are just fairy tales. So they all try to defer execution. But that's when they're on death row. When they're walking around free, it's another matter.

Hey, that guy pissed me off. I'ma gonna shoot him. If God didn't want me to shoot him, God would make my gun jam. But my gun didn't jam. So if that guy was good, God wanted him to go to Heaven early; and if that guy was bad, God wanted him to go to Hell early. I am just an agent of God. And if I get caught and sentenced to execution, that just means I go to Heaven early, which is a bonus.

Is there any fucking wonder the shit-for-brains religious states have the highest per-capita murder rates and endorse the death penalty? When you base your life around a non-existent invisible sky being and ignore reality because it conflicts with your beliefs, crap like that is bound to ensue.


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