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Archive for March, 2017

Capital punishment is practiced in many nation-states,
secular and religious alike. It is also historically a feature
of some Buddhist polities, even though it defies the first
Buddhist precept (pāṇatipātā) prohibiting lethal harm.
This essay considers a neo-Kantian theorization of capital
punishment (Sorell) and examines the reasons underwriting
its claims (with their roots in Bentham and Mill) with
respect to the prevention of and retribution for crime.
The contextualization of this argument with Buddhist metaphysical
and epistemological concerns around the
normativization of value, demonstrates that such a retributivist
conception of capital punishment constitutively
undermines its own rational and normative discourse.
With this conclusion the paper upholds and justifies the
first Buddhist precept prohibiting lethal action in the case
of capital punishment.

Published March 3, 2017, in the Journal of Buddhist Ethics, Vol. 24 (2017):

http://blogs.dickinson.edu/buddhistethics/2017/03/03/capital-punishment-a-buddhist-critique/

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