The Metaphysics of Morals
It is not wrong to punish a criminal primarily as a means to reform the criminal. By punishing criminals, they pay for their deeds and justice is paid to the victim, society or the state. It is justifiable to punish any criminal so that the criminals may meditate on their previous actions and reform.For extinction of criminal acts to occur, punishment must and should be used.
It is not wrong to punish criminals primarily as a means to deter others from committing similar crimes. Human beings learn various behaviors through various ways and the most common and easiest is by observation. By punishing criminals, the people in a society learn that involving in criminal activities will lead to them being punished or suffering the same way as those being punished. This leads to a reduction in criminal activities in societies.
Retribution is not a legitimate basis for punishment as it is promotes revenge other than justice and is mainly based on emotions rather than logic. Retribution fully supports and endorses the commonly used phrase ‘a tooth for a tooth’ as it states that a criminal should receive the same magnitude of harm they caused a victim or the society (Roca & Schuh, 2014, p. 328).
Retribution in minor offences such as theft may apply but in capital offences such as murder, it will lead to a loss of many lives. Retribution also has its limitations in cases where people are falsely accused. Applying retribution to such people would cause more harm as compared to imprisoning them for life or applying another penalty.
Execution is not the only just penalty for murder as two wrongs do not make a right. By executing a criminal who has committed murder, the state loses another life. An alternate penalty for murder would be life imprisonment. Life imprisonment alienates the criminal from the rest of the world, family and usual activities for the rest of their life. This can serve as a better punishment as compared to execution.
To torture and kill a criminal who has tortured and murdered someone is not just retribution as it will be a repetition of the same crime that needs to be corrected. By killing the criminal the state loses a subject and gains nothing in return. Retribution is just when there is something to be gained in place of the committed crime.
“Gay Basics: Some Questions, Facts, and Values”
Religious beliefs are not a legitimate basis for enacting laws that discriminate against gays as different people have different religious beliefs. Religion unlike the law or constitution is not common to all as some people do not believe in religion and cannot be linked to any religious beliefs.
Enacting laws against gays based on religion is unfair to those who have no links with religion and those who do not believe in any religion at all. Different religions have different beliefs and practices which makes it difficult for people from different religions to agree. Enacting laws based on religious beliefs is therefore difficult as different religions do not share a common ground on matters of sexuality.
It is not unnatural to use sexual activity for purposes other than procreation. Sexual activity is meant for both pro creation and pleasure (Roca & Schuh, 2014, p. 365). This applies to both heterosexual activities and homosexual activity as even heterosexuals involves in sexual activity not for the purpose of procreation but for pleasure.
An activity is immoral because it is unnatural when it involves going against the norms of human behavior. Activities that are not in line with natural human behaviors are termed as immoral. For example, killing another person is not a natural human behavior therefore it is termed as immoral.
It is legitimate to use sexual activity to express affection and foster personal intimacy, when there is no possibility of procreation. This applies to both heterosexual and homosexual activities as homosexuals have no possibilities of procreating and for heterosexuals, some cannot procreate and they use sex to express affection and foster intimacy.
A society should not allow same sex marriages. By allowing same sex marriage a state undermines its morals and risks extinction of heterosexual marriages which have been there since the world began. Heterosexual marriages ensure that a state grows as it assures procreation unlike homosexual marriages where procreation is not possible.
“Affirmative Action: Pro”
Affirmative action in employment is an appropriate way to make restitution for a history of discrimination against minorities and women as it is through affirmative action that policies and laws against discrimination of women and minorities have been enacted (Roca & Schuh, 2014, p. 412). Affirmative action also empowers women and minorities discriminated against to stand for their rights by informing and educating them about their rights.
It is unfair for an employer to hire a less qualified minority or woman applicant rather than a more qualified white male applicant as at the end of the day the employer may not get the results he wants. Employment should always be on the basis of qualifications, experience and performance and not on the basis of race, gender or class. In cases where the white male applicant is less qualified and is employed leaving a qualified woman or minority, the employer is not fair as he discriminates against the women because of their status.
Restitution for past discrimination should be directed more to groups treated unjustly than to individuals treated unjustly as its easier to manage people in groups rather than individually.
Discrimination in most cases is directed to groups rather than individuals for example blacks, whites, women and minorities. It’s for this reason that restitution for past discrimination should be directed more to groups as opposed to individuals. By working with groups it’s easier to convince and to get people to understand the impact of discrimination and why affirmative action is important.
If affirmative action is undertaken, the criterion that should be used to determine how much affirmative action is sufficient is the level of discrimination and the extent to which discrimination is causing harm to individuals. Before affirmative action is undertaken it is crucial to evaluate the situation to check if it is a case of discrimination or a case of less qualification.
Affirmative action does not perpetuate the myth of black inferiority. The main goal of affirmative action is to empower all those groups that have suffered discrimination irrespective of their color, race and gender. Affirmative action has not only been beneficial to blacks but also to white women, the disabled and minors who are discriminated against (Roca & Schuh, 2014, p.412).
Roca, O., & Schuh, M. (2014). An Examined Life. Critical Thinking and Ethics.