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Democratic bounties

Assassinations for the working stiff
  (+2, -12)(+2, -12)
(+2, -12)
  [vote for,

Right now, assassination is a tool for governments, multinational corporations, and wealthy individuals. The proposal is to place this valuable tool into the capable hands of the people through a public Web site; a form of de- election. Vote with your wallet -- select your least favorite public figures and place a bounty on their heads. To keep individuals from tipping the scales, each contributor is limited to US$25. However, once thousands of people have weighed in, the stakes can get pretty high. Then an entrepreneurially minded gunman can step up, and collect the bounty once they've successfully removed a blight on our culture. No longer is this de-election process limited to controversial figures like Salman Rushdie or bin Laden.... finally we can take out Kevin Costner and Phil Collins. Better late than never.
ong, Jan 18 2002

Public Subscription Assassination ttp://www.halfbaker...ion_20Assassination
Already been done on the Halfbakery [Aristotle, Jan 18 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       This has been proposed before on the Halfbakery and people pointed out then that it had been proposed before as an actual political idea.
Aristotle, Jan 18 2002

       At least his targets are deserving of this.
thumbwax, Jan 18 2002

       Lousy idea. Perhaps the worst I've ever seen. This is essentially the decriminalization of murder (which includes paying to have it done).
seal, Jan 18 2002

       It may be a lousy idea, but killing people is already decriminalized as "capital punishment" if a state does it according to its laws.   

       This one would imply a law of "you shouldn't anger large groups of people, punishable by death", and that's too vague and too harsh. But the differences are more gradual than you might like.
jutta, Jan 18 2002

       The ancient greeks could call for a motion that would allow them to vote for someone to commit suicide. This was why Socrates drank his cup of hemlock.
Aristotle, Jan 18 2002

       But was that not because a previously defined crime had been committed, and they were just voting on the sentence?
angel, Jan 18 2002

       In the Republic Plato reports that Socrates pointed out that good orators could persuade the electorate to vote for anyone to be killed. The electorate were effectively judge and jury and the outcome of such a vote could be swayed by sophist rhetoric rather than the truth.   

       However the accusation was "corrupting the youth of Athens" and so presumably Plato was one of these corrupted youths. Can we trust his account?
Aristotle, Jan 18 2002

       Jutta, I'm not a proponent of capital punishment, but even I recognize the difference between capital punishment and murder, just as I recognize the difference between murder and killing in self-defense.   

       Unlike for murder, the argument can be made that capital punishment acts as self-defense for the society.
seal, Jan 18 2002

       I recognize no differences. Killing is killing.
waugsqueke, Jan 18 2002

       Waugs, I'm sorry to hear you're unable to discern the difference between a police sniper killing a terrorist threatening to shoot up a bus full of people and someone murdering an 8 year old girl for the thrill of it.   

       I consider it a severe disability of yours.
seal, Jan 18 2002

       Please. Donnez-moi une fracture.   

       No difference. In each case, someone is killed. No person has the right to take the life of another. Ever. It is never justifiable. This is my belief, and I'm not about to get into some silly debate. [EOF]
waugsqueke, Jan 18 2002

       //a police sniper killing a terrorist threatening to shoot up a bus full of people //   

       That's not capital punishment. That would be 'reasonable force' legally, depending on the circumstances, but police officers are not Judge Dredd (i.e. judge, jury and executioner). The 'punishment' part of 'capital punishment' implies sentencing _after_ due process. Executing someone who is already incarcerated and does not therefore pose an immediate threat to society is a much more complex issue than shooting down someone on a murder spree rampage.
Guy Fox, Jan 18 2002

       Waugs, that's fine. I doubt anyone could change your unique opinion.   

       GuyFox, I never said it was capital punishment. I was replying to Waug's blanket statement that all killing was equivalent.   

       The societal self-defense issue is more complex, and becomes justified when you see how laws change over years in a way to let dangerous people loose.   

       ****Addendum**** Let me re-state that I am not a proponent of capital punishment. :)
seal, Jan 18 2002

       I was going to say "Like the Birmingham Six?", but that would be a low shot, and drag us down into another capital punishment debate, and I doubt either of us are going to persuade the other. I think, on the whole, the risks of miscarriages of justice are just too geat to allow capital punishment. I'm guessing that you see the risks of justice _not_ being carried out as too great to _not_ allow capital punishment, though, if I read you right. "And never the twain shall meet", as they say.   

       Anyhoo, that's not really relevant to the idea, which is, I agree, legalised murder (or to be more precise, legalised conspiracy to commit murder). No mention of state authorisation or licensing that I can see.   

       Hence, it be fishboned, it be.
Guy Fox, Jan 18 2002

       Waugs opinion isn't at all unique as I share it, too. Sanctity of life.
bristolz, Jan 18 2002

       Wait, you last two, tell me that saving a bus load of people from a terrorist and killing an innnocent child are the same...with a straight face!   

       I double dog dare you!
seal, Jan 18 2002

       We human beings are busy little beavers. We have the chatterbox capability, other sentient beings on this planet do not, at least to the degree we have. And we are each so tremendously sacred, aren't we? Not nearly as sacred are our beloved dog and cat companions, who are put to death daily, humanely, and incinerated--at least in the more humane shelters. In my neighborhood, about 100 dogs per month are killed and burned. Many are good dogs that got lost and are unclaimed after 72 hours. They go to the incinerator only because incoming strays get first priority on the available dog pens. So a dog that rescued a child from a fire, got lost, got impounded, and was unclaimed after 72 hours also lost its pen to an incoming stray, and would therefore be killed by injection and incinerated. What if dogs could speak as well as a three-year-old human, which is about the highest intelligence we grudgingly admit they have. What would we do then? The same thing, because they do not speak of self-awareness?   

       I'm not making a point here, pro or con, I'm just wondering about life as a human without the chatterbox capability. I guess we must believe that life is not as brutal as it really is. The ability to speak has a price in the power of ideas to obscure reality.
entremanure, Jan 19 2002

       Lemme just put my two cents in with [waugsqueke] et al. Killing is wrong. I think the maniac ready to shoot the kids needs to be taken out, but otherwise... killing, state-sanctioned or not, is wrong. I don't believe *anyone* has the moral authority to do it, except in situations where more life will be lost if someone isn't "removed".
snarfyguy, Jan 19 2002

       Not even if it's Phil Collins ?
lubbit, Jan 20 2002

       I should know better than this but...   

       // tell me that saving a bus load of people from a terrorist and killing an innnocent child are the same //   

       They are the same. Killing is killing. Yes, I will grant you there are times where, unfortunately, a decision to kill one must be made to prevent the killing of several others.. but it's still killing. It's still not okay. What gives person A the right to determine if person B should die?   

       seal, at the end of both of your examples, there is a dead person, each of which had the same right to have lived as the other. All killing is equivalent, yes.   

       I did say something about not getting into a debate about this, didn't I? Oh right, I did.
waugsqueke, Jan 21 2002

       All killing is equivalent, no. The one gave up it's right to life when it threatened that of another.
StarChaser, Jan 21 2002

       Waugs, your position is contradictory. In one breath you say you respect all human life equally, yet you would deny and ignore the respect for the innocent lives threatened on that bus by preserving the life of the one who is bent on taking them. Don't try to backpedal by talking about tough choices. The choice is either right or wrong.   

       Taking out such a terrorist is not only ok, it's a moral obligation. Rights come with responsibilites. You have your rights and freedoms until you prove you cannot be trusted with them. That's why we lock people up, after all.   

       The sniper, "person A", as you put it, will be judged as justified before the legal system. It's not just "person A"'s dictate.   

       I hope you had a good weekend, BTW.
seal, Jan 21 2002

       I think [waugsqueke]'s position (and he can correct me on this) is that killing is sometimes necessary, always unfortunate - but still leaves someone dead. I also think this is in line with what most people believe. Some will simply try harder to avoid the death than others.
phoenix, Jan 21 2002

       kill everyone.
notripe, Jan 21 2002

       faceache, who pissed on your chips then?
po, Jan 21 2002

       waugs, you should have known better . . .
bristolz, Jan 21 2002

       Trade-offs must sometimes be made and lives lost but all life, plant, animal, and human is truly sacred. Why would anyone think otherwise? So I throw my lot in with the here today gone tomor...here again today waugsqueke and his troupe of supporters.
lummox, Jan 22 2002


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