Originally Posted by Rok2p2
I can tell you why most people are anti-death penalty.
Declaration of Independence --> UDHR --> Amnesty International --> most of the world abolishes death penalty
Life was a lot, lot less important before the end of ww2 (UDHR), and before Enlightenment, it was even less important.
EDIT: Right to life is mentioned in UDHR and in Declaration of Independence, Amnesty International campaigned against death penalty.
Hmmm...I think people may be less in touch with reality today in the West or in the disciplinary sciences than they were a hundred or two hundred years ago because death appears further away or more controllable. But I think that's an illusion that undermines people in all sorts of ways in their thinking about the great questions of life and meaning, etc.
Beckwith said in one of his essays that the main difference between a pro-choicer and a pro-lifer is the point at which people see the person as having a right to life.
Since a lot of biblically educated people think life starts and ends with God they see the fetus as having viable rights whereas other people think the woman's right to her own body govern things.
It all sort of depends on how you view the start and ending point of the human lifeline on how you will come down on your abortion opinions.
The death penalty is a different question though. Iirc, God gives the government the power to apply the death penalty...at least that's how I interpret the bible and I think that's because it's one thing to kill someone innocent and quite another to kill certain types of criminals. Also the tendency to criminality can be partly inheritable in certain cases. Most people don't know that. You have to have done cross studies in sociology, psychology and medicine to be aware of things like that.