A CAPITAL IDEA?

I’ve been invited onto the BBC NI Sunday Sequence Radio programme to discuss the issue of Capital Punishment in the aftermath of the Oslo killings. I favour the restoration of the Death Penalty for cold blooded murder but of course under EU law we cannot bring it back, despite the fact the majority of people here share similar sentiments to my own. Have YOU are thoughts on this to share with me ahead of the broadcast? Norwegian justice is so flabby, so weak, as to be almost a joke. The problem is – no one is laughing. I note the BBC has extensive anti-death penalty arguments here but can’t find their PRO death penalty pages? Anyone more successful than me?

UPDATE; I wanted to thank Biased BBC stalwart, Scott, for further (If inadvertently)  demonstrating further BBC bias on page two 22.12.09! We just couldn’t do this without you, Scottie. Cheers.

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52 Responses to A CAPITAL IDEA?

  1. Span Ows says:

    Can I suggest that whatever you say, start the first sentence with “As a conservative Christian, right wing in my views, and concerned about uncontrolled immigtaion, I think that…”

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  2. Scoobywho says:

    I’d like to see them bring back the death penalty for being Grodon Brown if that is any use ?

    At the very least they should bring back flogging for such a heinous crime.

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  3. Ed Tho says:

    Hi David. I think that in the case of Anders Behring Breivik he was deliberately counting on the Norwegian justice system to maximise the impact of his terror by the ironic contrast between his fate and his victims’. He surendered in textbook fashion, with his guns 50m away from him when police arrived. It’s gaming the system to get away with murder. I’ve always favoured the reintroduction of the DP. I think that respect for human life demands it and I genuinely think that often killers are undeterred by prison because they imagine themselves too strong or too savvy to suffer any of its depredations- which too often they are.

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  4. hippiepooter says:

    Two points:

    1)  While there are wrongful convictions for murder there are also murderers who go on to murder again because they’re not hung.  You murder you forfeit the right to life.  Simples.

    2)  Look at the decades of suffering and torment the families of Myra Hindley’s victims had to go through with her constant well-publicised attempts to get parole.

    All the best this Sunday DV!

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  5. David Preiser (USA) says:

    DV, I’ll have something to say about restoring the Death Penalty just as soon as I’ve finished laughing hysterically at the fact that the current maximum for this mass murder is 100 days per kill.  The mind boggles.

    Seriously, though, the only possible justificiation for the Death Penalty for this madman which might get through the thick luvvie skulls is that it would prevent him from becoming a cult celebrity, and prevent media vultures and attention whores from doing exclusive interviews with him every couple of years, thus causing further and continuous harm to the families of his victims.

    Oh, and of course preventing him from speading his right-wing Christian thoughts, right?

    Nolan may shrug that off, as he’s a media type with priorities different from normal people, but someone listening might nod their head.   Alternatively, of course, you can suggest a punishment of a lifetime subscription to the Guardian, where he’s forced to read it cover to cover every day, Clockwork Orange-style.  No Beethoven, though.

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  6. Henry says:

    This subect always comes up after atrocities.  
     
    The death penalty:  
    a) is revenge.   
    b) is similar to what the mob would do  
    c) doesn’t seem to work as a deterrant  
    d) you can’t usually be sure you’ve got the right person (this case is something of an exception) So what do you do when you realise afterwards it was a mistake? Say sorry?  
    e) many of the methods of execution are revolting  
     
    oh and f) it would however save some money on keeping someone in prison, unless we ended up with a complex appeals system as exists in the US where people spend years on death row (that must be fun!)
     
    I’ve been against capital punishment most of my life. I’m not really persuaded of it now.

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    • hippiepooter says:

      I put a ‘like’ because its always refreshing to see someone against the death penalty able to argue their case without insulting their opponents as barbarians.

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      • jack.savage1950 says:

        With Henry on this one. For all the same reasons. Unless they ask to be executed.

        The state probably already executes enough people… see “Death on the Rock”, “Shoot to kill Policy” David Kelly, de Menezes etc…

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        • Millie Tant says:

          Those weren’t to do with the judgements and punishments of the courts, though. Judicial penalty is something very different from shooting suspects dead – and officers of the police and army are liable for criminal charges before the courts in such cases if they acted outside their powers and duty.

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  7. Martin says:

    I’m against it I’m afraid, I used to be in favour, but because of the corruption of the Police, legal system and politicians I just don’t think we can trust the state to only execute the scum.

    I’m fed up hearing about DNA evidence, that proves very little other than the fact your DNA is present, the Police seem to think they can baffle juries who are brought up on a diet of CSI Skegness and other clap trap from so called expert witnesses.

    Be honest how long would it take before the state decided to ‘execute’ climate change deniers or TV tax avoiders?

    Extreme? Possibly but who’d ever thought we’d see an old Jewish holocust survivor dragged from a Labour party conference like you see in those old Saddam tapes by the goon Police, who then delete all the photographs of anyone who took photographs? Oh and their justification? the terrorism legislation that was never intended for that sort of purpose, or so we were told.

    Or how about a corrupt fat woman who has a Tory MP arrested in the House of Commons and his office searched by the goon Police (like he’s some sort of 3rd rate criminal)  because someone was giving him documents that showed her department was shite at its job?

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t give a toss about kiddie fiddlers, drug dealers etc, but the problem is they’d manage to avoide the death sentence, it would be some poor sap who’d get it.

    I just don’t trust the state anymore, sorry David, not with you on this one.

    I do think that life should mean life, that for the most violent criminals prison should be an unpleasent place to be etc.

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    • dave s says:

      With you on this. How can any of us really trust the state? Especially as the 21st century state seems to be morphing into a tryannical one even in the old democracies.

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    • hippiepooter says:

      Martin, in my view, if we had a Parliament that voted in favour of the Death Penalty, we’d have a State that we can trust.

      Point taken though how New Labour undermined its own essential anti-terrorism laws to defend the country for its own political purposes.  The Tories should have been calling for the Police Officer who authorised this abuse of anti-terrorism law to be hung out to dry and any Labour official who may have been involved.  What’s that you were saying Martin that we can’t trust the State today? …

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  8. Scott says:

    The last big national survey on this was, I think, by Ipsos MORI in 2009. In that case, only 37% favoured the death sentence as the maximum penalty in cases of terrorism.

    When it came to adult murder, those in favour grew to 51% – marginally a majority, but the margin of error was stated as 5%, so I don’t think it’s particularly safe to claim that as a definitive majority. The only category were there was a definite majority was, I believe, in cases of child murder.

    Incidentally, when it comes to what the majority think, you are going to mention that the majority of Northern Ireland residents in your constituency decided that David Vance doesn’t speak for them, aren’t you? :)

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    • David vance says:

      Scott

      Thanks for that marvellous contribution. It’s my opinion that is being sought, however, not the “vast majority”. Cheers  =-O

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      • Scott says:

        Oh, I look forward to seeing you try and defend your opinions in the wider world – when deprived of small ponds like Biased BBC and the false impression it gives you that you’re some kind of big fish, you do always seem to flounder. If you’ll pardon the pun.

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        • hippiepooter says:

          Trip, trip, trap.  But in cyberland trolls dont have to worry about Big Billy Goat Gruff rear-ending them.  Which come to think of it, might not be the strongest deterrent for this particular troll.

          Dez/Scott, unless you have your hankered for one party state that controls the internet like China, you’re just going to have to suffer the fact that in a free society the internet is a Godsend for exposing the propaganda of your fellow subversives at the BBC.

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    • Mailman says:

      And yet its DV’s opinion and not yours the BBC is wanting to hear. Seems his opinions are big enough and interesting enough even for the BBC.

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    • Cassandra King says:

      No need for that kind of spiteful nasty comment is there Scott? Have you ever gone to the trouble of standing for election on principles you believe in?

      Entering the democratic process and taking part whatever the outcome is what democracy is all about, its all very well for people who cant be arsed to stand sneering at those who do but most often those who sneer would not have the courage to stand for election.

      I would take the opinions of someone who takes part in the democratic arena than someone who stands on the sidelines sneering.

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      • Millie Tant says:

        Some people come on here and attack individuals unprovoked, Scott and Gregory being the two most recent examples of this kind of behaviour. It shows them up. They aren’t interested in discussion.

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        • My Site (click to edit) says:

          Some people come on here and attack individuals unprovoked,’

          It is of course all part of the hurly burly of robust blog-based exchanges.

          Which makes the usual squealing back to the bunker and/or sullen retreat and lurking, often under cover of deploying ‘ism chaff, more than a smidge hypocritical. But still ‘interesting’.

          This outing seems more of the ‘shoot foot; lick wounds’ variety, mind.

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          • Millie Tant says:

            ” ‘ism chaff”, heh,  the “I’m offended…sob… sob…you rotten ignorant fascist phobic bigots, you” routine.

            Interesting, if not unique!

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        • hippiepooter says:

          Millie, I know Mr Gregory was guilty of appalling ad hominem against you recently, but I nonetheless think it unfair to compare him with someone like Dez/Scott who is incapable of posting a constructive thought.

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          • Millie Tant says:

            Well, it’s true Scott always goes on the attack and goes for the low blow, for which there is no excuse, but I’m not sure how unfair it can be to take a dim view if you offer the olive branch and get the hand bitten off for your trouble. However, I’m a generous soul(!) and always willing to forgive and forget if honour is satisfied and the biting party wishes to retract. :-D

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      • hippiepooter says:

        Cass, if someone as highly unpleasant as Dez/Scott had his way we wouldn’t have elections.

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    • hippiepooter says:

      Dez/Scott, when have you ever put your head above the parapet for a political cause?  Especially in an environment as dangerous as Northern Ireland?    
         
      Recently Alistair Campbell strongly rebutted the assertion made by the Prime Minister that Mr Campbell had “lied” about something while expressing respect for the Prime Minister as someone who to attain the highest Political Office has put his head way above the parapet.    
         
      It certainly comes to something when I have to advise you to learn something about decency and constructive criticism from the likes of Alistair Campbell.

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  9. George R says:

    Is INBBC explicitly opposed to Islam applying the death penalty to Muslim women adulterers, and to apostates?

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  10. Span Ows says:

    I’m still waiting for someone to give me any reason wny hippiepooter’s point (1) shouldn’t apply in clear-cut cases.

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    • Martin says:

      Well keeping them locked up would also stopt hem killing agian, remember when the death penalty was abolished there was supposed to be some sort of promise that life meaning lfe would replace it.

      I don’t take the view that the prime purpose of prison is to reform, for me it’s public safety and punishment.

      But I just don’t like the idea of giving the political dross that governs us the right to kill us.

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      • hippiepooter says:

        Murderers can still murder fellow prisoners and prison wardens.  And if ‘life’ truly meant life they wouldn’t have too much incentive not to do so if the mood took their fancy.

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  11. Craig says:

    Scott, the child murder percentage (62%) was the highest and the only one with a clear majority yet, intriguingly, the headline figure in the survey (for any crime net) was that “70% think the UK should still have the death penalty as the maximum possible penalty for at least one of the twelve different types of crime surveyed”. So there’s still a large majority in the U.K. in favour of the death penalty. That said I’m with the 30% minority.

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  12. Scottie says:

    Link to the BBC’s arguments for the death penalty:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/capitalpunishment/for_1.shtml

    They’ve got a big section giving pro and anti arguments against many ethical issues.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/guide/

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    • hippiepooter says:

      Thanks for that link Dezzie/Scottie :) .

      It helps to highlight the bias of the BBC.

      In the link you post concerning arguments in favour of the death penalty, the BBC put forward counter-arguments.  In the link against the death penalty, they dont.

      Scott/Dezzie, you are indispensable to this site.

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  13. james1070 says:

    There have been too many cock ups recently in the justice system to allow the death penalty again. For example Bary George,in the past he would have been strung up. Also the case of  serial killer John Christie being chief witness at the trial of Timothy Evans who was latter hanged leaves a bad taste in the mouth. So life should mean life, but we don’t get that.

    I am suprised that the support for the death penalty is still that high, though it has not been an issue since the EU outlawed it.

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  14. cjhartnett says:

    I`d go with the anti-democratic angle.
    What gives the liberal elite the right to describe the rest of us as “populist” “reactionary” or “vengeful”? What of democratic mandates-this goes for the EU as well?
    When there is no death penalty, the murderer is the last and final court of appeal in deciding who lives and who dies-that`s the view of John Malkovich, so he`s a fine philosopher to quote. The State should be always able to trump the murderer.
    I`d also go with the Sharia aspect of things-what do the liberal elite say about the death penalty as being “culturally defensible” for the Muslim…but something that we can`t be trusted to decide for ourselves.
    Finally look at who`s against it-Shirley Williams, all the liberals, Jenkins Heath and the rest of them…I sense it`s safe to be at variance to that lot of charlatans!

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  15. Alex says:

    I am also one of those against (my sister in law was muredered and the murderer was banged up but that didn’t actually influence me one jot).

    It isn’t just the fact that people will be wrongly convicted (they always have been and they always will be), but it is also the fact that having convicted someone and executed them the legal system is going to be very reluctant to change its collective mind. That makes it too easy for the police to frame someone, have them disposed of and forgotten while the real criminal gets away scot free.

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  16. JohnnyNorfolk says:

    This is just the sort of thing that should be decided by a referendum. They would never have one as just like the EU the politicians would not get the answer they want.

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  17. ian says:

    Check Article 52 of the EU’s charter of fundamental rights. There you will see that the suspension of all the rights enumerated in the charter (including the right to life) is permitted under European law. 

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  18. Mailman says:

    Dave,

    Before you go on the show you might want to do some research on the death penalty in the States, especially around how many people have been put to death wrongfully (ie. were innocent), because thats sure to come up.

    Secondly, you might want to point out that perhaps one of the main reasons for the Death Penalty isnt for it to be used as a deterrent, simply because someone committed to killing isnt going to be talked out of it and isnt going to take in to consideration the potential consequences of his actions (they are going to kill, end of story!)…no, one of the main reasons for the death penalty is for it to be a PUNISHMENT!

    Regards

    Mailman

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  19. David Preiser (USA) says:

    David V., do not get drawn into a discussion of US laws.  That’s a will-o’-the-wisp argument which will lead you far from the path you must take on this.  You should not get into discussing the value of capital punishment for a single act.  That’s a losing propostion, and you’ll just end up being made to look extreme.

    Instead, insist that the US is irrelevant, and nobody (other than hippie) is talking about the death penalty for a single act.  Any worries about trusting the state are easily dismissed by a minimum body count requirement.  Nobody has ever been wrongly convicted of mass murder.  There’s no question of Breivik’s guilt, so no reason to spend a single moment fretting about sending an innocent man to his death.  Do not get caught up in talking about the death penalty, full stop.  Keep things focused on mass murder like this.

    The Lockerbie bomber wouldn’t have spent the last two years as a feted hero if you had the death penalty for mass murder.  Breivik will be a cult celebrity and Stephen Nolan’s colleagues will be parading him around every few years for their chance to cluck their tongues at tragedy and preen over someone to whom they feel superior, all while causing futher damage to his victims’ families. 

    It’s not about revenge, and it’s never about a deterrant.  It’s about not wasting society’s time and money and most of all giving the victims’ families the closure of never having to see him on TV every few years.

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  20. pounce_uk says:

    So let me get this straight. When cold blooded murderers are caught by the police and executed by the State: US/Japan then that act of revenge is a stain on humanity and must be consigned to the dustbin of history.
    When states such as Gaza/China/Iran carry out executions they have the law on their side and nothing more must be said.
    And when political activists in Norway are murdered for subscribing to a leftwing ideology then their killer must be killed in which to appease the tofu eating crowd baying for vengeance.
    Yup only at the bBC.

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  21. J J says:

    I think Gandalf put it best;

    ‘“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”’

    I’m somewhat ambivalent about the deapth penalty myself, when someone is so clearly guilty of so heinous a list of crimes it is hard to restrain oneself from accepting the death penalty in such cases. But in the end I’d have to say it was best avoided. Leave it to the Lord to decide how to deal with such individuals through providence, they will get their justice either way, and, after all, while they are still alive they have a chance to repent.

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  22. ltwf1964 says:

    David

    is this with William Crawley?

    he does my head in-the sound of smug self satisfaction in his voice is barely disguised

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  23. David vance says:

    Thanks all for helpful comments

    ltwf1964 – Yes, but I like William. He’s a good guy.

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  24. magiclantern1 says:

    Good luck David!

    One thought, and please don’t think me rude… Whatever you say the slimy BBC will use this to portray you as a right wing lunatic, and endorsing the death penalty will give them a very neat label with which to dispose of you. 

    Maybe you should choose your fights? Is this one so important?

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    • David vance says:

      I am relaxed on this one. But I fully agree with what you say – the intent is always the same, portray people like me as swivel eyed raving right wing extremists. Lucky I’m not armed….

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  25. matthew rowe says:

    Good luck with this David even thought I agree with Martin and cannot back the death penalty  as the system is too stupid and corrupt for me to believe they will not apply it to other crimes very quickly, you only have to look at the creep of anti terror laws to the  public order problem to see they are cretins But you have a view and I want to hear it  unlike scrottie who seems to think an old  survey will deal a killer blow ! pmsl  lol
    Here’s the sort   a survey the BBC and scrot won’t like
    ‘More than half of people polled about the BBC licence fee believe it should be abolished’

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  26. Millie Tant says:

    The law will have to take its course in Norway and, provided he is not found to be insane, will I expect be found guilty and be given the maximum penalty of imprisonment. Although set at 21 years for planned murder, I’ve read that this can be increased in five-year increments in exceptional circumstances or if there is thought to be still a danger to the public. Alternatively, it has been mentioned that there is a penalty of 30 years for terrorism.  So, if that is all correct, it looks as if there is the possibility of prison for the rest of his life, provided he is not insane.

    But there are no possibilities of any kind for the people he killed. This crime is  monstrous, wilful, cruel beyond our ability to  imagine, contemplate or deal with. What right does he have above any of theirs? It cries out for justice for them. How is it fair that he should live? Killing him is the least we could do. How cowardly is it not to act?  His crime was the ultimate in cowardliness. How do we square our conscience with them, the innocent, unsuspecting, blameless dead?

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  27. deegee says:

    My old criminology lecturer (Gordon Hawkins) used to say it’s not the magnitude of the penalty that deters but the probability of being caught and the certainty of punishment when caught that deters (… the sane my addition).

    If criminals don’t expect to be caught and don’t expect the maximum penalty, having the death penalty on the books means nothing. Apart from the insane (as I expect the courts will find Breivik) the death penalty won’t deter suicide killers and may even be an incentive for suicidal ones.

    Would Breivik have committed this crime had he expected the death penalty? From what I see the answer is ‘yes’. Would it have encouraged him to kill less? The answer IMHO  is ‘no’. If you are a psychopath and are going to die what does it matter how many you kill?

    Hideous torture until death? Hmmmm?

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  28. hippiepooter says:

    Oh, in case anyone can’t be bothered to scroll up to view the link DV has posted, here is the BBC’s counter argument free link against Capital Punishment:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/capitalpunishment/against_1.shtml

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    • John Anderson says:

      First – someone at the BBC spent weeks and weeks writing all those arguments against capital punishment.   Plus lots and lots of editors’ time.     £20,000 ?

      How often is that webpage viewed ?   Very seldom,  I would think.

      So – another waste of our money.

      ……………………

      I visited the site and tried to find the BBC page of arguments in favour of the death penalty.   It could be me – but I found a blank link.

      Can someone please check this ?   We have a huge web page of anti-death penalty stuff – but nothing pro ?

      BBC bias ?   Never !

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      • sue says:

        John,
        It’s here. Although it presents the argument for CP on this page, it also slips in a counter-argument, which of course it doesn’t do in the anti CP page.
        So it is plainly biased against.
        Having said that, I’m against too. I don’t think the there’s much wrong with the anti-page, as it happens.

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        • Millie Tant says:

          I don’t think it really addresses the idea of a moral obligation. It just dismisses it as morally dubious.  And that’s it.

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