Death penalty neg inherency Answers



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Death Penalty Negative
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1nc – Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism is the only ethical framework that maintains responsibility to others by evaluating consequences and avoiding inaction


Issac, 02 – Professor of Political Science at Indiana-Bloomington, Director of the Center for the Study of Democracy and Public Life, PhD from Yale (Jeffery C., Dissent Magazine, Vol. 49, Iss. 2, “Ends, Means, and Politics,” p. Proquest)
Politics, in large part, involves contests over the distribution and use of power. To accomplish anything in the political world, one must attend to the means that are necessary to bring it about. And to develop such means is to develop, and to exercise, power. To say this is not to say that power is beyond morality. It is to say that power is not reducible to morality. As writers such as Niccolo Machiavelli, Max Weber, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Hannah Arendt have taught, an unyielding concern with moral goodness undercuts political responsibility. The concern may be morally laudable, reflecting a kind of personal integrity, but it suffers from three fatal flaws: (1) It fails to see that the purity of one's intention does not ensure the achievement of what one intends. Abjuring violence or refusing to make common cause with morally compromised parties may seem like the right thing; but if such tactics entail impotence, then it is hard to view them as serving any moral good beyond the clean conscience of their supporters; (2) it fails to see that in a world of real violence and injustice, moral purity is not simply a form of powerlessness; it is often a form of complicity in injustice. This is why, from the standpoint of politics--as opposed to religion--pacifism is always a potentially immoral stand. In categorically repudiating violence, it refuses in principle to oppose certain violent injustices with any effect; and (3) it fails to see that politics is as much about unintended consequences as it is about intentions; it is the effects of action, rather than the motives of action, that is most significant. Just as the alignment with "good" may engender impotence, it is often the pursuit of "good" that generates evil. This is the lesson of communism in the twentieth century: it is not enough that one's goals be sincere or idealistic; it is equally important, always, to ask about the effects of pursuing these goals and to judge these effects in pragmatic and historically contextualized ways. Moral absolutism inhibits this judgment. It alienates those who are not true believers. It promotes arrogance. And it undermines political effectiveness. WHAT WOULD IT mean for the American left right now to take seriously the centrality of means in politics? First, it would mean taking seriously the specific means employed by the September 11 attackers--terrorism. There is a tendency in some quarters of the left to assimilate the death and destruction of September 11 to more ordinary (and still deplorable) injustices of the world system--the starvation of children in Africa, or the repression of peasants in Mexico, or the continued occupation of the West Bank and Gaza by Israel. But this assimilation is only possible by ignoring the specific modalities of September 11. It is true that in Mexico, Palestine, and elsewhere, too many innocent people suffer, and that is wrong. It may even be true that the experience of suffering is equally terrible in each case. But neither the Mexican nor the Israeli government has ever hijacked civilian airliners and deliberately flown them into crowded office buildings in the middle of cities where innocent civilians work and live, with the intention of killing thousands of people. Al-Qaeda did precisely this. That does not make the other injustices unimportant. It simply makes them different. It makes the September 11 hijackings distinctive, in their defining and malevolent purpose--to kill people and to create terror and havoc. This was not an ordinary injustice. It was an extraordinary injustice. The premise of terrorism is the sheer superfluousness of human life. This premise is inconsistent with civilized living anywhere. It threatens people of every race and class, every ethnicity and religion. Because it threatens everyone, and threatens values central to any decent conception of a good society, it must be fought. And it must be fought in a way commensurate with its malevolence. Ordinary injustice can be remedied. Terrorism can only be stopped. Second, it would mean frankly acknowledging something well understood, often too eagerly embraced, by the twentieth century Marxist left--that it is often politically necessary to employ morally troubling means in the name of morally valid ends. A just or even a better society can only be realized in and through political practice; in our complex and bloody world, it will sometimes be necessary to respond to barbarous tyrants or criminals, with whom moral suasion won't work. In such situations our choice is not between the wrong that confronts us and our ideal vision of a world beyond wrong. It is between the wrong that confronts us and the means--perhaps the dangerous means--we have to employ in order to oppose it. In such situations there is a danger that "realism" can become a rationale for the Machiavellian worship of power. But equally great is the danger of a righteousness that translates, in effect, into a refusal to act in the face of wrong.

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