Question

Using at least one argument presented in standard form, construct an overall thesis and argument for or against the moral permissibility of capital punishment (in approximately 1500 words, using properly cited references where appropriate).

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The argument presented above lays out premises and a conclusion in support of the position that capital punishment is impermissible under any circumstances. The argument is deductive and valid. The argument’s soundness is indeterminate because it depends on premises—the fourth and fifth—which could be characterized as ‘moral’. At the very least, determining the truth of P4 and P5 is not as straightforward as determining the truth of the statement that it is raining right now; arguably, these are premises which form part of a larger, possibly religious, worldview, where truth and thus this argument’s soundness are not easily determined. It is not clear how moral arguments concerned with issues such as capital punishment could be constructed without referring in some way to such moral principles. And, of course, because those moral principles form parts of larger religious worldviews, they are necessarily the ‘conclusions’ from broader, more fundamental moral or theological arguments...

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