The United States is the only country in the Western industrialized world that still uses the death penalty. A 2011 Gallup poll showed 61 percent of Americans favored it in cases of murder while 35 percent opposed it, which is the lowest level of support recorded by Gallup since 1972. Proponents argue that capital punishment is a necessary deterrent to prevent future murders and a just society requires retribution for the taking of a life. Abolitionists counter that the risk of executing an innocent person precludes the use of the death penalty and that the application of the sentence is arbitrary and discriminatory. Many people take a nuanced approach between the two extremes, maintaining, like the Supreme Court did in 1976 that "certain crimes are themselves so grievous an affront to humanity that the only adequate response may be the penalty of death," but that the current system is inadequate. We will take on one of the most debated issues in the criminal justice system by discussing the social, ethical/moral, legal, philosophical and economical factors surrounding the death penalty in America.
The Greater Philadelphia Thinking Society is a Meetup group that brings together thoughtful people for stimulating and civically minded conversations. Meetups include a recurring 10:30 AM discussion on Saturdays and Sundays, where small groups of members join in a relaxed setting to discuss a wide range of topics including culture, design, philosophy & religion, science & technology, psychology, politics, economics, and current events. Occasionally, larger events are held in the evenings, where presentations and discussions are combined with opportunities to meet a larger number of people who share your interest in the topic.
We provide a place and a format to speak up and be heard, to listen and exchange ideas, to explore optional resources and questions prepared by a discussion leader, to raise your own questions, and to share your own experiences and knowledge. We value life experiences, informal education and diverse of points of view. We provide a safe, facilitated environment for exploring differences, where inquisitive discussion is preferred over argumentative debate.
We start the conversation so come participate and accept your own genius.