Studies in Christian Ethics 34 (2):171-189 (2021)

Vasil Gluchman
Comenius University In Bratislava (Doctorate)
This article analyses and assesses the arguments opposing capital punishment put forward by Ján Kollár, a representative of Central European Evangelical/Lutheran Enlightenment rationalism, using the definition of criminal practice in Europe at the turn of the nineteenth century as the basis. Consequently, the author pays attention to the movement for reform in criminal law and practices, initiated in Europe in the second half of the eighteenth century by Cesare Beccaria, including his argumentation against capital punishment. In this context, the author presents and investigates 13 arguments against capital punishment defined by Kollár in his 1815 diary. The author came to the conclusion that Kollár, in his arguments against capital punishment, followed, to a certain extent, the views of Beccaria and eighteenth -century adherents of the French Enlightenment; however, Kollár’s actual argumentation is rationalistically based on ethical values of humanity and justice with significant space also dedicated to utilitarian aspects of rejecting capital punishment adopted from reformists of criminal law.
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DOI 10.1177/0953946820965329
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