Objections to Anarcho-Theocracy:
Capital Punishment


The final objection against Anarcho-Theocracy which we will consider is based on verses which allegedly prescribe "capital punishment." The Bible says: "Whoso sheddeth manís blood, by man shall his blood be shed" (Genesis 9:6). How can we fulfill this command if we abolish the State? There are two responses to this objection:

  1. "Capital punishment" is not Biblically required in our day.
  2. The Bible does not require "capital punishment" (assuming its validity for today) to be carried out only by the civil magistrate. "Capital punishment" could be effectively meted out under a state-less free market.

These arguments are developed here.

A related argument, sometimes based on the same passages, is that we need a government to "punish" criminals.

  1. This argument usually boils down to vengeance, discussed above.
  2. These passages have as their ultimate goal the restoration of the victim through restitution by the offender, not simply a vindictive, retributive (albeit equitable) diminishing of the offender.
  3. The remaining passages are a form of procedural discipline which is not monopolized by "the State," but applies in all other contexts as well, such as households (children, slaves, etc.), schools, businesses, etc.

These arguments are developed here.