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发布时间:2016-06-13 来源:新东方在线 发布人:Too


We threaten punishments in order to deter crime.We impose them not only to make the threats credible but also as retribution (justice)for the crimes that were not deterred.Threats and punishments are necessary to deter and deterrence is a sufficient practical justification for them.Although penalties can be unwise,repulsive,or inappropriate,and those punished can be pitiable,in a sense the infliction of legal punishment on a guilty person cannot be unjust.By committing the crime,the criminal volunteered to assume the risk of receiving a legal punishment that he could have avoided by not committing the crime.

There remain,however,two moral objections.The penalty may be regarded as always excessive as retribution and always morally degrading.To regard the death penalty as always excessive,one must believe that no crime—no matter how heinous—could possibly justify capital punishment.Such a belief can be neither confirmed nor refuted;it is an article of faith.Alternatively,one may believe that everybody,the murderer no less than the victim,has a natural right to life.The law therefore should not deprive anyone of life.

Justice Brennan has insisted that the death penalty is “uncivilized,”“inhuman,”inconsistent with “human dignity”and with “the sanctity of life,”that it “treats members of the human race as nonhumans,as objects to be toyed with and discarded,”that it is “uniquely degrading to human dignity”and “by its very nature,involves a denial of the executed person‘s humanity.” Justice Brennan does not say why he thinks execution“uncivilized.”Hitherto most civilizations have had the death penalty,although it has been discarded in Western Europe.

By“degrading,”Justice Brennan seems to mean that execution degrades the executed convicts.Yet philosophers have insisted that,when deserved,execution,far from degrading the executed convict,affirms his humanity by affirming his rationality and his responsibility for his actions.They thought that execution,when deserved,is required for the sake of the convict‘s dignity.Common sense indicates that it cannot be death—our common fate—that is inhuman.Therefore,Justice Brennan must mean that death degrades when it comes not as a natural or accidental event,but as a deliberate social imposition.The murderer learns through his punishment that his fellow men have found him unworthy of living;that because he has murdered,he is being expelled from the community of the living.This degradation is self-inflicted.By murdering,the murderer has so dehumanized himself that he cannot remain among the living.

Execution of those who have committed heinous murders may deter only one murder per year.If it does,it seems quite warranted.It is also the only fitting retribution for murder I can think of.

1.The author‘s attitude towards death penalty is____.

[A] negative [B] positive [C] impartial [D] ambiguous

2.It is implied that infliction of legal punishment is justified because the offender____.

[A] spares no effort in holding himself back from the criminal action

[B] shows no regard for the dignity of the victim

[C] is well aware of the consequence of his action

[D] can be deterred by no legal punishment whatsoever

3.By saying that“most civilizations have had the death penalty”,the author really means that____.

[A] civilization in Western European countries is degenerating

[B] the assertion that capital punishment is uncivilized is arbitrary

[C] death penalty is an effective legal institution for defending civilization

[D] being uncivilized is not equivalent to being inhuman

4.Justice Brennan would agree that____.

[A] death in any way means a denial of a person‘s humanity

[B] the society has no right to take an individual‘s life

[C] murders should be educated rather than punished

[D] degrading a convict is nothing more than executing him

5.According to philosophers,death penalty____.

[A] should be executed with due regard for human dignity

[B] should not be given in a way that degrades the murder

[C] meets the murder‘s need for claiming back his humanity

[D] serious crimes deserve cruel or even inhuman retribution

1.[B] 意为:赞同。作者在第一段指出,虽然惩罚可能是不理智、令人厌恶或不合适的,那些受到惩治的人是值得怜悯的,但是对一个罪犯实施法律惩处在某种意义上不可能是不公正的。作者在第二段驳斥了两种反对惩罚 (包括死刑)的观点,并在第三、第四段驳斥了Brennan法官的观点。最后一段提到,对那些犯有恶意杀人罪的犯人施以死刑也许每年只能终止一场杀人案,如果是那样的话,实施死刑似乎也是值得的,这也是我能想像的对杀人罪惟一合适的惩罚。可见,作者是赞同实施死刑的。[C]意为:客观的。D]意为:模棱两可的。

2.[C] 意为:允分意识到了其行为后果。第一段最后一句提到,在决定犯罪时,罪犯就自愿承担接受法律惩罚的风险,而他是本来可以通过不去犯罪来避免这种惩罚的。这就是作者认为惩罚不可能是不公正的理由。[A]意为:根本不想阻止自己犯罪。[B]意为:根本不尊重受害者的尊严。[D]意为:根本不可能被任何法律惩罚制止。

3.[B] 意为:关于死刑是不文明的论断是武断的(或没道理的)。第三段提到Brennan法官的观点,在他看来,死刑是“不文明的”表现,虽然他并没有说明其中的理由。但是,作者在第三段最后一句指出,迄今为止,许多文明社会都实行死刑,虽然欧洲废除了死刑。言外之意是,实施死刑并不是区分社会是否文明的标志。[A]意为:西欧国家的文明正在走向没落。[C]意为:死刑是保护文明的一种有效法律体制。[D]意为:不文明不等于不人道。

4.[B] 意为:社会没有权利剥夺一个人的性命。第三段提到,Brennan法官坚持认为,死刑是“不文明的”、“非人性的”,是与“人的尊严”和“生命的神圣”观念不一致的,它“把人类的成员不当做人来看,而是当做可以随意玩耍和丢弃的物品”,这是“对人的尊严的特有的贬低”,因此“就其本质而言,是对被判死刑者人性的否定”。这里,Brennan法官始终强调了生命(权利)的不可侵犯性。事实上,Brennan法官的观点就是第二段提到的第二类人的观点,参阅第二段最后两句。[A]意为:任何方式的死亡都是对一个人人性的否定。Brennan法官并没有提到如何看待自然死亡或偶然死亡。[D]意为:贬斥一名罪犯就等于是将他处以死刑。

5.[C] 意为:满足了杀人犯索回其人性的需要。根据第四段,在哲学家看来,如果死刑是罪有应得,它就不会起到贬低被执行死刑者的作用,相反它会通过确认其行动的理性和责任来确认其人性。他们认为,实行罪有应得的死刑的目的是为了维护罪犯的尊严。这里所谓“确认其行动的理性和责任”,实际上指让罪犯承担其杀人的责任,也即将他处以死刑。因此,这里的逻辑是,将罪犯处以死刑就是还给他通过杀人丧失的人性,也就是维护其人性尊严。[A]意为:应该在充分尊重人性尊严的前提下实施。[B]意为:不应该以贬低凶手的方式实施。[D]意为:重罪应该施以残酷、甚至不人道的惩罚。