Death’s Dominion by Graeme Hunter

Death’s Dominion

Graeme Hunter on the Canadian Fear of the Grim Reaper

Suppose you wake up some morning uncertain of what to believe about life’s deep questions. The really Canadian thing to do is to turn to the public media for advice. Seldom will you be disappointed. Not long ago, for example, on the same day, both of this country’s national newspaper oracles contained complementary revelations on a matter of moral importance.

The National Post explained how the sages at our Supreme Court had discovered in their sacred writings an opinion that capital punishment was “cruel and unusual.” To help dull-witted readers with the implications of this discovery, lawyer Clayton Ruby was on hand to explain that capital punishment was henceforward incompatible with our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. And that meant that “no future right-wing government” can bring capital punishment back. Reassuring, eh?

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Graeme Hunter is a contributing editor to Touchstone and Research Professor of Philosophy at Dominican University College in Ottawa. He is the author of Radical Protestantism in Spinoza's Thought (Ashgate).

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