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14 – SOCIAL ISSUES Social issues are contentious problems which relate to people’s personal lives and interactions between them. Although we live in a developed world, our society is quite far from perfection. Social problems of the present days are various; according. While in rich countries, for example in West Europe, there are problems with unemployment, extremism or drugs, smoking and alcohol; in some African countries which are poor we can find issues related to poverty, hunger and incurable diseases like AIDS. Other problems include abortion, suicide, illegal immigration, capital punishment, child labour, corporal punishment etc. Now I would like to talk about some of them more in detail. Racism is a belief that characteristics and abilities can be attributed to people simply on the basis of their race and that some racial groups are superior to others. Racism and discrimination have been used as powerful weapons encouraging fear or hatred of others in times of conflict and war, and even during economic downturns. Racism has always been connected with prejudice against someone. Euthanasia is the method of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering. It is legal only in few countries; these are Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. A lot of religions and groups of people claim that it is a crime because it is the same thing as murder. For example Christians say that only God has a right to end someone’s life. On the other hand there are ones that declare that in some cases, when somebody is really gravely ill and he suffers for a long time or he just doesn't see another way out, it should be a relief to die, therefore he could have a right to finish his life. It is very hard to say if it is good or bad, however I agree with those who say that in some cases it can be useful and it can help. Drugs can be divided into three main categories according to their effects on health: hard, soft and legal. Number of addicted people has increased. Drugs are dangerous because they destroy health and body. Furthermore, people don't realize that buying illegal drugs means supporting black market and non democratic regimes, because drugs are often produced in undemocratic countries. Capital PunishmentThe capital punishment or also the death penalty is a process where a person is put to death by the state as a punishment for a crime. It is currently used by 58 nations, such as China, India, Japan or the USA. It has been abolished in the whole European Union and the United Nations General Assembly issued non-binding resolutions that call for abolition of capital punishment. In the past, people were executed using crucifixion, impalement, burning, dismemberment, crushing, quartering and many more mostly painful methods. Nowadays they use hanging, decapitation, firing squads, lethal injections, gas chambers, and electrocution, which are generally quicker methods. The only exception is stoning used in Muslim countries. One of the main arguments for capital punishment is retribution. The wrongdoers should pay for their crimes. It is understandable that a person would demand revenge for his dead family. One notable case would be the case of Anders Breivik, who got 21 years of detention (it however must be said that there is a possibility for extension) for killing 77 people.Others say we should fear the repercussions of crimes, so we don’t break them. Then there is the problem of prison overcrowding. Many people notice that the capital punishment is allowed in states with a very high population. Feeding prisoners is costly and usually funded with tax money. On the other hand, capital punishment is a violation of the basic human right: to live. It is argued that no institution should have the power to take lives. Most criminals also don’t consider getting caught, so they never think about the consequences. .) Many people fear wrongful executions of innocent people, either by accident or on purpose, for example because of political reasons. People also don’t know about the legal costs. The death penalty usually costs about the same as life sentence. . There are also some moral problems. For example, who should kill them? Many prisons try to hide or mask the executioners’ identities. For example in Japan, two guards press the button at the same time so that nobody can persecute them later. Or in the USA, the firing squad is equipped with blank bullets and only one has live ammunitions. This lessens the responsibility. In my personal opinion, nobody should be forced to take away human life, no matter the crime.