You wrote " I think that people who murder others may have the capacity for
change, but once they take a life they forfeit the right to that

I agree comepletely.  I think a person forfeits their membership in the
human race when they murder another person.  

If becoming totally and unconditionally compassionate towards all beings is
a requirement of Being Buddhist, then I dont  think I will ever qualify.

But then, from what I have heard the Dalai Lama say, either will he.  It is
a lofty goal but even the Dalai lama sees reality.



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