Do Theists own the term evil?
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04-11-2012, 05:54 PM
RE: Do Theists own the term evil?
Hey, Cardinal.

Restorative justice, typically, was/is employed by bands and tribes.

There have been attempts here and there to incorporate it into larger civilisaitons with varying degrees of success. There have been a number of pilot programs within Corrections Canada, largely due to the disproportionate representation of First Nations peoples in the prison system (something like 2% of the population of Canada but 15% of the prison population). The most famous example in recent memory was Archbishop Desmond Tutu's initiative in South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Restorative justice requires a nuanced approach on a case by case basis. I'd say that it's facilitated by the egalitarian structure of the band/tribe system, but more likely it was born of that organisation if you know what I mean. The problem is that punitive justice is well suited for hierarchical civilisation because centralised leadership is made easy by one size fits all regulations. For civilisation, it is best when we are all numbers rather than individuals. It's not impossible to introduce restorative justice into large hierarchies, it's just that there are selection pressures acting against it within most civilisations; not the least of which is that we've been doing the punitive thing since at least Hammurabi's Code. People are pretty used to it and have an "if not this then what" bias that one has to break through first.

But bringing it all back to the notion of good and evil, the larger problem is that people believe that certain people are good and certain people are evil as a state of being. If I say that Jeffrey Dahmer is evil, almost nobody bats an eye. If I say that Jeffrey Dahmer was a complex human being that (insert nuanced and personalised assessment/approach here) people go ape shit and envision the collapse of civilisation itself in their hysteria. People are evil. End of story. The associated idea is that the evil among us has to be cut out like a tumour. They are not to be listened to, coddled, loved, reasoned with, rehabilitated, understood or anything else that might be productive, they are to be removed and punished for their wickedness. To do anything else is to invite the end of civilisation as we know it. That's the thought whether you're a sinner or a pedophile. As long as the mentality of the good/evil dichotomy is in place, restorative justice (and reason for that matter) find themselves in enemy territory.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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Messages In This Thread
Do Theists own the term evil? - Elph - 02-11-2012, 11:06 PM
RE: Do Theists own the term evil? - DLJ - 03-11-2012, 02:06 AM
RE: Do Theists own the term evil? - Ghost - 03-11-2012, 08:00 AM
RE: Do Theists own the term evil? - DLJ - 03-11-2012, 02:31 PM
RE: Do Theists own the term evil? - Ghost - 04-11-2012, 08:59 AM
RE: Do Theists own the term evil? - Ghost - 04-11-2012 05:54 PM
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