Punishment
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08-06-2016, 03:07 PM
Punishment
I am thinking that punishment is a religious concept. It goes along with sin, free will bestowed by god, and a vengeful god.

Other than mothers inflicting pain on offspring to warn it off a dangerous behavior (and that is NOT punishment, it's love), I don't see it in other animals. Animals do remove others from the group for various reasons, but they do not "punish". To my knowledge anyway.

The idea of punishment is incredibly ingrained in humans. Where did it come from? Are we that different from all other animals?

Increasingly I want to blame religion for it.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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08-06-2016, 03:12 PM
RE: Punishment
(08-06-2016 03:07 PM)Dom Wrote:  I am thinking that punishment is a religious concept. It goes along with sin, free will bestowed by god, and a vengeful god.

Other than mothers inflicting pain on offspring to warn it off a dangerous behavior (and that is NOT punishment, it's love), I don't see it in other animals. Animals do remove others from the group for various reasons, but they do not "punish". To my knowledge anyway.

The idea of punishment is incredibly ingrained in humans. Where did it come from? Are we that different from all other animals?

Increasingly I want to blame religion for it.

Maybe it's because humans are more intelligent than the other animals that we can conceive of the concept of punishment.
I certainly do believe that religion has drastically enhanced punishment and torture.
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08-06-2016, 03:13 PM
RE: Punishment
Religion is of ourselves too. Someone had the bright idea. Negative reinforcement. It really works too. Carrot + Stick. I don't think it's only religious in nature, but religion is one area where it's exploited to the hilt.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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08-06-2016, 03:13 PM
RE: Punishment
The idea of punishment likely predates any religions.

The most likely culprit is empathy and living in communities.

The fact we can place ourselves in the position of others, brings out the other natural tendency for anger when something bad happens.

Revenge/justice

Most laws attributed to the "abrahamic religions" actually predate those religions.

Animals do punish as well


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08-06-2016, 03:31 PM
RE: Punishment
(08-06-2016 03:13 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Animals do punish as well

For this I'm going to have to ask for proof. I would have to make sure there is no projection involved in such an observation.

Animals have been a pre-occupation of mine my entire life, and never once have I seen anything resembling punishment. Punishment assumes willful transgression and guilt.

There is no guilt in animals. All the pictures of "guilty" looking dogs are pictures of dogs in fear because their owners are angry and the dog doesn't get it.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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08-06-2016, 03:31 PM
RE: Punishment
I think it's part of our adaptation to living in cooperative groups. To get to a useful level of cooperation, certain kinds of antisocial behavior have to be discouraged. Fear of consequences is not necessarily the best way to motivate people to behave, but it's often effective up to a point.

What religion seems to do is aggravate punishment by adding a shaming/moral dimension to it. Religion also attempts to motivate behavior with the promise of a reward, which can sometimes work, until people realize the reward is nonexistent.
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08-06-2016, 03:34 PM
RE: Punishment
(08-06-2016 03:31 PM)julep Wrote:  I think it's part of our adaptation to living in cooperative groups. To get to a useful level of cooperation, certain kinds of antisocial behavior have to be discouraged. Fear of consequences is not necessarily the best way to motivate people to behave, but it's often effective up to a point.

What religion seems to do is aggravate punishment by adding a shaming/moral dimension to it. Religion also attempts to motivate behavior with the promise of a reward, which can sometimes work, until people realize the reward is nonexistent.

In other animal societies proper behavior is reinforced by the leader, who will make the transgressor submit. I suppose that could be a precursor to punishment, but it is just a settling of who's boss.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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08-06-2016, 03:36 PM
RE: Punishment
(08-06-2016 03:13 PM)morondog Wrote:  Religion is of ourselves too. Someone had the bright idea. Negative reinforcement. It really works too. Carrot + Stick. I don't think it's only religious in nature, but religion is one area where it's exploited to the hilt.

Religion itself its own punishment!
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08-06-2016, 04:00 PM
RE: Punishment
I think punishment is a consequence, yes, religion has co-opted it and added the moral/guilt dimension to it as a way of strengthening their control but punishment to me has always been about learning the consequence to an action, whether that consequence is realized by the perp or others or both. I think it was designed to make sure the perp suffered some consequence for their actions even if the consequences were also shared by others.

I'm not sure banishment shouldn't be considered more, on violent crimes. If you cannot control yourself to the point of not hurting others in society, then you should lose your rights to the benefits of society.

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08-06-2016, 04:06 PM (This post was last modified: 08-06-2016 04:13 PM by SitaSky.)
RE: Punishment
I agree with other posters that punishment is something that was developed naturally once we realized we need to cooperate in order to survive. Most likely the first form of punishment was banishment, since early humans were nomadic and tribal if someone couldn't get along it would be easy to just leave them behind somewhere, these outcasts were not able to procreate being all alone so only the humans who were moral survived. Now we have ingrained into us a sense of morality but still we do bad things.

I grew up in a religious household and my father was abusive and never seemed to learn that discipline is more important than inflicting pain. I certainly still did bad things and would do them even more if the punishment was severe, it's more effective to explain why something is bad and train a child in correct behaviors.

As far as religion Catholics aren't told to be good because it's moral and the right thing to do, they stress sinful actions and displeasing God and family. Hey, your family may forgive you but God may not and you don't want to incur his wrath so better to just do the right thing and you won't burn for it later. Also there is a thick layer of guilt because Jesus died for your sins, if anything this is giving license to sin, he already died for you but you may still go to Hell...a totally wrong dictate to live by.

In no way does religion teach why wrong actions cause pain to yourself and others, it just gives a punishment which doesn't work because religious followers still commit crimes and do bad things.

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