punishment
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16-09-2016, 10:56 AM
punishment
So, over time we have learned more and more about what makes us tick.

We have our hardware (DNA) and our software (childhood "imprinting) that greatly influence our behavior. Then we have chemicals being released into your bodies to make our responses more timely, or increase or decrease the strength of our responses. After that is all said and done, we have a little wriggle room for real time decisions.

We can't pick our DNA, or childhood experiences, or chemical make up. Add in that brains can also misfire, are we then to blame for having the wrong basis for our decisions?

Our chemical make up makes us enraged at people who behave in ways that harm others. We want punishment. We want "justice".

But, is punishment really justice? Should we not simply want the offender rendered incapable of repeating a similar act? Is punishment revenge? Have we bought into the religious concept of god's wrath?

[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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16-09-2016, 11:21 AM
RE: punishment
Nah, merely stopping someone from doing something again isn't enough because plenty of people will weigh the ROI and pull a lot of one-off capers.

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16-09-2016, 11:22 AM
RE: punishment
(16-09-2016 10:56 AM)Dom Wrote:  So, over time we have learned more and more about what makes us tick.

We have our hardware (DNA) and our software (childhood "imprinting) that greatly influence our behavior. Then we have chemicals being released into your bodies to make our responses more timely, or increase or decrease the strength of our responses. After that is all said and done, we have a little wriggle room for real time decisions.

We can't pick our DNA, or childhood experiences, or chemical make up. Add in that brains can also misfire, are we then to blame for having the wrong basis for our decisions?

Our chemical make up makes us enraged at people who behave in ways that harm others. We want punishment. We want "justice".

But, is punishment really justice? Should we not simply want the offender rendered incapable of repeating a similar act? Is punishment revenge? Have we bought into the religious concept of god's wrath?

I'm in favor of rendering an offender incapable of repeating offenses. I think justice can consist of rehabilitation which broadly ranges to anything from simple re-education to hardcore surgical procedures.

I do think there are extreme cases of offenders who require more than rehabilitation. That's where I see the real need for incarceration. I don't know that I would even call that 'punishment', I think of it more as protecting the public. Shy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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16-09-2016, 11:27 AM
RE: punishment
(16-09-2016 11:21 AM)WillHopp Wrote:  Nah, merely stopping someone from doing something again isn't enough because plenty of people will weigh the ROI and pull a lot of one-off capers.

Nobody said that one has to allow the offender to repeat the offense - actually, I said the opposite.

[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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16-09-2016, 11:33 AM
RE: punishment
You are going to have to refine "punishmeht" I think Dom.

Is imprisonment, thevremoval of an offender to a place where they are jo longer a threat the public (just the oublic puree) punishment? In the UK there is, supposedly,every effort made to ensure thst any judicial punishment is proportionate and there is no hint of retribution.

If, as in the couple of cases mentioned on this forum, the public do not think the punishment truly proportional, either way, there are mechanisms for appeal and judicial review in a higher court. I think something similar exists in the States?

But is prison always appropriate? I think jot in the cases involving mental illness. I think there should be more provision for community service for petty crime - but they have to ensure this does not fulfill functions that a person should be employed, and paid, to carry out.

I have to admit there are tines when I think "poetic justice", "making the punishment fit the crime" is perhaps appropriate. If a person tortures another . . .

I am only glad that I do not have to decide these things. I got out of jury service because I reported that I was not confident that I could enter the court without prejudice in this particular case.

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16-09-2016, 11:43 AM
RE: punishment
I don't think that prevention of repeat offenses has to be punishment.

Punishment suggests making the offender suffer.

Prevention of repeat offenses suggests no such thing.

[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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16-09-2016, 11:55 AM
RE: punishment
If the punishment allows for the creation of a neural connection that reduces the chance of future crimes by intercepting otherwise bad ideas and prohibiting them from materializing into an illegal action, then sure. And the data we have available shows that for some people this is indeed the case, and for others it is not. I'm interested in the end result and moving towards it, not whether or not the path to that result is fair to everyone. It almost assuredly isn't.

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16-09-2016, 12:17 PM
RE: punishment
(16-09-2016 11:27 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(16-09-2016 11:21 AM)WillHopp Wrote:  Nah, merely stopping someone from doing something again isn't enough because plenty of people will weigh the ROI and pull a lot of one-off capers.

Nobody said that one has to allow the offender to repeat the offense - actually, I said the opposite.

I think he's alluding to the value of punishment as a deterrent. Someone who has not previously committed a crime is less likely to do so for the first time if there is a possibility of being punished. At least that's the theory. So it's about first-time offenders, not repeat offenders
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16-09-2016, 12:32 PM
RE: punishment
(16-09-2016 10:56 AM)Dom Wrote:  Should we not simply want the offender rendered incapable of repeating a similar act?

We have a pretty good idea how to do this. The ethics of it are .... well debatable. Learned helplessness.

#sigh
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16-09-2016, 12:51 PM
RE: punishment
(16-09-2016 10:56 AM)Dom Wrote:  But, is punishment really justice? Should we not simply want the offender rendered incapable of repeating a similar act? Is punishment revenge? Have we bought into the religious concept of god's wrath?
Anything that you do to someone as a reaction (for justice) without the offender's consent is punishment in my book.
It doesn't matter what that act of justice is in your eyes (therapy/jail/deathrow/fine), in the eyes of the offender it is still a punishment unless you let that person go.

But I do understand what you are saying.
In my opinion the punishment in a family and friend setting, should always fit the "crime".
If my child is angry at dinner time and throws the plate on the floor, it will have to clean up and go to bed hungry.
If my friend borrows my money but never has the intention to pay it back, that's not my friend anymore.

I think it only gets difficult at the point where the offence is serious.
Say animal torture, theft, murder, etc...

Locking people up costs a ton of money but how do you turn such people around and have them become valuable members of society?
I think the justice system could probably be amended to have the vicitm / family of a dead victim, decide what happens to you after you have been found guilty of your crime.
Theft? -> Cool the person you stole from can now take from you whatever they fuck they want including your right to freedom.
Murder? -> Sweet, let the family of the dead person decide what happens to you.
Animal torture? -> Throw him in the pit with an angry bull, easy.

I can tell you why I am thinking so harshly.
You can have certain genetic pointers, you can have a certain upbringing but in the end, at a certain age, your brain is mature enough so that you will know, at that point, what is right and wrong. If at that point you still decide consciously to do the bad stuff, then bad stuff should happen to you,

Of course, keeping in mind any mental disorders or disabilities. But that is stuff that has then to be checked before a ruling is out.

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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