User Tag List

First 123 Last

Results 11 to 20 of 22

Thread: Punishment

  1. #11
    Senior Member Langrenus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    358

    Default

    My mistake...when I said "I think you really need to pin this down more" it wasn't directed at you Bluewing...more at the original post.

    However, I do have a problem with your argument - it follows the utilitarian line too closely. If the purpose of punishment is purely to generate and maintain order in society, at what point do the rights of the punished enter the equation?

    To take an extreme example...a society is tottering on the edge of collapse. One more crime will send it into a spiral that will bring the government down and lead to anarchy, and if this happens thousands of people will die. Someone is caught stealing a loaf of bread - should they be locked up for life to send a clear message to everyone else? Now this is difficult on many levels, but I don't see how it can be considered just to do this...but when you start defining things purely in terms of societal good you can run the danger of ending up in a position where you're forced to say 'yes, lock him up'. I appreciate that this is a pretty stupid example, and sometimes these extreme scenarios are not particularly helpful, but I think you get the point I'm driving at...
    January has April's showers
    And 2 and 2 always makes a 5

  2. #12
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w6 so/sx
    Posts
    3,467

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Langrenus View Post
    My mistake...when I said "I think you really need to pin this down more" it wasn't directed at you Bluewing...more at the original post.

    However, I do have a problem with your argument - it follows the utilitarian line too closely. If the purpose of punishment is purely to generate and maintain order in society, at what point do the rights of the punished enter the equation?

    To take an extreme example...a society is tottering on the edge of collapse. One more crime will send it into a spiral that will bring the government down and lead to anarchy, and if this happens thousands of people will die. Someone is caught stealing a loaf of bread - should they be locked up for life to send a clear message to everyone else? Now this is difficult on many levels, but I don't see how it can be considered just to do this...but when you start defining things purely in terms of societal good you can run the danger of ending up in a position where you're forced to say 'yes, lock him up'. I appreciate that this is a pretty stupid example, and sometimes these extreme scenarios are not particularly helpful, but I think you get the point I'm driving at...

    I would advocate against the Utilitarian political ethic clearly for the reasons that you've invoked. Simply because it is difficult to establish clear-cut rights of the individual within that system.

    We should establish a clear-cut set of laws that the community is to be operated by and where individual stands in relation to them.

    This would be deontic ethics, not Utilitarian, as everybody will be acting in a way that they should be acting in order to fulfill their obligation to the law. Hence, when a man breaks a law, we follow the system accordingly and assign the appropriate penalty.

    I think there are several pieces missing in this exchange, so by all means please do give further clarifications... but again... this deontic system of ethics that I have in mind... seems to furthermore support my claim that the end to all punishments should be instilling order in society..
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  3. #13
    Senior Member Langrenus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    358

    Default

    One step forward

    But I don't think this attaches enough responsibility to the state - in your system the state acts as an impartial arbiter passing judgment on any breach of the law. But where is the requirement for rehabilitation of the offender? You seem to have dismissed this as an issue.

    I'd also be interested to know how the laws are to be established - somehow or another I'm sure that punishments will end up being defined on a retributive basis.

    Apologies, I haven't really put anything forward here and it's far easier to (attempt to) knock down than build up...but I'm sure you can take it!

    Edit:

    I think there are several pieces missing in this exchange
    Agreed
    January has April's showers
    And 2 and 2 always makes a 5

  4. #14
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w6 so/sx
    Posts
    3,467

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Langrenus View Post
    One step forward

    But I don't think this attaches enough responsibility to the state - in your system the state acts as an impartial arbiter passing judgment on any breach of the law. But where is the requirement for rehabilitation of the offender? You seem to have dismissed this as an issue.

    I'd also be interested to know how the laws are to be established - somehow or another I'm sure that punishments will end up being defined on a retributive basis.

    Apologies, I haven't really put anything forward here and it's far easier to (attempt to) knock down than build up...but I'm sure you can take it!

    Edit:



    Agreed
    The state is an abstraction. It cant have responsibilities. Only individuals do. It is the responsibility of individuals to apply the system objectively and modify it when necessary. (The system should allow room for amendments from within)
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  5. #15
    Senior Member Langrenus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    358

    Default

    Disagree on this, and I think this is a bit of a semantic side-track. But it's interesting, so meh.

    How are individual applications of the system monitored within your political framework? Who dispenses punishment? Are individuals supposed to enter some sort of Rousseauian trance when handing down sentence, suspending their sense of self to apply the law objectively?
    January has April's showers
    And 2 and 2 always makes a 5

  6. #16
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w6 so/sx
    Posts
    3,467

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Langrenus View Post
    Disagree on this, and I think this is a bit of a semantic side-track. But it's interesting, so meh.

    How are individual applications of the system monitored within your political framework? Who dispenses punishment? Are individuals supposed to enter some sort of Rousseauian trance when handing down sentence, suspending their sense of self to apply the law objectively?

    I am not talking about how system is to be applied or about any of that other logistical stuff... all I am saying is that we can not make someone a better person by punishing them.. we can make them act like a better person... but they will not actually become better because moral virtue can only derive from the inside and punishment can only influence you from the outside and is for this reason insufficient in that regard.

    I know I've said many other things, but thats a result of me being side-tracked, this was my initial claim however in regards to the Utility of punishment. It does invoke a utilitarian idea, but we are not going to get a full-blown Utilitarian approach to the present scenario as a result of this..
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  7. #17
    Senior Member Langrenus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    358

    Default

    Fair enough, practical side-tracking was a bit unfair on my part.

    However, I'm not sure I agree with you here either Moral virtue can only derive from the inside, and punishment can only influence you from the outside. So someone commits a crime, is somehow disadvantaged by being punished (we'll assume put into prison) and learns that they shouldn't perform the same act again. Actions change, the moral compass doesn't. Hampton, who writes on the moral education value of punishment, compares this to fencing in an animal - they might not understand or internally accept that they can't walk off into the wood, but after a few electric shocks they adjust their actions and don't try to escape again.

    But can't punishment also teach the wrongdoer (and the public) [b]why[b] the action was wrong? Can't we, through punishment, educate people so that they actively choose not to commit a criminal act, rather than just feeling compelled not to because they know they'll be imprisoned? This isn't to say the state (/individuals) would succeed in educating the criminal in every case, but even if they fail the individual has still be imprisoned and so the foundation of society is safe.
    January has April's showers
    And 2 and 2 always makes a 5

  8. #18
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w6 so/sx
    Posts
    3,467

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Langrenus View Post
    Fair enough, practical side-tracking was a bit unfair on my part.

    However, I'm not sure I agree with you here either Moral virtue can only derive from the inside, and punishment can only influence you from the outside. So someone commits a crime, is somehow disadvantaged by being punished (we'll assume put into prison) and learns that they shouldn't perform the same act again. Actions change, the moral compass doesn't. Hampton, who writes on the moral education value of punishment, compares this to fencing in an animal - they might not understand or internally accept that they can't walk off into the wood, but after a few electric shocks they adjust their actions and don't try to escape again.

    But can't punishment also teach the wrongdoer (and the public) [b]why[b] the action was wrong? Can't we, through punishment, educate people so that they actively choose not to commit a criminal act, rather than just feeling compelled not to because they know they'll be imprisoned? This isn't to say the state (/individuals) would succeed in educating the criminal in every case, but even if they fail the individual has still be imprisoned and so the foundation of society is safe.
    It seems to me that if you do good just so you dont get punished you're not acting in a praiseworthy fashion. You're good if you think things through for yourself and then do good for its own sake. For example you give to the poor out of compassion and not for the sake of putting on an image of some kind just so others can like you.

    Thats what I meant about how virtue must derive from the inside..
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  9. #19
    Senior Member Langrenus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    358

    Default

    I understood that - the point is that external events can surely shift internal attitudes? It's difficult to do and probably impossible to measure, but not beyond the realms of possibility.
    January has April's showers
    And 2 and 2 always makes a 5

  10. #20
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w6 so/sx
    Posts
    3,467

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Langrenus View Post
    I understood that - the point is that external events can surely shift internal attitudes? It's difficult to do and probably impossible to measure, but not beyond the realms of possibility.

    External events can shift intenral perspectives, but again, we cant count on that, as you've already mentioned. At best punishment can get you to the point where an internal factor will make you a better person, the internal factor will be the cause of you obtaining virtue, not the external entity (punishment).
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

Similar Threads

  1. Paternalism Vs. Punishment
    By Survive & Stay Free in forum Politics, History, and Current Events
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-28-2010, 09:29 PM
  2. New Punishment
    By kuranes in forum The Fluff Zone
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 11-26-2008, 04:12 PM
  3. New Punisher Movie
    By swordpath in forum Arts & Entertainment
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-25-2008, 06:38 PM
  4. Crime & Punishment character types
    By Cerpin_Taxt in forum Arts & Entertainment
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-29-2007, 02:33 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO