There seems to be such a powerful drive in humans to punish each other. Why is this? It happens when people view those who fall outside their religion or culture, it happens on these boards so often for errors in reasoning, in families, when driving, and in countless other contexts. Sometimes it is a reprimand meant to improve the behavior of another person, but more often it seems to be done gratuitously, almost for personal pleasure, or a way to achieve social dominance. What are the reasons people punish each other? Is the goal often the betterment of the other person, or is it a way to advertise their worthlessness? Or do people engage in it to advertise their 'superiority'? or are they afraid of punishment themselves so they punish others first? I realize all these motivations are present in various contexts, but what is your take on this overwhelmingly present drive in humans?