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  1. #1
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Default New gov't proposition here for the critiquing.

    This one isn't a joke

    hypothetical situation:

    A man spends his entire life up until age 48 donating money to charity, giving blood at least once a month, goes to jury duty, and doesn't lie to get out of it, active member of his community and many positive things come out of his involvement.

    But... one day, he walks by a homeless man, and trips and spills the man's coffee in the middle of winter. The homeless man was actually crazy, and he stalks the generous man for weeks. Weeks turn into months and eventually into years. It finally gets to the generous man and he kills the homeless man. He buries him in a field and is eventually caught.

    The judge and jury won't get to hear about his positive influence on the world -- only that he DID in fact kill a person.

    Doesn't seem fair that he gets the same, or maybe worse, sentence than an 18 year old who killed 3 of his classmates and never helped another person in their life.



    Proposition:
    New laws. Rather than the old type, all of which only tell you what you can't do, they are changed to what you shouldn't do, and the new set that says things you should do. Both sets go on file. You get points (varying degrees of acts in both directions) and if your score goes below 0 then you go to prison for as many years as points you've got under 0.

    Before you condemn this by saying " Well that will encourage crime! People will do good things to balance their scores, and then go and commit more crimes" I ask that you consider that statement.

    Crimes will be committed. That's a fact. That's why we have police. Because we know it's going to happen. But at least this way, even the criminals help out, and if they don't, we bag 'em up, just like before.

    Obviously I don't know everything, so suggestions or addons are encouraged.
    we fukin won boys

  2. #2
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Well, wouldn't the fact that the homeless man was stalking him be taken into consideration? It could be considered something like self-defense or the fear of a threat in that case, it's not as if he did it in cold blood.

    But personally, I think if you hadn't included the thing about the stalking, he did all of those good things and suddenly killed a homeless man for no reason, then he should still go to jail. Does that make sense?

    I would be uncomfortable with people getting more leeway because of having done good things.

  3. #3
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Just to clarify... this is a real proposed law?
    Last edited by INTJMom; 12-30-2007 at 04:56 PM.

  4. #4
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    Well, wouldn't the fact that the homeless man was stalking him be taken into consideration? It could be considered something like self-defense or the fear of a threat in that case, it's not as if he did it in cold blood.
    It could, and probably would be taken into consideration. It might not matter though.

    But personally, I think if you hadn't included the thing about the stalking, he did all of those good things and suddenly killed a homeless man for no reason, then he should still go to jail. Does that make sense?
    Crimes are going to happen. You're always at risk. 100% of the time. This way, at least some of the criminals will engage in positive acts -- the ones that wouldn't otherwise that is.
    I would be uncomfortable with people getting more leeway because of having done good things.
    Why? How is that fair? It's not taking everything into account.

    By the way, this doesn't only apply to killings and such. Thieves and muggers and rapists would all have points taken away. Killing would be worth a lot of points. Pick-pocketing would be probably 1/10 of killing or maybe even less.

    You can call it leeway, or you can call it incentive.
    we fukin won boys

  5. #5
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    Just to clarify... this is a real proposed law?
    No it's not real. I just made it up when I got out of the shower this morning... I was thinking about the ranking system here, and sort of implanted it to the US legal system, with of course, a few tweaks.
    we fukin won boys

  6. #6
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nocapszy View Post
    Why? How is that fair? It's not taking everything into account.

    By the way, this doesn't only apply to killings and such. Thieves and muggers and rapists would all have points taken away. Killing would be worth a lot of points. Pick-pocketing would be probably 1/10 of killing or maybe even less.

    You can call it leeway, or you can call it incentive.
    That's quite logical, but emotionally I doubt people would appreciate such a system. I'll grant you that seems like it would technically work well, though.

    The problems with it don't exist logically, so I don't think I can explain them to you. It's got to do with interesting/unusual human quirks and sensibilities, in other words emotions.

    But we need NT's and their numerous ideas/systems, so don't stop thinking.

  7. #7
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Ah. You said it wasn't a joke, which in my mind means it's real, so I was confused.

    I understand how you could come up with such a concept, and it seems to make sense on the surface, but I think the practical application would be impossible.

    Here's just one aspect that would make it too difficult to implement: who would be around to document all the good deeds I do? I was taught that my good deeds should be done in private, not showboated so everyone can see. How big do my good deeds have to be? And who's to judge if they're big enough to get on the list? And would some good deeds be more valuable than others? Would they have a point system? Who would decide how much value my good deeds had? Would it be based on money? A what about saving someone's life? And what about doctors - they would have an unfair advantage. And there's 300 million people in the US.



    Anyway, what you're suggesting has already been put in place by God. He sees all and knows all and everyone will be recompensed accordingly in the end.

  8. #8
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    That's quite logical, but emotionally I doubt people would appreciate such a system. I'll grant you that seems like it would technically work well, though.

    The problems with it don't exist logically, so I don't think I can explain them to you. It's got to do with interesting/unusual human quirks and sensibilities, in other words emotions.

    But we need NT's and their numerous ideas/systems, so don't stop thinking.
    Oh believe me, I understand. Everyone's attached to their stuff/friends. Even I (the forum grinch/asshole) have things I'm attached to. Not many, but a few.

    See, I don't forsee this causing any more crimes. If it were to be implemented in the society we have right now, it would only be like earned amnesty, rather than what we have now, with the arbitrary pardons that presidents and mayors give.
    we fukin won boys

  9. #9
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    Ah. You said it wasn't a joke, which in my mind means it's real, so I was confused.
    Well I meant, it wasn't a joke of mine, but I did make it up. Whatever.

    I understand how you could come up with such a concept, and it seems to make sense on the surface, but I think the practical application would be impossible.
    That's why I didn't go running to congress with it -- I came to the forum first.

    Here's just one aspect that would make it too difficult to implement: who would be around to document all the good deeds I do? I was taught that my good deeds should be done in private, not showboated so everyone can see.
    Yes, Fi is encouraged in modern America. Ignoring the easy 'just because it's been taught that way, doesn't make it right' snipe I'll point out that it doesn't change the fact that people DO showboat, and they may as well, because hidden or not, the good deed is still done.
    How big do my good deeds have to be?
    You probably won't get points for the stuff the boyscouts do anyway, but anything larger might get you a few tallies
    And who's to judge if they're big enough to get on the list?
    Congress. If they can decide (or not) what's wrong, can't they decide what's right?
    And would some good deeds be more valuable than others?
    Yes. Donating a million dollars to a charity should get you more points than saving a cat from a tree.
    Would they have a point system? Who would decide how much value my good deeds had?
    Again, congress would choose that. Or the courts.
    Would it be based on money?
    See, I came to you guys so you'd all figure out the details. Not me.

    A what about saving someone's life? And what about doctors - they would have an unfair advantage. And there's 300 million people in the US.
    Is it unfair? They spent the first 24 - 30 years of their lives getting that unfair advantage. Seems at least a fair price to me.


    Anyway, what you're suggesting has already been put in place by God. He sees all and knows all and everyone will be recompensed accordingly in the end.
    Ah, but the separation of church and state says that we can't depend on God to do our governing here on earth. It all has to be decided by us. Besides, wouldn't it be nice to have a government that resembled God? It wouldn't exactly be heaven, but it would be a little closer to it.
    we fukin won boys

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nocapszy View Post
    This one isn't a joke

    hypothetical situation: [...]
    It appears to me that you consider the present legal system as mechanistic and unfair, so you're trying to come up with a new system that would be more responsive to real-life nuances, contradictions, and tensions.

    But IMO the exact opposite is pretty much the case. The status quo is responsive to real-life nuances, contradictions, and tensions, whereas your system is automated and mechanistic.

    Look at how the modern system arose.

    Once upon a time there were no codified laws. If I committed an injustice against you or your family, then your clan would retaliate by committing an injustice against me. Then my clan would retaliate, and in no time we would have a long-running feud that tore apart the community.

    Typically, early societies dealt with this by bringing conflicts to a public arena where the contestants fought. The contestants fought according to rules; a referee of some sort made sure the rules were followed; and the community served as the audience so they could see for themselves that justice was served. If the contestants were of unequal fighting ability, they were allowed to choose a champion to fight in their stead. In time, all fights were fought by hired champions.

    Eventually, that system morphed into the modern-day legal system. The referee had turned into the judge, the hired champions turned into the lawyers, and the community is represented by the jury. (There are also background elements like social workers and appeals courts to add another layer of fairness.)

    The modern system includes all these various elements to keep the system flexible and responsive to the needs of the various parties (contestants, community, and the needs of the legal system itself). Lawyers speak on behalf of the contestants and tell their stories, including any extenuating circumstances or aspects that might exonerate their clients. Juries hear both sides of the conflict, inspect the contestants personally, and pronounce guilt or innocence; they even have leeway to declare a guilty man innocent if they side with him strongly enough. Judges keep the contest fair by imposing rules on what can be presented, and they have discretion to impose a light sentence or a harsh sentence on the guilty party depending on the circumstances of the case.

    In short, the "human element" is well-represented in the modern legal system.

    Your proposition of a "point" system, on the other hand, would tend to take discretion out of the hands of the judges, lawyer, and juries. Traditionally, judges and lawyers tend to dislike any kind of legal changes that "automate" the imposition of sentences. For example, things like the "three strikes" rule in California tend to automate sentences and create unfairness by imposing automatic harsh sentences for petty crimes simply because they are the magic "third strike." Also, as you yourself pointed out, under your rules criminals could "game the system" by watching their point count and playing around with their scores.

    Under your system, the criminals would gain all the discretion to influence the system, and the lawyers, judges, and juries would have no discretion for modifying the results to take into account special circumstances.

    In summary: I agree that the current system creates some injustices. But the "human element" still plays a huge role under the current system and allows for a good dose of discretion and fairness. That presumably makes the current system more just and more responsive to special circumstances than any alternative system that would automate the legal system and impose penalties based on a rigid formula.

    By the way, I'm not trying to dog you by shooting down your ideas here and in another thread. I'm just trying to point out that sometimes the status quo has good reason for being the status quo: Despite its shortcomings, it has stood the test of time and proven itself the best available (or most realistic) match for the needs of the community.

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