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  1. #11
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    an idea just popped into my head while reading the OP:

    @Lark - the problem you are describing here is on an ethical level of punishment, but let's be clear about the actual point of punishment - scaring the crap out of people. and for most people prison does a good job of that, except one group of people in particular - those who have actually being to prison, because let's face it - they go back a lot.

    not only does it currently suck as far as any utopian dreams of rehabilitation, but it actually makes those who've being through it less afraid of going back.

    now, i see the problem of people seen it as a form of "lighter punishments" - but what if we can actually use a hierarchy of environments to make the system better? basically have a leveling system of sorts where each you get a much harsher environment, so instead of going back to the old familiar prison experience you have gotten used too, you will have a whole new level to be terrified of and even better reasons to stay out of the prison system.

  2. #12
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    As the diagnostic evidence for personality disorders expand does the grounds for believing in personal responsibility shrink?

    Can there be penalties or legal sanctions for behaviour which individuals, or more likely their advocates, can plead diminished responsibility?

    As distinct from legal penalties and sanctions there are always going to be natural and logical consequences of actions which cause suffering to their author and also others, which of these forms of suffering do you consider to carry the most moral weight?

    When a society experiences the consequences of the choices and behaviour of an individual with a personality disorder, is society itself experiencing consequences of its social structure, expectations or attention or neglect of its members?

    That is to say, because I know some posters will get derailed into discussing society as a social construct, it causes real suffering to individuals other than the individual with the personality disorder such as trauma, bereavement, material loss or insecurity, injury or death.
    Unless a person is institutionalized then they are responsible for their own actions.
    Life is about CHOICES and ACCOUNTABILITY.
    Yes, some people have more difficult circumstances to deal with in navigating the vast landscape of thoughts and deeds that fill their consciousness each day.
    But at the most basic level, if they understand right from wrong, then they are accountable for their actions.
    Some people need some OR EVEN alot of medication to stabilize their neural activity to such a degree that they are deemed able to live without being a threat to themselves or others. Hopefully more people have the choice to seek those options, as well as counseling, or both than not. But I know that is not the case. And I also know that many who do have those options choose not to utilize them.

    So, in short, I am not for sliding scale "personal accountability waivers" for people of any personality disorders.
    First, because many are arbitrarily created by a committee of professionals trying to ensure they have future clients (Have you ever noticed that the number of personality disorders and the number of medications formulatd to treat them goes up year after year? What a big surprise!)

    If these things are ever instituted, I want a 100% waiver of personal accountability for being afflicted with "Can't Stand Bullshit Syndrome" - and whenever I am exposed to "bullshit" (as defined by me) then I am not liable for my reaction to its proximity to me.



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  3. #13
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    Responsibility is so often not given a pragmatic view.

    All to often its saying "You have chosen to not fit into our social scheme, so we are mad at you for making that choice. You will be punished and you should recognize that it is your own fault since it was your choice."

    That way of looking at things of course breaks down when one isn't cognitively responsible, when it wasn't their choice necessarily.

    If the point of legal action is to induce guilt and punish for choices consciously made, then yes it is going to fail. I don't think that is the right way to handle things in the first place however, since it easily forgoes practical solutions for the sake of ideal persecution.

    Or in other words, we often concentrate on the insult of someone breaking the rules rather than the effect of the rules being broken.

  4. #14
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    Well can we take into account that sometimes personality disorders stem from childhood abuse, or a combination of biology and circumstances, so that someone could have beaten that adult as a child, and they might have already been troubled for either genetic or other reasons, and then is the adult as culpable, really, as a person who had a reasonable upbringing in a home that falls in the range of normal and is fairly neurotypical?

    I have a hard time with this, because some people deserve punishment, there's really no other way to control them, they won't be rehabilitated, but I was reading articles recently, starting with an American woman who sent an 8 year old child back to Russia alone on a plane with a note pinned to his chest because she couldn't handle him. Apparently the Russians put a temp-ban on American adoptions in Russia following this, in light of other Russian children who had been abused in some way by their adoptive parents, including a boy who was beaten to death who had multiple head injuries...even though his sister (also Russian) was never beaten and was safely removed from that home.

    So I start thinking about all of the parents, in general, not just American-Russian adoptions, but the parents or even foster parents or adoptive parents who either aren't equipped to deal with their child's biological predisposition or problems (in some cases because they share those problems themselves) and the people who adopt children who came from horrific circumstances and then BEAT THEM because they don't understand why the child won't behave.

    I started thinking about all kinds of factors in the Russian-American adoptions, including culture and language shock, and in the case of the boy sent home, the adoptive "mother" even tried to change his name (WTF) ...and how psychologically stressful that could be on a child who was already troubled due to genetics and/or early circumstances.

    Adults do a lot of bad things to children, sometimes out of simple ignorance, but other times out of selfishness or cruelty, and those children grow up to be adults. And therefore some adults simply aren't as prepared to deal with the world as effectively as others.

    And this is why I so firmly believe in things like therapy, rehabilitation, and work programs, etc.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mane View Post
    an idea just popped into my head while reading the OP:

    @Lark - the problem you are describing here is on an ethical level of punishment, but let's be clear about the actual point of punishment - scaring the crap out of people. and for most people prison does a good job of that, except one group of people in particular - those who have actually being to prison, because let's face it - they go back a lot.

    not only does it currently suck as far as any utopian dreams of rehabilitation, but it actually makes those who've being through it less afraid of going back.

    now, i see the problem of people seen it as a form of "lighter punishments" - but what if we can actually use a hierarchy of environments to make the system better? basically have a leveling system of sorts where each you get a much harsher environment, so instead of going back to the old familiar prison experience you have gotten used too, you will have a whole new level to be terrified of and even better reasons to stay out of the prison system.
    Terror really isn't an effective method of rehabilitating people, though it can keep average or "normal" people out of prison in most cases.

    Do you know anything about Norway's prisons? I think it's probably wise to look into alternative systems which are working instead of suggesting that sending people to worse and worse levels of hell, which just does more psychological damage, particularly when prisons are overcrowded, or the person has an existing mental illness.

  6. #16
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    A Personality Disorder is different from a personality type.

    For instance, Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a mental illness where the sufferer is out of touch with reality, while a narcissistic personality is in touch with reality.

    And for instance, narcissistic personalities are often successful and are commonly found among CEOs, while those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder lead unsuccessful lives of suffering.

  7. #17
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    I've thought about this since dealing with a friend with many mental disorders. She shrugs off help people gives her, vilifies anyone who actually tells her how the chips are falling, pushes her boundaries and then blames it on the people she is dating. She won't go to a shrink, says it's too much, but someone who helped her for free she won't go back to because she didn't like their diagnosis. I just don't know. It's hard to know where the mental illness ends and the responsibility starts.

    She doesn't have violent tendencies but if someone like her did I don't think it would be treated any more than she gets herself treated when she is just running around emotionally hurting people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurie View Post
    I've thought about this since dealing with a friend with many mental disorders. She shrugs off help people gives her, vilifies anyone who actually tells her how the chips are falling, pushes her boundaries and then blames it on the people she is dating. She won't go to a shrink, says it's too much, but someone who helped her for free she won't go back to because she didn't like their diagnosis. I just don't know. It's hard to know where the mental illness ends and the responsibility starts.

    She doesn't have violent tendencies but if someone like her did I don't think it would be treated any more than she gets herself treated when she is just running around emotionally hurting people.
    Yeah I wonder about things like this too, people who won't get help, or who won't stay in therapy. That's why in my original post I said people should get a chance, but if they won't follow through or cooperate then they should be punished to understand WE MEAN BUSINESS.

  9. #19
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    Yeah I wonder about things like this too, people who won't get help, or who won't stay in therapy. That's why in my original post I said people should get a chance, but if they won't follow through or cooperate then they should be punished to understand WE MEAN BUSINESS.
    Alex ( @Halla74 ) got me thinking that perhaps people who aren't being treated should be the ones responsible for their actions. Like having to sign a waiver when you leave the hospital before the doctor releases you after surgery. "You should be going to therapy once a week and have treatment for your illness. If you are not then you are responsible for your actions." Since most people with mental illness probably have been to a dr or institutionalized at some point. My friend was institutionalized as a late teen and actually blames some of her problems being institutionalized since she thinks she was more normal than the people with her.

    My friend is actually an artistic, interesting, intelligent person but she is stuck between a rock and a hard place with meds vs. keeping creative vs. feeling not herself vs. going on a roller coaster ride. :/ I still feel she is somewhat responsible for her own actions, even if it's her brain making her that way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurie View Post
    Alex ( @Halla74 ) got me thinking that perhaps people who aren't being treated should be the ones responsible for their actions. Like having to sign a waiver when you leave the hospital before the doctor releases you after surgery. "You should be going to therapy once a week and have treatment for your illness. If you are not then you are responsible for your actions." Since most people with mental illness probably have been to a dr or institutionalized at some point. My friend was institutionalized as a late teen and actually blames some of her problems being institutionalized since she thinks she was more normal than the people with her.

    My friend is actually an artistic, interesting, intelligent person but she is stuck between a rock and a hard place with meds vs. keeping creative vs. feeling not herself vs. going on a roller coaster ride. :/ I still feel she is somewhat responsible for her own actions, even if it's her brain making her that way.
    I'm still very creative with my meds so I'm not sure what kind of meds she was taking, I sincerely hope she didn't have a doctor who was over-medicating her or sedating her; that's not as common as it used to be, and usually mainly happens to schizophrenics or VIOLENT bipolars...but if a med doesn't work for you, most doctors want to change it and find something that works for you, so you feel functional and not drugged, because that's not the point, especially not with current advances in medicine.

    That protocol you described actually makes a lot of sense.

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