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  1. #1
    Senior Member Passacaglia's Avatar
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    Default Hypothetical Question: The Answer to Violent Psychopathy

    Hypothetical

    Sometime in the future, science determines the exact brain chemistry/anatomy which leads to violent psychopathy. I.e., the thing which leaves certain people devoid of empathy and with the impulse to kill, right from birth. And medicine has advanced to the point where removing psychopathy is a trivial procedure; a few hours in a hospital, and a former psychopath walks out with normal empathy, their impulse to kill extinguished, and even remorse for anyone he or she may have murdered prior to the procedure. This procedure is safe, reliable, of negligible cost, devoid of side-effects, and even has a genetic component so that any future children the former psychopath has will be normal.

    Question

    When a violent psychopath is caught and convicted of murder, is the future society obligated to punish the criminal — via prison sentence, execution, or any other means -- if he or she is willing to undergo the procedure? EDIT: Why or why not?

  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    It sounds to me like you are essentially asking whether justice should be punitive or reparative/rehabilitative.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Passacaglia's Avatar
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    ...Yes, let's go with that.

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    Super Ape Luke O's Avatar
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    Problems with the Amygdala part of the brain has been linked to psychopathic symptoms.

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    Sadly, it isn't the case that a psychopath can just go to hospital, get a pill or have a medical procedure, and come out not being a psychopath. It's a lifelong and severe mental illness.

  5. #5
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    Well first of all the procedure should be required first and foremost with no exceptions.

    As for punishment. That's... difficult. A lot of it would come down to whether or not violent psychopathy is defined as a mental disorder as a type of insanity. I'm inclined to think it should be. I am not entirely sold though.

    Admittedly I am bias, because I do not believe in eye for an eye overall and do not understand the whole "he made me suffer... so now I am going to make HIM summer". I honestly find it to be irrational and at times even petty.
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  6. #6
    Super Ape Luke O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    Well first of all the procedure should be required first and foremost with no exceptions.

    As for punishment. That's... difficult. A lot of it would come down to whether or not violent psychopathy is defined as a mental disorder as a type of insanity. I'm inclined to think it should be. I am not entirely sold though.

    Admittedly I am bias, because I do not believe in eye for an eye overall and do not understand the whole "he made me suffer... so now I am going to make HIM summer". I honestly find it to be irrational and at times even petty.
    According to what I've seen and read, psychopathy can't be cured. They can be better people if you can get their buy-in (and only if). They generally can't be punished either, they don't care what you do to them and they adapt to their environment easily, you can't make them feel bad for whatever they've done i.e. the punishment only makes the punisher feel better.

  7. #7
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke O View Post
    According to what I've seen and read, psychopathy can't be cured.
    I was entertaining the hypothetical case in which it could be.
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  8. #8
    Super Ape Luke O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    I was entertaining the hypothetical case in which it could be.
    Stem cells, maybe, but that'll be a long way off. Treatments to regenerate the brain (which would include things like severe autism, dementia and maybe others like depression and schizophrenia) could be treated in the same way.

  9. #9
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passacaglia View Post
    Question

    When a violent psychopath is caught and convicted of murder, is the future society obligated to punish the criminal — via prison sentence, execution, or any other means -- if he or she is willing to undergo the procedure? EDIT: Why or why not?
    There is a third element after punishment and rehabiilitation: restitution. Our present society seems to fall almost as short on this as on rehabilitation. In the hypothetical situation, the psychopath who has chosen this procedure should not be punished, but should be expected to make whatever restitution is possible. This is hard to determine when lives have been lost, and may best be decided in consultation with victims and families. If the psychopath really does feel remorse after the procedure, restitution might be as important for him/her as for the victims.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    Well first of all the procedure should be required first and foremost with no exceptions.
    I don't think such a procedure should ever be required. It could, however, be a condition for freedom. A psychopath who refuses would be sentenced to prison as usual, perhaps a life sentence. He/she should be allowed the option of undergoing the procedure later, followed by release and restitution as described above.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  10. #10
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I don't think such a procedure should ever be required. It could, however, be a condition for freedom. A psychopath who refuses would be sentenced to prison as usual, perhaps a life sentence. He/she should be allowed the option of undergoing the procedure later, followed by release and restitution as described above.
    I disagree.

    I don't think it should be preemptive, but if an individual has shown to commit a serious violent crime, and had confirmed violent psychopathy, they should be forced to undergo treatment to remove that. I see it as a universal good thing. They'll be able to live a more virtuous life following it. I see it as a form of mental incompetence akin to someone with schizophrenia that is forced to undergo treatment.
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