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  1. #11
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    There is a difference between violence and punishment and I believe it's an important distinguishment to make. Violence is an act of aggression against another, usually with the intent of causing that other person some form of harm. Punishment is the imposing of something unpleasant or aversive on someone else, not with the intention of causing harm, but to alter their behavior. Violence is never, ever justified, and I can't see how anyone can believe it ever is.
    I always considered punishment something that was sort of top down or implemented by someone in authority rather than a peer, as in the case of a person defending themselves. I think your definition of violence is inaccurately narrow.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  2. #12
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    I disagree. Punishment is typically not the most effective deterrent.
    Well, how do you reward people for not doing something - say, like theft. Negative incentive is the only way of balancing cost.

    I believe the evidence is that rewards and positive reinforcement are usually much more effective in controlling people's behavior. Otherwise people would never commit crimes, or would be less likely to do so with stronger punishments. In fact, it's evident that people will destroy themselves to in order to obtain an immediate reward despite any punishment.
    True, but you can't reward standard behaviour... so that makes it very difficult for it to be applied in every circumstance.

    Likewise, I cannot reward the public for not hurting me since that is the norm - but I can hurt them for hurting me. I can't target positive incentives to sporadic negative actions. If I was to spread out incentive in an attempt to reach everyone, I would never be able to give enough to everyone to really encourage this (and fundamentally, if everyone was to do this, everyone would be equal, meaning there would be no incentive to speak of).

    I would say the major flaw in retribution is the belief that it does work when it doesn't. What it succeeds in doing is making some humans better than others at hiding that they are doing something wrong or unacceptable.
    What works is... well... what works. It just depends on what incentive can be used... negative or positive works depending on the individual and the situation.

    You can certainly do behaviour modification faster with a mix - and more than that, negative incentives are scarily effective at times.

  3. #13
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I always considered punishment something that was sort of top down or implemented by someone in authority rather than a peer, as in the case of a person defending themselves. I think your definition of violence is inaccurately narrow.
    I went with the dictionary definitions of punishment and violence. How would you define violence?

  4. #14
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Well, how do you reward people for not doing something - say, like theft. Negative incentive is the only way of balancing cost.
    The question is why do people steal. The answer is because the reward (whatever they are stealing) outweighs the deterrent (the threat of going to jail). That is the truth for anything. Drug users will practically be killing themselves as their family and friends leave them, they lose their jobs, and they are in trouble with the law. Why? Because the reward of getting high is far stronger than all that. So why don't most people steal or get high? Because most people recognize that living a life where you earn things and live healthily has greater rewards. They don't do it because they are afraid of going to jail, but because that is genuinely how they want to live their lives. At least that is why I hope most people do it.

    True, but you can't reward standard behaviour... so that makes it very difficult for it to be applied in every circumstance.

    Likewise, I cannot reward the public for not hurting me since that is the norm - but I can hurt them for hurting me. I can't target positive incentives to sporadic negative actions. If I was to spread out incentive in an attempt to reach everyone, I would never be able to give enough to everyone to really encourage this (and fundamentally, if everyone was to do this, everyone would be equal, meaning there would be no incentive to speak of).
    Actually, I would say proving to people that the rewards of living a good life are greater than the rewards of living a bad life is enough incentive. Afterall, wasn't that the purpose of religion before Christians came up with the idea of heaven and hell?

    What works is... well... what works. It just depends on what incentive can be used... negative or positive works depending on the individual and the situation.
    And I believe positive will always work better unless it is something you never want someone to forget. I'm not opposed to spanking a child when they dash out in the street because then they will never forget. But if you spank the child for everything they do, then the things you really want them to know won't be as memorable.

    You can certainly do behaviour modification faster with a mix - and more than that, negative incentives are scarily effective at times.
    I disagree. Torture is proven to be highly ineffective and you can't get much more negative incentive than that.

  5. #15
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    I went with the dictionary definitions of punishment and violence. How would you define violence?
    violent behavior is defined as overt and intentional physically aggressive behavior against another person.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    violent behavior is defined as overt and intentional physically aggressive behavior against another person.
    By that definition of violence, there are circumstances where violence would be necessary. Of course, by that definition, football is violent.

  7. #17
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    By that definition of violence, there are circumstances where violence would be necessary. Of course, by that definition, football is violent.
    Football is violent. That's why I said your definition was too narrow.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  8. #18
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Football is violent. That's why I said your definition was too narrow.
    Well I think you definition is a little too broad considering the topic of the thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    It is untrue that [physical aggression] never solves anything. Sometimes judiciously applied [physical aggression] (or the threat of such) is the most effective way to solve some things with people inclined toward bullying or other exploitive behaviors.
    I can agree with that.

  9. #19
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Actually, I would say proving to people that the rewards of living a good life are greater than the rewards of living a bad life is enough incentive. Afterall, wasn't that the purpose of religion before Christians came up with the idea of heaven and hell?
    Do people still steal? What incentive can you give them not to steal, right as of this moment? Who do you give it to? Everyone?

    I'm talking about practical implementation - if everyone lived a good life, then there would be no punishment. So why not have it anyway? On the other hand, there will always be someone who will do something - are you saying to leave it unpunished?

    It's simple moral calculation - if you net gain from deviant behaviour, then more people become deviant. Socialised behaviour is not strong enough to modify every single person.

    If you can give me an example of how you could design a society in which this is no incentive to steal without some form of negative incentive, I'll admit it is possible. I just don't see how this is possible - even social outcasting is a negative incentive!

    And I believe positive will always work better unless it is something you never want someone to forget. I'm not opposed to spanking a child when they dash out in the street because then they will never forget. But if you spank the child for everything they do, then the things you really want them to know won't be as memorable.
    Yes, but that's like saying that if you steal, you should be punished so you remember not to do it again.

    Or, since if your child runs into the street, there is a high likelyhood he will be hurt, why not say "if you run out there, I will spank you". Then you probably won't have to do it very often, and if you do, it speaks loudly to him and others.

    I disagree. Torture is proven to be highly ineffective and you can't get much more negative incentive than that.
    It's highly effective at making people do whatever you want - it's overly effective for the normal goals of torture. It sure affects behaviour, however.

  10. #20
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I think it is more of a problem when people want to extract excessive and unreasoned revenge. An eye for an eye is fair and reasonable. A head for an eye is not and can start a cycle of crazy feuding.

    I, personally, don't teach my kids not to hit back, but I do teach them to pursue other measures first, like leaving or tattling. It is untrue that violence never solves anything. Sometimes judiciously applied violence (or the threat of such) is the most effective way to solve some things with people inclined toward bullying or other exploitive behaviors.
    Wow, somehow I did not imagine the sweet pig-tailed girl opening her arms to embrace the world in front of a polka-dotted elephant and a choo-choo train would say that.

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