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Everything posted by Intoscience

  1. A fair point and a nice perspective. I image, dimreeper, you are a caring and considerate person. I do think though that such a scenario you posted, is one that we would like to see or believe is the case every time, and one that most movie writers would use in their story line. However reality often isn't so dandy and there are many LJ's out there who have had decent upbringings (cared, loved and nurtured), wealthy, healthy and generally have no other excuse than they are just wired in such a way that they are inherently selfish. I have been witness to exactly this and have mentioned it earlier in previous posts. I think all of us on this thread really want the same outcome, but have either similar or very different views on how that outcome can be achieved. I think some of us want to shoot first and ask questions after, others somewhere in between and others who want to keep asking questions until they get shot themselves.
  2. No, I'm not proposing we should do anything. I'm pointing out a fact that should not be ignored in the face of applying punishment or justice in an attempt to protect society at the same time. The criminal does the crime, serves the time and is released. As you correctly pointed out the justice system if working correctly should apply the right amount of punishment (incarceration, since this is the context we are discussing) that fits the crime. This we all agree on yes? My point which I'm not advocating we should do, other than consider the implications of releasing a violent offender back into society, especially if that criminal has not been rehabilitated enough to a level of acceptable confidence that they will not offend again. The only way we can guarantee society is protected from such a person is to lock them up for life or commit them to death. So to re-iterate a point I made earlier and it was thrown back in my face. Under certain circumstances imprisonment serves as punishment and protection for society.
  3. Why is it that he only learns not to get caught stealing? I don't see how this is the inevitable outcome? What LJ learns depends on how & what he is taught subsequent to his crime, and whether or not he responds to his lessons positively. He may decide that standing in the corner is just fine cause he gets to have his candy bar anyway, in which case getting caught is irrelevant and doing the crime is worth the time.
  4. Are you eluding to the mis-concept of "free energy"? If magnets could be used in such a way don't you think this would have already being done? Regardless of the construction of the bulb you have to input energy to get light/heat out. To create an electrical field which energy can be drawn from you have to move the magnets. Therefore energy has to be inputted into moving the magnets. Oh, and there is no system (as far as I know) where 100% efficiency is attained, in other word where 100% of the inputted energy is converted into 100% of useful work, there are always losses. IIRCC super conductors come pretty close.
  5. I'm not advocating we adopt the system, I'm just stating a fact. So I'll say it again - To guarantee 100% a violent criminal doesn't harm another person within society ever again you have 2 options. 1. Detain them for life 2. kill them. (And to be pedantic, even detaining them for life won't guarantee they don't harm again, since they will have opportunities at the facility they are detained at). My point is that, what ever improvements, investments and all the will in the world won't guarantee 100% protection for society. So going back to my argument, if neither of those 2 options are adopted, and some sort of rehabilitation method with a very high success rate is used. Even if the system has a 99.999% success rate, there will always be causalities. There will always be the one that re-offends. So to reiterate my point I made about for the greater good of society, what ever is deemed to be the greater good, there will always be some sacrifice made. The question is who would you prefer to sacrifice? The caveat in this (my bold), what about the rights of the victim that the perpetrator violated? People bang on and on about the constitution and the rights of all people, especially in such circumstances. The teacher hands out candy bars to all the kids. Little Jonny runs around the play ground steals all the candy bars off the kids playing there. Little Jonny is made to stand in the corner as punishment, but he can have his candy bar because each every kid has the right (including Jonny) to have one. What a crock of crap, little Jonny gave up his rights when he decided to steal off all the other kids.
  6. I'm not saying all people should be punished for uncommitted crimes, each individual case requires assessment of the potential danger to society. Why are you insistent on taking my argument out of context as though I'm advocating that all people are criminals and all criminals are likely to re-offend? I'm not saying this at all! Each case requires evaluation and assessment based on the crime committed and the potential danger to society. So if someone commits a serious violent crime, and they show no signs of rehabilitation, they should be released back into society, regardless of the potential that they could commit again? Good luck with explaining that to the next victim's family. Which ever direction takes society to a better level sometimes at cost to the individual, sacrifice for the greater good. This is true, one would think that in a democratic society all voices should be heard and count for something. Well, this is why there are revolutions...
  7. Absolutely, way too much effort in making people suffer over healing people, wars are a good example of such. The laws are set and agreed on by the majority within that society to help maintain an order which is generally accepted as what is "best" for that society. The justice system is their to deal with those who choose to operate outside of those laws, so therefore doing something which is not best for that society. The problem is people evolve, societies evolve, all people are individuals so all people will not fit within the society... the trick is not to get drawn into trying to please all the people all the time by attempting to amend a system to cover all bases. This is totally unrealistic and actually can be damaging to an existing system that works to an acceptable effect. I'm not saying things can't or shouldn't be improved, of course they should, they should evolve. But evolve in the right direction, and sometimes to maintain the correct direction we have to look back at the path that lead us there in the first place and be careful not to take a step too far back or sideways. Interesting that Kant stated "people should be punished simply because they have committed crimes and for no other reason" Is this meant as a hint at people being unduly punished outside of that what is decide by the justice system? Or, is it just that there are laws within a society and if you want to remain in that society then you are required to abide by those laws. If not doing so you will be "punished" accordingly for operating outside of what is acceptable for that society. Therefore the punishment is basically crudely, the counter to a reward, i.e. something painful, debilitating or restrictive as apposed to something nice, fruitful or facilitating?
  8. I have a mentally disabled daughter, she has no concept of "good and evil" she hasn't the ability to sympathise or empathise, she has no morals simply because she hasn't the mental capacity to understand them. When we watch apes, monkeys etc especially the most intelligent ones, like chimpanzees and orangutans it quite striking how much more alike my daughter is to them in her habits and mannerisms than she is to us. We are not as far removed from our primate cousins than people think we are.
  9. The beauty of the scientific method is that the only agenda is to attempt to understand and describe the universe we live in, in an objective and measurable way, that can be predicted and verified.
  10. But does the monkey consider it good or evil or just nature in general. I suspect none, since its potential for philosophical thinking does not exist, therefore the concept of good and evil doesn't exist. Good and evil are labels that we put on things for which society accepts to be right or wrong, evil often used for wrongs that are atrocities against society.
  11. Interestingly in the Christian religion, God often punishes those that are "evil" with plagues and floods and all manner of mass genocide. This from the creator of heaven and earth and all within it, the judge and jury for all living things the one who guides humanity. His methods are accepted as punishment and "justice" for the greater good of humanity. And here we are arguing over justice for criminals who commit evil atrocities, with a view to forgiving them for the greater good of society. Rather ironic.
  12. Good and evil are man made constructs that sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom (or at least as far as we know). Many animals show what we consider "good and evil " traits. Certainly many of the more intelligent animals at least do so. But do they define the concepts as good and evil in a way similar to what we do or is it just natural instinct? Good and evil are based on what we as humans consider right or wrong which essentially comes from morality. So good and evil are very much real and well defined within human society. We have the ability to appreciate the value in things, and so, if something of value is destroyed (especially if it there is no logical reason for doing so) then we can attribute the labelling of "evil" to such an event. This then can be expanded to people and their intentions and motivations, measured against what is accepted as "good" for the society they live within. A person who is intent on destruction or gains at the cost of the highest value (usually lives) for their own benefit or a belief that is deluding them from reality, and cannot be persuaded other wise, are inherently "evil" in terms of human society. Such a person for example would be Hitler.
  13. Humans have a distinct advantage of most animals in that we have the potential for a better sense of morality and appreciate the value of life far greater. Other intelligent animals display similar traits, however we have the ability to offer more "humane" treatment towards criminals, or people who are bad for society in general... Most animals either kill the threat or dispel them from the group, either way the lone animal has not much chance of survival or getting a "second chance". We argue over what is justice. For me justice is what serves society the best, now and going forward. The simplest and most effect method to protect society is to take out the threat, permanently. But in doing so we potentially lose the very thing that makes us distinct from the rest of the animal kingdom - humanity. The problem is, we are in some cases still dealing with the animal instincts that we evolved from. To serve society by being humane at all costs sets us against the very basic instincts that we inherently still possess. If a criminal commits such a crime that they are then labelled as an "evil animal" then the likelihood is, in someway, that they are just that. A person that takes a life in such away that makes no logical sense and the act of doing so is such an atrocity. I really don't see what rehabilitation (short of removing part of their brain) could be successful enough to guarantee such a person won't re-commit. I can't see an argument for humane treatment of such a person will solve the problem. I don't believe we as humans are yet far enough removed from animals to be able to rehabilitate everyone and certainly not warrant a utopic system in society where all crime can be eradicated before it is committed. The old saying "you have to be cruel to be kind" still holds true in some cases, and maybe should still be considered when justice is served.
  14. No, of course we can't anticipate future crimes in such a way as you describe, that's ludicrous. But if someone commits a crime then this is a good indication that they have the potential to commit another. Based on this premise, if the crime is a serious one, which poses a danger to society, then we should anticipate future crimes from the perpetrator and do something (at the very least in the short term) to prevent this. If the perpetrator is assessed and other means of treatment are used in an attempt to rehabilitate them, then we have to be sure the rehabilitation is successful, else the consequences of this could be catastrophic. If there isn't a very strong level of confidence that the rehabilitation has worked then the only guaranteed answer to protect society 100% is by detaining the person for life, or sentencing them to death (which by the way I do not condone). My argument is just this.
  15. I'm not advocating that anything is or can be. This was my point, nothing is infallible, therefore to protect society from someone who has committed a violent crime (especially an atrocity as per Beecee's example) what can we do to be sure it won't happen again? Then to make things even more difficult each individual is different, some would respond to rehabilitation some won't. So yes, you are correct, it's a matter of acceptable levels of risk, I thought I made this clear in my arguments. We can't blanket over the whole system with either one approach or the other. We can't just go ahead lock everyone up and throw away the key, nor can we just forgive and rehabilitate everyone. The only difference (and this was my point, though I'm not advocating we do this) between the 2 is, one guarantees protection from society, the other doesn't. So to reiterate my point, the level of risk has to be assessed, but my approach would be to err on the side of caution. Rehabilitation and all the other "humane" approaches are great when they work, they get my full support. But when they fail the outcome can be catastrophic and unacceptable. Unfortunately my approach means that some may feel they have been unjustly punished for their crime and not given the chance to redeem themselves that they and society might believe they deserve. Me personally, in some cases this cost is far less than the risk of loss that could occur should the justice system get it wrong. You may say I shouldn't tar all with the same brush, indeed I shouldn't but at high levels of violent crimes these criminals have proven to be a danger, so this danger should take the upmost consideration as priority.
  16. The point is, we may not know the future but we can prevent (or at least attempt) certain things from happening. If the man had killed the wolf he would have saved it from the suffering and also prevented it from killing himself and anything else in the future. If you don't lock up a violent criminal then you cannot prevent them 100% from committing violence within society. If you want to rehabilitate that person there after, sure lets invest all the money and effort into doing so. But lets be clear, that rehabilitation has to be 100% successful to guarantee a safe society. Its a tricky situation and a tough balance, and to be fair I wouldn't like the responsibility of the decision to grant punishment or parole for a known violent criminal.
  17. I've given this a like because I do agree with you. However there are ideals that are unrealistic, but there are crimes that are, some of which are so atrocious (as in Beecee's example) where there is no ideal solution, other than that which guarantees prevention at the very least, but of most importance.
  18. The man may have died in peace, but his failing to pre-empt the intensions, or consider the natural instinct of the wolf cost him his life, and also may cost many more lives in the future. He foolishly believed that his forgiveness and kind act towards the trapped wolf would change the wolf, his mistake was fatal. I have no problem with forgiveness, if used in the right context. The point of the parable is that you can't always change the nature of somethings no matter how hard you try, they are what they are. Even if you invest all the efforts and appear to make good progress there is no guarantee you have fixed the issue. We are not capable of fixing all the glitches of a human mind, if this was possible we could easily wipe out crime, violence and any other unsociable aspects, then all live nicely together in an utopian world.
  19. Which I all agree with you on, but non of this replaces punishment. It just reduces the amount that has to be dealt. Punishment is for that which has already been committed, not for that which might. Prevention of all crime though ideal is unrealistic. Even if we achieve a 99% success rate investing in and using every prevention method possible, there is still 1% that has to be dealt with.
  20. I agree to some degree with what you are saying, I don't think any justice system is perfect, nor should we expect it to be. I'm not sure we can just omit punishment, at least in some form or another. There is nothing preventing looking at the reasons any crime was committed. But this takes time, each and every case is different, simply because each and every person is different, even though many patterns and similarities will emerge. Unfortunately in many cases if its not acted on quickly then it can go unchecked and create further, possibly worst problems. Prisons, many of which I'm sure are far from ideal, but are a necessity, at the very least as a stop gap to prevent the possibility of re-offending. If you caught a killer and there was a possibility they would commit again given the chance, what do you propose we do?
  21. You are missing my point, if someone is jailed for a crime they are punished by imprisonment and the public is protected from them, 2 birds with one stone. Obviously each and every case requires assessment on what levels of protection and punishment is/or if required. I'm not saying its the answer to all crimes and all levels of crime, I'm just saying it is a quick and immediate solution that then allows sometime for the authorities to decide on the next procedure and sometime for the perpetrator to think about and reflect on the crime they have committed. This is why there is a bail system or other means... a petty thief who has done a bit of shop lifting say for example is not likely to be a threat to society, more rather a nuisance. But a serial killer is a whole different ball game, as myself Beecee and others keep stating. What do you propose in place of punishment? I agree prevention is a much better approach, but not much use if it hasn't worked. Rehabilitation is and should be aimed at for the vast majority of criminals, I fully advocate this. But there are many that are simply lost causes, some that pose a real danger to society and have been, and will continue to be dangerous to society.
  22. Yeah there has definitely been an explosion of technological advancement, especially since the evolution of computers etc... I wonder how far can this go and will it slow down eventually due to limits of what is possible?
  23. If a person is jailed the public are protected and the perpetrator is punished by being locked up. In the case of jailing someone, both aspects - 1 & 2 are covered off at the same time. "But what if you have the wrong person?" You threw this one at me, but now you are condoning the death penalty. Just to be clear, although emphatically my feelings are that the dog should be put down, morally I don't.
  24. This thread reminds me of the old adage about a kind man who freed the trapped wolf. A kind man comes across a wolf that has been, systematically killing the man's sheep. He see's the wolf trapped and in pain and feels pity for the beast. He forgives the wolf for all the sheep it killed and in doing so helps to free the wolf. Once freed the wolf, hungry and desperate, turns to the man killing and eating him.
  25. Because 1 & 2 are one and the same when a criminal is locked away number 3 comes later if applicable. How do you suggest we deal with the immediate threat?
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