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Old 01-19-2009, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
7,090 posts, read 9,997,033 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zman0 View Post
SCGranny: I find it interesting that you think there should be no punishment for crimes against morality. So you would be in favor of repealing laws against statutory rape, incest, animal cruelty, and obscenity?
Those really shouldn't be grouped as one type of crime, 2 are pretty control based victim based crimes and 2 are variable. Incest and animal cruelty are not moral crimes in any way, unless some one is a member of NAMBLA and a sociopath.

Statuary rape is iffy, even though it's not always a crime kids make dumb decisions...an 18 and 17 year old hooking up is much different then a 16 year old and 45 year old, but both can be statutory rape depending on civil code. Obscenity is pretty variable, it depends person to person...like I think Britney Spears should be in jail for everything she's done to destroy human kinds dignity, but that's me.
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:07 PM
 
878 posts, read 1,765,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subsound View Post
Those really shouldn't be grouped as one type of crime, 2 are pretty control based victim based crimes and 2 are variable. Incest and animal cruelty are not moral crimes in any way, unless some one is a member of NAMBLA and a sociopath.
Statutory rape says that persons of a certain age should not have sex with people of a different age. Sometimes there's a "buffer," (e.g. 18 & 16 isn't statutory rape, but 20 & 16 is), sometimes there isn't (e.g. 18 & 17 is statutory rape), but it is still a judgment by society that there is a bright line as to when a person can have sex.

Incest is another sexuality based crime, it says that persons related to one another shouldn't engage in sex. We're not talking about child abuse, but consensual intercourse. Here's an sample statute (from California):
Quote:
Persons being within the degrees of consanguinity within which
marriages are declared by law to be incestuous and void, who
intermarry with each other, or who being 14 years of age or older,
commit fornication or adultery with each other, are punishable by
imprisonment in the state prison.
Obscenity is similar, in that it says that certain speech should be limited because of the effect it has on others. Corruption of minors and all that stuff.

Animal cruelty likewise doesn't harm society directly, nor does it harm another person. We make a moral judgment that animals should be treated a certain way (for good or ill), but there's no reciprocal benefit. Pigs aren't going to treat humans inhumanely simply because we treat them inhumanely.
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,672 posts, read 66,857,344 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zman0 View Post
So how do we "treat each other with decency, instead of brutality"?
?

I don't have any trouble doing it. I'm sorry others don't know how.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zman0 View Post
At some point, an individual who refuses to abide by the laws of society must be punished.
Why?

What about the person who, owing to human imperfection, succumbs once to an inability to abide by the laws of society? Not one who willfully and habitually refuses, but a weak person who cannot find a way to get over a hump without a transgression? Or who gets swept up in peer pressure? Or falls victim to one of those seven deadly sins that so many of our posters here never do? Why is it at the top of the priority list to punish them, at any cost?

Everybody who is less perfect than me, must be punished for being less perfect. Fine credo.

(My apologies to the forum in general for my previous post, which was deleted for personal attack. Sometimes here it is very hard to remember that this is the Great Debate forum and that is not allowed.)

Last edited by jtur88; 01-19-2009 at 02:32 PM..
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:02 PM
 
878 posts, read 1,765,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I don't have any trouble doing it. I'm sorry others don't know how.
OK, I decide that I need some money because I want to buy a new flat panel T.V.

I go to a gun store, buy a firearm, and walk in to my local convenience store. Point the gun into the clerk's face and demand cash.

Now, specifically, what should happen?

Should the cops stop me and force me to return the cash and surrender my firearm?

Should the cops say "Hey, no more of that" and let me go on my way?

Imprison me?

What specific acts should society take to curb this behavior? Or should this behavior be encouraged?

My position is that the punishment for stealing should be greater than the possible reward. Loss of freedom for a term and surrendering of the ill gotten gains.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,672 posts, read 66,857,344 times
Reputation: 35512
In this extreme example, if it is determined that you are likely to repeat this behavior, you ought to be separated from the the general community. No punishment is necessary. Your life and limb should be protected in that area of confinement with the same diligence that it would be outside. If at some future date, there is a high degree of likelihood that you will not re-offend, you should be released to the community, with the understanding that if you re-offend, you will again be separated from the community. If you have responsible gainful employment or if you are a means of support to innocent family members, effort should be made to return you to the community immediately, depending on the degree of assurance that you will not re-offend. Non-violent or non-threatening offenses or offenses that have no visible impact on another person can be treated easily with probation, with incarceration not necessary.

In no case is the concept of punishment to be regarded as the primary motive.

I remain unconvinced that more than half of all African-American males "need" to be punished at some point in their life.

There. That is how civilized people treat other human beings. Obviously, there will be a tiny few cases in which the above scenario will fail and other measures may need to be employed, to curtail the clinically sociopathic. But these are rare. Certainly a great deal rarer than two-million ongoing incarcerations would suggest.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:51 PM
 
878 posts, read 1,765,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
In this extreme example
How is this an extreme example? Are you next going to tell me that no one robs convenience stores because they want the money?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
if it is determined that you are likely to repeat this behavior, you ought to be separated from the the general community. No punishment is necessary.
Separation from society is punishment. I am losing freedom to associate with whomever I please. I cannot travel wherever I want.

Loss of freedom is punishment so long as society is free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Your life and limb should be protected in that area of confinement with the same diligence that it would be outside.
You mean I will have the option to own a firearm and defend myself against others who wish to do me harm? The only way my safety is protected outside of confinement by society is by the adherence of others to the law, and the threat of reprisal if those laws are broken. Police do not protect citizens, they investigate crimes after a citizen has been harmed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
If at some future date, there is a high degree of likelihood that you will not re-offend, you should be released to the community, with the understanding that if you re-offend, you will again be separated from the community.
So I am being threatened with removal from society (punishment) if I happen to violate the law. Seems like this is more of a variant of "every dog gets one free bite."

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
If you have responsible gainful employment or if you are a means of support to innocent family members, effort should be made to return you to the community immediately, depending on the degree of assurance that you will not re-offend.
So individuals who have jobs and can provide get a better shot at a return to freedom than the jobless. The jobless are then threatened with a greater likelihood of incarceration (sorry, "confinement") than the employed.

Because I've got a job and provide for my family, my armed robbery and threatening murder on another human is forgiven?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Non-violent or non-threatening offenses or offenses that have no visible impact on another person can be treated easily with probation, with incarceration not necessary.
What's the purpose of probation? There's no punishment for disobedience, no consequences for offending again. Incarceration/segregation/confinement aren't going to happen, so there's no detriment to repeat offenders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
In no case is the concept of punishment to be regarded as the primary motive.
What does motive matter? As long as the judicial system is impartial, there is no appearance of personal vengeance against a defendant.

But when the justice system is not impartial, and more discretion for imprisonment is given to judges, the potential for abuse creeps in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I remain unconvinced that more than half of all African-American males "need" to be punished at some point in their life.
I agree wholeheartedly. No person should be punished because of their sex or nationality. If immigrants from Africa are being unfairly targeted and punished, it should stop immediately.

On the other hand, if you're talking about race, then I agree that no one should be punished for their race either. However, all individuals, regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, favorite color, hobby, or mac/P.C. allegiance, should be treated equally under the law when they commit a crime. One black person shouldn't get a pass from the police merely because the cops have reached their "quota" of arresting 10 black guys a day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
There. That is how civilized people treat other human beings. Obviously, there will be a tiny few cases in which the above scenario will fail and other measures may need to be employed, to curtail the clinically sociopathic. But these are rare. Certainly a great deal rarer than two-million ongoing incarcerations would suggest.
Except your simulation doesn't work. There's no incentive to conform to society. There's no reason to follow the rules when you can ignore the rules and be better off.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,672 posts, read 66,857,344 times
Reputation: 35512
We are not likely to persuade each other---it just doesn't exist in our hearts.. If you believe that civilization is advanced by an escalating cycle of devising methods of punishing each other, go ahead and get your self-gratification where you can find it.
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 8,590,416 times
Reputation: 9458
Default The operative word is "choice"

Quote:
Originally Posted by zman0 View Post
SCGranny: I find it interesting that you think there should be no punishment for crimes against morality. So you would be in favor of repealing laws against statutory rape, incest, animal cruelty, and obscenity?
I didn't say that there should be "no" punishment for crimes against morality, zman - what I said was that crimes that do not cause harm to others are not crimes at all. Prostitution, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, are not crimes - in and of themselves. When people use them as an excuse to inflict harm upon others, then the criminal should be punished for what he does to others, not what he does to himself. If you are a drunk who goes home and gets likkered up every night, but never leaves his home, why should anyone care? But if you are a drunk who insists on using his liquor as an excuse for going out and slamming into a family and causing them harm - or you have to steal from others to support your habit - or you become violent to others - then yes, you should have to pay for the damage that you cause others. Why should a drunk in today's society care about 'moral' ramifications, when we let him use the alcohol as an excuse - over and over again! - for injuring others, and in fact have systems in place for relieving him of all responsibility for his crimes against others? Incest, rape, child abuse, etc are all crimes against others, unless there are consenting adults on both sides of the equation, who choose that interaction.

Obscenity? Who is harmed by obscenity? No one. Don't like it, don't look. When it is permitted to be used (like drugs or liquor or TV) as an excuse for behavior towards others, then we blame the obscenity, not the criminal who chose to use it in that way. In other words, we relieve the criminal from responsibility and blame an inanimate object for crime. When you blame porn or guns or drugs or liquor or anything else for an individual's choices, you free the individual from responsibility for his choices and his actions.

You know, jtur, if you would actually READ what I wrote, you would understand that I am not promoting vengeful imprisonment or insensitive incarceration, but personal responsibility for choices - i.e., restitution and renumeration to victims. If after understanding that, that still frightens
you, then you deserve to be frightened. Because believing in counseling and encouragement toward the criminal that no one is mad at him, it wasn't his fault, and he should be forgiven, only ensures that he understands completely that he is not responsible for his choices, and has the absolute right to inflict himself on others, with a ready-made excuse. Any individual that feels that they have a right to inflict themselves on me, my children, or my property, and to do as they please with us, deserves to be corrected. If society will not do it, will and does in fact make excuses for, pities, and thereby encourages the criminal, then it devolves to me to protect us from him. His choices determine his outcome. He can choose to not assault me, not steal from me, not attack my children - but when he chooses otherwise, the consequences of his choices will be delivered. If not by a "criminal justice system", then by me. If someone chooses to break into your home and rapes your spouse or children, then kills them all in front of you, would you try to counsel him? Go ahead. At that point, your sympathy and encouragement mean literally nothing to him... all that matters is that you have what he wants to take from you, and he has been taught that he has a right to it, and an excuse for doing so - that you gave him.

If we did not allow excuses and did allow people to do as they chose to and for themselves - with real and viable consequences for harming others - we would have a lot less 'black men' in prison. The whole Drug War is a tool for putting people away in prison - instead of allowing people to make conscious choices, and being responsible for their actions against others, we 'tell' them through excuses and counseling that they are too uneducated, too ignorant, to make positive choices; they can blame their color or their 'hood or their society or their 'drug culture' for their poor choices - right up until the time that the crimes are so heinous there is an outcry and they are locked away "for their own good". The nannyism of the Welfare/protectionist/savior - state insults blacks, whites, everyone who buys into it, by telling them that they are too animalistic and too irresponsible to participate in making viable choices in their own lives, but have to be nurtured and coddled and protected and ultimately excused from their own "nasty inclinations" and "stupid choices" - right into death. "They can't help themselves" is the most heinous social slur of all - that those who are so judged do not understand. If "they" were not so excused and so adjudged, they could make viable choices - by being held accountable for their poor choices without excuse.
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:49 AM
 
878 posts, read 1,765,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
Incest, rape, child abuse, etc are all crimes against others, unless there are consenting adults on both sides of the equation, who choose that interaction.
Rape and child abuse obviously harm an individual, and are in the first category, harm against an individual.

Incest on the other hand is sexual coupling between two individuals within N degree of sanguinity (usually 3-5). There is no lack of consent.

What do you mean by "consenting adults?" 18 is an arbitrary figure, there are 19-year-olds who cannot consent and 17-year-olds who can consent. Should statutory rape be decriminalized as long as there is consent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
Obscenity? Who is harmed by obscenity? No one. Don't like it, don't look.
The harm in obscenity is harm against public decency, just like the harm from incest, animal cruelty, and bigamy. Society says we don't want to see people coupling on the street, nor do we want to see pictures of the same, and so we outlaw obscenity.

I noticed you didn't address the issue of animal cruelty. Should that be decriminalized as well?
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,349 posts, read 46,248,332 times
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I realize that the police are unable to protect me as an individual from a violent assault. It is my responsibility to protect myself and my duty to protect anyone I have accepted responsibility for protecting. If the assaulters are harmed while I am doing my duty that is just too darn bad. They were responsible for their behavior and for the consequences of their actions. There are a limited number of situations where the individual can and must be judge, jury and executioner. Those situations are called self defense and allow legal homicide.

I see systematic economic crime to be a form of non-violent assault. I am being illegally relieved of my possessions but I am not being physically assaulted. I believe the police functions of society, through a means of law, investigation and monitoring, should control and prevent this means of attack. The current issue of the Ponzi scheme currently in the news in my humble opinion is a gross violation of trust and of public watchfulness. This man should have all of his possessions confiscated, do some jail time with less sophisticated thieves and never be allowed to assume a position of trust or ever be allowed to become prosperous again. I also see the entire current economic meltdown a gross example of violation of trust and would like to see anyone involved at the top incarcerated and economically broken. I would also jail the government officials that had the responsibility for preventing these schemes from growing into huge crimes.

I completely agree that individuals are responsible fro their actions from drug addled addicts robbing for their next fix to egomaniacal executives creating valueless absurdities such as Convertible Debt Obligations so they could sell their losses in a concealed fraudulent manner. In the first case some of the victims can shoot the robbers, in the latter all we can do is watch them escape with the loot and be considered corporate heroes for robbing us.
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