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Remorse

DetectableNinja
Posts: 6,043
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9/10/2011 11:02:51 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
On another forum/discussion thingy I frequent, someone said that her friend had been sobbing all night because he "sexually abused," her, and was stricken with remorse. She said that he "didn't mean it." Now, please don't comment on that story--it's just a springboard into an idea that I've been thinking about.

Now, everyone except for me was shouting at her to report him for what he did, regardless of how sorry he was.

Of course, I find the actions of the lad to be despicable--but it got me thinking: in certain cases, is allowing a person to live their life with the remorse of a crime better punishment than throwing them in jail?

I'm conflicted--there is the ol' "don't do the crime if you can't do the time," idea, but I know firsthand the horrible torment that remorse and guilt can be. You see, I'm a person who is naturally strung out/anxious, and I have a strong sense of guilt: even lying to a person drives me bonkers.

So, I guess I'd come to the conclusion that, yes, remorse and guilt can indeed be a more suitable punishment than the alternative.

Your thoughts?
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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9/10/2011 11:06:55 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/10/2011 11:02:51 AM, DetectableNinja wrote:
On another forum/discussion thingy I frequent, someone said that her friend had been sobbing all night because he "sexually abused," her, and was stricken with remorse. She said that he "didn't mean it." Now, please don't comment on that story--it's just a springboard into an idea that I've been thinking about.

Now, everyone except for me was shouting at her to report him for what he did, regardless of how sorry he was.

Of course, I find the actions of the lad to be despicable--but it got me thinking: in certain cases, is allowing a person to live their life with the remorse of a crime better punishment than throwing them in jail?

I'm conflicted--there is the ol' "don't do the crime if you can't do the time," idea, but I know firsthand the horrible torment that remorse and guilt can be. You see, I'm a person who is naturally strung out/anxious, and I have a strong sense of guilt: even lying to a person drives me bonkers.

So, I guess I'd come to the conclusion that, yes, remorse and guilt can indeed be a more suitable punishment than the alternative.

Your thoughts?

No, absolutely not, because some people are born or develop without remorse, and others (as in the rest of humanity) can get over it or simply numb their emotions. You basically put the punishment in the hands of the hands of the guilty, whereas he will definitely acquit himself.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
DetectableNinja
Posts: 6,043
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9/10/2011 11:10:04 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/10/2011 11:06:55 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 9/10/2011 11:02:51 AM, DetectableNinja wrote:
On another forum/discussion thingy I frequent, someone said that her friend had been sobbing all night because he "sexually abused," her, and was stricken with remorse. She said that he "didn't mean it." Now, please don't comment on that story--it's just a springboard into an idea that I've been thinking about.

Now, everyone except for me was shouting at her to report him for what he did, regardless of how sorry he was.

Of course, I find the actions of the lad to be despicable--but it got me thinking: in certain cases, is allowing a person to live their life with the remorse of a crime better punishment than throwing them in jail?

I'm conflicted--there is the ol' "don't do the crime if you can't do the time," idea, but I know firsthand the horrible torment that remorse and guilt can be. You see, I'm a person who is naturally strung out/anxious, and I have a strong sense of guilt: even lying to a person drives me bonkers.

So, I guess I'd come to the conclusion that, yes, remorse and guilt can indeed be a more suitable punishment than the alternative.

Your thoughts?


No, absolutely not, because some people are born or develop without remorse, and others (as in the rest of humanity) can get over it or simply numb their emotions. You basically put the punishment in the hands of the hands of the guilty, whereas he will definitely acquit himself.

It was a more philosophical question/hypothetical than a legal question. And that's why I said in some cases (ie, a person who is prone to serious feelings of guilt.)

But I totally get what you're saying.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
DetectableNinja
Posts: 6,043
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9/10/2011 12:09:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Bump.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
PARADIGM_L0ST
Posts: 6,958
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9/10/2011 1:21:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
in certain cases, is allowing a person to live their life with the remorse of a crime better punishment than throwing them in jail?:

Perhaps it is, but ultimately irrelevant. Is the judge supposed to determine the level of their remorse based solely upon their reaction? I know if I was caught molesting girls, and prospectively would serve no time if only I demonstrated remorse, I might be inclined to feign it.

How do you measure remorse? How do you determine if it;s contrived or genuine?

Remorse can be a prison unto itself, I agree, but it's no substitute for the justice system.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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9/10/2011 1:30:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Actually, this kind of punishment is only appropriate in the home setting, in which case, the would probably be able to determine whether or not the remorse is faked.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Tiel
Posts: 1,500
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9/10/2011 3:43:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/10/2011 11:02:51 AM, DetectableNinja wrote:
On another forum/discussion thingy I frequent, someone said that her friend had been sobbing all night because he "sexually abused," her, and was stricken with remorse. She said that he "didn't mean it." Now, please don't comment on that story--it's just a springboard into an idea that I've been thinking about.

Now, everyone except for me was shouting at her to report him for what he did, regardless of how sorry he was.

Of course, I find the actions of the lad to be despicable--but it got me thinking: in certain cases, is allowing a person to live their life with the remorse of a crime better punishment than throwing them in jail?

I'm conflicted--there is the ol' "don't do the crime if you can't do the time," idea, but I know firsthand the horrible torment that remorse and guilt can be. You see, I'm a person who is naturally strung out/anxious, and I have a strong sense of guilt: even lying to a person drives me bonkers.

So, I guess I'd come to the conclusion that, yes, remorse and guilt can indeed be a more suitable punishment than the alternative.

Your thoughts?

My thoughts are that the lad should be sexually abused in an unlikeable way, just as she was. An eye for an eye. He will still have to live with his remorse, even more remorse than originally, knowing that he caused both scenarios to happen.
"Only the inner force of curiosity and wonder about the unknown, or an outer force upon your free will, can brake the shackles of your current perception."