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Is Death Penalty/Life Sentence The End?

RoderickSpode
Posts: 2,372
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5/13/2014 12:39:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Most of us humans like to do good for others. It makes us feel good. The basic idea is that if I give a compliment to someone, or help someone out in someway without demanding anything in return, I'm going to feel good about seeing that person feel good.

Sometimes doing someone good requires not giving them what they desire (too much sweets to a child, etc.). The intent is basically the same, but maybe with a different initial outcome. The intent is to benefit that person, even if they don't feel good at first. The same thing involving constructive or necessary criticism. Sometimes the truth, even if it hurts is necessary in order to benefit that individual.

Sometimes a form of disciplinary correction or punishment is needed in order to benefit that individual.

In all 3 of these scenarios, the basic intent is the same. To benefit the individual. To do them good, as opposed to ultimate harm. Sometimes, like in the area of disciplinary correction, it's to benefit others as well who might fall victim somehow to the person being disciplined or punished.

But what about the person who has been given a death sentence, or life imprisonment? Are they no longer someone who benefits personally from their punishment? Does this at this point only benefit the rest of society by protecting society from this individual?

Someone sentenced to die will no longer exist on earth. Someone given a life sentence (assuming it sticks) is kept away from society for the rest of his life. He might develop some hobby he wouldn't have done when free (write poetry, etc.), but we can't assume that will happen. We can only assume someone given a life sentence will merely exist within prison walls until he passes away.

I would say that the benefit doesn't end there. While we also can't assume they will seek a higher power, someone in a position of receiving the death penalty or life imprisonment may certainly benefit from either of these extreme sentences in that fashion. They are in a position to seek God, the Creator where they may not have if they remained outside of prison walls.

This thread is not about eternal punishment/Hell by the way. It's meant to get your thoughts on whether or not there's any benefit to the individual who has been given a death or life imprisonment sentence.
PureX
Posts: 1,525
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5/13/2014 2:18:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I don't think punishment is for the benefit of those being punished. I think it's for the benefit of those doing the punishing. The punishers may tell themselves some nonsense about how it's good for those being punished, but they're really just lying to themselves.

We punish people because WE are the ones who want there to be "just consequences" for their "unjust behaviors". And WE are the ones deciding what those just consequences should be. So that the punishments we hand out are all about our getting what WE want. And not about doing what's good for those we punish.
RoderickSpode
Posts: 2,372
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5/14/2014 10:03:29 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/13/2014 2:18:57 PM, PureX wrote:
I don't think punishment is for the benefit of those being punished. I think it's for the benefit of those doing the punishing. The punishers may tell themselves some nonsense about how it's good for those being punished, but they're really just lying to themselves.

We punish people because WE are the ones who want there to be "just consequences" for their "unjust behaviors". And WE are the ones deciding what those just consequences should be. So that the punishments we hand out are all about our getting what WE want. And not about doing what's good for those we punish.
I understand what you're saying, but in principle there are obviously situations where punishment is dished out by those who genuinely are attempting the ultimate good of the individual being punished. It is plausible for a parent(s) to even consider their child's incarceration a positive thing. Not that they want them there, but in hopes that it will straighten them out from the experience.

Within the prison system we know there is corruption. But we also know that within the system exist those with good intentions. We can see this through program attempts to help prisoners who are released cope with the outside world.

But this is all dependent on the incarcerated being set free at some point. When there's a death penalty and life sentence, the basic idea of reformation is out of the window.....

....or is it?
PureX
Posts: 1,525
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5/15/2014 8:20:25 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/14/2014 10:03:29 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 5/13/2014 2:18:57 PM, PureX wrote:
I don't think punishment is for the benefit of those being punished. I think it's for the benefit of those doing the punishing. The punishers may tell themselves some nonsense about how it's good for those being punished, but they're really just lying to themselves.

We punish people because WE are the ones who want there to be "just consequences" for their "unjust behaviors". And WE are the ones deciding what those just consequences should be. So that the punishments we hand out are all about our getting what WE want. And not about doing what's good for those we punish.
I understand what you're saying, but in principle there are obviously situations where punishment is dished out by those who genuinely are attempting the ultimate good of the individual being punished.[/QUOTE]I don't think those people are perceiving the incarceration as punishment. My argument is with the idea of punishing people for their crimes, instead of responding to criminality pragmatically. Both ways may incarcerate the criminal, but doing it as punishment in not very effective. While doing it as an aspect of behavioral control is something different.

If we could eliminate this silly idea of "just punishment", and base our "justice" system on criminal control, instead of punishment, I think it would be a lot more effective, and probably a lot more "fair" and reasonable, too. People who have acted their way into the system, would have to act their way back out of it. The more anti-social their behavior, the less social interaction they would be allowed, and visa versa. Not as punishment, but simply as a pragmatic method of protection for society.
RoderickSpode
Posts: 2,372
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5/15/2014 9:48:37 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/15/2014 8:20:25 AM, PureX wrote:
At 5/14/2014 10:03:29 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 5/13/2014 2:18:57 PM, PureX wrote:
I don't think punishment is for the benefit of those being punished. I think it's for the benefit of those doing the punishing. The punishers may tell themselves some nonsense about how it's good for those being punished, but they're really just lying to themselves.

We punish people because WE are the ones who want there to be "just consequences" for their "unjust behaviors". And WE are the ones deciding what those just consequences should be. So that the punishments we hand out are all about our getting what WE want. And not about doing what's good for those we punish.
I understand what you're saying, but in principle there are obviously situations where punishment is dished out by those who genuinely are attempting the ultimate good of the individual being punished.[/QUOTE]I don't think those people are perceiving the incarceration as punishment. My argument is with the idea of punishing people for their crimes, instead of responding to criminality pragmatically. Both ways may incarcerate the criminal, but doing it as punishment in not very effective. While doing it as an aspect of behavioral control is something different.

If we could eliminate this silly idea of "just punishment", and base our "justice" system on criminal control, instead of punishment, I think it would be a lot more effective, and probably a lot more "fair" and reasonable, too. People who have acted their way into the system, would have to act their way back out of it. The more anti-social their behavior, the less social interaction they would be allowed, and visa versa. Not as punishment, but simply as a pragmatic method of protection for society.
I think the idea of just punishment is based on behavioral control. If it was just a matter of a criminal getting what they deserved, there wouldn't be things like rehabilitation programs.

I'm guessing that you feel that a "life sentence", and the "death penalty" should be removed?
PureX
Posts: 1,525
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5/15/2014 11:40:34 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/15/2014 9:48:37 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 5/15/2014 8:20:25 AM, PureX wrote:
At 5/14/2014 10:03:29 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 5/13/2014 2:18:57 PM, PureX wrote:
I don't think punishment is for the benefit of those being punished. I think it's for the benefit of those doing the punishing. The punishers may tell themselves some nonsense about how it's good for those being punished, but they're really just lying to themselves.

We punish people because WE are the ones who want there to be "just consequences" for their "unjust behaviors". And WE are the ones deciding what those just consequences should be. So that the punishments we hand out are all about our getting what WE want. And not about doing what's good for those we punish.
I understand what you're saying, but in principle there are obviously situations where punishment is dished out by those who genuinely are attempting the ultimate good of the individual being punished.[/QUOTE]I don't think those people are perceiving the incarceration as punishment. My argument is with the idea of punishing people for their crimes, instead of responding to criminality pragmatically. Both ways may incarcerate the criminal, but doing it as punishment in not very effective. While doing it as an aspect of behavioral control is something different.

If we could eliminate this silly idea of "just punishment", and base our "justice" system on criminal control, instead of punishment, I think it would be a lot more effective, and probably a lot more "fair" and reasonable, too. People who have acted their way into the system, would have to act their way back out of it. The more anti-social their behavior, the less social interaction they would be allowed, and visa versa. Not as punishment, but simply as a pragmatic method of protection for society.
I think the idea of just punishment is based on behavioral control. If it was just a matter of a criminal getting what they deserved, there wouldn't be things like rehabilitation programs.

I'm guessing that you feel that a "life sentence", and the "death penalty" should be removed?

This is a big country, it's not either/or. But I think the vast majority of people still think justice is revenge, and want people imprisoned to punish them, not rehabilitate them.

I actually think that execution is justified in cases where the murderer has been shown to be an ongoing threat to humanity. And example would be a serial killer, of whom it is clear that if he ever gets free, would kill again. Or people who kill inside prisons. Or terroristic killers. These folks will always be a threat to the lives of others both in and out of prison. And since they have shown themselves to be likely to kill again, the only way to eliminate the threat is to eliminate them.

Beyond that, I don't think we should impose "sentences" as punishment. I think we should lock up people who have shown that they can't be trusted to live among free people, until they show us that we should trust them again. And that will take as long as it takes. Like I said, you earn your way into the criminal containment system by your behavior, and then you have to then earn your way back out. That's how I think we should view it.