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The Legitimacy of Punishment.

FREEDO
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4/10/2011 1:53:18 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
This is a thread to discuss, question or promote the notion of punishment, it's effects, it's utility, it's theory and so forth.

If you take notice, this thread is in the science section. This is because the nature of this discussion is intended to be scientific, having more to do with psychology than politics.

Whether you are for it or against it, all intellectual minds must agree that something so fundamental in the workings of our civilization must be thoroughly challenged.

I am, personally, a critique of punishment. I would say that these things which we call prisons seem to demonstrably be a complete failure in ridding society of anti-social behavior, in-fact, they are more like a breading ground for it. I see the theory behind punishment to be highly flawed. It says that when we have an act associated with a harmful effect on ourselves(such as a spanking or incarceration) we will shy away from it, thus preventing similar acts. I would hypothesize that it does exactly the opposite, if the act being punished is one of anti-social behavior, that is, something which could cause harm to others(If it is not anti-social behavior, I would argue there is nothing wrong to be punished). Punishment serves as an instrument of demoralization, initiating fear. This is counter-intuitive to a healthy development of empathy, the building block of peaceful and cooperative civilization. Punishment will do nothing to reveal to the individual how their actions were wrong, rather, it will only further their very problem they had to begin with, a singular concern of the self and not of others. Punishment further motivates a lack of empathy by teaching them that the act being punished is negative, not because of it's effects on others, but only to themselves. There are two things which cause anti-social behavior, ignorance and a lack of empathy. I argue that punishment is no better at curing a lack of empathy as it is at making people smarter.
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darkkermit
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4/10/2011 2:05:00 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
You deny that B.F. Skinner's work on operant condition, and the effects of punishment and rewards? Or how about basic theory of self-interest? One has a self-interest to commit violent or harmful acts. However, if these acts are punished, then the actor will not have a self-interest to continue the act.
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FREEDO
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4/10/2011 2:15:12 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 2:05:00 AM, darkkermit wrote:
You deny that B.F. Skinner's work on operant condition, and the effects of punishment and rewards? Or how about basic theory of self-interest? One has a self-interest to commit violent or harmful acts. However, if these acts are punished, then the actor will not have a self-interest to continue the act.

I would say that a society where people have less concern for others is going to be one with considerably more anti-social behavior and that punishment reinforces that.
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mattrodstrom
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4/10/2011 2:23:37 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
How would you "cure" a lack of empathy?

what if they just don't care? Does punishment hold some role?

also... what do you think of Executing those who commit heinous acts who apparently just don't care

is that too much too? what should be done with them?

make them watch Emotional movies??? you think that'll "cure" them?

I think not, I think once they're adults.. they're pretty much a lost cause, and Punishment is a First resort.. and Execution a last.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

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FREEDO
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4/10/2011 2:33:27 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 2:23:37 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
How would you "cure" a lack of empathy?

That is an excellent question. Certainly, it's much easier to prevent it, starting with just basic child development techniques. But there is much more promise in rehabilitation than it's given credit.

what if they just don't care? Does punishment hold some role?

Expand on that question.

also... what do you think of Executing those who commit heinous acts who apparently just don't care

I would say the executioners apparently don't care either. Eternal chain of death? Doesn't sound productive.

is that too much too? what should be done with them?

They need a doctor, not a lethal injection or a prison cell.

make them watch Emotional movies??? you think that'll "cure" them?

I think not, I think once they're adults.. they're pretty much a lost cause, and Punishment is a First resort.. and Execution a last.
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Korashk
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4/10/2011 3:43:00 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 2:33:27 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 2:23:37 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
How would you "cure" a lack of empathy?

That is an excellent question. Certainly, it's much easier to prevent it, starting with just basic child development techniques. But there is much more promise in rehabilitation than it's given credit.

I'm no psychologist, but I'm pretty sure psychopaths/sociopaths are born that way. There's no preventing it.
When large numbers of otherwise-law abiding people break specific laws en masse, it's usually a fault that lies with the law. - Unknown
FREEDO
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4/10/2011 3:52:56 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 3:43:00 AM, Korashk wrote:
At 4/10/2011 2:33:27 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 2:23:37 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
How would you "cure" a lack of empathy?

That is an excellent question. Certainly, it's much easier to prevent it, starting with just basic child development techniques. But there is much more promise in rehabilitation than it's given credit.

I'm no psychologist, but I'm pretty sure psychopaths/sociopaths are born that way. There's no preventing it.

Incorrect. That would justify eugenics if it were true and it's a good thing the science community since disproved it. We can be predisposed to many things but no one is predetermined.
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Ore_Ele
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4/10/2011 11:39:30 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 2:33:27 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 2:23:37 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
How would you "cure" a lack of empathy?

That is an excellent question. Certainly, it's much easier to prevent it, starting with just basic child development techniques. But there is much more promise in rehabilitation than it's given credit.

It is, but that starts trampling on the rights of parents. And rehabilitation only works for some many cases.


what if they just don't care? Does punishment hold some role?

Expand on that question.

also... what do you think of Executing those who commit heinous acts who apparently just don't care

I would say the executioners apparently don't care either. Eternal chain of death? Doesn't sound productive.

It's not eternal, letting an intentional killer live and free from punishment means that the killings will continue. Killing the killer will end that particular chain (since they won't be able to kill anymore).


is that too much too? what should be done with them?

They need a doctor, not a lethal injection or a prison cell.

make them watch Emotional movies??? you think that'll "cure" them?

I think not, I think once they're adults.. they're pretty much a lost cause, and Punishment is a First resort.. and Execution a last.

So if you think that they are a "lost cause" what do you plan on doing?
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Cody_Franklin
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4/10/2011 11:51:13 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 2:15:12 AM, FREEDO wrote:
I would say that a society where people have less concern for others is going to be one with considerably more anti-social behavior and that punishment reinforces that.

So... a society that's less social will have more antisocial behavior? What a surprise.
CosmicAlfonzo
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4/10/2011 11:59:17 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Punishment is unavoidable.

Outlawing punishment would be like.. outlawing breathing... Except even less possible to enforce.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
CosmicAlfonzo
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4/10/2011 12:01:25 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
What I'm saying is, even if the government didn't punish, people face punishment in other ways.. Either from other people or from the shenanigans of Eris.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Danielle
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4/10/2011 12:18:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 3:43:00 AM, Korashk wrote:
I'm no psychologist, but I'm pretty sure psychopaths/sociopaths are born that way. There's no preventing it.

If people are born that way, and there's nothing that you could do to rehabilitate or change them, then what is the purpose of punishment of they're merely a product of their biological inclinations? Revenge?

I think this is a great question about justice, though it's interesting Freedo chose to put it in the science section. If that's the case then he should be willing to accept that biology does often play a role in one's actions. It's definitely not only biology though.
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PervRat
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4/10/2011 12:50:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 3:43:00 AM, Korashk wrote:
At 4/10/2011 2:33:27 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 2:23:37 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
How would you "cure" a lack of empathy?

That is an excellent question. Certainly, it's much easier to prevent it, starting with just basic child development techniques. But there is much more promise in rehabilitation than it's given credit.

I'm no psychologist, but I'm pretty sure psychopaths/sociopaths are born that way. There's no preventing it.

If that were true, these crimes and their rates would be pretty much equal. Rates of violent crime tend to be much lower in nations that have strong social safety nets; the United States, in fact, has the highest number of prisoners and the highest rate of incarceration of any nation -- our closest rival is China whom locks people up for political reasons more than actual mutually-recognized crime.

I think of it like cancer ... a person may have a heredity that makes them much more predisposed to develop cancer, but if they avoid foods and environmental toxins that cause cancer, they have a good chance of avoiding cancer. Similarly, if we create a society with strong social safety networks, and work hard to remove the stigmas attached to mental health issues and reduce teh embarrassment people feel at going to a mental health counselor (as well as not making it unaffordable), then our crime rate would go down and we wouldn't need to lock up so many people.
PervRat
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4/10/2011 12:51:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 11:59:17 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
Punishment is unavoidable.

Outlawing punishment would be like.. outlawing breathing... Except even less possible to enforce.

That precludes the possibility of reducing the factors that drive people to commit crime in the first place.
darkkermit
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4/10/2011 4:06:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 12:18:59 PM, Danielle wrote:
At 4/10/2011 3:43:00 AM, Korashk wrote:
I'm no psychologist, but I'm pretty sure psychopaths/sociopaths are born that way. There's no preventing it.

If people are born that way, and there's nothing that you could do to rehabilitate or change them, then what is the purpose of punishment of they're merely a product of their biological inclinations? Revenge?

I think this is a great question about justice, though it's interesting Freedo chose to put it in the science section. If that's the case then he should be willing to accept that biology does often play a role in one's actions. It's definitely not only biology though.

Punishments decreases incentives to commit crimes. Basic game theory shows that the optimal strategy in the prisoner dilemna in multiple trials is a tit for-tat strategy which leads to optimal results:
http://en.wikipedia.org...
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darkkermit
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4/10/2011 4:10:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
FREEDO holds the view that we are victims to our environment. It is true that some people never receive love in their life and therefore are less likely to show compassion for his/her fellow human. Basically the person is playing the prisoner's dilemma, and he/she always receives "punishment". Therefore, the person would have no incentive to be altruistic.

Some people are, some people are just d!cks.
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FREEDO
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4/10/2011 5:56:07 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 11:59:17 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
Punishment is unavoidable.

Outlawing punishment would be like.. outlawing breathing... Except even less possible to enforce.

I never said anything about "enforcing" non-punishment. That doesn't even make sense. I am challenging the functionality of it's usage. If you want to take it politically, you could say I'm endorsing it's non-institutionalization.
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FREEDO
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4/10/2011 5:57:17 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 11:39:30 AM, OreEle wrote:
So if you think that they are a "lost cause" what do you plan on doing?

I do not believe there are such cases.
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FREEDO
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4/10/2011 5:57:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 11:51:13 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 4/10/2011 2:15:12 AM, FREEDO wrote:
I would say that a society where people have less concern for others is going to be one with considerably more anti-social behavior and that punishment reinforces that.

So... a society that's less social will have more antisocial behavior? What a surprise.

Would this mean you agree?
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FREEDO
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4/10/2011 5:58:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 12:18:59 PM, Danielle wrote:
At 4/10/2011 3:43:00 AM, Korashk wrote:
I'm no psychologist, but I'm pretty sure psychopaths/sociopaths are born that way. There's no preventing it.

If people are born that way, and there's nothing that you could do to rehabilitate or change them, then what is the purpose of punishment of they're merely a product of their biological inclinations? Revenge?

I think this is a great question about justice, though it's interesting Freedo chose to put it in the science section. If that's the case then he should be willing to accept that biology does often play a role in one's actions. It's definitely not only biology though.

Of course it does. Like I said, predisposition but not predestination.
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FREEDO
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4/10/2011 6:01:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 12:50:04 PM, PervRat wrote:
At 4/10/2011 3:43:00 AM, Korashk wrote:
At 4/10/2011 2:33:27 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 2:23:37 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
How would you "cure" a lack of empathy?

That is an excellent question. Certainly, it's much easier to prevent it, starting with just basic child development techniques. But there is much more promise in rehabilitation than it's given credit.

I'm no psychologist, but I'm pretty sure psychopaths/sociopaths are born that way. There's no preventing it.

If that were true, these crimes and their rates would be pretty much equal. Rates of violent crime tend to be much lower in nations that have strong social safety nets; the United States, in fact, has the highest number of prisoners and the highest rate of incarceration of any nation -- our closest rival is China whom locks people up for political reasons more than actual mutually-recognized crime.


Yes. Not only will safety-nets reduce effects of poverty which are a strong cause of violence but they are a sign that the society has already developed a high level of empathy in the culture.
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darkkermit
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4/10/2011 6:20:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 6:01:00 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 12:50:04 PM, PervRat wrote:
At 4/10/2011 3:43:00 AM, Korashk wrote:
At 4/10/2011 2:33:27 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 2:23:37 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
How would you "cure" a lack of empathy?

That is an excellent question. Certainly, it's much easier to prevent it, starting with just basic child development techniques. But there is much more promise in rehabilitation than it's given credit.

I'm no psychologist, but I'm pretty sure psychopaths/sociopaths are born that way. There's no preventing it.

If that were true, these crimes and their rates would be pretty much equal. Rates of violent crime tend to be much lower in nations that have strong social safety nets; the United States, in fact, has the highest number of prisoners and the highest rate of incarceration of any nation -- our closest rival is China whom locks people up for political reasons more than actual mutually-recognized crime.


Yes. Not only will safety-nets reduce effects of poverty which are a strong cause of violence but they are a sign that the society has already developed a high level of empathy in the culture.

Nope welfare causes the opposite effects:

http://www.cato.org...
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
lewis20
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4/10/2011 6:41:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
How do you make kids behave?
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

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FREEDO
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4/10/2011 6:41:40 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 6:20:35 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 4/10/2011 6:01:00 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 12:50:04 PM, PervRat wrote:
At 4/10/2011 3:43:00 AM, Korashk wrote:
At 4/10/2011 2:33:27 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 2:23:37 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
How would you "cure" a lack of empathy?

That is an excellent question. Certainly, it's much easier to prevent it, starting with just basic child development techniques. But there is much more promise in rehabilitation than it's given credit.

I'm no psychologist, but I'm pretty sure psychopaths/sociopaths are born that way. There's no preventing it.

If that were true, these crimes and their rates would be pretty much equal. Rates of violent crime tend to be much lower in nations that have strong social safety nets; the United States, in fact, has the highest number of prisoners and the highest rate of incarceration of any nation -- our closest rival is China whom locks people up for political reasons more than actual mutually-recognized crime.


Yes. Not only will safety-nets reduce effects of poverty which are a strong cause of violence but they are a sign that the society has already developed a high level of empathy in the culture.

Nope welfare causes the opposite effects:

http://www.cato.org...

LOOOOOOOOOL. That article only proves my point. The correlation they made is that people who need welfare tend to be more involved in crime. Then somehow they draw the conclusion that they are involved in crime because of welfare. That's seriously just retarded. What it actually shows is the effect of poverty. Obviously, those who are impoverished are the ones who receive the welfare. Just compare the crime rates in countries with the highest welfare to those with the lowest. It's pretty clear.
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FREEDO
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4/10/2011 6:42:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 6:41:30 PM, lewis20 wrote:
How do you make kids behave?

A better question how to stop fvcking them up.
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darkkermit
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4/10/2011 6:49:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 6:41:40 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 6:20:35 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 4/10/2011 6:01:00 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 12:50:04 PM, PervRat wrote:
At 4/10/2011 3:43:00 AM, Korashk wrote:
At 4/10/2011 2:33:27 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 2:23:37 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
How would you "cure" a lack of empathy?

That is an excellent question. Certainly, it's much easier to prevent it, starting with just basic child development techniques. But there is much more promise in rehabilitation than it's given credit.

I'm no psychologist, but I'm pretty sure psychopaths/sociopaths are born that way. There's no preventing it.

If that were true, these crimes and their rates would be pretty much equal. Rates of violent crime tend to be much lower in nations that have strong social safety nets; the United States, in fact, has the highest number of prisoners and the highest rate of incarceration of any nation -- our closest rival is China whom locks people up for political reasons more than actual mutually-recognized crime.


Yes. Not only will safety-nets reduce effects of poverty which are a strong cause of violence but they are a sign that the society has already developed a high level of empathy in the culture.

Nope welfare causes the opposite effects:

http://www.cato.org...

LOOOOOOOOOL. That article only proves my point. The correlation they made is that people who need welfare tend to be more involved in crime. Then somehow they draw the conclusion that they are involved in crime because of welfare. That's seriously just retarded. What it actually shows is the effect of poverty. Obviously, those who are impoverished are the ones who receive the welfare. Just compare the crime rates in countries with the highest welfare to those with the lowest. It's pretty clear.

Please provide a link to a study that there is a strong correlation between welfare states and lowered crime rates. And yes, it has to control for other variables including the GDP per capital, and other government policies (treatment of prisoners, laws of drugs and prostitution, etc).
Open borders debate:
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FREEDO
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4/10/2011 9:04:55 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 6:49:18 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 4/10/2011 6:41:40 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 6:20:35 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 4/10/2011 6:01:00 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 12:50:04 PM, PervRat wrote:
At 4/10/2011 3:43:00 AM, Korashk wrote:
At 4/10/2011 2:33:27 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 2:23:37 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
How would you "cure" a lack of empathy?

That is an excellent question. Certainly, it's much easier to prevent it, starting with just basic child development techniques. But there is much more promise in rehabilitation than it's given credit.

I'm no psychologist, but I'm pretty sure psychopaths/sociopaths are born that way. There's no preventing it.

If that were true, these crimes and their rates would be pretty much equal. Rates of violent crime tend to be much lower in nations that have strong social safety nets; the United States, in fact, has the highest number of prisoners and the highest rate of incarceration of any nation -- our closest rival is China whom locks people up for political reasons more than actual mutually-recognized crime.


Yes. Not only will safety-nets reduce effects of poverty which are a strong cause of violence but they are a sign that the society has already developed a high level of empathy in the culture.

Nope welfare causes the opposite effects:

http://www.cato.org...

LOOOOOOOOOL. That article only proves my point. The correlation they made is that people who need welfare tend to be more involved in crime. Then somehow they draw the conclusion that they are involved in crime because of welfare. That's seriously just retarded. What it actually shows is the effect of poverty. Obviously, those who are impoverished are the ones who receive the welfare. Just compare the crime rates in countries with the highest welfare to those with the lowest. It's pretty clear.

Please provide a link to a study that there is a strong correlation between welfare states and lowered crime rates. And yes, it has to control for other variables including the GDP per capital, and other government policies (treatment of prisoners, laws of drugs and prostitution, etc).

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...

http://heinonline.org...=

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...

http://siteresources.worldbank.org...

http://www.allbusiness.com...

http://www.allacademic.com...

http://www.csgv.ca...

http://spokane.wsu.edu...
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Korashk
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4/10/2011 9:09:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 3:52:56 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 3:43:00 AM, Korashk wrote:
At 4/10/2011 2:33:27 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 2:23:37 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
How would you "cure" a lack of empathy?

That is an excellent question. Certainly, it's much easier to prevent it, starting with just basic child development techniques. But there is much more promise in rehabilitation than it's given credit.

I'm no psychologist, but I'm pretty sure psychopaths/sociopaths are born that way. There's no preventing it.

Incorrect. That would justify eugenics if it were true and it's a good thing the science community since disproved it. We can be predisposed to many things but no one is predetermined.

How would that justify eugenics?

Danielle wrote:
If people are born that way, and there's nothing that you could do to rehabilitate or change them, then what is the purpose of punishment of they're merely a product of their biological inclinations? Revenge?

I'm not exactly sure what this is in response to. Lacking empathy is not a punishable offense.

PervRat wrote:
If that were true, these crimes and their rates would be pretty much equal. Rates of violent crime tend to be much lower in nations that have strong social safety nets; the United States, in fact, has the highest number of prisoners and the highest rate of incarceration of any nation -- our closest rival is China whom locks people up for political reasons more than actual mutually-recognized crime.

My post was addressing psychopathy/sociopathy, not crime. I don't understand this response either.
When large numbers of otherwise-law abiding people break specific laws en masse, it's usually a fault that lies with the law. - Unknown
lewis20
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4/10/2011 9:25:25 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 6:42:19 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 6:41:30 PM, lewis20 wrote:
How do you make kids behave?

A better question how to stop fvcking them up.

So it's always the fault of the kids environment from birth till the age they can misbehave?
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

"War is a racket" - Smedley Butler
darkkermit
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4/10/2011 9:49:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/10/2011 9:04:55 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 6:49:18 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 4/10/2011 6:41:40 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 6:20:35 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 4/10/2011 6:01:00 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 12:50:04 PM, PervRat wrote:
At 4/10/2011 3:43:00 AM, Korashk wrote:
At 4/10/2011 2:33:27 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/10/2011 2:23:37 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
How would you "cure" a lack of empathy?

That is an excellent question. Certainly, it's much easier to prevent it, starting with just basic child development techniques. But there is much more promise in rehabilitation than it's given credit.

I'm no psychologist, but I'm pretty sure psychopaths/sociopaths are born that way. There's no preventing it.

If that were true, these crimes and their rates would be pretty much equal. Rates of violent crime tend to be much lower in nations that have strong social safety nets; the United States, in fact, has the highest number of prisoners and the highest rate of incarceration of any nation -- our closest rival is China whom locks people up for political reasons more than actual mutually-recognized crime.


Yes. Not only will safety-nets reduce effects of poverty which are a strong cause of violence but they are a sign that the society has already developed a high level of empathy in the culture.

Nope welfare causes the opposite effects:

http://www.cato.org...

LOOOOOOOOOL. That article only proves my point. The correlation they made is that people who need welfare tend to be more involved in crime. Then somehow they draw the conclusion that they are involved in crime because of welfare. That's seriously just retarded. What it actually shows is the effect of poverty. Obviously, those who are impoverished are the ones who receive the welfare. Just compare the crime rates in countries with the highest welfare to those with the lowest. It's pretty clear.

Please provide a link to a study that there is a strong correlation between welfare states and lowered crime rates. And yes, it has to control for other variables including the GDP per capital, and other government policies (treatment of prisoners, laws of drugs and prostitution, etc).

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...

http://heinonline.org...=

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...

http://siteresources.worldbank.org...

http://www.allbusiness.com...

http://www.allacademic.com...

http://www.csgv.ca...

http://spokane.wsu.edu...

It seems as if we have two conflicting studies. It is perhaps likely that if one thinks of crime as a function of welfare, one can get two points points where crime is minimized.

At one end of the spectrum, is if the government decides not to hand out welfare checks, then individuals, not the government, will create private charities that are designed to alleviate and help others try to find a job. These charities will be more efficient then the government, and the poor will have a greater incentive to find a job, since the government is no longer taking care of them. As studies show, people are more likely to be in a viscous cycle of poverty, if he/she is constantly getting a government handout:
http://www.cato.org...

Liberals are actually less likely to give to private charities, since they see private charities as a government responsibility:
http://abcnews.go.com...

At the other end of the spectrum, is the case where the government gives out welfare checks, which results in the poor less likely to commit crimes, due to the wealth redistribution effect as you had pointed out.
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...