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Do you believe in punishment?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Hygro, Jun 24, 2019.

?

How do you feel about punishment itself?

  1. Just punishment is a virtue

    33.3%
  2. Punishment is a necessary evil

    20.5%
  3. All responses to misdeeds should only be for harm reduction etc

    28.2%
  4. Some other take that’s meaningfully different without pedantry

    5.1%
  5. Erika will post a meme that is this option

    12.8%
  1. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    After learning about civil asset forfeiture and how widespread it is, I'm no longer convinced their primary purpose is actually "punishment so that people atone for wrongdoing" or "protecting society from really dangerous people". I'm sure some small percentage of prison population truly fits that description, the question is how large/small.

    Basically I'd argue US prison system isn't a good example because it's acting on different incentives entirely.

    I'd argue this depends drastically on the crime. Some crimes are legit mistakes that cause harm, but not irreparable harm. Atonement/forgiveness should be implicit at least in the design of how punishments of these crimes are handled.

    Where I'm less sold on forgiveness is for the most serious crimes. I'm not in a position where I feel okay preaching to others that they should forgive in those situations.
     
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  2. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

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    That's right. In a manner of speaking, you could say that "punishment for the sake of punishment" is completely effective - effective at keeping the business of imprisonment profitable. Any person or company that makes money from imprisoning people wants to imprison people for the sake of imprisoning them.
     
  3. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy You gave me my own tail?

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    Personal atonement to the victim is besides the point in social atonement via the criminal justice system. They're not the same thing, though society sometimes forms its opinion taking the attitude of the victim into consideration.

    They're always part of the equation whether we want them to be or not. If we're figuring out effective ways of deterring reviticism for an offense and cry, "that's too much, too mean!" that's an atonement/social fairness shearbolt that is triggering*. If we make occupational training in response to minor property violations pleasant and profitable while remaining hard to access by the law-abiding public an atonement/social fairness dilemma will erode support for the occupational training even if it is an effective deterrent. A minor restriction of rights while undergoing said treatment(such as drivers license restrictions) may be enough to both meet general expectations of social atonement while also existing under cover of "incapacitation."

    *and we really need them to. Permanent punishments and neverforget registries when it comes to hiring or living places that aren't under bridges are all well justified under the logic of reducing personal risk and recidivism arguments. But they're really crappy. In application they're bigoted and cruel and they need to die. And the only real way of getting there is understanding the retributive aspect is too severe even if one (mis)supports the dry "data" aspect of it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  4. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    I fully agree with this. it must have a disciplinary nature, and it also has a connotation of force (not necessarily violence). that's the essence of punishment.

    They aren't even desires, so the whole thing falls flat. A reflex is not a desire, a basic need is not a desire, even indulgence (as in eating mad calories) is not the same as desire, though it comes closest.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  5. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    foucault does make one, though my definition of punishment always has an element of discipline to it. that's why we have phrases like "ruthless/senseless punishment", because we inherently think of punishment as having a disciplinary, and by that also a corrective nature.

    foucault on discipline:

    that'd be lovely. my dungeon's been lonely lately :lol:
     
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  6. schlaufuchs

    schlaufuchs La Femme Moderne

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    I don't know if that's necessarily the case, or at least that's not what I took away from Discipline and Punish. Punishment is a spectacle; an ostentatious display of power which reifies the legitimacy of the institution (he also identifies this as the reason why the ceremony of commuting sentences was an essential ritual component of the spectacle - only the power of the state is capable of superceding the power of the state). Discipline, on the other hand, is a self-directed punishment, imposed on the individual through the impression of constant surveillance. In this respect, Discipline and Punishment could be seen as oppositional frameworks: in punishment, the institution lowers the individual and raises itself, whereas in discipline the individual lowers themself and raises the institution.
     
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  7. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    what I stated in the beginning of my post was my personal definition of punishment, not Foucaults. they don't align.

    I gave a summary of Foucaults position later on in that post. as you outline correctly he links punishment historically with the sovereign and sees discipline as emerging from prusso-french school and prison culture. so in his mind they're opposite frameworks. and he has a good point.

    note that in french the book is called surveiller et punir which gives the whole terminology a different aspect. many people have critisized "discipline and punishment" as a bad title, though I think it fits well.
     
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  8. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Deity

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    Discipline is not only in the vertical sphere, related to (vertical) insitutions.

    In a half horizontal, half vertical situation:
    In a man-machine (1:1) shopfloor job:
    If I am working in a shift and 5-10 minutes late for my shift, my fellow worker has probably been asked to continue behind the machine because delivery times etc.
    When I arrive, he can go.
    My colleagies will not like when I am always the guy coming regularely too late.

    In a horizontal situation:
    I pool together with a colleague the longer distance to our job.
    I drive with my car to the parking place near the motorway (where we continue in 1 car) and he is the one time early and the other time too late, but never disciplined in time (and the small roads from his house to the pool parking place have never traffic jams)

    In a social situation (human-human horizontal)
    I pick up my very old aunt (a bit dementia already, but not really hindering) to go together to a birthday party of my mother. We set the time at 10.00.
    I know she is uncertain, wants to be sure she is in time ready standing before the house door. And when she is there all the time thinking "when does he come, was the time indeed 10.00, etc.
    So I am 15 minutes early around the corner of the street with my car, wait until I see her closing her door and then drive to her housedoor.

    It's all discipline
    and nowhere an institution
    (well the shop floor boss to some degree, but it is the social repression-acceptance that would take the lead in socialising corrective actions).

    Discipline is like trust.
    Superior inventions for a lot of purposes. Including horizontal social.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
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  9. Yeekim

    Yeekim Deity

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    1) I believe "justice" to be a virtue, therefore "just" punishment would be virtuous by definition.
    2) Every society I know of has found it necessary to institute some kind of punishment against transgressions.
    3) And finally, where punishment is designed to serve as deterrence against further wrongdoing, it also has an effect of reducing harm. Which is also both necessary and virtuous thing to do.

    So, in short, I have trouble seeing the first 3 options as mutually exclusive.
    However, there certainly are situations where it is neither just nor necessary to exact punishment for a misdeed, which is also sort of commonly accepted knowledge.
    What, why?
    If x beats y up, but then regrets it and takes him to hospital, that obviously should factor into sentencing (and absolutely does, at least in criminal justice systems I'm familiar with).
    EDIT: Likewise, most systems include a feature of pardoning, to account for unusual/extreme circumstances.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  10. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    People only reject punishment because of the imcredibly sheltered lives they live. Believe me, if some ISIS members enslave your daughters and execute your son on trumped-up charges of drinking alcohol, that stance disappears awfully quickly.

    Yet punishment is often counterproductive in a culture of addiction, like the one liberals endorse.

    And you believe that that system doesn't include negative reinforcement?
     
  11. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Deity

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    How sheltered was your personal life ?
    I get the impression of pretty much a lot.

    It is not only that judicial part of punishment... that is only the tip of the iceberg... it is a legitimation of a whole flood of abuse throughout society.

    My personal life as a child was not that sheltered.
    And what I did learn during my childhood was that "adults" believing in (virtuous) punishment, were much more likely to dominant abusive behaviour (also of the corporal physical kind).

    Some of my street friends were beaten up at home regularly, most not regularly, some never. Some wifes were beaten if husbands came home drunk.
    I faced my father on that virtuous "punishment" when I was 16 (noted that he did do it seldom). I remember us two looking in each others eyes very well, even now. That moment put an end to his behaviour, also for my siblings.
    I guess I lived at a kind of pivotal moment in Amsterdam regarding the cultural liberal "revolution".
    In the first class of my secondary school some older teachers could in certain "disobedience" situations not resist "punishment".
    In the second class I simply took them on (2 and they were expelled from school, not me).
    In the third class it was peace. Liberal peace. Except when in the 5th class I got on a new school and a minor struggle was inevitable with a teacher Dutch. A terrible conservative anti-liberal person, also an Elder in the church I had to go to on Sunday. His poor children walking in clothes that were of the 50ies. (I describe the period 1966-1971)


    It is not only that judicial part of punishment... that is only the tip of the iceberg... it is a legitimation of a whole flood of abuse throughout society.
    And for that kind of abuse you can forget any beautiful logic and nicely worded considerations.... it is just dominating violence of a primitive obedience system.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
  12. MaryKB

    MaryKB Goddess Queen Supporter

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    I'm much more likely to be enslaved by "conservatives" than by ISIS. Real threats to my wellbeing exist far closer to home by people who think "justice" means "punishing" me for daring to think I'm a person and that I deserve to be treated as an equal.

    Punishment is about control. You punish someone because you want to remind them they're subject to your authority.
     
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  13. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    You can't use this to wiggle out of demonstrating that any given punishment is just.
     
  14. Yeekim

    Yeekim Deity

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    Uh... thanks Cap'tn obvious?
    I explicitly said:
     
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  15. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    One of my uncles cheated on his wife early in their marriage. The entire family gathered - twelve of his siblings - and beat the stuffing out of him. He never cheated again, maintains a happy marriage to this day, and doesn't seem bitter about what happened. Are you willing to consider that violence and punishment might have a healthy role that you were never exposed to?

    Of course, the *primary* determinant for shaping people's behavior should be taboos and public shaming. I think that our culture has changed so that things which were formerly hideously taboo - like casual sex, or disrespecting one's parents - are now part and parcel of everyday life. People engage daily in behaviors that only the most disruptive or asocial did (where punishment could be used effectively to warn off people and drive troublemakers out). The modern misuse of violence is a symptom of rapid change, where punishments that helped society less than a generation ago are seen as legitimate responses to the breakdown of social order, but are ineffectual and only cause more strife.

    Indeed. From the Mishna:

    "Rabbi Chanina, the Deputy High Priest, says: Pray for the welfare of the government, for were it not for the fear of it, man would swallow his fellow alive."

    No modern society has given up on punishment. But because of the scruples of those like yourself, a far more vicious, dehumanizing, and arbitrary punishment is used: prison.

    Why should he have to?
     
  16. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    *shrug* he doesn't have to.
     
  17. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy You gave me my own tail?

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    Lots still narrowing the word, mostly, until the answer desired to be given is rationalized. ;)
     
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  18. MaryKB

    MaryKB Goddess Queen Supporter

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    Casual sex has never "been taboo" for men, rather it's been very widely celebrated throughout history. But of course you only mean for such restrictive taboos (to be punished with "public shaming and humiliation") to apply to about half the population.
     
  19. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    I don't think it is virtuous but I do believe people should be punished for their crimes. Now, this isn't carte blanche to show every black kid in a prison cell, nor is it carte blanche to turn every prison into an absolute hell hole.

    I too believe forgiveness is a personal decision and people shouldn't be pressured to offer it or judged when they don't.
     
  20. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

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    Right, good point. I'm also thinking about the role of contrition and regret, in the context of, for example, a parole hearing or some kind of post-prison-release stepdown program like a halfway house, drug treatment, or community service. Without allowing for repentance, rehabilitation would be impossible.
     
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