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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

View Poll Results: What is moral, and how would you act?
Release is moral; I would release. 17 56.67%
Release is moral; I would punish. 5 16.67%
Punishment is moral; I would release. 0 0%
Punishment is moral; I would punish. 8 26.67%
Voters: 30. You may not vote on this poll

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  (#41 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 9th 2010, 07:49 AM

Going to micro respond:

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebigmole View Post
I'm sorry but can I just ask why it's about rehabilitation. Rehabilitate what?! A freaking murderer!
Justice is created for betterment of society. Which is better for society, to rehabilitate a murderer into an contributing citizen, or to put him/her to death and waste his/her potential?

Quote:
Someone who blatantly took the life of another human being? Why the fuck do they deserve to be "rehabilitated".
He/she may have done wrong, but if he/she will not murder again, and can contribute to society, why waste his/her potential because of something that has happened in the past? Although regrettable, the past cannot be changed. It is silly make the present worse because people cannot let go of the past.

Quote:
No I'm sorry but that's NOT justice. You take a life you don't deserve a life period. And whether that means the end of life completely or just the end of a free life that is justice. Not revenge, justice.
Murder is irrational. So no rational person murders people, correct? He/she must have some mental illness, no?

So why would we murder someone that is clearly suffering from a mental illness? Why don't we just rehabilitate them?


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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 9th 2010, 09:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebigmole View Post
I'm sorry but can I just ask why it's about rehabilitation. Rehabilitate what?! A freaking murderer! Someone who blatantly took the life of another human being? Why the fuck do they deserve to be "rehabilitated". No I'm sorry but that's NOT justice. You take a life you don't deserve a life period. And whether that means the end of life completely or just the end of a free life that is justice. Not revenge, justice.
So an eye for an eye? History has taught us that such blatant retribution condones the action further, and does not create a resolution.


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  (#43 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 10th 2010, 03:17 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Mr. Self Destruct~ View Post

So an eye for an eye? History has taught us that such blatant retribution condones the action further, and does not create a resolution.
It's not an eye for an eye. Murderers who warrant the death sentence generally committed extremely cruel, inhumane, heinous crimes. Killing them humanely through lethal injection is providing them a luxury their victims never had. it isn't sinking to their level, but is still providing justice appropriate to the situation.

Personally, I think that non-violent crimes should require the offenders to take classes, pay for losses, complete community service, etc. There should be no jail time. Violent offenders should get jail time or be killed. I suppose that depending on the type of offense, rehabilitation should be available, but I think for more severe crimes (Rape, murder, child abuse) there should be a mandatory minimum of life with a preference toward the death penalty. And the death penalty process should be streamlined so that there isn't so much money wasted on it. Just kill them already, and if an innocent person happens to die by mistake, then oh well. There are enough people in the world that it really doesn't matter all that much.


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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 10th 2010, 04:15 AM

This, of course, reminds me of debates about the death penalty. There was an article about it that actually made an interesting point behind the death penalty: what is really the proponent behind the support for it, at least in the psyches of its supporters, is a desire for retribution. They want the murderer to suffer as his victims did. In reality this can never happen, for in most countries everyone is gauranteed no cruel and unusual punishment, include methods of dispatch.

In addition, I personally think that A) death is too good for someone who has committed such atrocities. In death they don't have to contemplate their actions. B) To punish a criminal like that puts us on the level of criminal; we forsake our humanity to satisfy a base emotion.

For these reasons, I would not choose to punish, ESPECIALLY if he was absolutely not going to hurt anyone else. He would be reformed, would he not? He would have punished himself for his actions and would go on to live a productive, healthy life in repentance? Then why punish him? Better to have another member of a productive society than to debase our own dignity in punishing a redeemed man.


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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 10th 2010, 07:35 AM

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Originally Posted by TheNumber42 View Post
It's not an eye for an eye. Murderers who warrant the death sentence generally committed extremely cruel, inhumane, heinous crimes. Killing them humanely through lethal injection is providing them a luxury their victims never had. it isn't sinking to their level, but is still providing justice appropriate to the situation.

Personally, I think that non-violent crimes should require the offenders to take classes, pay for losses, complete community service, etc. There should be no jail time. Violent offenders should get jail time or be killed. I suppose that depending on the type of offense, rehabilitation should be available, but I think for more severe crimes (Rape, murder, child abuse) there should be a mandatory minimum of life with a preference toward the death penalty. And the death penalty process should be streamlined so that there isn't so much money wasted on it. Just kill them already, and if an innocent person happens to die by mistake, then oh well. There are enough people in the world that it really doesn't matter all that much.
I was under the impression they were implying a "get what you give argument".


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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 10th 2010, 12:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Mr. Self Destruct~ View Post

I was under the impression they were implying a "get what you give argument".
I don't think a "get what you give" argument is practical. Whether it is moral I think is really a very subjective thing, but practically it isn't really the best choice. Causes too many problems with people complaining about how barbaric it is, besides not being extensible to most crimes (Unless we start raping rapists, stealing from thieves, beating people with assault charges, smoking pot [?] with people who get caught with pot). That's why I find that they death penalty as it is is a fair penalty. It's humane in comparison to their crime, but also a fitting punishment for their crime.


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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 10th 2010, 12:19 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Double X View Post
Going to micro respond:



Justice is created for betterment of society. Which is better for society, to rehabilitate a murderer into an contributing citizen, or to put him/her to death and waste his/her potential?



He/she may have done wrong, but if he/she will not murder again, and can contribute to society, why waste his/her potential because of something that has happened in the past? Although regrettable, the past cannot be changed. It is silly make the present worse because people cannot let go of the past.



Murder is irrational. So no rational person murders people, correct? He/she must have some mental illness, no?

So why would we murder someone that is clearly suffering from a mental illness? Why don't we just rehabilitate them?
Actually there are a few rational killers out there. They think the situation through and believe that their actions are justified. I don't think that everyone who kills someone is mentally ill. I think that someone who kills someone in a a rage, a crime of passion if you will, is not mentally ill. I think that there are people who just kill people because it's their job, I don't think they are mentally ill they are just making a living.

But I still don't see how you can possible rehabilitate a murderer, especially if they are mentally ill. Then they will most likely just do it again. So lock them up for the rest of their lives, seems perfectly just to me. But I don't see how someone who tortured and killed someone, or multiple people would EVER be a functioning member of society. Because he/she would be obligated to tell everyone his criminal history, he'll never get a job, would have a very hard time finding a place to live, and will mostly likely just kill someone again.


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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 10th 2010, 02:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebigmole View Post
Actually there are a few rational killers out there. They think the situation through and believe that their actions are justified. I don't think that everyone who kills someone is mentally ill. I think that someone who kills someone in a a rage, a crime of passion if you will, is not mentally ill. I think that there are people who just kill people because it's their job, I don't think they are mentally ill they are just making a living.

But I still don't see how you can possible rehabilitate a murderer, especially if they are mentally ill. Then they will most likely just do it again. So lock them up for the rest of their lives, seems perfectly just to me. But I don't see how someone who tortured and killed someone, or multiple people would EVER be a functioning member of society. Because he/she would be obligated to tell everyone his criminal history, he'll never get a job, would have a very hard time finding a place to live, and will mostly likely just kill someone again.
"So Mr. Smith, you seem very qualified for this job, anything else we should be aware of?" "Well, I guess you should probably know I was convicted of triple murder." "Ohh.... I see. That's nic-" "I'm all better now though, I almost never have the urge to see blood or watch someone writhing in pain as their life drains out of them." "You know, I think that's enough for the interview. We'll just... uh, call you if we find we have an opening."

Well, I can definitely see the lulz value here, but otherwise doesn't seem like a very good idea trying to rehabilitate. I agree with thebigmole that they need to be locked up or killed. Rehabilitate non-violent offenders and certain low-level violent offenders (i.e. a guy that got in a bar fight), life in prison or death for serious violent or sexual offenders (i.e. murderers, rapists, child molesters, etc).


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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 11th 2010, 02:05 AM

I agree that in many cases it's not practical or possible to rehabilitate murderers into ordinary society, but that isn't really the point. What if we could? If it were actually possible to have a justice system that didn't require offenders to be so severely punished, I think that would be a wonderful thing.

The "get what they deserve" mindset I find worryingly dangerous. It's very, very easily to justify doing awful things if you believe that "deserving it" makes it okay, and a justice system built on that mindset I would not want to be a part of.


The atoms that make up you and me were born in the hearts of suns many times greater than ours, and in time our atoms will once again reside amongst the stars. Life is but an idle dalliance of the cosmos, frail, and soon forgotten. We have been set adrift in an ocean whose tides we are only beginning to comprehend and with that maturity has come the realization that we are, at least for now, alone. In that loneliness, it falls to us to shine as brightly as the stars from which we came.
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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 11th 2010, 03:26 AM

I clicked release is moral, I would punish.

I'm sure the better thing to do would be to let him go, to forgive him. Another life wasted is pointless if he could never do it again. Revenge is an ugly thing and it would not be good to lower ourselves to his level.

But he deserves it. He deserves to die. His victims weren't afforded the moral better, why should I give it to him?

You know, I'm a very liberal person, so I think people expect I'd be against the death penalty. I am. Too many mistakes. It turns us into murderers. The line becomes too blurred between what is right and what is not. But I just don't care about murderers. Unless it is a special circumstance (e.g. the Teresa Lewis case) there is no way I'd attend some protest to stop the death of someone who brutally murderered someone else. So I think, as an organized, instituted punishment, am I against it? Yes. If a victim's family member killed the murderer, would it bother me? It would bother me that the family member will have to live with it, but it doesn't bother me that another cold hearted murderer is dead.

The go to pro death penalty argument is always this: If someone killed your family, would you want them dead?

The standard anti death penalty response: No. It wouldn't bring my family back.

My response? Hell yes I'd want them dead. And I'm sure most of the people who respond as if they're so forgiving and tolerant would too. But isn't it an issue we need to remain objective about? Or is it the opposite? Is it far too personal to look at in a clinical light?

I know I've gotten of track here. I tend to ramble, but I'll get to my point eventually. Is it the moral thing to do to forgive? Absolutely. Is killing him immoral? I don't think so. It's a bit 'morally grey'. But so what? The man that murdered people didn't care about morals. Why do morals even apply here? I wouldn't feel bad about myself if I killed him. I wouldn't regret it. Presumably no one would miss him. The world is overpopulated as it is.

This isn't really some far out, unrealistic question. It happens every day. How do we know the man won't kill again? Perhaps we lock him up in a cell, with no interaction with other prisoners. Personally I find that far less humane than just putting a bullet in his head. If we go on the whole 'let him go, he won't do it again' (rather than locking him up) then that is just ridiculous. We have rules in a society, and if we don't live by them we would plunge into chaos. We can't just let people go because they promise not to do it again. Even if we had some kind of psychic knowledge that he wouldn't, it doesn't change what he did. What kind of deterrent is that? People can just kill others if they only plan to do it once and never again?

In simple terms: Yes, forgiveness is moral. He doesn't deserve the moral option.


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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 11th 2010, 06:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marguerite View Post
I clicked release is moral, I would punish.

I'm sure the better thing to do would be to let him go, to forgive him. Another life wasted is pointless if he could never do it again. Revenge is an ugly thing and it would not be good to lower ourselves to his level.

But he deserves it. He deserves to die. His victims weren't afforded the moral better, why should I give it to him?

You know, I'm a very liberal person, so I think people expect I'd be against the death penalty. I am. Too many mistakes. It turns us into murderers. The line becomes too blurred between what is right and what is not. But I just don't care about murderers. Unless it is a special circumstance (e.g. the Teresa Lewis case) there is no way I'd attend some protest to stop the death of someone who brutally murderered someone else. So I think, as an organized, instituted punishment, am I against it? Yes. If a victim's family member killed the murderer, would it bother me? It would bother me that the family member will have to live with it, but it doesn't bother me that another cold hearted murderer is dead.

The go to pro death penalty argument is always this: If someone killed your family, would you want them dead?

The standard anti death penalty response: No. It wouldn't bring my family back.

My response? Hell yes I'd want them dead. And I'm sure most of the people who respond as if they're so forgiving and tolerant would too. But isn't it an issue we need to remain objective about? Or is it the opposite? Is it far too personal to look at in a clinical light?

I know I've gotten of track here. I tend to ramble, but I'll get to my point eventually. Is it the moral thing to do to forgive? Absolutely. Is killing him immoral? I don't think so. It's a bit 'morally grey'. But so what? The man that murdered people didn't care about morals. Why do morals even apply here? I wouldn't feel bad about myself if I killed him. I wouldn't regret it. Presumably no one would miss him. The world is overpopulated as it is.

This isn't really some far out, unrealistic question. It happens every day. How do we know the man won't kill again? Perhaps we lock him up in a cell, with no interaction with other prisoners. Personally I find that far less humane than just putting a bullet in his head. If we go on the whole 'let him go, he won't do it again' (rather than locking him up) then that is just ridiculous. We have rules in a society, and if we don't live by them we would plunge into chaos. We can't just let people go because they promise not to do it again. Even if we had some kind of psychic knowledge that he wouldn't, it doesn't change what he did. What kind of deterrent is that? People can just kill others if they only plan to do it once and never again?

In simple terms: Yes, forgiveness is moral. He doesn't deserve the moral option.
As I've said now ad nauseum, this isn't meant to be a realistic scenario. It's a question about the nature of morality, forgiveness and vengeance, not a question of how we should actually treat murderers as a society. I'll quite happily agree that just letting criminals go would be a terrible idea.

I would like to point something out though: few people are really evil. We're all aware how heavily childhood affects who we are, and thereby influences our actions. It's actually surprising exactly how much our actions are the result of things other than our conscious reasoning. Be very careful of drawing conclusions about a person's character from their actions without compelling reason; it's very easy to get things wildly wrong. For many criminals, what they seem to "choose" is quite predictable from factors outside their control, in the same way as most Americans "choose" to be Christian and most Afghans "choose" to be Muslim. Therefore in punishing criminals purely for the sake of punishing them, there is a very real sense in which you are punishing people for simply having the misfortune to be born in the wrong place at the wrong time to the wrong parents. That possibility should give you pause before declaring that someone "deserves" something, particularly if you know nothing but their actions.


The atoms that make up you and me were born in the hearts of suns many times greater than ours, and in time our atoms will once again reside amongst the stars. Life is but an idle dalliance of the cosmos, frail, and soon forgotten. We have been set adrift in an ocean whose tides we are only beginning to comprehend and with that maturity has come the realization that we are, at least for now, alone. In that loneliness, it falls to us to shine as brightly as the stars from which we came.
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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 11th 2010, 07:05 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebigmole View Post
Actually there are a few rational killers out there. They think the situation through and believe that their actions are justified.
So let's get into the guts of this claim. There are some rational killers, and they think the situation through and believe their actions are justified. How can they be rational if they think things through and come to a irrational conclusion? Isn't that the very nature of irrationality?

Quote:
I think that someone who kills someone in a a rage, a crime of passion if you will, is not mentally ill.
So they have a momentary break of ethics and kill someone? Why punish them if it a single occurrence?

Quote:
I think that there are people who just kill people because it's their job, I don't think they are mentally ill they are just making a living.
Soldiers? Hitmen? Another issue I think. We would have to analyze the thought process of people who enter that line of employment and make judgments from that. For the sake of simplicity, I have been trying to address the topic of the thread.

Quote:
But I still don't see how you can possible rehabilitate a murderer, especially if they are mentally ill. Then they will most likely just do it again.
I'm not saying it can be done with 100 percent effectiveness, but it is worth doing if the option is killing them, or making them a productive member of society.

Quote:
So lock them up for the rest of their lives, seems perfectly just to me. But I don't see how someone who tortured and killed someone, or multiple people would EVER be a functioning member of society.
People can drastically change their lives and/or personalities. Do you think all murderers are born murderers? Or is it that they changed somewhere during their lives? If so, why can't they change back?

Quote:
Because he/she would be obligated to tell everyone his criminal history, he'll never get a job, would have a very hard time finding a place to live, and will mostly likely just kill someone again.
Eh, that's just public policy that could easily be changed.


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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 11th 2010, 07:16 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marguerite View Post
I clicked release is moral, I would punish.

I'm sure the better thing to do would be to let him go, to forgive him. Another life wasted is pointless if he could never do it again. Revenge is an ugly thing and it would not be good to lower ourselves to his level.

But he deserves it. He deserves to die. His victims weren't afforded the moral better, why should I give it to him?

You know, I'm a very liberal person, so I think people expect I'd be against the death penalty. I am. Too many mistakes. It turns us into murderers. The line becomes too blurred between what is right and what is not. But I just don't care about murderers. Unless it is a special circumstance (e.g. the Teresa Lewis case) there is no way I'd attend some protest to stop the death of someone who brutally murderered someone else. So I think, as an organized, instituted punishment, am I against it? Yes. If a victim's family member killed the murderer, would it bother me? It would bother me that the family member will have to live with it, but it doesn't bother me that another cold hearted murderer is dead.

The go to pro death penalty argument is always this: If someone killed your family, would you want them dead?

The standard anti death penalty response: No. It wouldn't bring my family back.

My response? Hell yes I'd want them dead. And I'm sure most of the people who respond as if they're so forgiving and tolerant would too. But isn't it an issue we need to remain objective about? Or is it the opposite? Is it far too personal to look at in a clinical light?

I know I've gotten of track here. I tend to ramble, but I'll get to my point eventually. Is it the moral thing to do to forgive? Absolutely. Is killing him immoral? I don't think so. It's a bit 'morally grey'. But so what? The man that murdered people didn't care about morals. Why do morals even apply here? I wouldn't feel bad about myself if I killed him. I wouldn't regret it. Presumably no one would miss him. The world is overpopulated as it is.

This isn't really some far out, unrealistic question. It happens every day. How do we know the man won't kill again? Perhaps we lock him up in a cell, with no interaction with other prisoners. Personally I find that far less humane than just putting a bullet in his head. If we go on the whole 'let him go, he won't do it again' (rather than locking him up) then that is just ridiculous. We have rules in a society, and if we don't live by them we would plunge into chaos. We can't just let people go because they promise not to do it again. Even if we had some kind of psychic knowledge that he wouldn't, it doesn't change what he did. What kind of deterrent is that? People can just kill others if they only plan to do it once and never again?

In simple terms: Yes, forgiveness is moral. He doesn't deserve the moral option.
Just because he/she murdered someone, does not mean they deserve to die. No one 'deserves' anything. You are merely projecting some dreary view that actions make him subhuman.

People are not evil, they are the products of their environment. Do you think when he was born, that he was innately a murderer? Or did he have an abusive parent, or was bullied to the point of self-seclusion?

If you believe he made a 'choice' to become a murderer, don't you think his actions, like all actions, is heavily influenced by the society in which he is a part of?

Truth is, when a crime is committed, it doesn't reflect the perpetrator any more than society itself. Everyone contributed to the crime that happened, in their own unique way. Like everyone else, the murderer was acting out his own role in society. Tragically, he is damned to a hated lifestyle.


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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 12th 2010, 10:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xujhan View Post
I would like to point something out though: few people are really evil. We're all aware how heavily childhood affects who we are, and thereby influences our actions. It's actually surprising exactly how much our actions are the result of things other than our conscious reasoning. Be very careful of drawing conclusions about a person's character from their actions without compelling reason; it's very easy to get things wildly wrong. For many criminals, what they seem to "choose" is quite predictable from factors outside their control, in the same way as most Americans "choose" to be Christian and most Afghans "choose" to be Muslim. Therefore in punishing criminals purely for the sake of punishing them, there is a very real sense in which you are punishing people for simply having the misfortune to be born in the wrong place at the wrong time to the wrong parents. That possibility should give you pause before declaring that someone "deserves" something, particularly if you know nothing but their actions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Double X View Post
Just because he/she murdered someone, does not mean they deserve to die. No one 'deserves' anything. You are merely projecting some dreary view that actions make him subhuman.

People are not evil, they are the products of their environment. Do you think when he was born, that he was innately a murderer? Or did he have an abusive parent, or was bullied to the point of self-seclusion?

If you believe he made a 'choice' to become a murderer, don't you think his actions, like all actions, is heavily influenced by the society in which he is a part of?

Truth is, when a crime is committed, it doesn't reflect the perpetrator any more than society itself. Everyone contributed to the crime that happened, in their own unique way. Like everyone else, the murderer was acting out his own role in society. Tragically, he is damned to a hated lifestyle.
Honestly I don't know how to respond to this other than to say I think it's kind of crap. I don't mean that in an offensive way and I respect your opinion and see were you're both coming from, but I absolutely 100% some people deserve to be punished.

Saying that they're just products of their enviroment and can't control their actions is so condescending and offensive to anyone who ever grew up in an abusive household or went through a traumatic experience and managed to not kill 1000 people. I empathise with people from terrible backgrounds but let's not act like those people are children who can't think for themselves.

You've both mentioned (basically) that people aren't born evil and so to punish them would be unfair. I think it's the opposite. If people were born evil, I wouldn't punish them. It would be unfair to punish someone over something they have no control over.

There is a reason when someone is charged with a crime, the sentence doesn't hinder on whether that person had a white picket fence or not. Life is unfair. It's awful that some people are born into horrible lives with horrible people. But if someone kills someone I love, I'm not going to be okay with it because they had a horrible life. The person they killed didn't cause that life. If I punch you because I had a bad day, is that alright? No it's not, because I have no right to make my problems your problems. People can't just go around taking out their anger on other people.

I don't live in a black and white world and I realize that these issues are complex. But honestly, 'nothing but their actions' is enough because their actions are the only thing that matter. And should it be? Should I take everything in and be more empathetic? Maybe. Like I said, I think the 'moral' thing to do is to forgive and forget. I just wouldn't do it.


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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 12th 2010, 11:58 AM

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Originally Posted by Marguerite View Post
Honestly I don't know how to respond to this other than to say I think it's kind of crap. I don't mean that in an offensive way and I respect your opinion and see were you're both coming from, but I absolutely 100% some people deserve to be punished.
Do you have any counter argument besides your personal feelings on the matter? We are trying to converge opinions to arrive at an objective conclusion, not talking about personal feelings. Otherwise, there is no point in discussing it.

Quote:
Saying that they're just products of their enviroment and can't control their actions is so condescending and offensive to anyone who ever grew up in an abusive household or went through a traumatic experience and managed to not kill 1000 people. I empathise with people from terrible backgrounds but let's not act like those people are children who can't think for themselves.
I empathize too, but I won't murder more people so the other victims feel a little bit better. There can be better ways of making victims feel better that are not harmful society and morally bankrupt.

Quote:
You've both mentioned (basically) that people aren't born evil and so to punish them would be unfair. I think it's the opposite. If people were born evil, I wouldn't punish them. It would be unfair to punish someone over something they have no control over.
What causes people to act a certain way? Do you believe people actually have control over their actions? What is the source of actions? Because I think you are missing the crux of the argument. If people are not responsible for their actions, it is immoral to punish them for it because they have no control over their actions.

Quote:
No it's not, because I have no right to make my problems your problems. People can't just go around taking out their anger on other people.
I agree it's wrong, but there is no reason for retribution. In fact, by exacting revenge through the 'justice' system is making your problems their problem as well.

Quote:
I just wouldn't do it.
Isn't it ideal to follow the moral code you just agreed with?


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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 13th 2010, 02:17 AM

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Originally Posted by Double X View Post
Do you have any counter argument besides your personal feelings on the matter? We are trying to converge opinions to arrive at an objective conclusion, not talking about personal feelings. Otherwise, there is no point in discussing it.
Firstly, I did have a counter argument, which followed after I said how I felt about it. So I'm not sure what your point is.

Secondly, people discuss personal feelings all the time. I'm not sure where you got this idea that it's some kind of 'no go' zone. Most opinions come from personal feelings.

We're having a discussion on an internet forum, not really deciding whether a man should live or die. There is no reason to get so emotional about it. I'm wasting time here, not trying to find a solution that we can all agree upon. That would be pretty impossible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Double X View Post
I empathize too, but I won't murder more people so the other victims feel a little bit better. There can be better ways of making victims feel better that are not harmful society and morally bankrupt.
I don't find it morally bankrupt or harmful to society. I can't understand why anyone would be so caring and considerate to someone who has shown nothing but the opposite to others.

My problem is that you seem to think this person who has killed 1000 people has 0% blame, is not responsible for his actions, is a product of society etc etc but that punishing him is the most horrible thing anyone could ever do. Why?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Double X View Post
What causes people to act a certain way? Do you believe people actually have control over their actions? What is the source of actions? Because I think you are missing the crux of the argument. If people are not responsible for their actions, it is immoral to punish them for it because they have no control over their actions.
I'm not missing anything, I just disagree with you that people have no control over themselves.

I agree that our actions, choices and behaviour is heavily experienced by our experiences, but I don't think we are slaves to our surroundings. I don't think someone has no choice but to put an axe in someone's head because their father used to lock them in a basement.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Double X View Post
I agree it's wrong, but there is no reason for retribution. In fact, by exacting revenge through the 'justice' system is making your problems their problem as well.
Not really. If I hurt you because I was hurt by my parents, it's not fair because you had nothing to do with my parents hurting me. If I hurt you as punishment for hurting someone else, isn't that different? In one scenario, you have no blame. In the other you are the cause of the problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Double X View Post
Isn't it ideal to follow the moral code you just agreed with?
Ideal? Sure.

Do you think it is ideal to let someone who has killed 1000 go free without any punishment?

I think you're getting too caught up in this murder thing. I'm not saying I'd kill him. I mean I wouldn't get too choked up if he died but there are better, more productive ways of punishing someone.

I'm not talking about torture or anything like that. But families of the victims will have to live with what he has done for the rest of their lives... why shouldn't he?

He should be forced to try and make up for what he has done somehow. Obviously this is not applicable in real life.


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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 13th 2010, 05:42 PM

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blah blah blah people are to blame blah
Sounds good. Let's break the idea down slowly.

What are are all the conceivable causes to an action? Let's use an example, such as a man robbing a convenience store. What are all the conceivable reasons that caused him to do so?


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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 13th 2010, 07:13 PM

If we are go outside reality, and just look at the scenario presented, I would say letting him go is the moral answer.

Punishment would only hinder the man's ability to be happy and I really value having more happy people in this world than people who seek to punish others.
   
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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 13th 2010, 11:28 PM

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Originally Posted by Marguerite View Post
Honestly I don't know how to respond to this other than to say I think it's kind of crap. I don't mean that in an offensive way and I respect your opinion and see were you're both coming from, but I absolutely 100% some people deserve to be punished.

Saying that they're just products of their enviroment and can't control their actions is so condescending and offensive to anyone who ever grew up in an abusive household or went through a traumatic experience and managed to not kill 1000 people. I empathise with people from terrible backgrounds but let's not act like those people are children who can't think for themselves.

You've both mentioned (basically) that people aren't born evil and so to punish them would be unfair. I think it's the opposite. If people were born evil, I wouldn't punish them. It would be unfair to punish someone over something they have no control over.

There is a reason when someone is charged with a crime, the sentence doesn't hinder on whether that person had a white picket fence or not. Life is unfair. It's awful that some people are born into horrible lives with horrible people. But if someone kills someone I love, I'm not going to be okay with it because they had a horrible life. The person they killed didn't cause that life. If I punch you because I had a bad day, is that alright? No it's not, because I have no right to make my problems your problems. People can't just go around taking out their anger on other people.

I don't live in a black and white world and I realize that these issues are complex. But honestly, 'nothing but their actions' is enough because their actions are the only thing that matter. And should it be? Should I take everything in and be more empathetic? Maybe. Like I said, I think the 'moral' thing to do is to forgive and forget. I just wouldn't do it.
I didn't mean to condescend; none of us truly have much control over who we are. You're right that people can't use their circumstances to excuse their own actions, but I think it's important that people recognize the general truth that people actions are often determined greatly by factors outside their circumstances. Not that we should therefore forgive everything no matter what, just that we should remain aware of it and allow that knowledge to temper our judgments somewhat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marguerite
I don't find it morally bankrupt or harmful to society. I can't understand why anyone would be so caring and considerate to someone who has shown nothing but the opposite to others.

My problem is that you seem to think this person who has killed 1000 people has 0% blame, is not responsible for his actions, is a product of society etc etc but that punishing him is the most horrible thing anyone could ever do. Why?
For my part, I don't think that someone's status as a person can depend on how I judge their actions, no matter how certain I am that I'm right in my judgment. If someone murders, that's awful, yes. It's wrong of them, yes. It needs to be ensured that they can't harm anyone else, yes. I don't disagree with any of that. But after all that, they are still a person, and I think it's better to care about all people, as much as you can, rather than only the ones its convenient to easy care about. So even if someone is a murderer, I'd rather any other option than death if one is available. Killing a murderer isn't as bad as killing an innocent person, but it's still killing and it still only compounds the tragedy.


The atoms that make up you and me were born in the hearts of suns many times greater than ours, and in time our atoms will once again reside amongst the stars. Life is but an idle dalliance of the cosmos, frail, and soon forgotten. We have been set adrift in an ocean whose tides we are only beginning to comprehend and with that maturity has come the realization that we are, at least for now, alone. In that loneliness, it falls to us to shine as brightly as the stars from which we came.
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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 13th 2010, 11:52 PM

I chose to free them, but only because I'm against the death penalty and I wouldn't want someone's eternal imprisonment on my conscience (since they're not going to kill again). But I agree that if it was 1000 of my family and friends that had died that might change my oh so rational thoughts. I also mainly agree with Marguerite- there is no way someone can murder 1000 people and not be 'responsible'. Of course society shapes our actions but unless someone has a psychiatric disorder (which maybe many murderers do, I dunno) there is a very important element of choice. Otherwise why have any laws? No-one can control their own actions ergo there is a complete lack of responsibility and society falls apart. Wooo!
   
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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 14th 2010, 02:22 AM

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I chose to free them, but only because I'm against the death penalty and I wouldn't want someone's eternal imprisonment on my conscience (since they're not going to kill again). But I agree that if it was 1000 of my family and friends that had died that might change my oh so rational thoughts. I also mainly agree with Marguerite- there is no way someone can murder 1000 people and not be 'responsible'. Of course society shapes our actions but unless someone has a psychiatric disorder (which maybe many murderers do, I dunno) there is a very important element of choice. Otherwise why have any laws? No-one can control their own actions ergo there is a complete lack of responsibility and society falls apart. Wooo!
This is why I always hesitate to mention arguments from (lack of) free will; not because I disagree with them but because they're almost universally misunderstood.

Kant put it very well: "As rational beings, we must assume that we have free will." We do definitely need to hold people responsible for their actions; there's simply no other way for society to function. But it doesn't necessarily follow that people are fundamentally responsible, and that should affect how we hold people responsible. It means that we do so out of necessity, and recognizing that we should still do as much as we can to respect those we imprison.


The atoms that make up you and me were born in the hearts of suns many times greater than ours, and in time our atoms will once again reside amongst the stars. Life is but an idle dalliance of the cosmos, frail, and soon forgotten. We have been set adrift in an ocean whose tides we are only beginning to comprehend and with that maturity has come the realization that we are, at least for now, alone. In that loneliness, it falls to us to shine as brightly as the stars from which we came.
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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 14th 2010, 05:35 AM

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This is why I always hesitate to mention arguments from (lack of) free will; not because I disagree with them but because they're almost universally misunderstood.

Kant put it very well: "As rational beings, we must assume that we have free will." We do definitely need to hold people responsible for their actions; there's simply no other way for society to function. But it doesn't necessarily follow that people are fundamentally responsible, and that should affect how we hold people responsible. It means that we do so out of necessity, and recognizing that we should still do as much as we can to respect those we imprison.
I tend to agree with you, but I cannot simply follow this line of logic:

1. We can only punish people who are responsible for their actions.
2. To murder is irrational.
3. Murderers should be punished.
4. Murderers are responsible.
5. Murderers are rational, otherwise they could not be responsible.
6. A murderer (a rational person) commits murder (an irrational act).
7. A rational person commits an irrational act.


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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 14th 2010, 05:55 AM

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Originally Posted by Double X View Post
I tend to agree with you, but I cannot simply follow this line of logic:

1. We can only punish people who are responsible for their actions.
2. To murder is irrational.
3. Murderers should be punished.
4. Murderers are responsible.
5. Murderers are rational, otherwise they could not be responsible.
6. A murderer (a rational person) commits murder (an irrational act).
7. A rational person commits an irrational act.
Whose logic is that? I think I can follow it, or at least the logic of it, but the premises seem pretty far-fetched.


The atoms that make up you and me were born in the hearts of suns many times greater than ours, and in time our atoms will once again reside amongst the stars. Life is but an idle dalliance of the cosmos, frail, and soon forgotten. We have been set adrift in an ocean whose tides we are only beginning to comprehend and with that maturity has come the realization that we are, at least for now, alone. In that loneliness, it falls to us to shine as brightly as the stars from which we came.
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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 14th 2010, 06:09 AM

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Whose logic is that? I think I can follow it, or at least the logic of it, but the premises seem pretty far-fetched.
People who advocate for the punishment of murderers, under the reasoning that they deserve it and are responsible for their own actions. Those people agree that murder is simultaneously irrational but can be committed by a rational person.


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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 14th 2010, 04:00 PM

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People who advocate for the punishment of murderers, under the reasoning that they deserve it and are responsible for their own actions. Those people agree that murder is simultaneously irrational but can be committed by a rational person.
I think the problem here is that you're talking in absolutes, when reality is all shades of grey. Murder can have a wide range of motivations, some of which are irrational and some of which are rational. And a person can make both rational and irrational choices. Just look at anyone who has ever been 'in love.' If that isn't about the most irrational thing you've ever seen, then I don't know what is. Though I doubt many people would say that it automatically makes an otherwise rational person wholly irrational. Why is murder different?


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Re: Morality and Forgiveness - December 14th 2010, 04:24 PM

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I think the problem here is that you're talking in absolutes, when reality is all shades of grey. Murder can have a wide range of motivations, some of which are irrational and some of which are rational. And a person can make both rational and irrational choices. Just look at anyone who has ever been 'in love.' If that isn't about the most irrational thing you've ever seen, then I don't know what is. Though I doubt many people would say that it automatically makes an otherwise rational person wholly irrational. Why is murder different?
Then why do we treat people as absolutes in the justice system? Why do we punish people as though they are always rational when, as you just stated, they are not absolute subjects?


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