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Don't Kill or Cage Them...Banish Them!

 
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 03:50 pm
Re: Don't Kill or Cage Them...Banish Them!
dlowan wrote:

Yeah, well....we have a basic utter difference in that you think that people breaking the "social contract" means all bets are off for society. I don't. I think prisoners are entitled to humane treatment.


That isn't true. I don't, for example, think it's fair to kill them and I do think this is humane treatment.

They may not receive humane treatment from others in their new society but that is not the responsibility of the society if they have the freedom to create their own.

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We also have a basic difference in that I don't think it matters how how far away you put the death, it is still on society's hands.


That is a fairly fundamental difference. I think not caring about the distance at all is inordinate reductionism. At some point you have to quantify a difference in responsibility, otherwise we all have to join each murder suspect in their trials because the blood is on all of our hands.

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And I think, if you are gonna kill people, the less direct the less honest, and the less responsibility is taken for what society is electing to do, so I see getting the prisoners to do it themselves, or exposing people to starvation etc to be a less honest way of doing the same thing, and thus more harmful to society than even the limited honesty about it in the US today.


Then not giving your every last penny to starving people makes you a remarkably dishonest murderer?

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I think the transsexuals should go to Costa Rica.

There aren't that many of them, and they ought to be easy to contain.


I wonder if the US has ever executed a transsexual... off to find out.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 05:59 pm
Robert Gentel wrote:
Quote:
Island penal colonies still needed to be supported by the authorities.


I think this is a big ethical part of the debate. A large part of what I'm arguing is the converse. I don't think the society should have as much responsibility in safeguarding individuals who have rejected the social contract.


I have long suggested that crime does not usually pay because of the caliber of those who go into the profession. Many of these people have no concept of a social contract, nor is it likely that their childhood environment provided them any examples from which to extrapolate were the concept explained to them.

But be that as it may, i have already pointed out that you would need to feed them if you plopped them down on any island which is not currently inhabited. Those islands which have arable land are currently inhabited, even marginal lands such as one finds on Iceland or Spitzbergen. If you take over a currently inhabited island, you'll have to condemn the land under right of public domain, and pay fair market value to the current owners. To secure an island large enough for the at least tens of thousands of prisoners in only one of the fifty states, you'd need astronomical sums to pay for the public domain seizure, never mind the problem of states which don't have sea coasts, and therefore could not condemn an island under public domain laws.

If you don't put them on an island they can farm, you'd have to feed them. Of course, you could put them on an island they could not farm, and decide not to feed them. But in that case, it would be far cheaper to just shoot them and be done with it.

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The fact that, for example, England spends more now per capita on the prison population than it did in 1820 is a disingenuous response, because it ignores the proportional value of money.


I don't think they spent more proportionally either. But I'm not willing to dig up numbers on this unless you really want to contend this.


If you would like, i can get numbers from Mr. Hughes' book.

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In fact, Van Dieman's Land was a dead loss to the English government throughout the history of the penal colony in Australia, and the government looked the other way with regard to costs in New South Wales, because they were basically running a slave economy. Many free settlers and many ticket of leave men and women got really rather wealthy from getting assigned convict labor.


Incarceration is already a "dead loss". That doesn't say whether it was more or less though. I imagine any costs then were related to their transportation (now a negligible cost) and attempts to control them in a non-exclusive penal colony (which I do not advocate).


The great costs were largely related to the fact that as an experiment in self-sufficiency, these were miserable failures. So, not only had the government the usual expense of providing food and clothing for the convicts and their warders, they had the additional expense of transporting supplies to the colony. They attempted to obviate the problem at the outset by giving Governor Phillip the authority to write drafts on government funds to purchase necessary supplies from ships which called on the coast. Although there was then no regular trade route to the coasts of Australia, it didn't take long for word to get around, and ships were soon showing up to sell shoddy goods and rotting food at outrageous prices. In many cases, Captain Phillip had no choice but to make the purchase, because they quite literally faced starvation in each year of the first decade of the colony.

To suggest that transportation is now a negligible cost in comparison to the late 18th century seems incredible to me. The main reason to transport goods at sea by diesel-powered ships is transportation time, not cost. A ship which were transporting stores only, and not convicts and Marines, would have been sailed by a crew of fewer than 20 men. Most modern cargo ships have 15 to 20 crewmen, and the cost of fuel, and the cost of equipment maintenance. I can't for the life of me see why you make such a claim.

But, as i say, i used the term "dead loss" because the attempt was to create a self-sufficient colony, and that failed. It failed spectacularly in Van Dieman's Land and on Norfolk Island, while eventually the revenues of New South Wales covered most of the costs of continuing to support the system.

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But the best argument against this false statement of yours is that England abandoned the penal colony system when they began to build prisons like Pentonville, which were modeled on the new American penitentiaries (which, of course, they'll never admit).


They used penal colonies because they had problems with prison overcrowding and though it more humane than execution.


In 1787, when the First Fleet sailed, they didn't have any prisons, other than the glorified jails in London. Those who were not incarcerated in local jails ended up on prison hulks--decommissioned ships of the line which were moored in the Thames estuary and other wide rivers or in the harbors of ports.

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That they ceased to use the penal colonies after dramatically expanding their prison systems doesn't say much about the ethics of autonomous penal colonies so much as the history of the British penal system.


What it says, and what i said it said, is that the costs of maintaining the system in Australia was far, far greater than the cost of building and maintaining American-style penitentiaries in England.

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I suggest you read The Fatal Shore, Richard Hughes, some time. It will educate you a good deal about just how cost effective the "Botany Bay" experiment was.


I might well do so, but I sincerely doubt that our differences of opinion stem from different initial information so much as a mere difference of opinion as to the interpretation thereof.


Don't bet on it.

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As i pointed out with regard to a "penal county," you'd have to condemn the land under public domain provisions, and pay fair market value to the current owners. The cost would be enormous, probably out of the realm of probability.


I've already agreed with this. I don't think this is practical and certainly not probable. For context, my position has developed when articulating a brand new "fantasy society" in my mind (I play lots of world builder simulations along those lines) I do, however, like to debate the ethics of it even though conceding the current impracticality.


I have little interest in the subject of ethics, and almost none in the subject of morality. I view ethics largely in terms of personal conduct, and what about the social contract might become intolerable to me. I generally view such things in terms of the possible, and i don't see such a system as being possible.

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But if you choose an island or islands which are not currently inhabited, the reason would be obvious--there were no utility of any kind in inhabiting the island. In that case, you'd either have to provide shelter, and provide continuing supplies of food and clothing, or you condemn to a slow an agonizing death any whom you land there. Otherwise, you'd find it much more economical just to shoot the sons of b*tches at the outset.


Yup, I agree, a bullet is certainly more economical. But what do you think about the ethics of:

A social contract in which the ultimate punishment is banishment from the society through segregation in lieu of death where the banished individuals are responsible for their own provenance and do not have the indulgence of the benefits of society whose contract they reject.

Right now, we can either kill them, or incarcerate them to segregate them from society. When segregating them, they are afforded resources paid for by the society. The resources needed are largely to sustain and control them and I think giving them freedom within their own society as well as withdrawing society's responsibility to support them is fair.

It's easy to portray this as "silly", if for no other reason than the impracticality, but do you have any ethical qualms with it?


As i've pointed out above, if it appears to me that a proposal has no utility, then i have qualms. On the subject of ethics, a society which will condemn and incarcerate an individual for acts of cruelty or murder has little excuse to then treat the convict in the same manner. I see no way to make this work in a practical manner which would allow them to support themselves. Attempts in the United States in the late 20th century to run prison farms which would reduce the cost of feeding prisoners (no one was even foolish enough to think they could eliminate the cost of feeding them) proved to be more expensive. As the Cunning Coney has pointed out, convicts probably come in large numbers from an environment in which they would have acquired zero knowledge or skills for raising their own food. The sheer laziness of many people who take to crime is another factor. The likelihood is great that those few who made an effort would be preyed upon by others who were unwilling to do so, or would have to feed others for protection.

I just don't see this working as it is claimed it could, and i think it would bring a deserved shame on a society willing to punish individuals for cruelty and murder if they effectively did the same things.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 08:14 pm
Quote:
I said

Well, yeeaaahhh. Do you propose that e do away with all or just a few of the Bill of Rights? Your thinking is a bit muddled.

To which R Genteel responded
I'm not the one trying to use what laws are in a discussion of what laws should be.


I believe that others have got your attention. I merely wish to remind you of the irony in your point to "discuss what laws should be". In the entire CFR, you (or the author of the thread, gwanga) pick on one teeny bit on which to mount a discussion. Why not just redefine crime and be done? If you are only highlighting the type and goal of punishment by incarceration, and then hold this up as an entire new day, Id like to remind you that the CFR contains hundreds of thousands of rules, regs and laws, of which only a small portion is the penal code.

So, please stop trying to duck the concept of cruel and uniusual punishment unless you wish to overthrow everything. If not, then were back to the point where we have to deal with our pesky old constitution.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 09:34 pm
farmerman wrote:
In the entire CFR, you (or the author of the thread, gwanga) pick on one teeny bit on which to mount a discussion.


Who is this "gwanga?"

As the author of this thread I am more than prepared to admit that my tongue was somewhat planted in my check when I started it, but there are sone points associated with it that are worth discussing.

Opponents of the death penalty would remind us that the cost of executing someone is greater than the cost of imprisoning them for life. As counter-intuitive as this may be, it is nevertheless true. A good reason to oppose the death penalty? If so then we need to apply financial considerations to all of our decisions about crime and punishment.

So let's consider banishment, penal colonies, and prison islands on the basis of finance.

Assuming that each of these alternatives entail leaving the criminal to his or her own devices, the associated costs are quite advantageous.

Now let's consider the Constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment.

When the Constitution was signed these sorts of "punishments" were not all that unusual.

As for cruelty, how much crueler is it to send someone to a penal colony than a penitentary?

Much is made of the assumed savagery of a penal colony, and yet is modern prison life any less savage?

I have no illusions about my ability to survive in an American prison in a manner which I can tolerate, and so I would prefer to take my chances living a hermit's life on a prison island. Other, more robust individuals, might argue otherwise.

Now let's consider justice.

Why should people who scorn and violate the terms of the social contract be allowed to demand it's protective provisions?

In any other instance of contractual violation, the offending party is not permitted to rely upon the terms he or she violated.

As to who should be sent to these alternative penal solutions, each and every criminal.

As that great American Det. Barreta was known to say: "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime."

No one has to commit a crime.

People have starved to death rather than stealing food, and in our current times of social support, no such Hobson's Choice is necessary.

The vast majority of our citizens lead lives well within the terms of our social contract, why should we concern ourselves with those who flaunt them?
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 04:40 am
The topic herein was certainly in the realm of those that are frequently posted by gungasnake. Im sorry . However, at least youve admitted that this was a joke.

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When the Constitution was signed these sorts of "punishments" were not all that unusual.

So perhaps you can get into your time machine and go back and convince your peers of the efficacy of banishment. I understand that, back then, we werent much bothered by drug dealing or even "Grand theft Auto"
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 06:02 am
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Opponents of the death penalty would remind us that the cost of executing someone is greater than the cost of imprisoning them for life. As counter-intuitive as this may be, it is nevertheless true. A good reason to oppose the death penalty? If so then we need to apply financial considerations to all of our decisions about crime and punishment.

So let's consider banishment, penal colonies, and prison islands on the basis of finance.


In that case, this whole brainless exercise can be dismissed as a topic of discussion.

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Assuming that each of these alternatives entail leaving the criminal to his or her own devices, the associated costs are quite advantageous.


Except, of course, for the cost of paying fair market value for property condemned under public domain, except for paying to keep the convicts from escaping, except for providing shelter and clothing (leaving aside how unlikely it is that they could feed themselves). Oh, and yes, except for the cost of the massive litigation which would hit the governments involved like a tidal wave.

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Now let's consider the Constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment.

When the Constitution was signed these sorts of "punishments" were not all that unusual.


This is the complete text of the eighth amendment: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. It does not say "cruel and unusual punishments inflicted as they are understood in anno domini 1791." It just says cruel and unusual punishments. I think rightwingnuts love the founders' intent style of argument because they get to make **** up about what was intended, and what conditions were in the 18th century.

But this idiotic proposal would establish a sort of modern Newgate prison on the scale of an entire county. But it would be even worse than Newgate was, as incredible as that may seem. If an inmate could not grow his or her food, and then successfully defend it from the predators around them, he or she could face the agonies of slow starvation. That assumes, of course, that they have not been murdered in a futile attempt to defend what little they have.

No such conditions obtained in 18th century America.

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As for cruelty, how much crueler is it to send someone to a penal colony than a penitentary [sic]?


If you don't intend to provide them shelter, food and clothing, a hell of a lot crueler. If you do intend to provide those things, they you've just idiotically added enormously to what the system currently costs.

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Much is made of the assumed savagery of a penal colony, and yet is modern prison life any less savage?


RG is at least honest enough to acknowledge the high cost of policing the prisons, and make an attempt (failed) to advance that as an argument in favor of this pie in the sky horseshit. If you don't intend to do that for your penal colony (provide internal policing), it's a damned safe bet that your penal colony is going to be one hell of a lot more savage. If you do, then, once again, you've just stupidly added to the cost of incarceration.

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Now let's consider justice.


Yes, let's.

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Why should people who scorn and violate the terms of the social contract be allowed to demand it's protective provisions?


Because if the provisions of law do not apply equally to everyone subject to the law, it ain't justice.

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In any other instance of contractual violation, the offending party is not permitted to rely upon the terms he or she violated.


Oh yeah? So if you violate the terms of a contract with me, i can loot your savings and sell your real property without reference to the legal code or a specific judgment in order to recoup my losses, and make a profit? Do you make this **** up as you go along?

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As to who should be sent to these alternative penal solutions, each and every criminal.

As that great American Det. Barreta was known to say: "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime."

No one has to commit a crime.

People have starved to death rather than stealing food, and in our current times of social support, no such Hobson's Choice is necessary.

The vast majority of our citizens lead lives well within the terms of our social contract, why should we concern ourselves with those who flaunt them?


That's right, do as i say, not as i do, goddamn you.
0 Replies
 
squinney
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 06:47 am
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StwAGxbPxlU&feature=related
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 07:57 am
Re: Don't Kill or Cage Them...Banish Them!
Robert Gentel wrote:
dlowan wrote:

Yeah, well....we have a basic utter difference in that you think that people breaking the "social contract" means all bets are off for society. I don't. I think prisoners are entitled to humane treatment.


That isn't true. I don't, for example, think it's fair to kill them and I do think this is humane treatment.

They may not receive humane treatment from others in their new society but that is not the responsibility of the society if they have the freedom to create their own.

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We also have a basic difference in that I don't think it matters how how far away you put the death, it is still on society's hands.


That is a fairly fundamental difference. I think not caring about the distance at all is inordinate reductionism. At some point you have to quantify a difference in responsibility, otherwise we all have to join each murder suspect in their trials because the blood is on all of our hands.

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And I think, if you are gonna kill people, the less direct the less honest, and the less responsibility is taken for what society is electing to do, so I see getting the prisoners to do it themselves, or exposing people to starvation etc to be a less honest way of doing the same thing, and thus more harmful to society than even the limited honesty about it in the US today.


Then not giving your every last penny to starving people makes you a remarkably dishonest murderer?

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I think the transsexuals should go to Costa Rica.

There aren't that many of them, and they ought to be easy to contain.


I wonder if the US has ever executed a transsexual... off to find out.




"The key to me is that when incarcerating for life, I think the only legitimate reason is merely to separate the individual from the society whose social contract he is unwilling to uphold. I don't see value in the punishment of incarceration and thusly don't really care too much if conditions are much better or worse.

My own guess is that they would be happier but have lower life expectancies. But that all really depends on what social contract they are able to enforce. Given that these would be people who would not accept the larger societies social contract I don't see it as a particularly strong dilemma if they are unable to create a better one amongst themselves."



Your not caring if the conditions are much better or worse, coupled with not appearing to care about the conditions they (in concert with the people who put them there knowing how bad the conditions may get) create, appear to me to suggest you do not care much about humane treatment.

It seems we have different definitions of humane.


Although, as I said, my qualms are much less if this is a chosen option.


You're big on people breaking the social contract.

It's an appealing notion, and one we certainly act on in many ways because the notion is an important part of our history, but you also speak as if these people have knowingly enterered into a legal agreement with the state.


This is a notion most of them would likely not understand, much less think about, and they have not generally thought of their behaviour as opting out of a contract. I really don't know how far you can push this idea as a knowing opting out when it comes to consequences.

You can certainly go with the idea that the overwhelming majority knew there would be consequences if they were caught, and were aware that most people would view what they did as wrong.



I can't see how you can oppose the death penalty, but not be troubled by any other suffering we may expose these people to in finding alternatives. I know you are saying you believe in humane treatment but I don't see much evidence of it in your words.


You say they "create their own world", but this is a world that is set in motion by society, in your scenario, and one where, in my view, extreme suffering is guaranteed, at least for most. I accept you see the scenario as unfolding differently, but you do not seem troubled by the worst scenario, either.

Given that such an outcome is highly predictable, I simply do not get your insistence that this somehow frees society of responsibility.

To me it seems more like the actions, long traditional here (hopefully no longer) of prison guards quietly letting prisoners know who amongst them was in for child sexual abuse, and then disappearing, leaving the prisoners to tear the sex offender apart.

The guard has not beaten, raped or killed anyone.....is their action better for not being direct?


I do not see my views as "inordinate reductionism". I do not feel responsible for every murder because I have not been part of a decision to allow the murderer to kill. What is done (legally) to prisoners, I do feel far more responsible for since this is done in my name as part of the legal system of the country.....(though I may strongly oppose parts of it...)

I do feel a personal need to try to affect policies in my country that I think will likely have a real impact on the amount of violent crime there is, and I do work very early in the lives of people experiencing the types of things that correlate highly to later violent crime, partly in the hope of preventing such a life for them and those around them, so I guess I do not entirely deny any involvement in every murder...but I see a differing level of responsibility for this sort of issue, and how prisoners are treated under laws passed by a government I have had some involvement in choosing.

Your scenario of my being a remarkably dishonest murderer for not giving all my money to the poor is not really the same. In your scenario, society is actively choosing to do something to people and making this a part of law sanctioned by some sort of democratis process. While I may be a selfish arsehole for not giving all my money to the poor, I am not part of a planned social process of depriving the poor of money. In fact, I do give a great deal of money to the poor (at least in this country) via the tax process, which supports people in my country so that they need not starve.


I am far more persuaded (and always was) that I am a remarkably dishonest killer for not killing my own freerange chooks, and catching my own fish.
0 Replies
 
real life
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 10:57 am
I think that defense lawyers and judges should enjoy those they've help set free living next door to them.

Relocation of criminals next door to sissy judges would solve a lot of problems.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 03:18 pm
I skimmed through the thread and didn't see a reference to "Escape From New York"--a fairly well done 1981 flick starring Kurt Russell.

The concept was built around all prisoners sentenced to life having a choice: 1) immediate death by lethal injection or 2) being sent to Manhattan Island that had been converted into a giant permanent repository for dangerous and incorrigible prisoners. There was all manner of security around the perimeter to ensure that nobody escaped but there were no guards inside the prison. Food and essential supplies were air dropped into the facility but otherwise the prisoners set up their own society and whatever happened to them happened to them. There would be no interference from the outside. They would remain inside this facility until they were killed or died from natural or unnatural causes.

Does anybody think a concept like this would get past the 'no cruel and unusual punishment' test?
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 08:27 pm
Setanta wrote:

I have little interest in the subject of ethics, and almost none in the subject of morality. I view ethics largely in terms of personal conduct, and what about the social contract might become intolerable to me. I generally view such things in terms of the possible, and i don't see such a system as being possible.


I waste enough time on my silly world builder daydreams, so I'd rather stick to the ethical side of it. Whether it's possible and even practical are important to the ethics of it and we disagree on whether it's possible but I'm going to leave it at that then and stick to the ethics for now.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 08:34 pm
farmerman wrote:

I merely wish to remind you of the irony in your point to "discuss what laws should be". In the entire CFR, you (or the author of the thread, gwanga) pick on one teeny bit on which to mount a discussion. Why not just redefine crime and be done?


Why the discussion has a specific topic instead of addressing all of crime and punishment at once? I thought it was obvious, that's a bit more than can be coherently discussed in one topic.

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If you are only highlighting the type and goal of punishment by incarceration, and then hold this up as an entire new day, Id like to remind you that the CFR contains hundreds of thousands of rules, regs and laws, of which only a small portion is the penal code.


I won't forget (you wouldn't let me), I just don't see how that is relevant to an ethical debate on something specific.

Quote:

So, please stop trying to duck the concept of cruel and uniusual punishment unless you wish to overthrow everything. If not, then were back to the point where we have to deal with our pesky old constitution.


Hey, writing a constitution is something I'd love to discuss someday, but I just don't see its relevance to this topic (and don't want to bite off more than I have time for).

Whether or not the constitution says cruel and unusual punishment is allowed I don't support cruel punishment. I'm not ignoring this, but I have a difference of opinion on whether the proposal, if properly implemented, constitutes cruelty.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2008 09:08 am
Robert Gentel wrote:
Setanta wrote:
I have little interest in the subject of ethics, and almost none in the subject of morality. I view ethics largely in terms of personal conduct, and what about the social contract might become intolerable to me. I generally view such things in terms of the possible, and i don't see such a system as being possible.


I waste enough time on my silly world builder daydreams, so I'd rather stick to the ethical side of it. Whether it's possible and even practical are important to the ethics of it and we disagree on whether it's possible but I'm going to leave it at that then and stick to the ethics for now.


That's fine . . . however, i do think i made clear my objection to the plan on an ethical basis with regard to the society, to the effect that society would effectively be saying through its actions that people are to do as they are told, and not as the society itself does. If we condemn people for their cruelty to others, and if we condemn people for murdering others, then i don't think society should be wreaking cruelty on people or murdering them. I also believe i made clear why i would consider society to be an accessory before the fact to murder if they set up such a prison colony, whether inland or on an island.

You have pointed out that a good deal of the cost of penal systems as they now exist is in the policing of the penal environment. If society were to set up such penal colonies without providing that internal policing, then i would consider society to be an accessory to the same cruelty and murder for which it condemns people to penal servitude. If society were to set up such penal colonies and provide the internal policing, it would effectively be increasing the cost of incarceration without necessarily deriving any substantial benefit from the exercise which would justify that expenditure.

Is that a sufficient basis upon which to discuss the matter in your opinion?
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jul, 2008 09:24 pm
Setanta wrote:

That's fine . . . however, i do think i made clear my objection to the plan on an ethical basis with regard to the society, to the effect that society would effectively be saying through its actions that people are to do as they are told, and not as the society itself does. If we condemn people for their cruelty to others, and if we condemn people for murdering others, then i don't think society should be wreaking cruelty on people or murdering them. I also believe i made clear why i would consider society to be an accessory before the fact to murder if they set up such a prison colony, whether inland or on an island.


Thing is, the ethical matters you brought up are all contingent on practical matters. For example the determination that society is acting cruelly I take it is based on the details of the implementation and how it would work out.

Quote:

Is that a sufficient basis upon which to discuss the matter in your opinion?


The notion that not providing authority is cruel is, indeed, interesting. I've been busy this week and haven't had time to respond (dlowan, I had a half a reply typed out to you, but haven't gotten around to finishing it) and am reluctant to get further behind so I'll simply state that I don't agree. I don't think society is inherently responsible for all of its members regardless of their actions and decisions.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jul, 2008 09:46 pm
Robert Gentel wrote:
Thing is, the ethical matters you brought up are all contingent on practical matters. For example the determination that society is acting cruelly I take it is based on the details of the implementation and how it would work out.


Well, i can't think of any way to make ethical decisions other than upon the basis of the reality upon which we all agree. It might be interesting to have a discussion of ethics in a "reality void," in which one gives no consideration to the pragmatic aspects of social life--but i really don't know how you could really make such a discussion work.

Yes, the details of how the plan would be implemented, and the consequences thereof lead me to predict that society would be an accessory before the fact to cruelty and murder.

Quote:
The notion that not providing authority is cruel is, indeed, interesting. I've been busy this week and haven't had time to respond (dlowan, I had a half a reply typed out to you, but haven't gotten around to finishing it) and am reluctant to get further behind so I'll simply state that I don't agree. I don't think society is inherently responsible for all of its members regardless of their actions and decisions.


I'm not making any claim that society were responsible for the actions of those who carried out the cruelty or murder. Society would, however, be responsible for putting the victims into the situation in which they were preyed upon. You have correctly pointed out that a great deal of the cost of modern incarceration is in policing the environment. Any decision about penal servitude which removes that policing will very likely create a situation in which inmates can prey upon one another with an impunity which they do not now enjoy. Setting up such a penal colony which allows that would make society complicit in cruelty and murder.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jul, 2008 09:47 pm
Oh well, it'll be interesting if you ever do get around to it.
0 Replies
 
 

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