Re: Don't Kill or Cage Them...Banish Them!
Robert Gentel wrote:
"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. 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.