litch: (Default)
I've been meaning to write something about the Judith Miller being sent to jail for refusing to rat out her source but then I read this which pretty much covered my feelings on the issue Judith Miller chose to be a tool of the Bush administion, with any luck at all she'll only be one of the first of many eating prison food.
litch: (Default)
I feel like there should be a crime: "failure to raise a human being" such that if you kid does something that shock the conscience (like those in that pack of predators that beat the bum to death on a lark) you have to spend the equivelent of a minor manslaughter charge in jail.

But really, there shouldn't be, we don't need to punish anyone any more in this society than we do now. We need a nanny state for the children in our society, for our own protection. Every child should be assessed as they grow and if they seem to be twisting into something sick we need to take corrective action to try and shape their behavior into something acceptable (and if they can't be reshaped, than simply controlled).

Punishment

May. 25th, 2005 04:05 pm
litch: (Default)
Punishment doesn't work, it will not reliably change behavior. It's been studied intensively for half a century and proved repeatedly. But it is still a fundamental expression of our culture. Even people who are decent otherwise charitable and apparently loving cling to punishment like a lonely five year old with a wooby.

Punishment doesn't work, but we swim in punishment. Forget prison and the entire criminal justice system, look at our games, our common business practices, our childrearing habits, even our driving. Every damn thing we do reeks of punishment at some point.

is it any wonder life hurts so much sometimes?

Punishment doesn't work, but I feel good when I punish someone, it's a barbarous kind of glee. In it's most absolute sense it is just a delight in expressing power over someone. It's just hurting someone because you want to and you "can" (can in the sense that it's socially approved, are permitted).

So punishing doesn't work, what do we do instead? I think we should use behavior modification as much as possible, and where it doesn't prove effective, limit the transgressors exposure to society so that they are closely watched and physically prohibited from engaging in the unwanted behavior. I also think that any competent adult should always have the right to choose not to live in a society that make such demands. We also need to have rational social strictures that only limit activities to the degree they impact others and recognize that corporations are not people.

It's admittedly what many people would call idealistic, but it has the sterling virtue of not obviously not working (unlike our current system).

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