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Walsingham

No such thing as evil - top trumped

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I don't think I'm being mendacious if I suggest that a three year program should be able to rehabilitate young violent offenders. If sufficiently intensive and well thought out.

 

But a justice system which gave a man three years for - for example - cutting a man's nose off. That's not justice as I understand it.

Edited by Walsingham
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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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So which is more desirable, the macro level approach to rehabilitation or the satisfaction of vengeance. The law needs to supply both or  vigilantism would be the result.

Honestly I don't think 'satisfaction of vengeance' has any place whatsoever in any 'civilised' justice system, and I'm not all that convinced that vigilantism would result. Even if it did, I think enforcing harsher penalties to stop vigilantes would be the wrong way to counteract them - with the right way being locking up and rehabilitating the vigilante.

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It's not a wild suggestion. One of the ways in which Islamism is spreading in some states is because people are turning to 'Islamic' courts which offer a more natural justice than endless logical niceties.

 

I have to also add that while I generally favour reason and discipline I am always suspicious of claims that we should do the 'civilised' thing just for the giddy thrill of feeling special. If civilisation means a criminal can visit pain and suffering on innocents and walk away unimpaired, then what advantage does the citizen gain over living in the most abject barbarism?


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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So which is more desirable, the macro level approach to rehabilitation or the satisfaction of vengeance. The law needs to supply both or  vigilantism would be the result.

Honestly I don't think 'satisfaction of vengeance' has any place whatsoever in any 'civilised' justice system, and I'm not all that convinced that vigilantism would result. Even if it did, I think enforcing harsher penalties to stop vigilantes would be the wrong way to counteract them - with the right way being locking up and rehabilitating the vigilante.

 

We go the rehabilitation route and we don't have any problems with vigilantism to speak of. The only case where I can imagine it happening would be if Breivik got out of his imprisonment somehow. In which case he'd be deader than dead the moment anyone besides the police got their hands on him(if he's lucky that is).


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It's not a wild suggestion. One of the ways in which Islamism is spreading in some states is because people are turning to 'Islamic' courts which offer a more natural justice than endless logical niceties.

 

I have to also add that while I generally favour reason and discipline I am always suspicious of claims that we should do the 'civilised' thing just for the giddy thrill of feeling special. If civilisation means a criminal can visit pain and suffering on innocents and walk away unimpaired, then what advantage does the citizen gain over living in the most abject barbarism?

 

As other posters have already covered, many countries aim for rehabilitation over vengeance and, bluntly put, it works. Their crime rate is way lower than in countries that favour the 'make 'em suffer for what they did' method of law enforcement. This isn't just being civilised for the sake of it, this is also a more effective method of handling crime.

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So which is more desirable, the macro level approach to rehabilitation or the satisfaction of vengeance. The law needs to supply both or  vigilantism would be the result.

Honestly I don't think 'satisfaction of vengeance' has any place whatsoever in any 'civilised' justice system, and I'm not all that convinced that vigilantism would result. Even if it did, I think enforcing harsher penalties to stop vigilantes would be the wrong way to counteract them - with the right way being locking up and rehabilitating the vigilante.

 

We go the rehabilitation route and we don't have any problems with vigilantism to speak of. The only case where I can imagine it happening would be if Breivik got out of his imprisonment somehow. In which case he'd be deader than dead the moment anyone besides the police got their hands on him(if he's lucky that is).

 

Funny you should mention Breivik as he will never get out no matter his level of rehabilitation.

Despite all of this rhetoric your law allows indefinite lengthening of sentences which you'll use to get vengeance on him.

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@chairchucker

 

Hold on, though. This discussion was never about 'crime'. That covers everything from noise abatement upwards.

 

I'm open to correction, but I understood rehabilitation to be a success in petty crime and disorder. Theft, prostitution, drugs etc.

 

This thread is about evil. Individuals who visit pain and suffering on others as ...a lifestyle choice.


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Or an accident of birth, brain chemistry. The inability to emphasize and possibly a question of philosophy. Do you believe that things like good and evil exist. That there is such a thing as free will, or that the outcome of your life is determined by chance and factors entirely beyond your control. If that is your stance then actions may not have consequences and there may be no reward for being a nice guy. 

 

Fundamental rather than optional considerations. 

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@chairchucker

 

Hold on, though. This discussion was never about 'crime'. That covers everything from noise abatement upwards.

 

I'm open to correction, but I understood rehabilitation to be a success in petty crime and disorder. Theft, prostitution, drugs etc.

 

This thread is about evil. Individuals who visit pain and suffering on others as ...a lifestyle choice.

 

Crime is often a manifestation of the visitation of pain and suffering on others, is it not? If someone who has chosen to visit pain and suffering on others can be successfully rehabilitated, as in many circumstances it seems they can, perhaps that is some kind of indication that they are not irreparably evil.

 

Of course I may be biased since, as previously mentioned, I don't believe people generally visit pain and suffering on others because they are moustache twirlingly evil, but I believe there are a number of environmental factors that cause people to want to hurt others. For example, if I feel someone has in some way wronged me, I might wish to see them suffer for their perceived wrongdoing, and if I don't feel that the state has adequately served that purpose, perhaps I would take it upon myself to carry such vengeance out myself.

 

Although since, as I've mentioned, I generally oppose vengeance, perhaps that would make me less inclined towards that particular evil. One can only hope.

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I don't believe in "moustache twirling" evil. I do believe in individuals who will abduct/drug, imprison, and rape to death another human being.

 

If I may say so you seem to be deliberately trivialising the subject in an attempt to make your bloodless calculations more palatable.

 

I am specifically saying, from the OP onwards, that we are discussing quintessentially emotional cases  that involve extremes of criminal behaviour.

Edited by Walsingham

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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As other posters have already covered, many countries aim for rehabilitation over vengeance and, bluntly put, it works. Their crime rate is way lower than in countries that favour the 'make 'em suffer for what they did' method of law enforcement. This isn't just being civilised for the sake of it, this is also a more effective method of handling crime.

What? Are you confusing "crime rate" with recidivism?


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After going through the posts here, I have to wonder, if you do not believe that there is evil, do you not also believe that there is no good?

 

I personally would not want to live in a world without good.

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"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

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After going through the posts here, I have to wonder, if you do not believe that there is evil, do you not also believe that there is no good?

 

I personally would not want to live in a world without good.

One of the questions of my recent forays into ethics and philosophy has been "Why is every philosophy obsessed with good?" Why if there isn't good and bad this would be a place you wouldn't want to live in?

 

I think this focus on good is ultimately contributing to the fall of western society where personal happiness trumps purpose or meaning.


I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

village_idiot.gif

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Moral guidance. I think that there are somethings, like empathy, that should be viewed as laudable and more worthy of emulation than selfishness.

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"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

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After going through the posts here, I have to wonder, if you do not believe that there is evil, do you not also believe that there is no good?

 

I personally would not want to live in a world without good.

I believe both exist; I don't believe a person is, themselves, evil. I don't believe a person is, themselves, good. I think all people are capable of actions that are either good or evil.

 

If I may say so you seem to be deliberately trivialising the subject in an attempt to make your bloodless calculations more palatable.

I am trying to untrivialise all acts of evil, even the ones that some people may think are justified, and I am trying to dissociate them from 'other people' and associate them with everyone, because I believe that is how it is.

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I am trying to untrivialise all acts of evil, even the ones that some people may think are justified, and I am trying to dissociate them from 'other people' and associate them with everyone, because I believe that is how it is.

 

 

Ah, so you're saying you've gotten into the kidnap , rape and torture combo for the sheer sake of it because it's associated with everyone?


"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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Moral guidance. I think that there are somethings, like empathy, that should be viewed as laudable and more worthy of emulation than selfishness.

Most behaviors that could be considered evil stem from selfishness, I therefore consider empathy to be a requisite virtue for goodness. I don't however think of empathy as part of a value system or something that can be taught. It is rather something innate to which we lose touch due to ideology, upbringing or in some extreme cases biology which gives rise to the irreconcilable differences among men and the problem of evil. 

Ultimately beneath us there are two instincts fighting for dominance, a will to survive and by its extension the survival of the species which in turn manifest through empathy and other like behavior. 

Empathy is distinct from goodness that we may not agree or acknowledge certain actions as good but we may empathize with them and understand where they come from. Whereas goodness is a moral absolute that is a polar opposite of evil.

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I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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While I agree with the thrust of your post, I'll pick out the points I'm interested in discussing.

 

Most behaviors that could be considered evil stem from selfishness, I therefore consider empathy to be a requisite virtue for goodness.

I would tweak this to be a mixture of both selfishness and either disdain or apathy. While I think that everyone has a dose of self-interest(and therefore selfishness), I believe that it requires the ability to not be affected by(or even reveling in) the suffering of others to be considered evil.

 

I don't however think of empathy as part of a value system or something that can be taught. It is rather something innate to which we lose touch due to ideology, upbringing or in some extreme cases biology which gives rise to the irreconcilable differences among men and the problem of evil.

I would agree that empathy could not be instilled into one incapable of feeling it, such as a psychopath, but I would argue that it is possible to encourage people who are capable of feeling empathy to utilize it more, essentially a reverse of how some people are taught to utilize it less. As I'm not a biologist, I can't accurately comment about bio-chemical induced apathy, but as a layman, I would think that it could be possible to find early signs of bio-chemical induced apathy and treat it.

Edited by KaineParker

"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

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Despite my dislike of knights my value system closely resembles the chivalry code, in order to be good one must not only embody the ideal of virtue but also have the strength to uphold it. Therefore only the strong can be truly virtuous, laymen will lay down their code in order to protect themselves while knights will die for what they know its right. While I don't hold that laymen are evil because of this; its a very human reaction after all, I don't think of them as virtuous or good.

 

The problem with teaching empathy is that you will have to cause suffering upon someone, which is the only way through which we can truly put others ahead of ourselves. You will have to make people buy the fact that there will be no reward for being empathetic, a lot of pain, and most of the persons you will feel for will likely reject you. It takes a tremendous amount of will to go against every natural instinct in your body just to uphold an ideal. I honestly don't think it will catch on, if you could however induce empathy chemically then speak to me about dissemination plans.  


I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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This will probably tick people off, but the personality types that should be purged from society via the death penalty or encarceration are not responding in this forum.  For that reason the various sides to the debate are riddled with a personal view of the world that may not reflect the reality of the issues. 

 

Proponenrts of psychology and/or rehabilitation forgets to mention that for a person to change, there must be a personal decisionn to make the change.  This is why psychology and rehabilitation foisted on a sick minded person or criminal do not work.  I do not know the alternative, but we cannot ignore the falicy of believing that these are effective avenues when dealing with a 'problem' citizen in our society. 

 

Should we create a subsociety that lives better than the population at large.  This prompts situations like the homeless man, Stephen Espalin, threatening to kill the president to get health care twice. 

 

As for commenting on the original post, who knows what that sick joker had in mind with his collection in the basement.  Consider this, maybe all those items kept him in a fantasy world rather than acting out those fantasies in the real world.  I did not read that he acted on those fantasies, just talked about having them and the obvious sick fantasies they implied. 

 

When did talk become a criminal offense?  I think that is the more scary part of the post.  You are willing to give up your (his and my) rights to privacy for some perceived sense of security (see Benjamin Franklin's thoughts on this if you did not catch the reference). 

 

Do not get the wrong idea, I am a firm believer that some people need purging from society, and without that purging, society will never function as it should. I feel leniency towards criminals is a misuse of judicial power.   Groups that hold up victims (direct or indirect) that state they want no 'retribution' for their attackers is even more abusive and irresponsible. 

 

x steps off soap box x

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So which is more desirable, the macro level approach to rehabilitation or the satisfaction of vengeance. The law needs to supply both or  vigilantism would be the result.

Honestly I don't think 'satisfaction of vengeance' has any place whatsoever in any 'civilised' justice system, and I'm not all that convinced that vigilantism would result. Even if it did, I think enforcing harsher penalties to stop vigilantes would be the wrong way to counteract them - with the right way being locking up and rehabilitating the vigilante.

 

We go the rehabilitation route and we don't have any problems with vigilantism to speak of. The only case where I can imagine it happening would be if Breivik got out of his imprisonment somehow. In which case he'd be deader than dead the moment anyone besides the police got their hands on him(if he's lucky that is).

 

Funny you should mention Breivik as he will never get out no matter his level of rehabilitation.

Despite all of this rhetoric your law allows indefinite lengthening of sentences which you'll use to get vengeance on him.

 

Given he'll be killed the moment he's released, it's not really vengeance. Plus I don't recall saying that there isn't such a thing as a person that can't be rehabilitated. Breivik is an example of someone whom can't be and who's associated risks are too high to believe he's telling the truth if he were to claim he was rehabilitated in the future(even if only because, as I already said, he'll be the dead the moment he's released).

 

Plus I never claimed Norwegians were saints. One look at our history would be enough to tell we're anything but. :)


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Ultimately beneath us there are two instincts fighting for dominance, a will to survive and by its extension the survival of the species which in turn manifest through empathy and other like behavior.

 

I'd say that selfishnes, not empathy, stems mostly from that instinct to survive/dominate.


* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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After going through the posts here, I have to wonder, if you do not believe that there is evil, do you not also believe that there is no good?

 

I personally would not want to live in a world without good.

I believe both exist; I don't believe a person is, themselves, evil. I don't believe a person is, themselves, good. I think all people are capable of actions that are either good or evil.

 

If I may say so you seem to be deliberately trivialising the subject in an attempt to make your bloodless calculations more palatable.

I am trying to untrivialise all acts of evil, even the ones that some people may think are justified, and I am trying to dissociate them from 'other people' and associate them with everyone, because I believe that is how it is.

 

 

I think you may have stumbled in your progress, then. The distinction between capability and effect - in this case being evil and doing evil - is significant. And is discussed in ADP-01 of the British Army.*

 

I would carry your point further by agreeing with you, and observe that it is preventing the effect that should consume our attention. The capability can be fought, constrained, confused, mislead, sated. From a perspective of public good, this is where our primary focus should be.

 

However, if you deny that there are specific individuals who hold a particular and enduring capability for evil then ...well frankly I can't believe that you do deny it.

 

 

*Yes, they really are that interesting. And freely available online.


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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However, if you deny that there are specific individuals who hold a particular and enduring capability for evil then ...well frankly I can't believe that you do deny it.

I absolutely agree that there are; I call them humans.

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