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View Full Version : The Crime Thread - Cause, Effect, Sentencing, Empathy



Delphinus
08-24-2011, 05:17 PM
I just returned from watching Wicked in the West End. It was pretty rad, and it got me thinking a bit about how our politics work.

Bin Laden wasn't that bad, for example. He killed 4,000 people (and this is ignoring that he probably didn't mastermind 9/11) and destroyed a national landmark. Compared to other figures of the past and present (Qaddafi, Mubarak, Hussein, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, etc.) he did nothing. By all accounts, he was a pretty decent family man by Muslim standards, friendly to western reporters, and believed he was doing the correct thing in starting the modern equivalent of a holy war. He was then used as a scapegoat by a far more powerful nation, called the modern equivalent of Hitler, and there was public celebration in the streets when he died.

If I agreed with Bin Laden's cause, I would label him a tragic hero. As I don't, I think the worst thing you could accuse him of is having the wrong cause. Men like Bin Laden were the Founding Fathers of America, the leaders of the French Revolution, et cetera. I can see why some Muslims of a more fundamentalist bent still look up to him as a hero of Islam. While I actively despise his ideology, the man himself was of a rare breed, and the whole saga of 9/11 and the demonisation of Islam is probably better thought of as a tragedy of cultural differences.

The main problems I can see with Bin Laden are, as I said above, his ideology, and, as Kodos talked with me about on AIM, his methods. Being the liberal atheist I am, I can't condone the end result of a successful fundamentalist Muslim insurgency, which would be some sort of highly authoritarian, patriarchal society. However, Bin Laden clearly believed that a heavily Islamic society would be a sort of utopia. Ask yourself this question: if you believed you could create a beautiful, perfect society by sacrificing the lives of a mere four thousand people, would you do so? Islam, and especially fundamentalist Islam, have dozens of valid criticisms that can be levelled against them, but Bin Laden's actions were, at worst, the actions of a calculating revolutionary. They weren't the actions of a monster; provided you imagine that you believe that Islam is the one true way and that all non-Islamic people are amoral, then Bin Laden's actions can easily be empathised with.

Moving onto Bin Laden's methods, Kodos pointed out that terrorism doesn't work. Which, as he said, makes it useless at best, and at worst just angers much bigger and nastier organisations (such as America vs. terrorist group). This, however, is a fault that can be attributed either to Bin Laden's optimism (hardly the trait of a monster), or to a lack of research/knowledge, rather than any amoral intentions. If I, say, attempted to help a homeless person by giving them money, and instead of using that money to help themselves they bought heroin, accidentally overdosed on it, and died, would I be responsible for their death? To what extent? If I believe I'm doing good, am I morally culpable? Quite possibly. But is my character in question? Doubtful.

In conclusion, I don't think Bin Laden was a wicked man. He was, quite possibly, mislead. He was also, quite possibly, overly idealistic. And he was certainly pursuing a dream that, had it been successful, would have led to a massive reduction in quality of life for millions of people (especially women). But those aren't criticisms that would make him a monster or a madman, like propaganda said he was. My interpretation of him is that he was an unfortunate, mislead man, with extraordinary hope and ambition, and that, while what he preached and did was abhorrent, we need more men like him in the world.

To tie this back to Wicked, bear this quote in mind: "There are precious few at ease with moral ambiguities, so we pretend they don't exist."

Then listen to this song and cast your mind back to the celebrations on the streets when Bin Laden died:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li8cryWN2ew

ClockHand
08-24-2011, 05:46 PM
There was a quote that was like this: In war, every faction believes that God is that their side.

I have always seen USA news about Bin Laden and Hussein very biased and they are obviously selling them as monsters.

People mostly do things believing they are doing the right thing. The idea of someone who is bad, as Alex from Clockwork Orange or Paul from Funny Games, its only true to people who have a big psychological problem, and its not focused between good and evil, but more to power.

CypressDahlia
08-24-2011, 06:19 PM
Every time thousands of innocent people are hurt, it's a tragedy. Let's not try to bill it off as some "misunderstanding".

Delphinus
08-24-2011, 06:57 PM
I'm not trying to say that 9/11 wasn't a tragedy, just that it's understandable why it occurred and that Bin Laden was no different to many of the great innovators and revolutionaries of history. He was far from a monster. Call me sentimental, but focusing on people's thoughts is what I do.

I heard Wicked was partly a satire of the events surrounding Iraq. I could just be reading it that way, though.


Is one a crusader - or ruthless invader?
It's all in which label
Is able to persist
There are precious few at ease
With moral ambiguities
So we act as though they don't exist

Evil_Cake
08-24-2011, 07:03 PM
so u are saying that if i was crazy i would like bin laden okay

Delphinus
08-24-2011, 07:05 PM
u gotta be crazy to support people who take money away from the people they're supposed to serve to make themselves more popular

Evil_Cake
08-24-2011, 07:10 PM
wat are u saying he did it just to be popular? what a dick

CypressDahlia
08-24-2011, 07:11 PM
We're drawing a clear distinction between "understandable" and "acceptable", right?

Delphinus
08-24-2011, 07:27 PM
As I highlighted in the post, whether it's acceptable is heavily debatable.

You don't call the founding fathers monsters or terrorists, do you? They seceded from a state, attacked the institutions that made that state viable, and (if they were following standard rules of warfare at the time; it's hard to find material here) probably killed as many civilians as Bin Laden did, possibly more. They did this to try and spread their ideals and make what they believed would be a better world.

Do you believe that doing the right sometimes takes innocent bloodshed? If so, and Bin Laden believed what he was doing was the right thing (everyone believes they're doing the right thing in these cases), then why do you label him a monster?

EDIT: AN UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH

CypressDahlia
08-24-2011, 07:37 PM
I would like evidence of the founding fathers going around recklessly killing citizens, please. And I don't put demonstrations and acts of vandalism in the same class as crashing airplanes into buildings. And it's not like Jefferson and Hancock went Dukes of Hazzard and wreaked havoc all across Jamestown, just because //they// wanted to do it. They were fighting for a cause supported by a large backing of the oppressed, in the immediate place that it affected. How the hell did destroying two towers hundreds of miles across the Atlantic help Bin Laden's (extremist/minority) cause?

And yes, he believed he was doing the right thing. Key word "he". That doesn't mean I have to agree with him. The acceptability of an act is respective to the person making the judgement.

Delphinus
08-24-2011, 07:55 PM
Cyp, standard warfare rules in the Enlightenment - well, there weren't any. Consequently soldiers would frequently burn villages and rape women. It's bloody hard to find hard evidence of the horrors of a war that's been thought of as justified and noble for the past 300 years (I agree that it was, but still, war), so no, I don't have hard evidence, but the precedents exist to show that war was significantly more horrible back then than it is now, and I don't think the Founding Fathers should be exempt from the logical assumption.


They were fighting for a cause supported by a large backing of the oppressed, in the immediate place that it affected.

How exactly do you think terrorist groups find their recruits? Bin Laden wasn't circle-jerking in a cave with a couple of stoned friends and making preparatory sketches for 9/11 as part of his latest zany weed-fuelled scheme. The history of Western injustices against the Middle East is long, illustrious, and at times reads like the Nuremberg Trials in terms of suspicious war activities. Attacking your supposed oppressors is hardly the most illogical thing to do given the circumstances.

Like I've said numerous times, I don't agree with Bin Laden's actions either. I just believe that demonising the man for those actions is ridiculous, when if you shared the same ideals as him you'd recognise his motives as both deeply human and completely logical. Bin Laden was not a psychopath; he was an idealist. Most people are not willing to go that far to try and (as they see it) improve the world and pursue justice. I may not be a Christian, but there's a nice quote. "Hate the sin, not the sinner." Perhaps you've heard of it.

CypressDahlia
08-24-2011, 08:11 PM
Consequently soldiers would frequently burn villages and rape women.

Yes, but that's VERY different from suggesting that the founding fathers //wanted// them to do this. When you put guns in the hands of thousands of people and leave them to their own devices, it's very hard to control what happens. I'm pretty sure Washington didn't stand there going "Hey, you forgot to rape this one". I mean, look at the War on Terror. Our soldiers did some fucked up shit, but I know Bush wasn't standing around telling them to do it. That's very different from the Bin Laden situation, where the destruction of innocent lives was organized and deliberate.


How exactly do you think terrorist groups find their recruits?

First of all, terrorists hardly represent the majority of people. And, even if people shared Bin Laden's fundamental beliefs, obviously they don't condone his methods, otherwise the Middle East would be a region entirely populated by suicide bombers.


...if you shared the same ideals as him you'd recognise his motives as both deeply human and completely logical.

So you're saying if I supported Bin Laden, I would support him... Yeah, I get that. But what's your point? I understand that if I agree with someone, I would agree with them...but I don't agree with Bin Laden, so yeah...


Bin Laden was not a psychopath; he was an idealist.

Naw, he was a psychopath. He was a psychopath with ideals.


"Hate the sin, not the sinner."

Yes, because the planes crash themselves.

Kodos
08-24-2011, 08:18 PM
I don't have the time or energy atm to put out a very big and well thought out post, Del, but I will say this. I think the analogy of offering money to a homeless man who uses it to buy heroin is flawed. I think a better analogy would be if I was on a boat and a man was suddenly stricken with serious illness and when the call went out "is there a doctor on board?!" I said yes and proceeded to, through inexperience and lack of skill, kill the man.

Bin Laden and other terrorists are men who claim to have the answers for the very real and very serious problems that plague their societies. As community leaders and respected authorities they are absolutely expected to do the best research they can. An intellectual failure to realize that terrorism does not work absolutely becomes a moral failure.

As for whether or not Bin Laden was a psychopath, I think so. I don't think that means he wasn't an idealist. The Nazi party and the Christian Right in America have shown us time and time again that psychopathy and idealism quite often go hand in hand.

I agree ultimately, though, that Americans are absolutely not allowed to demonize Bin Laden the way we do. We celebrate as heroes men far worse than he was, and the way we celebrated his death was barbaric and quite literally something out of the pages of goddamn Roman history. I also feel that if we Americans spent less time demonizing terrorists and more time understanding why these men are driven to do what they do, that real progress and improvement would be much more likely.

Take the Iraqi Insurgency. They have the moral right to resist the American invaders, and to that end I support them. On the other hand, many, if not most/all, of them seek to replace the brutal American occupation with a Islamic theocracy that would be, at best, slightly better and, at worst, much worse. Thus I find myself both condemning and supporting them. It's hard, and like a lot of moral issues, there is no easy answer. At the very least I can say that I strongly condemn violence against civilians and that I strongly sympathize with the plight of the Iraqi people. This is even more true in the case of Palestine and the barbaric Israeli campaign of genocide.

All that said? http://www.somethingawful.com/d/news/bin-laden-obit.php

Delphinus
08-24-2011, 08:26 PM
Yes, but that's VERY different from suggesting that the founding fathers //wanted// them to do this... That's very different from the Bin Laden situation, where the destruction of innocent lives was organized and deliberate.

The Founding Fathers were smart men. I'm sure they knew that raping and pillaging were going to be a consequence of their actions, even if they didn't directly order it. We even have a criminal offence for this: Criminal Negligence.


First of all, terrorists hardly represent the majority of people. And, even if people shared Bin Laden's fundamental beliefs, obviously they don't condone his methods, otherwise the Middle East would be a region entirely populated by suicide bombers.

Have you ever heard of an IAD? I hear the locals in the Middle East are fond of giving them as little treats to western soldiers. Also, all you're pointing out is that the founding fathers were more popular than Bin Laden. If popularity is the measure of a valid argument - oh wait, it's not (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum). Would it be okay for suicide bombing to go ahead if most people in the middle east were for it? Because that seems to me to be what your argument implies.


So you're saying if I supported Bin Laden, I would support him... Yeah, I get that. But what's your point? I understand that if I agree with someone, I would agree with them...but I don't agree with Bin Laden, so yeah...

Moral relativism, dood. Just proving that Bin Laden was of sane mind and had a reasonable personality, which was the argument against demonising him in my original post, if you recall. Just because he was a member of a shitty religion, that doesn't make him inherently a flawed person, and like I also said in my original post, his psychology and actions seem to be remarkably similar to dozens of other revolutionaries/insurgents/rebels of history. What you ought be criticising are his dangerous ideals; attacking the man himself distracts us from the more important task of identifying the problems with radical Islam and in the middle east.


Naw, he was a psychopath. He was a psychopath with ideals.

Given I probably know a lot more about that particular personality disorder than you, I'm going to leave this as: you're wrong. Psychopaths do not have ideals aside from 'lol got mine'. And Bin Laden wouldn't personally benefit from planning a major terror attack.


Yes, because the planes crash themselves.

Yes, because 'crashing the planes' totally doesn't come under the 'sin' part.

EDIT:


I think the analogy of offering money to a homeless man who uses it to buy heroin is flawed.

It was; feel free to insert your own analogy.

CypressDahlia
08-24-2011, 08:45 PM
I'm sure they knew that raping and pillaging were going to be a consequence of their actions, even if they didn't directly order it.

Okay, now that's just stupid. You're blaming people for something entirely out of their control. And I'm sure taking up arms was a //last resort// anyway, so it's not like other methods weren't practiced beforehand. Sometimes you have to go to war, and war is hard to contain and micro-manage, especially, you know, in the 1700's.


Would it be okay for suicide bombing to go ahead if most people in the middle east were for it? Because that seems to me to be what your argument implies.

Not at all. I'm just refuting your point that Bin Laden was acting on the best interests of the people, which is inherently linked to popularity. Your own fallacy.


Just proving that Bin Laden was of sane mind and had a reasonable personality...

I don't disagree. I don't demonize him for what he believed, I demonize him for what he did.


I'm going to leave this as: you're wrong.

Compelling argument.


Yes, because 'crashing the planes' totally doesn't come under the 'sin' part.

You missed the point. "Sin" doesn't materialize unless a sinner commits it. So blaming the act is inherently flawed as the act doesn't do harm without an actor.


Also, I don't see why celebrating his death was barbaric. It's no more barbaric than the Jihad. And, frankly, it was extremely justified. If we're not supposed to be demonizing the draconian (and, TBH, insane) methods of terrorists, why should we demonize American citizens for celebrating a very justified execution? We should try to "understand" murderers of the innocent but demonize people who wanted to see a ruthless criminal killed? That's totally backwards.

Delphinus
08-24-2011, 08:59 PM
^ Or we could just not demonise anyone? More detailed post in the morning, it's late and I did a lot today.

CypressDahlia
08-24-2011, 09:02 PM
No rush. And, relevant because I live in DC, also...yeah...just watch:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mINUnwifgaA

I lol'd. His first assumption was that it was a terrorist attack.

Hamachi
08-25-2011, 01:51 PM
Good intentions do not a hero make. If you've screwed over other people's lives without their permission it doesn't matter how well-meant you were.

Slurpee
08-26-2011, 11:28 AM
:l
I can totally see where you're coming from Del but for some of us it is so hard to see these people as human. Yesterday I saw the documentary One Day in September about the terrorist attack on the Olympics in the late 70's . They terrorists were apparently trying to help the Palestinian cause. I have no idea what helped their cause come out of it. Frankly, I don't even know what the cause is. They seem so evil to me, how can anyone understand your point of view? When people try to do "The means justify the ends" people loose their sight of what is right, and then Osama Bin Laden happens.

Gedeon
08-27-2011, 12:38 AM
I think that (almost) no man is a complete, real, honest to goodness hero. Yeah we'r talking that Bin Laden had this ideology and he wanted better life for his people. But so many bad thing's were did for the same excuse. I can't help but thinking that every hero everywhere is, really, doing something for himself. More power, more money, fame(infamy)... So i can't say that Bin Laden is a monster. He's a man doing bad stuff to get what he wants( as same as Bush, B.Tadic, Miloshevic, Ghenghis Khan, Insert all other leaders here) Yeah i know that there are people who fight for the people, but most of them fight for whats best for them. The reason why some people are demonized is cause the opposing faction is making them look like that. But the people that were under their care idolized them. And no i don't think the things Bin Laden did were good, but heck why should he care.He though it was for something good and something he belived in, AND on the + side he got money, villas, and.....how many wives? Its like this people with power will always get corrupted, sooner or later. And if so, if Bin laden is a monster every other Leader that waged war, or did harm to a 2 party is one also. In my humble (and somewhat unsure) opinion.

CypressDahlia
08-27-2011, 10:17 PM
The determinant of a hero is whether or not they benefited mankind with their actions. Let's be frank here, Bin Laden didn't do shit for anyone.

And for the record, Bush and Genghis aren't really considered heroes. Genghis was a great //leader//, but not in a heroic way lol. And Bush...well...he is the result of Osama's poor judgment, along with 9 years of fruitless war.

Kodos
08-27-2011, 10:54 PM
Osama is responsible for Bush, but America is not responsible for Osama? Nice doublethink.

And if I am not mistaken Mongolia today considers Genghis to be a national hero.

CypressDahlia
08-27-2011, 11:55 PM
It was just a play on the scenario. Osama isn't responsible for Bush nor is America responsible for Osama.

And yes, Ghenghis is considered a hero in Mongolia, but not for what's taught in our history books.

Gedeon
08-28-2011, 05:11 AM
It was just a play on the scenario. Osama isn't responsible for Bush nor is America responsible for Osama.

And yes, Ghenghis is considered a hero in Mongolia, but not for what's taught in our history books.

and here is my point!!! Osama is for some a horrible monster, crazy Muslim or a businessman, for others he is a man that could get them out of poverty, a hero, an idol. The victors used to write history, but today its about who can buy the writers. And curenttly its america. And as said there (probably) ain't gonna be a hero for the whole world! For some that person is going to be some one they love and have hope in him/her for others he/she's going to be the monster, the crazy man etc..... There are always two sides of the coin.

Slurpee
08-28-2011, 11:58 AM
Have any of you watched Farienheit 9/11
I suggest you do. A perfect example of how this sort of thing comes about.

ClockHand
08-28-2011, 03:47 PM
The victors used to write history, but today its about who can buy the writers.

Thumb up.

If in the World War II Hitler would have won, do you believe that most of Europe would be thinking "wow, Hitler was a asshole". No, they would be prizing him as a Hero. And between us, his ideas weren't made to help mankind or anything like that.

Osama in this case is the same, he was a idealist (misguided), who tried to do what HE believed was right. So I share the opinion of Delph, this was a cultural clash, Osama wasn't a bad person, wasn't a psychopath, and USA people fest the dead of a man as it was a mega super bowl. The history books are going to call Osama a monster and the kids will learn this very quickly.

The deal here is the cultural clash as the OP says. We have all this countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc. Which are a like Middle Age kingdoms with machine guns. And we have USA a country so proud of them selfs that they keep looking at their bellies the whole time, and that have created a hate around other countries. I think everyone could see the clash coming.

Kodos
08-28-2011, 06:40 PM
It's not about the culture clash. It's about class warfare. The perpetual war is a sideshow. It's one of the tools the rich use in America to both put money in their pockets and keep the lower classes distracted and busy.

For the average American this is a culture clash, yes. It's about ignorant bigots hating Muslims and brown people. But for the people who are actually in power and who actually make choices, it's about hating the poor.

Bacon_Barbarian
08-28-2011, 09:27 PM
And Bush...well...he is the result of Osama's poor judgment, along with 9 years of fruitless war.

Bush's actions or election? Because those are very different things. Bush is the result of Gore refusing to let Clinton campaign for him and the Electoral College being worse for the country then a pile of manure is.


The victors used to write history, but today its about who can buy the writers.

These are, generally speaking, going to be the same people.

CypressDahlia
08-28-2011, 09:39 PM
BB, I already said that statement was just a turn of the situation. In other words, don't take it literally.

And yes, Gedeon, that's what I meant. In our history books, the Mongols are typically portrayed as rapists and pillagers, general barbarians who basically rampaged all of Asia. They only get attention for their war innovations and humiliating defeats before the Japanese and the gun-toting Ottoman. The only places they're glorified are in Mongolian and Chinese history for their contributions to dynasty structure. In other words: most places in the world would view Genghis as a barbarian. What the Mongolians see as "unification", most of us see as brutal conquest.

Bacon_Barbarian
08-28-2011, 09:53 PM
Mmmm. Just like how some people in China think Mao was a pretty OK guy.


Have any of you watched Farienheit 9/11
I suggest you do. A perfect example of how this sort of thing comes about.

Ah yes, love Michael Moore myself, but he isn't generally considered a viable source of information/the devil. Then again, I think there are about 2 Republicans on this site, so who knows what the general population thinks of him.

Hamachi
08-29-2011, 08:09 AM
Mmmm. Just like how some people in China think Mao was a pretty OK guy.

That's kinda because all the people who didn't got shot.

Bacon_Barbarian
08-29-2011, 05:33 PM
That's kinda because all the people who didn't got shot.

That's sort of the whole point.

Black_Shaggie
09-02-2011, 01:49 AM
You guys are all correct & all wrong at the same time.
I think Gedeon broke this this down best when he said something to the effect of "...two sides of the same coin."
A hero or villian is named such by the people they defend & the people they attack...with force or political ideology. Do I sympathize with what Osama Bin Laden and his alledged terroist cell, the Taliban alegedly did? No. I'm American & Americans died as a result. Would I take up arms & go to the Middle East & try to force my way of life on the people who live there? No. But, seeing as this has been the case in the Middle East for years...poltical leaders trying make the people there submit to one form of government or another when they (the people) allready have a way of life that works for them. Someone else said something about 'Devine Right' earlier. This is also a determining factor when you consider if a person is a hero or a villian. If you're a beliver in a cause, a idea, a theology...anything, you'd do anything to uphold that belief. Even commit murder in the name of that belief. I am referring to TRUE belivers. Not the casual one that most people are.

My father was part of the Black Panther movent here in the US during the 70s. He was seriouss about all of that shit & it tore my family apart. I can remember him teaching me things as a child that I had no reason to know & at the time, he was MY hero. The government (at the time) consdiered him a terrorist.Thankfully, his insitance on me learning martial arts & the taoist philosophies at the core of most martial arts influenced me into a peaceful way of thinking. But the reality is he was just a man with the conviction to fight to uphold the ideal (for right or for wrong) in what he believed in. Now that I am a man, I don't believe in much that he does. I do, however believe that people who feel that they are justified in their actions are capable of doing just about anything to prove them right.

CypressDahlia
09-02-2011, 07:08 AM
The thing about the Middle East is that "their way of life" was extremely self-destructive and did not actually work for them. I don't mean their culture, I mean the religious wars, all of the cultural demographics at odds with each other and the dictatorships. Now, shoving democracy down their throats, especially the way America went about it, wasn't the best idea, but admittedly a step up from what they had.

And "hero" can't be defined by philosophical rules, like you are attempting to do. Heroism is a concept conceived entirely by society. Whether a person is a hero or not is based entirely on the perception of others. And this perception is based primarily on whether or not said person has helped the people or a cause the people care about, and to what extent. This exists on an ideological level, too, such as philosophers who touch their readers. In other words, there is no right or wrong way to be a "hero", as it's based on whether or not people appreciate your actions.

The argument here is not whether or not Osama can be perceived as a hero, but rather if he WAS a hero. And he wasn't, because his actions were reckless and helped nobody.

Black_Shaggie
09-02-2011, 03:09 PM
I do see your point Cypress D, I do. But doesn't seem to make sense that the person who sees himself as a hero is powered by the convictions of what they believe to do is right? That's all I'm saying of Osama. He believed he was doing what was right for his people (if he truly commited this act at all). Now, he did go about it in a really f'd up way. I may have went a bit too far with my philosophy of what defines a hero, but society's perception isn't the only thing that defines what makes one a hero. somtimes heros do things that society thinks is wrong at the time, but winds up being exactly what it needs to better itself. Whether they appreciate the actions of the hero or not.

But you are right. His actions were indeed reckless & caused more problems then aid. But who's to say that culterally (thanks for the correction here) that these people don't have the right to live the way they do despite all of the religious wars waged? It may not be something we like or understand, but what right do we have to step in and intervine?

CypressDahlia
09-02-2011, 05:50 PM
Well, its because it's a religious war. It's not something they want, but something ordained by their religion. They don't want to fight, but under the circumstances there is inevitable fighting. It's not a want, it's a must. So if we were to stop these religious wars, we're not taking //away// from anything but turmoil and senseless killing. In fact, each of the religious factions are also fighting for peace. We're working toward the same ends, but just through different means. Whereas we want peace through coexistence, they want peace through eradication of their opposites as their religion won't allow coexistence. Naturally, the latter is somewhat difficult to overlook as it entails the killing of many innocent people. It's not that we fail to understand them. We acknowledge their rationale, we just can't condone what acting on that rationale entails. Likewise, whether or not I understand the mentality of a serial killer, I cannot condone what acting on that mentality entails.

And a hero is defined by the views of society. You can see yourself as a hero, but that's about as worthless as seeing yourself as a ladies' man when your track record with women is less than glorious. Or seeing yourself as a saint even though you're a criminal. Ultimately, what decides these things is how our actions affect other people.

Delphinus
09-02-2011, 07:13 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmPNuruWMTA


The newscaster says the enemy's among us
As bombs explode on the 30 bus,
Kill your middle class indecision,
Now is not the time for liberal thought,
(...)
The Daily Mail says the enemy's among us,
Taking our women and taking our jobs,
All reasonable thought is being drowned out
By the non-stop baying, baying, baying for blood

Related.

ClockHand
09-02-2011, 07:15 PM
Heroism is a concept conceived entirely by society.

Then Osama is a hero for his society and a monster for USA's society.

Again, Hero and Monster only depend from the cultural glass you see it, and obviously by the behavior of Osama, I can say he was no psychopath but rather idealist, as Delph has said.

Kodos
09-02-2011, 07:17 PM
You guys are all correct & all wrong at the same time.
I think Gedeon broke this this down best when he said something to the effect of "...two sides of the same coin."
A hero or villian is named such by the people they defend & the people they attack...with force or political ideology.
Moral relativism has been refuted. Like, literally. I'm not being hyperbolic. If you are a moral relativist you are wrong. This is not a matter of debate. If there is such a thing as morality, then it is independent of culture. If it is morally wrong to have sex with a person without that person's consent, then it is always morally wrong to do so. A culture arguing that there are times when you can have sex without consent would be wrong. Period.


Do I sympathize with what Osama Bin Laden and his alledged terroist cell, the Taliban alegedly did? No. I'm American & Americans died as a result.
So? I support killing Americans in context. If an American tries to rape or kill or otherwise harm a foreigner, and the only way that foreigner can defend themselves is with lethal force, I absolutely 100% condone the killing of an American. Why should you care that Americans died, as opposed to any other human? Are Americans more important than Ukrainians? Filipinos? Mexicans? Japanese? Chinese? Iranians? What nationalities are inferior to Americans, and why? And if it's not an issue of nationality, why does your being American or the victims of 9/11 being (mostly) American matter?


Would I take up arms & go to the Middle East & try to force my way of life on the people who live there? No.
Why not? That's part of American culture. Imperialism is the American way of life and has been since before America was even America. This nation was founded on and is based around genocide and cultural hegemony.


But, seeing as this has been the case in the Middle East for years...poltical leaders trying make the people there submit to one form of government or another when they (the people) allready have a way of life that works for them. Someone else said something about 'Devine Right' earlier. This is also a determining factor when you consider if a person is a hero or a villian. If you're a beliver in a cause, a idea, a theology...anything, you'd do anything to uphold that belief. Even commit murder in the name of that belief. I am referring to TRUE belivers. Not the casual one that most people are.
So if I believe very strongly that I have a divine right to all that I desire, you would see me as morally justified if I proceeded to rape all women I found attractive and steal all things I found desirable? So far all you are saying is that "people who think they are right, think they are right." which besides being tautological is totally irrelevant.


My father was part of the Black Panther movent here in the US during the 70s. He was seriouss about all of that shit & it tore my family apart. I can remember him teaching me things as a child that I had no reason to know & at the time, he was MY hero. The government (at the time) consdiered him a terrorist.Thankfully, his insitance on me learning martial arts & the taoist philosophies at the core of most martial arts influenced me into a peaceful way of thinking. But the reality is he was just a man with the conviction to fight to uphold the ideal (for right or for wrong) in what he believed in. Now that I am a man, I don't believe in much that he does. I do, however believe that people who feel that they are justified in their actions are capable of doing just about anything to prove them right.
And? No one has contested that people will fight and die for what they believe in, or that different people will see things differently. That's not the issue.


I do see your point Cypress D, I do. But doesn't seem to make sense that the person who sees himself as a hero is powered by the convictions of what they believe to do is right? That's all I'm saying of Osama. He believed he was doing what was right for his people (if he truly commited this act at all). Now, he did go about it in a really f'd up way. I may have went a bit too far with my philosophy of what defines a hero, but society's perception isn't the only thing that defines what makes one a hero. somtimes heros do things that society thinks is wrong at the time, but winds up being exactly what it needs to better itself. Whether they appreciate the actions of the hero or not.

But you are right. His actions were indeed reckless & caused more problems then aid. But who's to say that culterally (thanks for the correction here) that these people don't have the right to live the way they do despite all of the religious wars waged? It may not be something we like or understand, but what right do we have to step in and intervine?
See my point about cultural relativism. It's demonstrably false. If there is no morality, then we are free to do as we wish according to our own personal moral codes. If there is morality, then you'll have to argue for a morality that doesn't involve stepping in to stop gross acts of immorality.

CypressDahlia
09-02-2011, 07:45 PM
Then Osama is a hero for his society...

Hardly. That was the point. Hardly.

Black_Shaggie
09-03-2011, 01:08 AM
Wow Kudos. When you dissect my words in that way...I don't know what to say. I guess in speaking my mind I've inadvertantly put my foot in my mouth.

:monkey_uncle:

Still...if what you're saying is true then Osama wa snothing more than a monster who did horrible things in the name of God for his own goals. To this end, he was completely deluded to the harsh reality of his actions & how the affected the people he thought he was saving. And the people hated him for this. I can conceed to this point. But I still feel that we as humans should have empathy for even the most pitiful & dispicable creatures. NOT to say he's morally justified by comprehesnion of his actions. I may be wrong on this point...& I'm sure someone will point this out to me...humans have their own moral compasses & have a choice in what they do. They should be prepared to except the responsiblty & repercusions for whatever choices they make.

Again, I'll use my Dad to illustrate this:
Yes he fought for what he believed was right at the time. He chose to do so. As a result, my mother chose to divorce him. That was only one reaction. Another was he was held accountable for the crimes he commited and did time for them. He says he was prepared to take responsiblity for his crimes & felt justified in his actions. But the biggest repercusion was that over time, he learned to realize that the way he chose to fight for his beliefs were wrong. Today he goes about this in a completely non-violent way. This is what still makes him my hero. Because he chose a better way to stand up for what he believes in. I still don't prescribe to everything that he does believe in, but he goes out of his way to educate the ignorant & give them the tools to think for themselves.

Osama didn't do any of this. He merely imposed his will upon others & added fuel to a fire that has burned for a long long time. Personally, I don't think he should've been killed
despite my country's history of Imperialism (Hey man thoughts are changing!) but rather bought to justice for his crimes against the whole of humanity.

For the record...even though I am an American...I have never held myself in a position of superiorty over anyone else because I am not. We're all human beings & thus equal. But again, we should be held accountable for the choices we make. My patriotic statement above should've been one that related the fact that no life should be taken in such a violent way.

Kodos
09-03-2011, 02:09 AM
Kodos, not Kudos. No 'u'.


Still...if what you're saying is true then Osama wa snothing more than a monster who did horrible things in the name of God for his own goals.
No. He was a person with a severely stunted sense of empathy for people not of his 'tribe' who did terrible things out of a devotion both to his tribe and a desire to avenge them, and out of a desire to serve the imaginary character his diseased culture has convinced him is the lord and master of the universe.

Osama Bin Laden illustrates the dangers of xenophobia (for want of a better word) and of religion.


To this end, he was completely deluded to the harsh reality of his actions & how the affected the people he thought he was saving. And the people hated him for this. I can conceed to this point. But I still feel that we as humans should have empathy for even the most pitiful & dispicable creatures. NOT to say he's morally justified by comprehesnion of his actions. I may be wrong on this point...& I'm sure someone will point this out to me...humans have their own moral compasses & have a choice in what they do. They should be prepared to except the responsiblty & repercusions for whatever choices they make.
Empathy to a point. You'll notice I called what was done to Bin Laden murder. He is still a human being and still entitled to certain rights. It does not, however, mean that Bin Laden was not a dangerous evildoer worthy and deserving of contempt from civilized people and who ought to have been brought to account for his crimes both out of a desire to see justice done and out of a desire to safeguard humanity from further predation by him.

The moral issues of Bin Laden are made tangled by the fact he was one villain going up against another villain. America is a vile nation and it is in the interest of humanity that America as it exists today be dismantled as soon as possible. However the people in the twin towers, and most of the other victims of Bin Laden's violence, are not really the American government and attacking them is both immoral and pointless. Even in a declared war, most of his targets would not be acceptable.

He attacked civilians, not military personnel or government officials responsible for atrocities. Hence why I condemn the 9/11 attacks and other acts of terrorism and not, say, the killing of American soldiers in Iraq.


Again, I'll use my Dad to illustrate this:
Yes he fought for what he believed was right at the time. He chose to do so. As a result, my mother chose to divorce him. That was only one reaction. Another was he was held accountable for the crimes he commited and did time for them. He says he was prepared to take responsiblity for his crimes & felt justified in his actions. But the biggest repercusion was that over time, he learned to realize that the way he chose to fight for his beliefs were wrong. Today he goes about this in a completely non-violent way. This is what still makes him my hero. Because he chose a better way to stand up for what he believes in. I still don't prescribe to everything that he does believe in, but he goes out of his way to educate the ignorant & give them the tools to think for themselves.

Osama didn't do any of this. He merely imposed his will upon others & added fuel to a fire that has burned for a long long time. Personally, I don't think he should've been killed
despite my country's history of Imperialism (Hey man thoughts are changing!)
You're right, thoughts are changing in America - we're getting much worse, much quicker. We have a terrorist sympathizer in congress who is holding Mcarthy style hearings about the danger posed by Muslim Americans. That's fucking psychotic.
If America does not have its equivalent of kristallnacht (against Muslim Americans, Arab Americans, and anyone who could be mistaken by an Arab American by an ignorant bigot, of course) within the next decade I will be genuinely shocked.


but rather bought to justice for his crimes against the whole of humanity.
I agree. And I'm even more interested in seeing the leaders of America and Israel brought to account for their actions. We did not let the Nazis get away with it, and we shouldn't let these modern day Nazis get away with it, either. Josef Mengele died an old man living in luxury, and so will Dick Chaney.


For the record...even though I am an American...I have never held myself in a position of superiorty over anyone else because I am not. We're all human beings & thus equal.
All human beings are not equal. We're all entitled to equal opportunity and treatment under the law, but Carl Sagan, Bertrand Russell, Josef Ratzinger, Adolf Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, Tenzin Gyatso, and Charles Manson are not equal in any sense of the word.


But again, we should be held accountable for the choices we make.
You are only held accountable, in America, if you are not a wealthy white man.


My patriotic statement above should've been one that related the fact that no life should be taken in such a violent way.
Language is important, though. How often do people talk of the obscenity of the Holocaust and mention how 6 million Jews died. That's not the tragedy of the Holocaust. The tragedy of the Holocaust is that some 12 million human beings were brutally murdered, most of them Jews.

By focusing on the identity of the victim in talks that aren't actually focused on motive and how identity related to it, we show prejudice. We create the impression that the identity of the victim is what mattered, not that there was a victim. Language frames discussions and molds how we think. If I tell you "he was only 6 feet tall" and "he was 6 feet tall" I have conveyed to you the exact same facts, but the meaning is different in each example.

Black_Shaggie
09-03-2011, 11:26 AM
All human beings are not equal. We're all entitled to equal opportunity and treatment under the law, but Carl Sagan, Bertrand Russell, Josef Ratzinger, Adolf Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, Tenzin Gyatso, and Charles Manson are not equal in any sense of the word.

I can't agree with this. Human beings are all equal. The famous and infamous people used in your stament. Doesn't make them any more or less equal than anyone else because anyone can do what these people heve done regaurdless of opportunity or treatment. Advantaged or humble beginings or treatment by law or classifaction doesn't make anyone greater or lesser than anyone else. What one does with their lives doesn't define equality either. Despite our orgins we're all capable aspiring to the same heights just as easily of sinking to the same depths. You wouldn't say a woman is inferior to a man just because of sex would you? Or indiginous people are not equal to those of us that are more industrious? You can not because they can do the same things as any of us. Women have proven that they are equal to men in every way save for gender itself & since it takes both sexes to create new life we're equal there as well. No industrious or 'modern' person without proper training could survive in a the tribal world of indiginous people without learnig how they live first and advantages of industrialization or technology can be taught to minds of a tribal person because their minds are no less bright as our own. Education...and the way knowledge is coveted or hoarded over seems to be the obfuscating factor that clouds peoples ideas on human equality.


You are only held accountable, in America, if you are not a wealthy white man.

Again, I can not agree. Wealth or race doesn't exempt any human being for the accountablity of their actions. However, if society allows them to get away with detrimental actions, then society should be held accountable for allowing to do get away with it in the 1st place. We let people who assume the roles of authority through race, class, religion, law & wealth get away with things they shouldn't becaue we've been convinced that they are our superiors. This is something the whole of society is being held accountable for all the time.


I agree. And I'm even more interested in seeing the leaders of America and Israel brought to account for their actions. We did not let the Nazis get away with it, and we shouldn't let these modern day Nazis get away with it, either. Josef Mengele died an old man living in luxury, and so will Dick Chaney.

I agree with you but, if these 'modern Nazis' are to be held responsible for their actions then, it's the duty of the American & Israeli people to do something to prevent them from getting away with what they're doing instead of waiting for someone 'greater' than ourselves to. (See my statement above.)


You're right, thoughts are changing in America - we're getting much worse, much quicker. We have a terrorist sympathizer in congress who is holding Mcarthy style hearings about the danger posed by Muslim Americans. That's fucking psychotic.
If America does not have its equivalent of kristallnacht (against Muslim Americans, Arab Americans, and anyone who could be mistaken by an Arab American by an ignorant bigot, of course) within the next decade I will be genuinely shocked.

Sure, things are really fucked up in this country right now. Because, as I said, thoughts are changing man! The people in this country are like a lethargic giant that's slowly awakening from a bad dream. My meaning is, in time...probally sooner than any of think...the way things are done around the world will change because people are tired of the way are now. When the Roman empire fell, it was the people rising up against what they thought was a corrupt government that caused it. Happens all the time. As we grow collectively in our humanity, old and obsolete ideas on how we govern & treat one another change. This process can't happen overnight. There are still a lot of people who still cling to old and outdated ideas, but the majority of these people will die (of old age) along with their ideas.


Empathy to a point. You'll notice I called what was done to Bin Laden murder. He is still a human being and still entitled to certain rights. It does not, however, mean that Bin Laden was not a dangerous evildoer worthy and deserving of contempt from civilized people and who ought to have been brought to account for his crimes both out of a desire to see justice done and out of a desire to safeguard humanity from further predation by him.

Wouldn't the eventual justice of such a murder condem him to death in order to safegaurd humanity from further predation? I don't think he should've been assassinated in the night. To me, this action was just as evil as his own & given the scopes of his crimes...I feel that he should have been captured & then executed for those crimes. To just go in guns blazing & killing others (some who may have been innocent) just to kill him makes the US no less a terrorist than he was.


He attacked civilians, not military personnel or government officials responsible for atrocities. Hence why I condemn the 9/11 attacks and other acts of terrorism and not, say, the killing of American soldiers in Iraq.

Terrorism is atrocious any way you look at it. I condemn him for the same reasons...just as I condemn the US to send soilders to Iraq to commit the terrorist acts commited there as a rebutal. The sad truth is, more often than not our soilders were more terrorist than peacebringers in their pursuit of Osama Bin Laden & the Taliban because they have killed a lot of innocents in their fumbling attempts to find the man. My patriotism is for a new America when truth, justice & liberty (especially this last one) for all really mean something.

The attacks on the World Trade Center & the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 was indeed a tragedy. But it most certainly is not a cultural clash. It has been proven that a person...people of any culture can commit the same crimes against humanity & terrorism for any reason. And in the end, the tragedy lies in the horrible fact that many lives were lost over some misplaced or misconstrued ideology. We all could argue the reasons why forever, but this fact still reamains a somber truth that can never be changed. All we can hope to do as human beings is try to find ways & hope (probally against futility) that it'll never happen again. This can only be accomplished by a change in equal & positive global ideas on how we treat & govern ourselves & even then someone may still try to do something like this again.

Sorry about the misspelling of your name Kodos !

Kodos
09-03-2011, 01:54 PM
I can't agree with this. Human beings are all equal.
Why? By what metric? If we call everyone and everything beautiful, then we blind ourselves to ugliness. If we call everyone and everything good, then we blind ourselves to evil. All things are not equal. Some things are better than other things. What metric can you have to judge people where you can conclude that Carl Sagan and Adolf Hitler were equal as human beings? And if you say that you do not judge people, then you're just full of shit because everyone judges everyone. That's why we would give a trusted friend a large sum of money as a loan, but not a random stranger. We have judged the former to be trustworthy while the latter is an unknown quantity.


The famous and infamous people used in your stament. Doesn't make them any more or less equal than anyone else because anyone can do what these people heve done regaurdless of opportunity or treatment.
So? Potential is not fact. I have the ability to murder people. Or to rape people. I am not a murderer and I am not a rapist. The fact that anyone could in theory have done what Hitler or Sagan did does not mean they did, in fact, do what Hitler or Sagan did. Anyone can potentially do just about anything.


Advantaged or humble beginings or treatment by law or classifaction doesn't make anyone greater or lesser than anyone else.
When did I say it did?


What one does with their lives doesn't define equality either.
Yes, yes it does.


Despite our orgins we're all capable aspiring to the same heights just as easily of sinking to the same depths. You wouldn't say a woman is inferior to a man just because of sex would you?
Are you really telling me that you cannot see a difference between judging a person based on their beliefs and actions and judging a person based on their sex? Really?


Or indiginous people are not equal to those of us that are more industrious?
See above.


You can not because they can do the same things as any of us. Women have proven that they are equal to men in every way save for gender itself & since it takes both sexes to create new life we're equal there as well.
Ther is a difference between not having a Y chromosome and killing six million human beings. If you cannot figure that out, I don't know what to say.


No industrious or 'modern' person without proper training could survive in a the tribal world of indiginous people without learnig how they live first and advantages of industrialization or technology can be taught to minds of a tribal person because their minds are no less bright as our own.
When did I ever say that pre-industrial peoples are stupid?


Again, I can not agree. Wealth or race doesn't exempt any human being for the accountablity of their actions.
Welcome to Earth, I can see you are new here. I hope you enjoy your stay, but you probably won't. This is a pretty awful place.


However, if society allows them to get away with detrimental actions, then society should be held accountable for allowing to do get away with it in the 1st place. We let people who assume the roles of authority through race, class, religion, law & wealth get away with things they shouldn't becaue we've been convinced that they are our superiors. This is something the whole of society is being held accountable for all the time.
If you think society is held accountable for patriarchy, white hegemony, cissexism, or any other form of dominance in the kyriarchy (a term I normally loathe but is apt here) then I don't know what to say.


I agree with you but, if these 'modern Nazis' are to be held responsible for their actions then, it's the duty of the American & Israeli people to do something to prevent them from getting away with what they're doing instead of waiting for someone 'greater' than ourselves to. (See my statement above.)
And that will never happen because most Americans and Iraeli's agree with it.


Sure, things are really fucked up in this country right now. Because, as I said, thoughts are changing man! The people in this country are like a lethargic giant that's slowly awakening from a bad dream.
Citation needed. America is not a sleeping giant. It's a morbidly obese madman who has just had a massive heartattack and decided that the best way to prevent another heart attack is by eating as many cheeseburgers as he can, as fast as he can.


My meaning is, in time...probally sooner than any of think...the way things are done around the world will change because people are tired of the way are now. When the Roman empire fell, it was the people rising up against what they thought was a corrupt government that caused it.
You have no idea why the Roman Empire fell, do you? That statement is so hilariously wrong I don't even know how to begin to address it.


Happens all the time. As we grow collectively in our humanity, old and obsolete ideas on how we govern & treat one another change. This process can't happen overnight. There are still a lot of people who still cling to old and outdated ideas, but the majority of these people will die (of old age) along with their ideas.
Yeah! It's not like women are still second rate citizens - at best - in most places on Earth. Or that homosexuals are still seen as less-than-people by most Humans. Or like most humans believe that bronze age myths are the best guides for life and morality in 2011 CE.

Oh. Wait. They do. Because you're so wrong it hurts.


Wouldn't the eventual justice of such a murder condem him to death in order to safegaurd humanity from further predation? I don't think he should've been assassinated in the night. To me, this action was just as evil as his own & given the scopes of his crimes...I feel that he should have been captured & then executed for those crimes. To just go in guns blazing & killing others (some who may have been innocent) just to kill him makes the US no less a terrorist than he was.
Civilized humans don't execute people.

Gedeon
09-03-2011, 05:27 PM
Civilized humans don't execute people.
I strongly disagree.

CypressDahlia
09-03-2011, 05:45 PM
Same. Civilized is a strongly subjective term anyway.

jubeh
09-03-2011, 05:46 PM
Why

CypressDahlia
09-03-2011, 05:51 PM
I'm just waiting for Kodos to defend his point before I say why, since he never gave reasons for it to begin with, so there is nothing for me to specifically refute. But I already know this is ENTIRELY a matter of opinion so I wont' go into it if he doesn't.

Kodos
09-03-2011, 08:57 PM
Because executing criminals demonstrably has no effect in lowering crime rates, demonstrably has led tot he murder of many innocent people, creates a culture in which vengeance is seen as an adequate substitute for justice, and in no way contributes to justice? What does murdering criminals accomplish? What is accomplished in practical or moral terms by executing a criminal as opposed to keeping them in prison forever?

Also it's not like the purpose of justice is to protect the innocent and rehabilitate the guilty. It's to punish, amirite?

CypressDahlia
09-03-2011, 09:54 PM
What is accomplished in practical or moral terms by executing a criminal as opposed to keeping them in prison forever?

Eliminating a threat to our society without having to cough up tax dollars to support a felon for the rest of their life. We essentially provide for them from food to clothes to facilities. We don't do that for all of our upstanding citizens. We don't do that for our cops, who regularly give their lives undoing the damage of criminals. So why are we responsible for the people who hurt us? Especially people we've never met, therefore could have done nothing to provoke their criminal acts?

It also demotes amoral activity, just as putting them in jail does. It seems strange to fight for the humanity of a person who has deliberately committed an inhumane act. Why should we try to redeem these people?


Also it's not like the purpose of justice is to protect the innocent and rehabilitate the guilty. It's to punish, amirite?

Actually, yes. The purpose of justice is to punish. Our court system exists to determine the degree and necessity of punishments. In truth, punishment and rehabilitation are not so far apart. Punishment is also a conditioning method. And I'm usually one to give a person the benefit of the doubt, but to believe we can rehabilitate those who are deemed so lethal and dangerous to warrant execution is a little lofty, even for me. Besides, you have to do quite a bit in America to be sentenced to death. So it's not like we're just picking off any 'ol criminals. And it's not like they're blindsided by it, either. Earning yourself a death sentence has to be a pretty deliberate thing. That's not to say everyone who has been sentenced to death was sentenced fairly. Just saying the death sentence itself is neither unfair or illogical.

And I don't see how eliminating a lethal criminal is //not// protecting the innocent. Criminals, even in jail, are the burden of the innocent. We are paying our criminals for hurting us. What kind of justice is that? I also don't see how a life sentence is any more effective than a death sentence.

Kodos
09-03-2011, 10:21 PM
Eliminating a threat to our society without having to cough up tax dollars to support a felon for the rest of their life. We essentially provide for them from food to clothes to facilities. We don't do that for all of our upstanding citizens. We don't do that for our cops, who regularly give their lives undoing the damage of criminals. So why are we responsible for the people who hurt us? Especially people we've never met, therefore could have done nothing to provoke their criminal acts?
First of all, is your argument that money is more valuable than human life? Second, okay, I'll accept your argument. All criminals should be immediately executed upon being found guilty because as you have pointed out, we should not pay to upkeep their lives when we do not do this for other people. The logical conclusion is that all criminals should be executed. This is not a strawman, this is the logical outcome of your argument.


It also demotes amoral activity, just as putting them in jail does. It seems strange to fight for the humanity of a person who has deliberately committed an inhumane act. Why should we try to redeem these people?
It must be nice to have so little empathy and compassion for your fellow man. I imagine your life is very easy and cozy, isn't it?

Let me put it in crude and inhuman terms, since you might relate better. When your car is not doing what it is supposed to, what do you do? Do you destroy the car, or call it bad? Or do you examine the car, try and find out what is wrong with it, and then try and correct that?


Actually, yes. The purpose of justice is to punish.
I was not aware. Do you have any other nuggets of wisdom to share with me? See, I always thought that protecting the innocent and rehabilitating the guilty was more important, but I guess it's all about punishment for you.


Our court system exists to determine the degree and necessity of punishments. In truth, punishment and rehabilitation are not so far apart. Punishment is also a conditioning method. And I'm usually one to give a person the benefit of the doubt, but to believe we can rehabilitate those who are deemed so lethal and dangerous to warrant execution is a little lofty, even for me.
In Texas criminals are made to take a test known as the Hare Psychopathy Index. It is not recognized by psychiatrists. If you score a 19 or higher on this test, you are eligible for execution.
In some counties, being gay is grounds for execution.
But you're right - there's definitely no way that the people on death row can ever be helped. An mistakes certainly never happen.


Besides, you have to do quite a bit in America to be sentenced to death.
Like "live in Texas" or "be accused of serious crime and don't be white" or "fail a psuedoscientific test."


So it's not like we're just picking off any 'ol criminals. And it's not like they're blindsided by it, either. Earning yourself a death sentence has to be a pretty deliberate thing. That's not to say everyone who has been sentenced to death was sentenced fairly. Just saying the death sentence itself is neither unfair or illogical.
Fairness is not justice. Revenge is fair, but it is not just.


And I don't see how eliminating a lethal criminal is //not// protecting the innocent. Criminals, even in jail, are the burden of the innocent. We are paying our criminals for hurting us. What kind of justice is that? I also don't see how a life sentence is any more effective than a death sentence.
Eliminating a criminal is protecting the innocent, yes. But it is also murdering a person who could theoretically redeem themselves. However slim the chances of rehabilitation are for any criminal, they are still greater than for a corpse. If only one death row inmate in the entire history of humanity ever rehabilitated himself that would still be an infinitely greater rate of rehabilitated criminals than if we execute people.

And again, I agree. The innocent should not have to pay for the guilty. We should execute all criminals.

EDIT: Cype, are you aware that Judge Dredd was just entertainment and not, in fact, a how-to for life?

jubeh
09-03-2011, 10:30 PM
Cype, are you aware that Judge Dredd was just entertainment and not, in fact, a how-to for life?

Bullshit. Enjoy your ban.

Kodos
09-03-2011, 10:44 PM
I AM THE LAWRR

EDIT: They are making a new movie, if you did not know. Here's hoping it does not suck.

Black_Shaggie
09-03-2011, 10:45 PM
The reason why you can't see what I mean by human beings being equal is you've become jaded in your own ideas on why shit in the world today is fucked up (please...please qoute me on this when you harshly try to destroy my point of view). Yes. YES wer ARE equal because we're created in the same way, we have the same potential for comprehension & we all have the same choice (some call this free will) to do what may or may not be considered right and wrong. Again, condition...any condition does NOT play into this equality at all.

Go ahead & call me an idiot if you will. I don't care what you or anyone has to say on the matter of equality. I think you're confusing what people do as what defines their equality. That's not what I was saying at all. Just because someone does soething doesn't make the any more or less human because it is the very ability to make a moral choice that is one of the qualities that make us human in the first place. Since we all possess this ability & there's no way to measure it...we're all equal in that ability. We possibly the only sentient beings on this planet & if we can't see that we're all essentially the same sickens me. Your words sound just as close minded to me as some of the fucked up humans that you've used to argue that we're not equals.

And when did I ever say that I'm not in judgement of what others do? That's a ridculous notion. Even the most devout Christian who's been taught that only God can judge mankind judges mankind. This is just another example of where humanity is equal. You're judging me right now & trying argue that what I am saying without even atempting to get the gist of what it is that I'm trying to say.

You're so stuck on what you believe as the truth dude that you're blind to the ideas of others.

Fuck dude, we all know that Constantine divided the Roman empire was split into two empires: the East & the West. We know that when Odoacer deposed Romulus who ruled the Western Empire in 476 AD is the [I]accepted military fall of Rome. Shit, we know that Rome exists today. I was speaking of the political & economical actually. You know...the coruption in the government...the declining value of Roman coin...all of these things caused the pepole to revolt. That weakened the power structure even more. By the time the Visigoths paid them a visit in 410 AD, they didn't have much a leg to stand on. 42 years later it was an easy task for Atilia to put them out of commision. None of this could've even happened...as slowly & as painfully as it did without the people rising up against the corruption of thier government & the merry-go-round of ceasars that could not control a populace as vast as Rome was. Kodos, you focus far too much on semantics my friend & you're quick to condemn someone without even trying to understand what they're talking about.

Of course, you will dissect all of this and find error in my logic and my wording. That's cool. But I still think we're all equals.

Anyway...



Because executing criminals demonstrably has no effect in lowering crime rates, demonstrably has led tot he murder of many innocent people, creates a culture in which vengeance is seen as an adequate substitute for justice, and in no way contributes to justice? What does murdering criminals accomplish? What is accomplished in practical or moral terms by executing a criminal as opposed to keeping them in prison forever?

If you were to look into the matter you will find that the death penalty (execution) does actually deter the crime of murder.


Also it's not like the purpose of justice is to protect the innocent and rehabilitate the guilty. It's to punish, amirite?

It's my belief, and this is only a matter of opinion, that the purpose of justice IS to protect the innocent & to rehabilitate the guilty.

Go head. Yell at ne some more.

Kodos
09-03-2011, 11:01 PM
The reason why you can't see what I mean by human beings being equal is you've become jaded in your own ideas on why shit in the world today is fucked up (please...please qoute me on this when you harshly try to destroy my point of view). Yes. YES wer ARE equal because we're created in the same way, we have the same potential for comprehension
We do not all have the same potential for comprehension. Intelligence is at least partly genetic. And we are not all created the same way. Some humans are born with birth defects, others fare unusually well in the genetic lottery. Some humans are born into crushing poverty, others into decadent wealth.

Almost no two humans come into the world with the same genes and social class, let alone memetic influences.


we all have the same choice (some call this free will) to do what may or may not be considered right and wrong.
Free will does not exist. Also schizophrenics and other people with serious mental illness do not have the same degree of agency as neurotypical people.


Again, condition...any condition does NOT play into this equality at all.
Again, I'm arguing for human value being determined by actions and beliefs, not condition. What are you arguing against?


Go ahead & call me an idiot if you will. I don't care what you or anyone has to say on the matter of equality. I think you're confusing what people do as what defines their equality. That's not what I was saying at all. Just because someone does soething doesn't make the any more or less human because it is the very ability to make a moral choice that is one of the qualities that make us human in the first place.
It does not make them less human, but it makes them a bad human. They are equal in that they are both human beings, but they are not equal in other standards. A genius is not any more human than a mentally retarded man, but the former is certainly more intelligent. They are not equal in intellect. Carl Sagan and Adolf Hitler are not equal in moral character.


Since we all possess this ability & there's no way to measure it...we're all equal in that ability. We possibly the only sentient beings on this planet & if we can't see that we're all essentially the same sickens me.
Adolf Hitler and Carl Sagan are not essentially the same. They are equal only in that they are both homo sapien sapiens, they both lived on Earth, they both were born and died before the present, they both ate food, and other trivial equalities. They were not equal in any context worth caring about - contributions to humanity, intellectual merit, moral character, etc.


Your words sound just as close minded to me as some of the fucked up humans that you've used to argue that we're not equals.
Because saying that not all humans are equal in moral character and intellectual merit and should be judged and treated accordingly in interpersonal relations and moral judgments is equivalent to saying that Jews, Roma, Sinti, Poles, and other ethnic groups are not human and ought to be exterminated. Okay.


And when did I ever say that I'm not in judgement of what others do? That's a ridculous notion. Even the most devout Christian who's been taught that only God can judge mankind judges mankind.
To judge something is to proclaim an inequality. Unless you judge things equally. To judge one man trustworthy and another not trustworthy is to recognize and proclaim an inequality in trustworthiness.


This is just another example of where humanity is equal. You're judging me right now & trying argue that what I am saying without even atempting to get the gist of what it is that I'm trying to say.
I get what you say better than you do. You don't understand what you are saying because you are spouting talking points devoid of real meaning or weight. You cannot say every human is equal in practice while also claiming to judge people.


You're so stuck on what you believe as the truth dude that you're blind to the ideas of others.
I've heard this so many times it's not funny. No. I'm open to any and all ideas. I just refuse to embrace ideas that are bad or lack sufficient justification.


Fuck dude, we all know that Constantine divided the Roman empire was split into two empires: the East & the West. We know that when Odoacer deposed Romulus who ruled the Western Empire in 476 AD is the [I]accepted military fall of Rome. Shit, we know that Rome exists today. I was speaking of the political & economical actually. You know...the coruption in the government...the declining value of Roman coin...all of these things caused the pepole to revolt. That weakened the power structure even more. By the time the Visigoths paid them a visit in 410 AD, they didn't have much a leg to stand on. 42 years later it was an easy task for Atilia to put them out of commision. None of this could've even happened...as slowly & as painfully as it did without the people rising up against the corruption of thier government & the merry-go-round of ceasars that could not control a populace as vast as Rome was. Kodos, you focus far too much on semantics my friend & you're quick to condemn someone without even trying to understand what they're talking about.
Rome would have fallen with or without the people rising up. Rome fell because of numerous factors, but it would have gone down the same without the people rising up, as you claim. Weak leadership and declining military might were more than sufficient.
And I only bring up semantics when it is necessary.


If you were to look into the matter you will find that the death penalty (execution) does actually deter the crime of murder.
This is objectively false. (http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/deterrence-states-without-death-penalty-have-had-consistently-lower-murder-rates)


It's my belief, and this is only a matter of opinion, that the purpose of justice IS to protect the innocent & to rehabilitate the guilty.
That was mine too. Could you really not detect the sarcasm?

Black_Shaggie
09-03-2011, 11:33 PM
Ha! I like Kodos. You rock!

Okay. Some weight to my argument then. I'll try not to spout empty words at you.

It is a matter of opinion that free will does or doesn't exist. Seeing as I do believe it does, perphaps my perception of all human beings being equal is more a metaphorical claim. I do see your point that actions & beliefs define humanity too. People with birth defects & the like go further to proove your argument of inequality as well.

I guess if were to boil what I'm trying to say down to its essence, what I mean is that we all have a choice in our actions. Perhaps this doesn't define us all as being equals. I do feel that humans seem to wind up doing similar things in similar situations though. I apologize for 'beating a dead horse' too, but I won't make any excuses.But I feel that we're all the same though. I mean, why else would we all be considered a species if we didn't essentialy possess the same basic quailites? I know that people will act as individuals & do different things than someone else. We all find different solutions to the same problems too. Maybe what I'm trying to say (but can't find the right words) is that we're equals because we all possess the same ability to come up with our own conclusions in how to act or react to something?

I still can't say that we're not all equal. But I do see your point. I just can't fix my mind to hold someone in a position greater & lesser than my own & this is a personal hang up I suppose. Who am I to say that I am better than someone else because of my choices in life? Who's say that they're better than I am because of the choices that they've made? I mean if they're choices, then the action or reaction of that choice doesn't make the ability to make a choice & act upon it superior or inferior...right?

I went to same source as you did on the execution thing. Maybe I was reading the graphs wrong I dunno. But despite the fact that not having the death penalty in a state lowered the crime rate more, having the death penalty did deter the crime as well.

I get your sarcasam dude. I like to keep shit going sometimes just to be sarcastic myself actually!:monkey_grr:

That's why I've been arguing my point so hard all along. Basically, at least in my mind, this is really a matter of personal opinion. Of course, you don't agree & will more than likely tell me why it's not & I welcome it with open arms.

CypressDahlia
09-04-2011, 12:09 AM
First of all, is your argument that money is more valuable than human life?

No. You asked for a practical benefit of execution and I gave you one. I thought the quote -> rebuttal format would clearly show that. I'm not saying money is more valuable than life, I'm saying the innocent shouldn't be forced to take responsibility for criminals. This is not to say that nobody should. If I thought money was more important than life, I would be on the same boat with the many of the criminals I condemn.


This is not a strawman, this is the logical outcome of your argument.

Not really, considering people sentenced to life/death are hardly "all criminals". To quote myself: ..."without having to cough up tax dollars to support a felon for the rest of their life." You asked how execution is more beneficial than a life sentence.


I imagine your life is very easy and cozy, isn't it?

Irrelevant. Don't expect me to have empathy and compassion for serial killers and rapists. I evaluate who deserves my empathy and compassion on a case-by-case basis. Those people failed that evaluation because of what they've done. This is, on a more personal level, exactly what the court does when sentencing the guilty. Am I wrong?


When your car is not doing what it is supposed to...

Any car can be fixed with the proper tools and knowledge. Humans aren't quite that programmable. I hope you understand this is a bad analogy.


I always thought that protecting the innocent and rehabilitating the guilty...

Punishment, like other forms of conditioning, is a type of rehabilitation. Also, I don't see how I'm against protecting the innocent. In fact, the reason I support death sentences is for that purpose exactly.


In Texas...And mistakes certainly never happen.


That's not to say everyone who has been sentenced to death was sentenced fairly. Just saying the death sentence itself is neither unfair or illogical.

Seriously?


Like "live in Texas" or "be accused of serious crime and don't be white" or "fail a psuedoscientific test."

Now you're just being melodramatic.


Fairness is not justice. Revenge is fair, but it is not just.

I would like you to define justice, then.


Eliminating a criminal is protecting the innocent, yes...

I'm not saying rehabilitation shouldn't be practiced. But I'm saying there is such a thing as a lost cause. Besides, rehabilitation, even when deemed "successful" is hardly foolproof. How many people are released and violate their parole? How many repeated offenders? How many people just end up in jail again? Every time rehabilitation fails, more innocent people are harmed. To be entirely honest, I would rather take the life of a criminal than let him ruin that of innocent people a second time. Rehab is just about as foolproof as the Hare Psychopathy Index.


And again, I agree. The innocent should not have to pay for the guilty. We should execute all criminals.

I never said we should execute them. I said justice isn't served if the act of the criminal is still the burden of the innocent. It should be the burden of the criminal and only himself. The only person who should be punished for a crime is the perpetrator.


Cype, are you aware that Judge Dredd was just entertainment and not, in fact, a how-to for life?

No, because I grew up playing that on Super Nintendo and modeled my life after him. I even have a funky Captain Falcon helmet emblazoned with golden wingflaps.

Kodos
09-04-2011, 01:15 AM
I. "Justice isn't served if the act of the criminal is still the burden of the innocent. It should be the burden of the criminal and only himself. The only person who should be punished for a crime is the perpetrator."
II. Any criminal housed in any prison for any amount of time is a burden on the innocent who must pay for the upkeep of the prison, it's staff and the prisoner.
III. Justice is not served if dangerous criminals are not kept isolated from society and instead are allowed to freely prey upon the innocent.
Conclusion: Justice can only be served by immediately executing any and all criminals.

That is your argument. The only premise I have added is the third. This is a deductive argument, and if you cannot fault one of the premises, or demonstrate a flaw in reasoning, then the conclusion must follow. The first premise is your own argument, verbatim, and the second is an undeniable fact.

Thanks in advance.

EDIT: I just realized, an alternative conclusion would be to ship any and all criminals to an abandoned island and to leave them to fend for themselves. So you can add that as an alternative for the conclusion. So the death penalty, or exile to an uninhabited land.

CypressDahlia
09-04-2011, 01:42 AM
I. "Justice isn't served if the act of the criminal is still the burden of the innocent. It should be the burden of the criminal and only himself. The only person who should be punished for a crime is the perpetrator."
II. Any criminal housed in any prison for any amount of time is a burden on the innocent who must pay for the upkeep of the prison, it's staff and the prisoner.
III. Justice is not served if dangerous criminals are not kept isolated from society and instead are allowed to freely prey upon the innocent.
Conclusion: Justice can only be served by immediately executing any and all criminals.

Well, you've hit the nail on the head regarding my thoughts on dead-end criminals. Criminals sentenced to life are not only the greatest possible burden to the innocent but also share the same fate as death row inmates. So why should we sustain their lives if it's going toward the same end? It's not like a lifetime prisoner has a chance to be rehabilitated anyway.

As far as other criminals are concerned, send them to isolated work camps. Make them work for the commodities they are otherwise handed on a silver platter. Make them produce profit that goes toward their own maintenance costs. Why are we giving criminals freebies when average law-abiding people are working for their commodities? They should at least be doing the same.

ClockHand
09-04-2011, 01:45 AM
wow, are you talking about pro-slavery?

CypressDahlia
09-04-2011, 01:46 AM
It's not slavery considering it's exactly what the rest of us are doing. Unless you mean not giving people free stuff and expecting them to work for it is slavery. In which case, I'm totally a slave. I work at Petco.

ClockHand
09-04-2011, 01:47 AM
I dunno, forcing someone to work without freedom and not winning profits of their work its sounds kinda like slavery to me.

CypressDahlia
09-04-2011, 01:49 AM
...they are winning the profits of their work. That's the point. They're working for their commodities. C'mon, man. Read.

And criminals waive their freedom when they commit crimes. I mean, c'mon. Don't wanna go to jail? Don't commit crimes. It's simple. It's detainment, not slavery.

Kodos
09-04-2011, 01:51 AM
Well, you've hit the nail on the head regarding my thoughts on dead-end criminals. Criminals sentenced to life are not only the greatest possible burden to the innocent but also share the same fate as death row inmates. So why should we sustain their lives if it's going toward the same end? It's not like a lifetime prisoner has a chance to be rehabilitated anyway.

As far as other criminals are concerned, send them to isolated work camps. Make them work for the commodities they are otherwise handed on a silver platter. Make them produce profit that goes toward their own maintenance costs. Why are we giving criminals freebies when average law-abiding people are working for their commodities? They should at least be doing the same.
I'm not going to bother even replying to this because nothing I could possibly say would be more damning than what you have said yourself.

ClockHand
09-04-2011, 01:52 AM
No, they are winning the maintenance to live in jail, and keep working for that.

I would agree with you if they could use that money also to buy stuffs outside the jail and others, but I think it would be very naive to allow that, specially if your goal is to maintain them the most time possible inside the jail.

CypressDahlia
09-04-2011, 01:55 AM
lol okay. So we should just keep giving them free stuff. That totally makes sense, right? Let me make it even more clear:

I work for my money. I use said money to pay rent, buy clothes and food. I lose part of my paycheck every two weeks to criminals who are not working yet receiving the same commodities I work for. They are simply mooching off the cash me and many other people have earned.

So what's wrong with subjecting them to the same system that I follow? I work for my stuff. They should work for theirs. You know what I would be if I didn't work? Homeless, naked and starving. =)

ClockHand
09-04-2011, 01:57 AM
lol okay. So we should just keep giving them free stuff. That totally makes sense, right? Let me make it even more clear:

I work for my money. I use said money to pay rent, buy clothes and food. I lose part of my paycheck every two weeks to criminals who are not working for the same things I work for, but are simply mooching off the cash me and many other people have earned.

So what's wrong with subjecting them to the same system that I follow? I work for my stuff. They should work for theirs.

So your conclusion was that people who commit crimes should be slave? Good logic mister.

CypressDahlia
09-04-2011, 01:59 AM
They're no more a slave than I am. Actually, I would argue that I'm more so a slave considering I'm expected by law to PAY for their stuff while they do nothing. Furthermore, I did nothing wrong to deserve this kind of burden.

Kodos
09-04-2011, 02:06 AM
If criminals have it so great, Cype, why don't you commit a crime and go to jail? Surely it's preferable to be less of a slave? And I'm sure you can either kill someone you really dislike, or steal a large sum of money and hide it away for when you get out. It's a win/win scenario.

CypressDahlia
09-04-2011, 02:21 AM
lol. I never said they all "had it great". But I know these things to be true: I work for just above minimum wage. At 8 bucks and hour, I make about 400 bucks every two weeks. After tax deductions, I'm left with maybe 320. Technically, I have worked for way below minimum wage when you divide that up among the hours. And you know where that money that I rightfully earned is going? Supporting people who have been detained for harming the innocent. They're getting paid by me, the guy who is working for an adjusted wage of well below 7 dollars an hour, to be the scum of the Earth. They're getting the same commodities I have to buy with my hard-earned cash, for free.

It doesn't seem entirely unfair to, you know, possibly find a way where they can support themselves through work? Like the rest of society? Maybe be less of an overall burden to humanity, you know, on top of being a plague on morals and actually hurting people? If that's slavery, then by God I am the biggest slave ever because I'm working for my own stuff AND theirs. But you know, that's justice! Darn 'ol justice.

ClockHand
09-04-2011, 02:26 AM
lol. I never said they all "had it great". But I know these things to be true: I work for just above minimum wage. At 8 bucks and hour, I make about 400 bucks a week. After tax deductions, I'm left with maybe 320. Technically, I have worked for way below minimum wage when you divide that up among the hours. And you know where that money that I rightfully earned is going? Supporting people who have been detained for harming the innocent. They're getting paid by me, the guy who is working for an adjusted wage of well below 7 dollars an hour, to be the scum of the Earth. They're getting the same commodities I have to buy with my hard-earned cash, for free.

So your problem is not that criminals live through your taxes, is that you have a crappy job and the system suck money from you without thinking your social class and needs. It's seems to me, this is more about you than the criminals, and also, more about the economic system where you are.


It doesn't seem entirely unfair to, you know, possibly find a way where they can support themselves through work? Like the rest of society? Maybe be less of an overall burden to humanity, you know, on top of being a plague on morals and actually hurting people? If that's slavery, then by God I am the biggest slave ever because I'm working for my own stuff AND theirs. But you know, that's justice! Darn 'ol justice.

Yes there is a way, but it mean you have to integrate criminals to the society, thing you don't want in the first place.

CypressDahlia
09-04-2011, 02:41 AM
So your problem is not that criminals live through your taxes...

Actually, no, just this statement right here. I live pretty comfortably, but I don't like the fact that I'm essentially working under the legal minimum wage to provide for criminals when they have done nothing but harm society. Essentially someone is taking money out of my pocket and giving it to despicable people. I don't really find comfort in that.


Yes there is a way, but it mean you have to integrate criminals to the society.

Why? I understand you have a problem with detainment, but the detainment part is by standard of law, not by work contract. It's not slavery. They're not forced to work, only detained. The profits of their work will go entirely toward commodities for them. Maybe you misunderstand the concept of slavery considering the idea I've suggested is little different from a fund-raiser lol.

Kodos
09-04-2011, 02:44 AM
They're no more a slave than I am. Actually, I would argue that I'm more so a slave considering I'm expected by law to PAY for their stuff while they do nothing. Furthermore, I did nothing wrong to deserve this kind of burden.
You have said that you are more of a slave than a criminal in prison. Unless you find slavery to be a preferable state to freedom, I do not see how you can argue that prisoners do not have it better than you. If this is the case then why do you not go to prison so you can improve your quality of life?

You keep dodging it. Your entire argument is like the right wing lunatics who prattle on about how great undocumented immigrants have it, and then when challenged to renounce their citizenship come up with a litany of excuses. Only in your case it's criminals rather than immigrants, and freedom rather than citizenship.

CypressDahlia
09-04-2011, 02:52 AM
You have said that you are more of a slave than a criminal in prison...

You're not srs, right? I guess you've never heard "slave" used in the figurative sense. Here, let me help you out:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4a8DY7SiMU

Clearly Britney Spears is offering to sign a work contract.

Kodos
09-04-2011, 02:55 AM
You use the word 'slave' in the same sentence as talking about people doing labor in regards to compensation. If you cannot understand how a person would take your use of the word slave there in a literal rather than metaphorical sense, I don't know what to say.

You are, as often is your mode of operation, being deliberately obtuse and then backpedaling when called out and acting like you were joking. I'm through debating this topic - or any - with you because there can be no meaningful debate with you. It's like arguing with an serial amnesiac - the past is fluid and malleable for you.

CypressDahlia
09-04-2011, 03:02 AM
It's not slavery considering it's exactly what the rest of us are doing. Unless you mean not giving people free stuff and expecting them to work for it is slavery. In which case, I'm totally a slave. I work at Petco.

It was a sarcastic remark comparing wage slavery to slavery-slavery. Kodos, I know you have something against me, but please stop getting your panties in a knot every time we debate. I honestly roll my eyes whenever I read "deliberately obtuse" and "backpedaling". You're just not following the conversation between me and Clockhand closely enough. So I can only guess your impatience stems from us misunderstanding each other. I backpedal to re-address points that have been misconstrued or have to be re-clarified to corroborate with the current line of logic.

Honestly, if you're not willing to debate with me, don't bother in the first place lol.

Also, how many times has it been the "last time" you wanted to debate with me?

Black_Shaggie
09-04-2011, 01:21 PM
Man, I just woke up & checked this thread because I like the discussions here.

Cype, I'm not sure you understand how things work when someone is incarcerated. They don't just stay locked down or in the yard pumping iron & playing basketball (I'll leave the shanking & soap dropping jokes out of this). No sir, they have to work as part of their rehablitation. And, since they techicnally don't have rights (you said it) they wind up working for little or no money at all.

I'm not just talking about facility upkeep & government labor farming...allthough that's bad enough. No, I am refering to them being farmed out to private contractors from the same thing. You mentioned your making $8/hr for $400/bi-monthly & how it's taxes make that more like $320. You questioned where that money's going & then eluded to it going to supporting people detained for harming the innocent.

I am not saying that us who are free aren't stuck in a similar position either dude. We are. I'm a freelance illustrator & if I don't meet my required deadlines I don't get paid. Plus the advances I get for compensation of works done barely keep the lights on while I'm waiting for shit to get published or produced for my perecentage (usually a small one) of retail sales. To this end, I'm a slave to my job as we all are. But I do it because I like working in the field & I'm free to. What I am saying is that the people incarcerated do indeed have things worse than we do & they're not just waiting around for their sentences to be over.

Then you said this:


It doesn't seem entirely unfair to, you know, possibly find a way where they can support themselves through work? Like the rest of society?

Well, here's something Peter Gilmore has to say on the subject:


Keeping all these people in jail costs a lot of money. States are now spending about $25 billion a year on corrections. Caught between anti-tax agitation and anti-prisoner sentiment, a growing number of states are actually requiring prisoners to pay for their own incarceration. And of course, the private use of prison labor and the growing move to privatize prisons have a seductive appeal to state officials who can't be bothered about the loss of jobs and declining living standards for those workers still at liberty.

Check out the entire source if you'd like:

http://lpa.igc.org/lpv24/lp3.htm

I think it proves that the incarcerated are not only working for their room & board, but at a wage far below the minimum to boot, & that this labor supports these private contractors more than themselves. Seeing as they don't have too much say so about how much they get paid or who they work for...you know...because they don't have any rights while incarcerated...that's they exist in a condition very close to slavery.


They're not forced to work, only detained. The profits of their work will go entirely toward commodities for them.

I don't think that all the work that they do does. I think a lot of this goes to the private contractors their farmed out too. I would be cool with the idea that they only worked for their own shit, like rest of us because that makes sense. If it were true, then we as tax payers wouldn't have to come out of pocket to support the prison systems. Also, seeing as the trends in correctional facilities are leaning towards privatized prisons, I feel that the incarcerated are being used for far more than their own upkeep.

I'm just laying this out there for you guys as another perspective on the matter. I'm not picking at your point of view, or anyone else's for that matter. I don't even you know you guys like that. But what I do know is you're all pretty cool, intelligent people with the right to have an opinion & voice it here, so please don't get angry with me. Personally, I agree with the idea of the incarcerated having to work like the rest of us. I'll even go further & say that they should work even harder as part of their rehabilitation too. But the conditions at present...the forced labor...for a wage that barely supports them while benefitting private contractors who could actually create jobs for us who are not in prison. Is pretty fucking close to slavery in my opinion.

CypressDahlia
09-04-2011, 07:08 PM
Cype, I'm not sure you understand how things work when someone is incarcerated...No sir, they have
to work as part of their rehablitation.

Yes, I know. I think you have misunderstood my idea. What I mean is that the profits from the labor of inmates should be pumped back into the prison's maintenance costs. If there's extra, improve their commodities. They should be working by the same principle that we do: earn what you get, get what you earn. But as we have it, there are many inmates who //aren't// working or inmates who are working community service without pay. They //should// be using the profits of their labor to support them. But it ends up in someone's back pocket and they expect tax payers to make up for the costs.

In short, get all inmates to do profitable work and pump those profits back into the upkeep of prisons instead of pocketing it and expecting innocent people to compensate. That's the idea.


And, since they techicnally don't have rights (you said it)...

Whoa whoa hold your horses buddy. I never said they don't have rights. I said they don't have freedom. Having no rights and being detained are two entirely different things. In fact, these men are detained //because// their rights are being upheld. They go to court and serve a sentence just like everyone else. If I thought they had no rights, I wouldn't mind killing all of them. But apparently that's not what I'm saying.


What I am saying is that the people incarcerated do indeed have things worse than we do...

I'm not contesting that. But I am saying they are no more slaves than I am if they're made to earn their commodities. Because that's exactly what I do. Getting what you earn //should be the standard//. My wage-slaving is not giving me what I earn and the labor of inmates is not giving them what they earn. So let's stop enslaving our taxpayers AND our inmates.


Well, here's something Peter Gilmore has to say on the subject:

I'm glad. How many is "a growing number", though? As far as I'm concerned, I'm still paying for this.


I would be cool with the idea that they only worked for their own shit, like rest of us because that makes sense.

This is exactly what I'm saying. But demonizing the opposition is a popular method of debate on MT so I'm obviously a slavery advocate for it.

ClockHand
09-04-2011, 07:23 PM
Here is the thing.

I agree that they should be able to work, not only to pay their living, but also as a way to help their own families, having profits of their work and as a step to integrate them to society (because, if you go out of jail finding a job become pretty a hard task). But this can only work if: Prison's are controlled by the State (no privates allowed), Prison's can't generate incomes (which mean, the money the interns are making should go to them and their needs), Interns should be able to use their money as they please (with obvious restrictions), Interns should be able to left the facility, Interns should have been under psychological, hallucinogenic and alcohol evaluation periodically.

For me is ok they win money if is for them and no one is making rich thanks to them. And also as I see it, the jobs must provide help to them to integrate them to society, giving to them a little more freedom but still with constant regulations (if a intern doesn't come back at certain time he is back to jail, and you can put on him a tracker or something). In this way with time they can find better jobs, they can help their families, they can help other interns, they can prove that they can be reformed and fix their lifes.

But with the idea that you want them to be forever in jail and also work, you are making them slaves. There is a difference between someone who works and has no freedom, to someone who work and has responsibilities. If they are going to work, then we need to give them back something more than "better maintenance", we need to give them a chance of trust to believe they can be back to society and don't come back to jail.

Fenn
09-04-2011, 08:10 PM
Why not. I'm in.

This kind of debate is a good example of why more focus must be placed on keeping people out of jail to begin with.

Delphinus
09-04-2011, 08:33 PM
But Fenn, if there's nobody in jail, how will the American economy sustain itself?

5% of workers down the drain just like that? That would never work.

Black_Shaggie
09-04-2011, 08:36 PM
I see what you mean by the intmates that don't work Cypress & I'll get to that in a moment. Thanks for the clarification &, my fault on the freedom/ rights missunderstanding. You're right, inmates do have some rights, however limited they may be. But you must believe me when I say to you that, despite other posters here in MT's forums, I am not trying to demonize you or your argument.

I'm just giving my opinion on how I feel about & see the issue just like you or anyone else.

First, let me say this. All convicts (at least in the states) have a job...some kind of job to do. This is integral to their rehabilitation. No one prisoner can say to his or her Warden "That's okay boss, Ima just stay in my cell,". I mean, after 30 days...which is just enough time to get their paperwork processed & them fully 'intergrated' into general population, these people, all of them, are working. For a little as 10cents/hour. So they are working. All of them & not just for commodities either.


What I mean is that the profits from the labor of inmates should be pumped back into the prison's maintenance costs.

Hey man, I can not argue with you there. But what I mean is those profits are going into pockets where they don't belong. Prisonis a big buisness & the product being sold is cheap...CHEAP friggin' labor. As long as this continues in the federal, state & private institutions & our government allows it to continue. The prisons themselves will continue to be a drain on the taxpayers' dollar. But that isn't the prisoner's fault. Correct me if I'm wrong here but I thought that was what you were trying to say is that you blame the prisoners for not working to take care of themselves right?



I'm not contesting that. But I am saying they are no more slaves than I am if they're made to earn their commodities. Because that's exactly what I do. Getting what you earn //should be the standard//. My wage-slaving is not giving me what I earn and the labor of inmates is not giving them what they earn. So let's stop enslaving our taxpayers AND our inmates.

That's exactly what should be done dude. Again, no arguement there. I think the blame should be directed at a higher authority than a corrupt prison system, however.

And...since we still possess the liberty to at least go out & find better jobs for ourselves...no matter how difficult a task this may be...& prisoners don't have that same liberty...they suffer from an even worse form of slavery than we do.


If they are going to work, then we need to give them back something more than "better maintenance", we need to give them a chance of trust to believe they can be back to society and don't come back to jail.

I agree with this Clock, that's what rehabilitation works in my book. The problem is just as Cypress is stating the powers that be are not allowing this tohappen because they'd rather profit from a prisoner's incarceration. All of us suffer when greed is involved.

CypressDahlia
09-04-2011, 11:10 PM
First, let me say this. All convicts (at least in the states) have a job...some kind of job to do.

Yes, very minor maintenance jobs. But these are hardly considered jobs so much as they are considered chores. Sorting laundry, ladling food, sweeping floors are all compulsory parts of living in any kind of residence. I also have to do similar tasks to maintain my apartment from time to time and nobody is paying me to do it. I'm talking about actual services--legitimate work.


...you blame the prisoners for not working to take care of themselves right?

Well, to begin with, I blame prisoners for being prisoners. If they were autonomous citizens like the rest of us, they would be working to support themselves and not rotting away in jail. In essence, they've already failed the "taking care of themselves" part. But I know that's not what you meant. Essentially, though, they don't work to take care of themselves. No matter how little they work, how hard they work, how little they earn or how much they earn, they will always receive steady charity from the taxpayers. It doesn't matter if an inmates projected income is 40 cents or 40 dollars because there is always guaranteed to be millions in taxpayer money to make up the difference. It's not really "supporting themselves" when the work they do is not the determinant of how much they get. They will always get "enough". Whereas I have to worry if I'm working enough hours to pay the rent. There isn't always going to be a multi-million dollar charity fund available for when I don't make the cut. If I'm 200 dollars short, nobody but me is responsible for making up the difference. Do you see what I mean?


...& prisoners don't have that same liberty...

We never took that opportunity away from them, so there is no need to sympathize for that. They took that opportunity away from themselves when they decided to become criminals.


But with the idea that you want them to be forever in jail and also work, you are making them slaves.

We are mixing two different arguments here: the "death sentence" and labor arguments. First of all, I don't want anyone to be "forever in jail". Remember, I support the death penalty. Life sentences are pointless to me. You can read the reasons why in my prior posts. If we ever have inmates so dangerous that we need to remove them from society for the remainder of their life, it's better to just execute them. Attempting to rehabilitate those types is just gambling on the safety of innocent people.

But the average jailbird does not fit that description. Those "average" criminals, I don't mind attempting to rehabilitate and assimilate back into society. The ones doing 5-10 for serial kleptomania or far less severe charges. Basically, non dead-end criminals. I still find these people despicable, but since they're going to be set free eventually, might aswell try our best to rehabilitate them.

Delphinus
09-05-2011, 05:58 AM
I don't want to backseat mod, but could we move the prison argument to a seperate topic? Better yet, could an actual mod split the topic?

Fenn
09-05-2011, 12:36 PM
I don't want to backseat mod, but could we move the prison argument to a seperate topic? Better yet, could an actual mod split the topic?

Lol good point.

Kodos
09-05-2011, 12:43 PM
I'm not sure the mod's can split topics. Can they?

CypressDahlia
09-05-2011, 01:42 PM
Yeah, sorry about that. But we could just change the title of the thread? I mean, the conversation about 9/11 ended quite a few pages back.

Gedeon
09-05-2011, 03:35 PM
^Agreed......?

Black_Shaggie
09-05-2011, 10:58 PM
Yeah...what Cype said.

jubeh
09-05-2011, 11:06 PM
Splitting topics takes like 15 years just change the title

Delphinus
09-06-2011, 05:20 PM
But the average jailbird does not fit that description. Those "average" criminals, I don't mind attempting to rehabilitate and assimilate back into society. The ones doing 5-10 for serial kleptomania or far less severe charges. Basically, non dead-end criminals. I still find these people despicable, but since they're going to be set free eventually, might aswell try our best to rehabilitate them.

"I still find these people despicable."

"I still find these people despicable."

despicable

Because taking drugs and shoplifting are enormous threats to society and the public welfare. To me, it doesn't make sense that someone gets 10 years for shoplifting some gadgets (total value, £1000? also virtually a victimless crime) when someone can get 0 years for stealing millions - 'sup fraudulent accountants and inside traders - from a huge cross-section of the public.

That aside, bear in mind that few of the people who commit major crimes are major criminals. These hardened criminals are imprisoned for numerous offenses at once - if indeed they're caught. Most big crimes are crimes of passion, so they could be committed by virtually anyone, although for obvious reason the lower classes are more likely candidates. I wouldn't call a woman who, after years of an abusive marriage, kills her husband for sleeping with another woman as big a threat to society as a guy who kills someone, takes their wallet, and dumps the body in a river. Even in cases where people might appear heartless (gang killings), it's common for them to be crimes of passion ("That fucker shot my best friend! Let's get him!") rather than anything that's been heavily premeditated. Thus, characterising all criminals who commit the big crimes as 'dead-enders' is madness.

Not that I don't think that certain types of criminal should be considered for execution (though there are moral and practical grounds that, I'd argue, make execution unethical; I'm undecided on the issue but I think that the idiocy of the masses probably makes it a bad idea), but saying that this applies to everyone with a life sentence is bloodthirsty and insane. Life sentences aren't equal.

CypressDahlia
09-06-2011, 07:18 PM
Because taking drugs and shoplifting are enormous threats to society and the public welfare.

I don't disagree. I think 10 years for stealing minor things is ridiculous. A comprehensive rehabilitation program can fix these types of problems rather easily. That, and probation or continuous house arrest. I'm talking about breaking and entering, grand theft auto, etc, etc. And I admittedly take drugs (well, drink alcohol) from time to time and I'm underage. I find that excusable. You have to take my statement with a grain of salt as it would've been far too much typing to specifically state things I found excusable or not. You understand that.


Thus, characterising all criminals who commit the big crimes as 'dead-enders' is madness.


...Life sentences aren't equal.

I don't disagree. As I've said before, not all sentences are fair. I still believe a life sentence is genuinely pointless but I agree that some people with life sentences don't deserve to have them. But this is more of an issue with our court (minimum sentencing) than with execution. Execution in itself makes complete sense to me. Also, someone who is driven to kill is a genuine threat to society. Even if someone shoots your friend, you don't go out and seek retribution personally. I think serial murderers are despicable, but I'm not out with a speargun hunting them down. I may think one deserves to die, but it's not my decision alone to make. There's a process. Vigilantism has no place in the real world when it's an issue of taking someone's life.

ClockHand
09-06-2011, 07:30 PM
Last year the Government start a Anti-Piracy policy and law which was pretty strong. A man of low resources start his own job with used computers doing a cyber, he end in jail for 10 years because he used a pirated Window in his computers. The man said he didn't had money for the original Window (which in here can cost 200 dollars) and he end in jail.

While through this same campaign when the politicians were discussing all this, the powerpoint of their presentation Window said "you are using a illegal copy of Window".

CypressDahlia
09-06-2011, 07:39 PM
My views on pirating are...mixed. I don't mind pirating -- do it all the time -- but all at once I don't mind if I end up going to jail for it as long as the sentence is reasonable.

Delphinus
09-06-2011, 07:55 PM
Also, someone who is driven to kill is a genuine threat to society. Even if someone shoots your friend, you don't go out and seek retribution personally... I may think one deserves to die, but it's not my decision alone to make. There's a process. Vigilantism has no place in the real world when it's an issue of taking someone's life.

Although I agree - the court process is a good way of ensuring that the most positive action to deal with antisocial behaviour (which is all crime is, really) is taken - I hardly think someone who's "driven to kill" in the sense you're thinking of is a threat to society. Serial killers and their killer instinct are obviously a threat, but you're not talking about them. You're saying that anyone who feels the urge to kill someone is a threat to society if they go through with it.

All that someone with the urge to kill out of revenge is guilty of is extreme emotions. I vaguely, though seriously, wanted to kill a particular person at one point, but I didn't. Why? I was never pushed far enough to decide my hatred was worth going to jail for. I like to think I'm fairly psychologically normal: homicidal ideation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homicidal_ideation) is something that most people engage in at some point in their lives. I imagine that all it would take to turn fantasy into reality for many people is wanting that person dead strongly enough.

So, in that case, you're essentially seeking to punish people for being intensely emotional and being the victim of circumstances. That doesn't seem right to me.

CypressDahlia
09-06-2011, 08:19 PM
If you have the urge to kill someone and lack the judgment to control it, then you 1.) need to be punished for the act and 2.) need to have said lack of judgment examined on a psychiatric level. I believe there should be a wall there--a thick wall--that stops you from crossing over into the territory of murder. IMO, "heat of passion" is merely an excuse for general lack of judgment. If people are punished for lack of judgment regarding minor offenses (ie. deciding to drink and drive and getting caught), then there is no excuse for lack of judgment regarding such huge offenses. If anything, it should weigh more heavily on the mind, therefore is actually //less// excusable.

Delphinus
09-06-2011, 08:36 PM
...there is no excuse for lack of judgment regarding such huge offenses. If anything, it should weigh more heavily on the mind, therefore is actually //less// excusable.

I'm not sure, not having been in this specific situation, but I think having someone, say, rape your girlfriend is quite likely to cause a lack of judgment. Strong emotions have this nasty habit of overriding rational thought; there's a reason we have two seperate offenses for premeditated versus spontaneous murder in civilised countries. In addition, you assume that a rational person wouldn't decide to kill someone after that, consequences be damned...

Not that they don't need to be punished for the act, but giving them the same punishment as someone who meticulously stalks a beautiful young man, learns his daily routine, then catches him, murders him, and rapes his corpse before disposing of it in woodland seems a little bizarre. These two things are not alike; these two things are not the same.

EDIT: Premeditated murder is first-degree murder; spontaneous murder is second-degree murder. You Americans have such strange ways.

CypressDahlia
09-06-2011, 08:45 PM
I guess neither of us can speak for those types. I've never been in a situation where I've even come close to killing someone. I've thought about beating people up (sometimes severely), but never killing them. The only time it would cross my mind to kill someone is if I was saving the life of someone I cared about. It's still an excuse, and still a lack of judgment, but I guess I concede to the separation being reasonable simply due to being unable to relate. Can't expect everyone to be perfectly level-headed.

And what you described there is premeditated murder, which is still different from many other types of murder (namely manslaughter). I agree that that's totally different.

Black_Shaggie
09-07-2011, 12:51 AM
I concur with you both on there being differnt types of murder. I'd have to agree with Del on how strong emotion can sometimes cloud and overide logic and reason. And whre does manslaughter fall into this? This is a question and not an argument because when I was younger, I did beat a guy to within an inch of his life. Its someting I am not proud of & was done out a rage fueled by a cheating girlfriend. The guy's smugness didn't help much though. If wasn't for my ex's screams that brough tme back to my senses...I may have very well done something more than what I allready regret. Fortunately I was never tried because the guy was too afraid to press charges. I felt so bad about it that I paid for his hospital bills in atempt to balance things and make ammends. This crime was commited from an emotional stance & was not premeditated...but it could have escalated to murder, possibly manslaughter had I not got a grip don't you think?

Delphinus
09-07-2011, 08:01 AM
Manslaughter is a term used in continental justice systems for spontaneous murder; i.e. murder that's not premeditated or intended. You'd be sentenced for it in the same way as a crime of passion. Well, that's what I think, I'm not a lawyer or law student.

The American equivalent to manslaughter is, I believe, second degree murder.