Punishment

Ethics, Morality, and Sin

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Purple Knight
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Punishment

Post #1

Post by Purple Knight »

Is punishment moral, or is it something we just have to do in order to make the world work that's actually immoral?

Does it even do that? Would the world work fine without it?

If punishment is moral, how much is moral? At what point are you overpunishing? At what point are you underpunishing?

Is it okay to punish someone for something someone else did if it stops others from doing it?

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Re: Punishment

Post #2

Post by nobspeople »

Purple Knight wrote: Thu Dec 10, 2020 8:29 pm Is punishment moral, or is it something we just have to do in order to make the world work that's actually immoral?

Does it even do that? Would the world work fine without it?

If punishment is moral, how much is moral? At what point are you overpunishing? At what point are you underpunishing?

Is it okay to punish someone for something someone else did if it stops others from doing it?
Is it moral? That depends on whom is asked and when, not to mention what the punishment is. I'm all for appropriate punishment.

I don't think the world would 'work fine' without punishment as I think humanity needs boundaries (especially since they're so many billions of people of all different types and beliefs) and I think appropriate punishment acts as one of those boundaries.

In regards to your last question, I'm not sure I understand. So are you asking if it's OK to punish Bill for something Tammy and others did to keep who from doing it, Bill or Tammy? :?
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Re: Punishment

Post #3

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nobspeople wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 12:50 pmIn regards to your last question, I'm not sure I understand. So are you asking if it's OK to punish Bill for something Tammy and others did to keep who from doing it, Bill or Tammy? :?
Let's say Tammy does something bad and punishing Bill will somehow keep a lot of other people from doing it, but that punishing Tammy won't measurably affect their behaviour. Is it okay to punish Bill even if he didn't do anything?

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Re: Punishment

Post #4

Post by nobspeople »

Purple Knight wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 1:02 pm
nobspeople wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 12:50 pmIn regards to your last question, I'm not sure I understand. So are you asking if it's OK to punish Bill for something Tammy and others did to keep who from doing it, Bill or Tammy? :?
Let's say Tammy does something bad and punishing Bill will somehow keep a lot of other people from doing it, but that punishing Tammy won't measurably affect their behaviour. Is it okay to punish Bill even if he didn't do anything?
I don't think punishing the innocent nets anything but confusion and possibly hate or mistrust towards those that punished them.
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Re: Punishment

Post #5

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nobspeople wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 1:04 pmI don't think punishing the innocent nets anything but confusion and possibly hate or mistrust towards those that punished them.
There could be a few instances where punishing the innocent gets the message across.

For example, let's use the plot of Spiderman 3, wherein Sandman only becomes a villain to steal money to care for his dying daughter.

In a world where we pull the plug on the little girl if we catch so much of a whiff of supervillainy financing her medical care, no one then steals to this end because it becomes pointless. I don't think Sandman cares if he's caught and punished as long as his daughter lives, so in this case if we want the result of preventing thefts that fit this general model, we might punish the daughter instead.

Now, while I would put this into the category of obviously wrong and evil personally, I've had my head bitten off (not by you though) and been accused of being insincere the last time I made such an assumption, even though the assumption was presumably shared by my accuser; they never said what they believed, they just attacked me. So the best I can do is admit that my feeling that pulling the plug on the little girl is evil, is not logical; it's purely emotional and I of course could be wrong. I'd like to discuss the implications without having my head bitten off and if anyone just wants to accuse me of being insincere, and tell me I need therapy, maybe just don't post.

Basically I would like to assume that punishing the daughter can have the result of preventing thefts by likeminded parents, and I ask whether punishing the innocent, even if it does deter, is still wrong.

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Re: Punishment

Post #6

Post by nobspeople »

Purple Knight wrote: Sat Dec 12, 2020 9:30 am
nobspeople wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 1:04 pmI don't think punishing the innocent nets anything but confusion and possibly hate or mistrust towards those that punished them.
There could be a few instances where punishing the innocent gets the message across.

For example, let's use the plot of Spiderman 3, wherein Sandman only becomes a villain to steal money to care for his dying daughter.

In a world where we pull the plug on the little girl if we catch so much of a whiff of supervillainy financing her medical care, no one then steals to this end because it becomes pointless. I don't think Sandman cares if he's caught and punished as long as his daughter lives, so in this case if we want the result of preventing thefts that fit this general model, we might punish the daughter instead.

Now, while I would put this into the category of obviously wrong and evil personally, I've had my head bitten off (not by you though) and been accused of being insincere the last time I made such an assumption, even though the assumption was presumably shared by my accuser; they never said what they believed, they just attacked me. So the best I can do is admit that my feeling that pulling the plug on the little girl is evil, is not logical; it's purely emotional and I of course could be wrong. I'd like to discuss the implications without having my head bitten off and if anyone just wants to accuse me of being insincere, and tell me I need therapy, maybe just don't post.

Basically I would like to assume that punishing the daughter can have the result of preventing thefts by likeminded parents, and I ask whether punishing the innocent, even if it does deter, is still wrong.
I don't believe I saw that movie so I can't comment on the merits therein. With billions of people on the planet, I guess punishing me for killing someone I didn't kill COULD prevent one person from killing another....? But I wonder if that would be worth the uprising it could cause the population? But sure seems convoluted to say the very least, not to mention wrong and illogical in almost every possible way.
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Re: Punishment

Post #7

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nobspeople wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:35 amI guess punishing me for killing someone I didn't kill COULD prevent one person from killing another....? But I wonder if that would be worth the uprising it could cause the population? But sure seems convoluted to say the very least, not to mention wrong and illogical in almost every possible way.
The idea that punishing someone other than the perpetrator is simply wrong regardless of whether it accomplishes the desired result is exactly what I want to discuss.

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Re: Punishment

Post #8

Post by Miles »

Purple Knight wrote: Thu Dec 10, 2020 8:29 pm Is punishment moral, or is it something we just have to do in order to make the world work that's actually immoral?
What is stopping punishment, which brings about a better world, from being moral? You appear to have a false dichotomy here.

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Re: Punishment

Post #9

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Miles wrote: Thu Dec 17, 2020 3:20 pmWhat is stopping punishment, which brings about a better world, from being moral?
Nothing that I know of. That's part of the question. If there is something stopping punishment from being moral (even if it brings a better world), I would like to know about it.

I propose the idea that punishing someone other than the perpetrator might likewise bring a better world, and I explain how it might do so, and people seem to think it's wrong nonetheless.

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Re: Punishment

Post #10

Post by nobspeople »

Purple Knight wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 11:22 pm
nobspeople wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:35 amI guess punishing me for killing someone I didn't kill COULD prevent one person from killing another....? But I wonder if that would be worth the uprising it could cause the population? But sure seems convoluted to say the very least, not to mention wrong and illogical in almost every possible way.
The idea that punishing someone other than the perpetrator is simply wrong regardless of whether it accomplishes the desired result is exactly what I want to discuss.
I guess it depends how one defines wrong? Much like morality, that seems to be highly individualized: what's wrong for one may or may not be for another.
Also, how much doing what one thinks is wrong betters the world (if at all)? I suppose that needs to be laid out, but who knows the future? If we punish Bob for something others may do (which we would need to look forward in time) how much will that prevent others from doing it (again, we would need to look into the future)?
To me, the potential (aka unknown) end result doesn't justify the here-n-now enough to say it's not wrong.
Have a great, potentially godless, day!

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