if there were no need for 'engineers from the quantum plenum' then we should not have any unanswered scientific questions.
Started by LegendarySandwich, November 28, 2010, 02:07:44 AM
Quote from: "Wilson"Hurting his innocent loved ones would be barbaric and evil, by my sense of right and wrong. Wanting to kill him would be appropriate, by my sense of right and wrong.
Quote from: "Wilson"How about this? Bernie Maddoff. Putting him in jail won't protect society from him. His reputation is such that I'm sure he would never engage in shady activity again, and if he has enough money left, he would never work again, anyway. He is not rehabilitatable. He knows what he did and probably regrets it. So .. turn him free?
Quote from: "Wilson"Will, you obviously have way more faith in the ability of jail to rehabilitate than I.
Quote from: "Will"Jail can rehabilitate when those who run and fund jails prioritize rehabilitation. The problem is that many jails, especially private jails, have no motive to rehabilitate, but rather simply to imprison and then release dangerous criminals back into the general public. The ability to rehabilitate can be seen in prison systems in other countries (Norway comes to mind) but it's simply not utilized often in countries like the United States. Going back for just a moment, though, did you go through the list of countries which have the death penalty? If so, have you formed any conclusions about what these states generally have in common? Has that impacted your beliefs about the death penalty?
Quote from: "Wilson"Hard data? I'm not a student of torture science. My guess is that there have been many such incidents, but I have no direct knowledge, and no desire to spend time searching for them.
QuoteAbout the Guido situation:1) An appeal to fear? We're just talking here. I'm not trying to frighten you. See, there's this concept of hypothetical situations, which can be useful in figuring out where morality lies under certain circumstances. And certainly there have been cases of people being tortured to reveal where the cash box is, even if I can't give you three examples of "hard data" on the subject.
Quote2) How can Guido know for certain you're telling the truth? Okay, here's Guido's clever strategy. He looks where you tell him to look. If it's not there, Guido knows you were lying, and resumes his blowtorch work until you give him the right answer. That Guido is brilliant! It's the exact same answer to my nuclear hypothetical. You look where the terrorist says the bomb is. Obviously, you're desperately searching for a hole in the scenario but failing and looking foolish.
Quote3) Some people can hold out, most can't. According to Wikipedia, "After four days (of severe torture), McCain made an anti-American propaganda "confession". He has always felt that his statement was dishonorable, but as he later wrote, "I had learned what we all learned over there: Every man has his breaking point. I had reached mine." No blame attaches to McCain for being human; he resisted to the best of his ability.
QuoteRegarding Davin's refusal to torture a person who could reveal the location of the bomb in Manhattan, resulting in the death of one million New Yorkers:QuoteDavin's response is not only correct, it is devastatingly so: if you must appeal to such an unlikely hypothetical to justify your actions, your actions are unjustifiable.You and Davin lack subtlety in your thinking. Everything is black and white. No gray areas. You seem to think that if there is an exception to a general rule, it invalidates the rule. Nonsense.
QuoteDavin's response is not only correct, it is devastatingly so: if you must appeal to such an unlikely hypothetical to justify your actions, your actions are unjustifiable.
QuoteNow you know that I said that I'm against torture except in exceptional circumstances. And I gave a hypothetical example of such an exceptional circumstance. And then you say that "if you must appeal to such an unlikely hypothetical to justify your actions, your actions are unjustifiable." My actions? What actions? Are you accusing me of torturing someone? You seem to be implying that I'm in favor of torture in general, when you know that's not true. Please try to be more logical. And honest.
QuoteI speak as an Air Force veteran: the torture of anyone under American custody is a blot on our honor, and you should be ashamed to be urging it forward.
QuoteAnd I speak as a Navy veteran: We must be smart enough to consider each case on its own merits.
QuoteTo be honest, what irritates me here is the refusal by you and Thumper to acknowledge something that's obvious....
Quote from: "Wilson"I repeat: You have more faith in rehabilitation than I do, and not only for Bernie. Most of the people in jail are sociopaths, and the only way you can "rehabilitate" them is to convince them that it's in their best interest to follow the rules - and most sociopaths aren't amenable to that message. The kind of people who end up in jail, for the most part, sure aren't going to be receptive to any moral arguments. If they are taught a trade, that will make a difference for some.
Quote from: "Wilson"I would be okay with abolishing the death penalty in favor of life without parole, but I have no moral objection to having the state kill a really evil murderer. As far as the countries that allow the death penalty, there are about 50 of them. Most of them aren't exactly leading lights in the morality department, true. Should we go by majority rule? Majority rule in the US favors the death penalty. Maybe I'm just patriotic, but it seems like our criminals are nastier than those in most Western countries. They are certainly more deadly.
Quote from: "Wilson"One of the differences between our views on this whole subject is that you see offenders as just like the rest of us, except that they were placed in bad circumstances. There but for the grace of God .. But I see most of those in jail as defective in morals - lacking in empathy - lacking in concern for others - dangerous, with poor impulse control. It's not just that they made bad decisions, their brains are different from most of us, in a way that isn't fixable. They got that way because of bad childhoods, mostly, and maybe it's partly genetic in some of them. Not entirely their fault, in a way, but we have to protect society from them unless they behave.
Quote from: "Byronazriel"Japan has the death penalty, so does India.
Quote from: "Will"Sociopathy isn't a thing anymore. Some people in prisons suffer from narcissistic personality disorder or antisocial personality disorder or something similar, but those disorders can actually be treated and there's a chance at being able to live with lessened or even no symptoms. Most people in prison, however, probably don't have a diagnosable disorder. They've ended up in jail not because of a neuronal problem or because they were molested, but rather because they grew up in a system which sets them up to fail. How many thieves or pot dealers in prison would you characterize as sociopaths? It's not like prisons are just for serial killers and child molesters, after all.
Quote from: "Wilson"There may have been a change in nomenclature - who cares?
Quote from: "Wilson"- but the basic defect remains: inability to feel empathy. Mostly, in my opinion, because they did not experience the milk of human kindness as a young child. And lack of empathy is not curable. The best you can do is appeal to their reason (self-interest), because appealing to their better nature won't work. Of course there are all degrees of severity, and somebody can be unable to feel empathy, but smart enough to follow the rules. There are prominent people in many walks of life - lawyers and politicians in particular - who fall into that category.
Quote from: "Wilson"I've actually done some work in a minimum security prison, so I know that most of the people there are not serial killers and child molesters. But most of them have sociopathic tendencies and try to work the system.
Quote from: "Wilson"They grew up in a system which sets them up to fail? Ah, it's society that's to blame! Nobody's bad, it's society's fault. There are no good and bad people, only people. Newsflash: There are some nasty folks out there. I think you're naive.
Quote from: "Thumpalumpacus"Also, I completely reject ByronAzriel's contention that torture is appropriate as punishment. I could not conceive of a surer way to guarantee the alienation of the criminal from society in a complete and final manner.
Quote from: "Will"Connotation matters. Here re two sentences: "That guy is a sociopath.""That guy suffers from antisocial personality disorder."When you label someone a sociopath, you're removing an element of humanity from them, thus excusing abusing them. The reality, however, is that antisocial personality disorder may be caused by biological factors entirely out of the control of the person diagnosed. Do you see how significant that difference is, between sociopathy and antisocial personality disorder? Executing a sociopath can be excused by saying that the person is essentially a monster, deserving of death. Executing someone diagnosed with a mental disorder, however, is more akin to killing someone with a mental deficiency. I see this as significant.j
QuoteLack of empathy can be treated in many cases. I'm not sure where you're getting your information from. Cognitive behavioral therapy has a decent track record among teenagers and young adults who have antisocial personality disorder and even narcissistic personality disorder. There are also medications that enjoy success with people diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder.
Quote from: "Wilson"I think there is a problem with the terms used to describe this condition. I wish there was a term for lacking empathy. Because as I said before, not everyone who lacks empathy and compassion is a danger to society. In fact, in some professions a lack of compassion might be useful. The word "sociopath" seems to imply some pathology of socialization, "psychopath" is the more extreme version, and "antisocial personality disorder" includes both. I certainly wouldn't want to punish someone because of his personality, only for his actions.
Quote from: "Wilson"I've always read that treatment doesn't work for sociopaths, except, as I said before, to appeal to their own self interest, which sometimes works. Remember that just because something it treatable is doesn't necessarily mean that the treatment is effective.
Quote from: "Wilson"Things got a little heated. Sorry if I've been rude to you.