ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Social Issues & Current Events
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 14th August 2019, 05:58 AM   #41
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 19,522
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Yes, absolutely.

But what is more effective is likely to be something that isn't satisfying, and it's hard to detach our sense of justice from what "feels" right, and to take it into the cold embrace of science and reason.
I mean you could argue that how the overall society feels is a legit factor in justice should work.

It can't be the only factor or it just turns it into mob rule with a bureaucracy attached to it, but the idea that it's in there somewhere, that "justice" that leaves the overall society dissatisfied is flawed in someway, isn't crazy.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC

Last edited by JoeMorgue; 14th August 2019 at 06:06 AM.
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 06:02 AM   #42
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 83,937
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I mean you could argue that how the overall society feels is a legit factor in justice should work.

It can't be the only factor our it just turns mob rule with a bureaucracy attached to it, but the idea that it's in there somewhere, that "justice" that leaves the overall society dissatisfied is flawed in someway, isn't crazy.
No, but it can be irrational. If the feel-bad solution actually prevents crime better and leads to us being demonstratably safer, why go for the feel-good solution?

Well, because we're only human, it seems.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 08:54 AM   #43
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 36,892
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
That's not an argument again Venom's post. Two wrongs don't make a right. I'm not sure shoving someone in prison for 25 years, in and of itself, is likely to turn them into a better person.
Turning criminals into better people is not a primary goal of my ideal justice system.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 08:55 AM   #44
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 36,892
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Yes, absolutely.

But what is more effective is likely to be something that isn't satisfying, and it's hard to detach our sense of justice from what "feels" right, and to take it into the cold embrace of science and reason.
What if satisfaction is an important element in good system of crime and punishment?
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 09:30 AM   #45
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 83,937
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Turning criminals into better people is not a primary goal of my ideal justice system.
Then either put them to forced labour or exterminate them.

Quote:
What if satisfaction is an important element in good system of crime and punishment?
I don't see how it would. Any ideas?
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 10:05 AM   #46
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 36,892
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Then either put them to forced labour or exterminate them.
I'm open to proposals for forced labor. This draws a charge of slavery, of course, but we're already making drastic infringements on the convict's rights. Putting them to work is probably no more immoral than simply putting them in a cell. But I'm sure that's a debatable point.

Quote:
I don't see how it would. Any ideas?
A collective sense of fairness is important to a society's justice system. If people perceive that the rule of law is being applied unfairly, or that crime is not being punished as it deserves, That's a problem. It leads to mistrust of government. It encourages people who would otherwise be law-abiding to break the law. If everyone else is getting away with it, getting a head by it, why not them? It reduces productivity. It breeds corruption. It prompts lynch mobs. It causes a vicious cycle that leads to tyranny, civil unrest, violence, and death.

A stable, healthy society needs to believe that its justice system is just. Which is to say, people need to be satisfied that crime is being properly punished. This is, to me, the most important goal of a criminal justice system.

Segregating enemies of society from society is the second most important goal.

Opportunities for rehabilitation - a path back to society for those who wish it - is the third goal. But if a person chooses to simply do their time and then return to a life of crime, I'd consider the system to have achieved its primary purpose: just punishment for the crime already committed.

Choosing to continue in a life of crime is, to me, a personal failure of the criminal, and perhaps a failure of the society in which they live, but it is not a failure of a good criminal justice system. Some people will be deterred, but deterrence isn't the point. The perception of justice and the rule of law is the point.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 10:09 AM   #47
rockysmith76
Scholar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 60
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
A collective sense of fairness is important to a society's justice system. If people perceive that the rule of law is being applied unfairly, or that crime is not being punished as it deserves, That's a problem..
For chronic violent offenders, bull puckey, soy lent green for the less violent offenders.
rockysmith76 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 10:18 AM   #48
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 83,937
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'm open to proposals for forced labor. This draws a charge of slavery, of course, but we're already making drastic infringements on the convict's rights. Putting them to work is probably no more immoral than simply putting them in a cell. But I'm sure that's a debatable point.
So no hope of putting any of those people back on the streets, eh? Once an offender always an offender? You know most people don't commit a second crime, yes?

Quote:
A collective sense of fairness is important to a society's justice system.
Yes but what if that sense of fairness doesn't match reality? What's more important, that we have an impression of doing good, or that we actually do good?
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 11:56 AM   #49
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 36,892
Originally Posted by rockysmith76 View Post
For chronic violent offenders, bull puckey, soy lent green for the less violent offenders.
I don't know what this means.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 12:02 PM   #50
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 36,892
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
So no hope of putting any of those people back on the streets, eh? Once an offender always an offender? You know most people don't commit a second crime, yes?
???

Putting them to work for the duration of their sentence. Not forever. Unless their sentence is forever, of course.

Quote:
Yes but what if that sense of fairness doesn't match reality? What's more important, that we have an impression of doing good, or that we actually do good?
Good question. As a purely pragmatic matter of maintaining social order, there's probably not much difference. You could feed every criminal into a meatgrinder, or teleport them all to a luxury spa, and as long as word never got out that the actual punishment didn't match the claimed punishment, that would do the trick.

But word would probably get out. In general, it seems like one gets better outcomes when the public policy of fairness matches the public consensus of fairness, and matches the policy that is actually being applied.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 12:06 PM   #51
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 83,937
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
???

Putting them to work for the duration of their sentence. Not forever. Unless their sentence is forever, of course.
Well rehabilitation isn't on the menu, so why would it not last forever?

Quote:
Good question. As a purely pragmatic matter of maintaining social order, there's probably not much difference. You could feed every criminal into a meatgrinder, or teleport them all to a luxury spa, and as long as word never got out that the actual punishment didn't match the claimed punishment, that would do the trick.

But word would probably get out. In general, it seems like one gets better outcomes when the public policy of fairness matches the public consensus of fairness, and matches the policy that is actually being applied.
Good question, but no good answer, I guess. What if the solutions we feel are working, don't actually work, or vice-versa, was my point.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 12:18 PM   #52
Mumbles
Philosopher
 
Mumbles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 7,089
Originally Posted by lionking View Post
This could arguably go in the Crime and Punishments or even Politics section, but I’m not talking a specific crime so think it’s good here.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about the trend towards mandatory (where the judge has little discretion) and tougher sentencing. Lo and behold Boris throws a log on the fire.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics...automatically/



We now have public outrage about lenient sentencing in many parts of the world, including Australia, and politicians trying to prove who is “tougher on crime”. Victims lobby groups are becoming more vocal and influential. New prisons popping up like mushrooms. Police forces growing in staffing and power. Etc etc.

Yet our societies don’t seem to be safer and more secure (yes I’ve read that gun violence in the US is decreasing, but it is still at an unacceptable level in my view). Rehabilitation might be a stated objective of justice systems, but when someone gets a set sentence of 30 years without parole, how is rehabilitation really working?

So my question. Is tougher sentencing a good or bad thing and why?
You're headed towards the US system - "tough on crime" measures led to mass incarceration. In the US, this also helped lead to:

Widespread voter disenfranchisement;
Less discretion from judges, period;
The rise of private prisons and use of prisoners for cheap labor (often for jobs - such as firefighting - that they are barred from upon release!)
The increasing use of plea bargains regardless of guilt.

Now, a few caveats.

It's worth remembering that much of this is due to the US prison system being designed in the late 1800s and early 1900s as a way to effectively oppress and re-enslave as many freed black people as possible - this includes disenfranchisement, and use of prisoners as near-free labor. In other words, it's out of US history in particular.

But that doesn't mean private prison companies from the US can't spread the evil, like homophobic evangelical Christians in African countries.

There are a small number of very serious crimes (rape, murder, and the like) where I could support mandatory minimums, in theory. In practice, I doubt the US could ever use such a tool effectively, and certainly not today - note how Epstein was able to dodge any sort of serious charge due to his outsized influence, while some dude who pisses in public or sells weed in to some undercover cop four blocks from a school can wind up with a serious charge in some areas.

In short, be careful with this sort of thing, and watch closely for US influence (especially corporate influence).
Mumbles is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 12:19 PM   #53
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 36,892
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Well rehabilitation isn't on the menu, so why would it not last forever?
This seems like a non-sequitur.

It wouldn't be forever because we as a society don't think that burglary should carry a life sentence. A few years of incarceration seems to satisfy in most cases, and then they can return to society. Whether or not they're rehabilitated by the process is irrelevant.

Quote:
Good question, but no good answer, I guess. What if the solutions we feel are working, don't actually work, or vice-versa, was my point.
Depends on what you mean by "working". My position is that a punishment "works" when it comports with our consensus view of what a fair punishment should be. In that sense, feeling that it's working is literally it working.

If, in addition to the perception of justice, or instead of the perception of justice, you want the punishment (is it even punishment, then?) to do other work - deterrence, rehabilitation, etc - then sure, you'll probably get a mismatch between perception and reality from time to time. Those should be sought out and corrected, of course.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 12:26 PM   #54
Mumbles
Philosopher
 
Mumbles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 7,089
Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Yes, but votes don’t swing on rehabilitation unfortunately.
The truth is, most violent crime in the US isn't so much rehabilitation, so much as just holding the person until they mature (it's usually young men who are still mentally immature), maybe their mid-30s. Let them educate themselves in prison, if they work, pay them market rates, and let them fully rejoin society once they are released.

Drug crimes - apart from operating heavy machinery and the like, toss them out. Treat them as a health problem, not a criminal matter.

Child rapists and the like are where I have to pause. These folks are often repeat offenders, and will assault more children upon release. And if a person continues to be violent in prison, they have a serious problem. But often, even for murder and the like, something they do at 15 will usually not reflect who they are at 35.
Mumbles is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 12:38 PM   #55
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 19,522
Originally Posted by Mumbles View Post
Child rapists and the like are where I have to pause. These folks are often repeat offenders, and will assault more children upon release.
That's a dangerous myth. Recidivism rates for sexual based crimes are not higher then the violent crime rate or the general crime rate and has been used as an excuse to punish people after their sentences for too long.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...rstood-crimes/
https://ncrj.org/the-big-lie-about-sex-offenders/
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 01:13 PM   #56
smartcooky
Penultimate Amazing
 
smartcooky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Posts: 12,222
Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Do you support execution? Not a gotcha, a serious question?
Generally speaking, I support the idea of execution for murderers but not with the standard of justice we have at this time. Let me explain that.

For mine, the standard "beyond a reasonable doubt" is not high enough to warrant execution of the convicted person. That term means that there could be some doubt, however small that might be. It might be "unreasonable" doubt, but sometimes unreasonable circumstances happen. Because execution is final (there is no taking it back if the justice system gets it wrong) it should not be an option unless a higher standard can be met... say, "with absolute certainty". If the courts cannot find the accused guilty "with absolute certainty" then execution should be off the table.

Some examples of of people who were guilty "with absolute certainty" and were, IMO rightfully executed were Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, and Ted Bundy. Charles Manson should have been executed. Some of the more current examples are Patrick Wood Crusius (the El Paso spree killer), James Fields (the person who ran down and killed Heather Heyer in the Charlotte Nazi Rally two years ago), Nikolas Cruz (the Parklands spree killer) and Brenton Tarrant (the Christchurch Mosque shooter). Once they are officially found guilty, there will be no doubt about their guilt (they were caught in the act of killing) and IMO they should be executed.

Further, in order to prevent their martyrdom, their remains should be cremated and disposed of in an undisclosed location, perhaps out at sea, so that their followers, hangers-on and devotees have nowhere to mourn.... but that is another story.
__________________
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore - if they're white!"
If you don't like my posts, my opinions, or my directness then put me on your ignore list.
This will be of benefit to both of us; you won't have to take umbrage at my posts, and I won't have to waste my time talking to you... simples! !
smartcooky is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 01:23 PM   #57
smartcooky
Penultimate Amazing
 
smartcooky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Posts: 12,222
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
That's a dangerous myth. Recidivism rates for sexual based crimes are not higher then the violent crime rate or the general crime rate and has been used as an excuse to punish people after their sentences for too long.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...rstood-crimes/
https://ncrj.org/the-big-lie-about-sex-offenders/
You missed the what he said, and then generalised it. He was talking about Child rapists, and you generalised it to all sex offending.

The risk factor with child sex offenders is that their targets and victims are often family members. This is not the case with "ordinary" adult rapists, who generally attack strangers.

Upon release of a child rapist, those family members are once again at risk.
__________________
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore - if they're white!"
If you don't like my posts, my opinions, or my directness then put me on your ignore list.
This will be of benefit to both of us; you won't have to take umbrage at my posts, and I won't have to waste my time talking to you... simples! !

Last edited by smartcooky; 14th August 2019 at 01:26 PM.
smartcooky is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 03:16 PM   #58
luchog
Neo-Post-Retro-Revivalist
 
luchog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: The Emerald City
Posts: 15,744
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
That's a dangerous myth. Recidivism rates for sexual based crimes are not higher then the violent crime rate or the general crime rate and has been used as an excuse to punish people after their sentences for too long.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...rstood-crimes/
https://ncrj.org/the-big-lie-about-sex-offenders/

Even better, states that replaced punitive incarceration with treatment-based reintegration programs found a huge drop in recidivism rates for sexual offenses.

Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
The risk factor with child sex offenders is that their targets and victims are often family members. This is not the case with "ordinary" adult rapists, who generally attack strangers.

This is wrong. "Ordinary" rapists are also very often known to their victims. Stranger rape is a much less common offense than date rape, for example; even through it's more often reported than date rapes. Rapists generally are at least familiar with their victims through work, school, church, or other religious or non-religious organizations.

Upon release of a child rapist, those family members are once again at risk.[/quote]


Not entirely true, and dependent on the type of perpetrator. Release conditions generally prohibit any contact between offender and victims, or allow only court-supervised contact. If the offender is a preferential paedophile/hebephile, then treatment greatly reduces the likelihood of reoffense in general, and contact restrictions reduce the likelihood of re-visiting the same victim. For Antisocial Personality opportunists, the risk is higher that they'll revisit their victims or find new victims, typically out of a sense of revenge; but contact restrictions are generally more strict and do not include supervised contact, and they face stronger restrictions in general.
__________________
"All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others." -- Douglas Adams
"The absence of evidence might indeed not be evidence of absence, but it's a pretty good start." -- PhantomWolf
"Let's see the buggers figure that one out." - John Lennon

Last edited by luchog; 14th August 2019 at 03:26 PM.
luchog is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 06:00 PM   #59
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 63,089
Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
All that effort to create one of the worst jokes in Int' Skept' history wasted



No joke is too good to spoil by explaining.
__________________
Self-described nerd. Pronouns: He/Him

We can't go back. We don't understand everything yet.
"Everything" is a little ambitious. We barely understand anything.
Yeah. But that's what the first part of understanding everything looks like.
- xkcd Time (frame 1071-3)
arthwollipot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 06:12 PM   #60
fishbob
Seasonally Disaffected
 
fishbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chilly Undieville
Posts: 7,037
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Pretty sure having your loved ones raped and murdered is a more heart breaking thing.

Or having your loved one killed by a serial drunk driver who didn't get the message when his license was revoked. After he killed someone else's loved ones.

**** your heartbreak. **** your bleeding heart for the worst of us, while their victims carry a broken heart they never asked for.

At least the people in prison chose their heartbreak. So **** them. And **** your pity.
Justice vs revenge.

Government is tasked with justice. You can't pass your desire for revenge off to society at large. Mixing the two pretty much guarantees some amount of miscarriage of justice.
__________________
"When you believe in things you don't understand, then you suffer . . . " - Stevie Wonder.
"It looks like the saddest, most crookedest candy corn in an otherwise normal bag of candy corns." Stormy Daniels
I hate bigots.
fishbob is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 06:15 PM   #61
fishbob
Seasonally Disaffected
 
fishbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chilly Undieville
Posts: 7,037
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Turning criminals into better people is not a primary goal of my ideal justice system.
I got that.
However, society spends less in the long run when dealing with more better people.
__________________
"When you believe in things you don't understand, then you suffer . . . " - Stevie Wonder.
"It looks like the saddest, most crookedest candy corn in an otherwise normal bag of candy corns." Stormy Daniels
I hate bigots.
fishbob is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 06:18 PM   #62
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 63,089
Originally Posted by fishbob View Post
Justice vs revenge.

Government is tasked with justice. You can't pass your desire for revenge off to society at large. Mixing the two pretty much guarantees some amount of miscarriage of justice.
I have argued previously that the line between justice and revenge is extremely thin. I believe that theprestige was one of the people who disagreed with me.
__________________
Self-described nerd. Pronouns: He/Him

We can't go back. We don't understand everything yet.
"Everything" is a little ambitious. We barely understand anything.
Yeah. But that's what the first part of understanding everything looks like.
- xkcd Time (frame 1071-3)
arthwollipot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 06:20 PM   #63
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 36,892
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
No joke is too good to spoil by explaining.
I tend to think that spoiling a joke by explaining it is, itself, a joke.

Sometimes I'll tell a bad joke on purpose, and then while people are groaning and rolling their eyes, I'll start explaining it. This is always hilarious.

To me.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 06:21 PM   #64
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 63,089
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I tend to think that spoiling a joke by explaining it is, itself, a joke.

Sometimes I'll tell a bad joke on purpose, and then while people are groaning and rolling their eyes, I'll start explaining it. This is always hilarious.

To me.
Heh heh. Yeah, I do that too.
__________________
Self-described nerd. Pronouns: He/Him

We can't go back. We don't understand everything yet.
"Everything" is a little ambitious. We barely understand anything.
Yeah. But that's what the first part of understanding everything looks like.
- xkcd Time (frame 1071-3)
arthwollipot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 06:23 PM   #65
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 36,892
Originally Posted by fishbob View Post
Justice vs revenge.

Government is tasked with justice. You can't pass your desire for revenge off to society at large. Mixing the two pretty much guarantees some amount of miscarriage of justice.
I think maybe you haven't thought this through. In a democracy, the government answers to the people. The government's justice is the people's justice, and should reflect what society thinks is fair.

Tyrannies are no better. A tyrant whose justice is unfair in the eyes of his subjects is going to have a bad time.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 07:17 PM   #66
Mumbles
Philosopher
 
Mumbles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 7,089
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
That's a dangerous myth. Recidivism rates for sexual based crimes are not higher then the violent crime rate or the general crime rate and has been used as an excuse to punish people after their sentences for too long.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...rstood-crimes/
https://ncrj.org/the-big-lie-about-sex-offenders/
I'm speaking specifically of child rapists and the like in particular - and probably can't discuss the matter without grinding my teeth in anger, so I'll bow out of this particular discussion.
Mumbles is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th August 2019, 07:28 PM   #67
Mumbles
Philosopher
 
Mumbles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 7,089
One matter in particular I forgot to mention - police worship and over-empowerment. Post 9/11 in particular, this led to minor police departments being given or sold military surplus. This leads to, on one hand, police capable of dealing with the Boston Marathon Bombers, which was a decent use of such equipment. On the other hand, it also led to the wild overuse of force to deal with nonviolent protestors - see Ferguson Missouri in particular, but also Baton Rouge and to a lesser extent Baltimore MD. It's unnerving to note that China has been relatively restrained dealing with Honk Kong protestors, compared to local cops dealing with mourners in Ferguson.

This comes back to something we've discussed before, the goofball nature of US policing - in particular each state, county, and small town having their own police force, often used to shake down visitors, or in Ferguson's case, black residents, in order to line coffers, compared to other countries that tend to have much more national supervision over their police. Again, watch out for money and outside influence corrupting the concept of "justice". US policing, in many areas, was never at all concerned with such matters, so they're particularly susceptible, but that doesn't mean it can't change in Australia or the UK.
Mumbles is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th August 2019, 08:22 AM   #68
luchog
Neo-Post-Retro-Revivalist
 
luchog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: The Emerald City
Posts: 15,744
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think maybe you haven't thought this through. In a democracy, the government answers to the people. The government's justice is the people's justice, and should reflect what society thinks is fair.

No, that highlighted bit is absolutely not true. That's how you get Jim Crow, Three Strikes, and other travesties of justice.

Justice should be based entirely on protecting society from force and fraud, remuneration for victims, and rehabilitation of criminals, regardless of the preferences of the people. Otherwise it's not justice, it's merely exercise of privilege and prejudice that excludes minorities and the marginalized.

Quote:
Tyrannies are no better. A tyrant whose justice is unfair in the eyes of his subjects is going to have a bad time.

And the Tyranny of the Majority is just as bad as any other tyranny, if not actually worse.
__________________
"All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others." -- Douglas Adams
"The absence of evidence might indeed not be evidence of absence, but it's a pretty good start." -- PhantomWolf
"Let's see the buggers figure that one out." - John Lennon
luchog is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th August 2019, 08:24 AM   #69
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 19,522
We can hem and haw over it all day but a society's justice system needs the support of the society.

At the end of the day any type of justice system that leaves a big enough chunk of the society it's... justicing... feeling like justice wasn't served it's gonna be hard as hell to maintain.

"The Mob" doesn't have to go home happy, but there's a practical limit to how unhappy it can go home.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC

Last edited by JoeMorgue; 15th August 2019 at 08:30 AM.
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th August 2019, 08:28 AM   #70
luchog
Neo-Post-Retro-Revivalist
 
luchog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: The Emerald City
Posts: 15,744
Originally Posted by Mumbles View Post
One matter in particular I forgot to mention - police worship and over-empowerment. Post 9/11 in particular, this led to minor police departments being given or sold military surplus. This leads to, on one hand, police capable of dealing with the Boston Marathon Bombers, which was a decent use of such equipment. On the other hand, it also led to the wild overuse of force to deal with nonviolent protestors - see Ferguson Missouri in particular, but also Baton Rouge and to a lesser extent Baltimore MD. It's unnerving to note that China has been relatively restrained dealing with Honk Kong protestors, compared to local cops dealing with mourners in Ferguson.

It also leads to militarization of any and all police activities in order to justify the storage and maintenance costs of all that military surplus equipment. Such as the use of SWAT teams to serve warrants on non-violent offenders. The paramilitary evolution of many police departments has served also to further alienate police from the communities that they serve, and widen the divide between police and civilians; exacerbating the bunker mentality already present.
__________________
"All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others." -- Douglas Adams
"The absence of evidence might indeed not be evidence of absence, but it's a pretty good start." -- PhantomWolf
"Let's see the buggers figure that one out." - John Lennon
luchog is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th August 2019, 09:21 AM   #71
Tony
Penultimate Amazing
 
Tony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 15,408
Originally Posted by Mumbles View Post
You're headed towards the US system - "tough on crime" measures led to mass incarceration. In the US, this also helped lead to:

Widespread voter disenfranchisement;
Less discretion from judges, period;
The rise of private prisons and use of prisoners for cheap labor (often for jobs - such as firefighting - that they are barred from upon release!)
The increasing use of plea bargains regardless of guilt.

Now, a few caveats.

It's worth remembering that much of this is due to the US prison system being designed in the late 1800s and early 1900s as a way to effectively oppress and re-enslave as many freed black people as possible - this includes disenfranchisement, and use of prisoners as near-free labor. In other words, it's out of US history in particular.

But that doesn't mean private prison companies from the US can't spread the evil, like homophobic evangelical Christians in African countries.

There are a small number of very serious crimes (rape, murder, and the like) where I could support mandatory minimums, in theory. In practice, I doubt the US could ever use such a tool effectively, and certainly not today - note how Epstein was able to dodge any sort of serious charge due to his outsized influence, while some dude who pisses in public or sells weed in to some undercover cop four blocks from a school can wind up with a serious charge in some areas.

In short, be careful with this sort of thing, and watch closely for US influence (especially corporate influence).
This.

To OP, I would say that an across the board sentence increase is a bad thing.
__________________
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. - Aristotle

Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company. - Mark Twain
Tony is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th August 2019, 09:34 AM   #72
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 19,522
I do have one thing I want to discuss that I see pop up a lot in this topic; the whole "Longer sentences don't reduce crimes" thing because... I'm calling B.S. Sorta, in a fashion. Hear me out.

Let's break it down to brass tacks. We have a society with 1,000 people, just to keep the numbers easy to keep track of them. In a 1 year period let's say 10 them commit crimes and are put in jail for 10 years.

If the crime rate doesn't go down in those 10 years... who's committing those crimes?

Like the idea that walling criminals off from society doesn't cause crime rates to do down sort of requires us to assume as fact that society just has some sort of "Conservation of Crime" law built into it and if we put 10 criminals in jail, 10 more criminals are going to just raise up to take their place.

And that's... weird.

I mean this is looking at one very specific variable in vacuum apart from the whole complex system it's a part of it, and I'm not saying longer sentences aren't bad for a host of other completely valid reasons, but the idea that they aren't effective seems almost self refuting to me.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th August 2019, 09:35 AM   #73
luchog
Neo-Post-Retro-Revivalist
 
luchog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: The Emerald City
Posts: 15,744
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
We can hem and haw over it all day but a society's justice system needs the support of the society.

At the end of the day any type of justice system that leaves a big enough chunk of the society it's... justicing... feeling like justice wasn't served it's gonna be hard as hell to maintain.

"The Mob" doesn't have to go home happy, but there's a practical limit to how unhappy it can go home.

In the long term, people can be educated. Innocent people who have been erroneously executed cannot be brought back to life. While no system of justice can ever be perfect, attempts should be made to make it as close to perfect as humanly possible, and oppose the imposition of prejudice and irrationality as much as humanly possible.
__________________
"All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others." -- Douglas Adams
"The absence of evidence might indeed not be evidence of absence, but it's a pretty good start." -- PhantomWolf
"Let's see the buggers figure that one out." - John Lennon
luchog is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th August 2019, 09:39 AM   #74
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 83,937
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
This seems like a non-sequitur.

It wouldn't be forever because we as a society don't think that burglary should carry a life sentence. A few years of incarceration seems to satisfy in most cases, and then they can return to society. Whether or not they're rehabilitated by the process is irrelevant.
Why are you releasing them into society if you think they'll do it again? That makes no sense to me. Preventing recidivism is at the heart of this sort of system.

Quote:
Depends on what you mean by "working".
I mean it does what we want it to do, not that we feel that it does what we want it to do. For instance, you may think that doing X is saving you money, but it actually costs you more.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th August 2019, 09:46 AM   #75
luchog
Neo-Post-Retro-Revivalist
 
luchog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: The Emerald City
Posts: 15,744
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I do have one thing I want to discuss that I see pop up a lot in this topic; the whole "Longer sentences don't reduce crimes" thing because... I'm calling B.S. Sorta, in a fashion. Hear me out.

Let's break it down to brass tacks. We have a society with 1,000 people, just to keep the numbers easy to keep track of them. In a 1 year period let's say 10 them commit crimes and are put in jail for 10 years.

If the crime rate doesn't go down in those 10 years... who's committing those crimes?

Like the idea that walling criminals off from society doesn't cause crime rates to do down sort of requires us to assume as fact that society just has some sort of "Conservation of Crime" law built into it and if we put 10 criminals in jail, 10 more criminals are going to just raise up to take their place.

And that's... weird.

I mean this is looking at one very specific variable in vacuum apart from the whole complex system it's a part of it, and I'm not saying longer sentences aren't bad for a host of other completely valid reasons, but the idea that they aren't effective seems almost self refuting to me.

Trying to view a single factor of a highly complex system is always going to look weird, because it in no way reflects reality. Especially in this case, because you're creating a zero-sum situation where none exists.

Crime is the result of many different factors, and criminals are rarely rational actors to any great extent, so "deterrence" measures like large mandatory minimums and "three strikes" laws do not generally have a large influence on their thought processes. Further, the types of actions considered and prosecuted as crimes do not always reflect the needs of a society to be safe from harm, but just as often reflect irrational prejudices and fears (eg Jim Crow, War on Drugs, sodomy, etc). In the US at this time, the largest percentage of the prison population are there because of laws based on prejudice and fear, directly or indirectly; or due to sentencing mandates and applications based on prejudice and fear rather than actual harm.

There has never been any solid evidence showing that draconian sentencing legislation has any significant long-term effect on criminal activity. By contrast, programs addressing poverty, education, and mental health treatment have demonstrated considerable effectiveness at reducing crime rates.
__________________
"All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others." -- Douglas Adams
"The absence of evidence might indeed not be evidence of absence, but it's a pretty good start." -- PhantomWolf
"Let's see the buggers figure that one out." - John Lennon
luchog is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th August 2019, 10:15 AM   #76
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 36,892
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Why are you releasing them into society if you think they'll do it again? That makes no sense to me.
First, I don't think they're going to do it again. They might, they might not. The point is to fairly punish what they've already done, not preemptively punish what they may or may not do in the future.

Second, whatever I think, it's not fair to preemptively punish people for stuff they haven't done yet.

Quote:
Preventing recidivism is at the heart of this sort of system.
I agree that preventing recidivism is important. I don't agree that it should be at the heart of a system of crime and punishment. Our prisons should not be in the business of making better people. Providing opportunities for people to make themselves better, yes. But I think the heart of the system is fair punishments for crimes committed. Not rehabilitative detention for crimes that only exist in the imagination of the system itself.

Quote:
I mean it does what we want it to do, not that we feel that it does what we want it to do. For instance, you may think that doing X is saving you money, but it actually costs you more.
Terrible analogy. Money can be measured objectively. But the fairness of a system is entirely subjective. If what we want is a fair system, then the perception that the system is being fair is literally the system working.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th August 2019, 10:16 AM   #77
Archie Gemmill Goal
Philosopher
 
Archie Gemmill Goal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 6,148
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I do have one thing I want to discuss that I see pop up a lot in this topic; the whole "Longer sentences don't reduce crimes" thing because... I'm calling B.S. Sorta, in a fashion. Hear me out.

Let's break it down to brass tacks. We have a society with 1,000 people, just to keep the numbers easy to keep track of them. In a 1 year period let's say 10 them commit crimes and are put in jail for 10 years.

If the crime rate doesn't go down in those 10 years... who's committing those crimes?

Like the idea that walling criminals off from society doesn't cause crime rates to do down sort of requires us to assume as fact that society just has some sort of "Conservation of Crime" law built into it and if we put 10 criminals in jail, 10 more criminals are going to just raise up to take their place.

And that's... weird.

I mean this is looking at one very specific variable in vacuum apart from the whole complex system it's a part of it, and I'm not saying longer sentences aren't bad for a host of other completely valid reasons, but the idea that they aren't effective seems almost self refuting to me.
That seems to assume that some people are born criminals and some are born non-criminals.
__________________
"I love sex and drugs and sausage rolls
But nothing compares to Archie Gemmill's goal"
Archie Gemmill Goal is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th August 2019, 10:19 AM   #78
Archie Gemmill Goal
Philosopher
 
Archie Gemmill Goal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 6,148
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
First, I don't think they're going to do it again. They might, they might not. The point is to fairly punish what they've already done, not preemptively punish what they may or may not do in the future.

Second, whatever I think, it's not fair to preemptively punish people for stuff they haven't done yet.


I agree that preventing recidivism is important. I don't agree that it should be at the heart of a system of crime and punishment. Our prisons should not be in the business of making better people. Providing opportunities for people to make themselves better, yes. But I think the heart of the system is fair punishments for crimes committed. Not rehabilitative detention for crimes that only exist in the imagination of the system itself.



Terrible analogy. Money can be measured objectively. But the fairness of a system is entirely subjective. If what we want is a fair system, then the perception that the system is being fair is literally the system working.
You started this thread by saying you cared more about the people hurt by crime than the criminals but you have now thrown that out the window and are only concerned with the criminals. You don't seem to care if your approach creates more victims only that criminals receive what you think is sufficient punishment.
__________________
"I love sex and drugs and sausage rolls
But nothing compares to Archie Gemmill's goal"
Archie Gemmill Goal is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th August 2019, 10:49 AM   #79
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 36,892
Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
You started this thread by saying you cared more about the people hurt by crime than the criminals but you have now thrown that out the window and are only concerned with the criminals. You don't seem to care if your approach creates more victims only that criminals receive what you think is sufficient punishment.
Caring more about one than the other isn't the same as not caring about the other.

And you can't punish people for victims they haven't yet created.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th August 2019, 10:52 AM   #80
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 83,937
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
First, I don't think they're going to do it again.
So throwing them in prison has nothing to do with any sort of expectation that they won't?

Quote:
I agree that preventing recidivism is important. I don't agree that it should be at the heart of a system of crime and punishment. Our prisons should not be in the business of making better people.
Then what the hell is the point?

Quote:
Terrible analogy.
It's not an analogy. It's an example of what I'm talking about. There are ways to measure whether your actions have the desired effect. So what if we feel like X is working but it's not?

Stop stalling.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Social Issues & Current Events

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:19 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.