I believe that the concept of fighting crime by punishing the criminal is absurd. It does nothing to help the victim. While we are responding angrily to news of some vicious crime, another victim is walking towards the park
Granted, an emotional outburst does make us feel better, maybe we did not stop the crime but we can still pour out our rage against the predator..We feel better but it does nothing to help the poor victim. .And we get plenty of time to do this as the media can keep going on for days on one such an incident which greatly encourages copy cat murders . To quote Dr. Karl Menninger:.
”Society secretly wants crime., needs crime and gains satisfaction from the present mishandling of it. We condemn crime, we punish offenders for it, but we need it. The crime and punishment ritual is part of our lives.”
Dr, Karl Menninger;”The Crime of Punishment” 1968
Let’s hope that with all we have learned from social workers and euro sciences since that time we will not necessarily forced to keep repeating this behaviour for evermore.
The trouble with viewing criminal acts as punishment is that no matter how egregious the crime, we feel we cannot ‘punish’ the culprits who are mentally unable to comprehend right from wrong. And the trouble with this is that time after time such individuals have been released to commit the same offense rime again. Our laws are supposed to be designed to protect the public and I suggest the intent of the offender is of no worldly value to us . We must constrain those who endanger the public, not because they are evil but because they are likely to offend again. Psychiatrists have not yet found a way to change a schizophrenic into a non schizophrenic.
(Perversely, a government that thinks punishment can somehow scare off lawbreakers is now taking steps—by increasing sentences for the criminally insane—to achieve the same goal through the back door)
Finally, would it be so hard for us to put our pressure on the lawmakers and judiciary to focus on protecting the citizen and set out to dig out the root cases of such violent acts? We should have access to brain scans and psychiatric reports on anyone found guilty of these horrendous acts so that we, the voters, can put pressure on governments to design laws that really work to prevent criminal behaviour. Anyone who has killed a person should have their rights to privacy revoked.
We need to properly house our mentally ill—at present they wander the streets and are easy victims of drug pushers. And isn’t it this punishment mantra that makes it seemingly impossible for many to see that the best way to encourage oodles of crime is to pay the pushers well? As usual it is the culture that fosters crime. Change societies attitude towards women and rape and violence against women could disappear, making life so much less stressful for women. Granted, those guys who are afraid their balls will fall off will need help, but some of the money now devoted to helping women would then be available to assist them into building their self esteem with something better than grunts.
The bottom line is that laws should be designed to protect the public, period and the best way to get there is to find as many ways as we can to stop the crime from taking place in the first place.
Cheers, Andy Mulcahy

About Monist

Hi, my name is Andy Mulcahy . I consider myself a monist and I am retired from steam engineering lo,these many years ago, and the Portland Cement industry. I have evolved into a Humanist-am a member of the Victoria Secular Humanist Association and The Humanist Association of Canada.
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