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Thread: Punishment is superstition.

  1. #101  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    If 98% of the people are conforming due to morality
    Which was ignored altogether in his argument.

    and 2% are conforming only due to fear of punishment
    Um, let's try again - it is fear of punishment that keeps society under law.
    That 2% isn't society.

    It's the 98%'s conformity to "morality" that establishes and maintains society.

    In addition to which how about this: is it punishment (and/ or the fear of) that deters would-be criminals or is the fact that once caught they no longer have the proceeds of their crime?
    10-15 years (or whatever they get) in jail vs. X million in the bank - sounds worth it to me.
    You have you head so far into your books and your statistics Duck that you have forgotten how life actually works. The 98% that would conform anyway would conform anyway. The 2% may as well be the 100% as they are the only ones who make that difference.
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  2. #102  
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    You have you head so far into your books and your statistics Duck that you have forgotten how life actually works. The 98% that would conform anyway would conform anyway. The 2% may as well be the 100% as they are the only ones who make that difference.
    Or, perhaps, you could learn to follow an argument.
    The original claim was - it is fear of punishment that keeps society under law.
    By your own words - 98% conform ANYWAY.
    Or, again, are you claiming that the 2% who don't/ wouldn't conform would destroy society?
    And, since we have people who clearly don't particularly fear punishment (unless, of course, everyone in jail has been framed), it seems pretty silly to claim that, with 98% conforming WITHOUT the "fear" and whatever-number that DON'T CARE about the threat, that it's the fear that keeps society together.
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  3. #103  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post


    The original claim was - it is fear of punishment that keeps society under law.
    By your own words - 98% conform ANYWAY.
    Or, again, are you claiming that the 2% who don't/ wouldn't conform would destroy society?
    And, since we have people who clearly don't particularly fear punishment (unless, of course, everyone in jail has been framed), it seems pretty silly to claim that, with 98% conforming WITHOUT the "fear" and whatever-number that DON'T CARE about the threat, that it's the fear that keeps society together.
    98% of the population are happy being in a society without even realising what one is but it is common sense that keeps law and order. Unfortunately there is a percentage of people (2%) that have little of this 'anti jail' wonder tonic but they do respond well to fear, to ones who don't are just stupid and may as well be sheeple.

    The 2% left to their own devices unchallenged would starve them selves to death before they caused a problem.
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  4. #104  
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    98% of the population are happy being in a society without even realising what one is but it is common sense that keeps law and order.
    In other words: it's NOT fear maintaining society.

    Unfortunately there is a percentage of people (2%) that have little of this 'anti jail' wonder tonic but they do respond well to fear, to ones who don't are just stupid and may as well be sheeple.
    Except that, since they actually do commit crimes, they obviously don't fear punishment that much.
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    98% of the population are happy being in a society without even realising what one is

    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    In other words: it's NOT fear maintaining society.
    So if society is about the 98% and not the 2% is the opposite of fear responsible for keeping society in touch do you think?
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  6. #106  
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    So if society is about the 98% and not the 2% is the opposite of fear responsible for keeping society in touch do you think?
    How about: basic decency (e.g. inbuilt morality), the Golden Rule (fellow-feeling), lethargy... or, as I suggested, the fact that, if caught, it's not so much the punishment as that you don't get to keep the proceeds - which makes committing crime pretty moot.
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    Does this side argument really make sense?
    Come on, now... Some people are afraid of legal consequences so they watch their speed and mind their business. How many people filch on taxes? Few- because they fear the IRS.
    This doesn't mean that society is solely controlled by fear. It only means that fear is one aspect of the over-all illusion of control.
    Some people have no fear of the law- they often end up in prison, anyway. Some people will briefly forget their fear, in the heat of a moment- and get caught, even.
    Voicing an opinion about the One Thing that keeps people from breaking any law is always going to be questionable.
    But stating that "such and such" factor will keep people in line is still accurate. Fear will keep people in line. It's just not the only thing that will and it's not the one thing that always works.
    Ethics, a concept of morals, respect for the law, fear of consequences, fear of shame or embarrassment, fear of financial loss, a strong sense of honor, lack of need and lack of motive will all contribute to people staying within the law.
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    Nicely put NF, my next point was to say its a number of different things that keep law and order. Duck I was just trying to show you that I think Harold was saying one set of rules apply to one set of people for a reason.
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    Nicely put NF, my next point was to say its a number of different things that keep law and order. Duck I was just trying to show you that I think Harold was saying one set of rules apply to one set of people for a reason.
    Which is one reason why you, Raj, Dywyddyr and Harold are all correct. And I think from each perspective, each was aware of this.
    Dywyddyr is a stickler for exact wording. To some, that may seem annoying. But think of the training that offers. Whether a poster is a non English speaker or has been speaking English all their lives- Learning effective, concise and efficient communication is always a good thing. Learning, however, can be a bit trying.

    It's not always enough to give the general idea. That is even a bit lazy. Getting trained to provide your best post ever every time you put fingers to keyboard, in my opinion, is a good thing and worth a slight bit of gratitude.
    Of course, I say this as a hypocrite considering that exactly 93.548% of my posts are substandard.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Of course, I say this as a hypocrite considering that exactly 93.548% of my posts are substandard.
    Could of just rounded that up u know!

    back on track is punishment superstition? Depends on ones perspective?
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    Could of just rounded that up u know!
    And have the stickler for exact wording nocking an arrow with my name on it? No, thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    back on track is punishment superstition? Depends on ones perspective?
    Just like fear, above. It can be an effective method of deterrence or penance for some. For others, not so much. And it varies by crime.
    Oftentimes, I think legal punishments are more about providing revenge on behalf of others. In other circumstances, it can be used to deter someone from a lifestyle contrary to the standard of society.
    If you examine the behavior of all the great apes, you will find that they engage in the same and it, too, is not always fair.
    It is not a superstition. I do think our current system is flawed because it is reliant on financial concerns and too geared toward victim appeasement. It creates a lot of situations where the legalities do more harm than good.
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  12. #112  
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Of course, I say this as a hypocrite considering that exactly 93.548% of my posts are substandard.
    Could of just rounded that up u know!
    Um,
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Dywyddyr is a stickler for exact wording.
    And that should have been "could HAVE just...".

    back on track is punishment superstition? Depends on ones perspective?
    Perspective counts for a lot.
    Punishment WORKS (to an extent, anyway).
    With regard to criminality, for example, I'd personally resist heavily any attempt to reward good behaviour in [potential] criminals for not committing crime 1.
    The rest of us do it because "that's the way to behave".
    What next?
    Sweeties all round because you turn up for work and collect your pay packet?
    50 gift voucher at the local beauty salon because you don't play your drum kit in the middle of a hospital's operating theatre?
    All expenses paid trip to the Bahamas for not killing the next brain-dead f*ckwit to suggest a "radical caring Earth & dolphin-friendly solution to society's ills"?

    1 I vaguely remember some equally bone-headed new-age "initiative" 2 in schools that suggested (implemented?) rewarding known trouble-making students, for merely turning up to class.
    2 Isn't it funny how fuzzy-"thinking" "liberals" manage to subvert the language.
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    I just go by the simple rule that you 'pay' for attention just as you would for convenience.

    I vaguely remember some equally bone-headed new-age "initiative" 2 in schools that suggested (implemented?) rewarding known trouble-making students, for merely turning up to class.
    I'm sure folk on JSA were awarded certs for showing they can hop on a bus down the road.


    Fear can present its self in all manor of shapes and sizes, it depends on what scares an individual most. If what controls us all (GOVERNMENT) knows all of our deepest fears then it seems too easy a control method not to use.
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  14. #114  
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    If what controls us all (GOVERNMENT) knows all of our deepest fears then it seems too easy a control method not to use.
    It's too much of an active policy for (Western) governments to use.
    Why control a population that's largely "just getting on with things"?
    How much control is required when the bloke on the Number 9 bus is only bothered about putting the next meal on the table, and wondering if he can afford Torremolinos 1 next year for a holiday?

    1 Watney's Red Barrel not obligatory.
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    control?
    yeh
    but maybe profit has usurped the system?

    for profit prisons are becoming more common here

    GEO Group Inc., is the nation's second-largest private prison conglomerate traded on the NYSE (GGI), with 1.6B in profits per annum and growing.
    Of note, and worthy of being repeated often, is the fact that the U.S. houses over 1/3 of the world's prisoners, and yet is less than 5% of the world's population. This statistic illuminates the 180-degree turn that Corrections made in the 1970's when there was unanimity that the US should downsize and close some of its prisons and put funding towards community services and appropriate programs for prevention. It was more recognized then that it is prisons that make criminals. Quote: "The American Correctional System today appears to offer minimum protection for the public and maximum harm to the offender." (NCJRS, 1973 Full Report). The diabolical U-turn that occurred not long thereafter brought private corporate interests into the picture -- a sinister turn that has resulted not only in companies such as Correctional Corporations of America and the GEO Group making hand over fist profits but also a severe discrimination towards African American and other minority young men and underserved or stigmatized groups in particular. Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, and a recent featured speaker on the Restorative Justice on the Rise national tele-council series, writes:

    "The fate of millions of people--indeed the future of the black community itself--may depend on the willingness of those who care about racial justice to re-examine their basic assumptions about the role of the criminal justice system in our society."

    Not far behind are those who have mental illness and are unfortunate enough to find that the United States somehow seems to think that prisons are de facto asylums--because the stats now show that they in fact are. Although statistics of truth are hard to come by from those from within, it has been estimated by NAMI (The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) that at least 1 of every 4 incarcerated is mentally ill, 1 of every 5 with a serious condition. In a fairly recent report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, these statistics are grimly unpacked. The cost to keep a "medical" prisoner incarcerated? Anywhere from 55K to 100K per year. Prisoners with mental illness cost the nation an average of nearly $9 billion a year.
    from:
    Molly Rowan Leach: American Justice -- For Profit Prisons or Truth?

    ...................
    it's been a fair trip getting from training a dog to here.

    whither hence?
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    Harold -

    Behaviors don't arise in evolutionary terms for such nebulous reasons as not provoking shame or guilt. They arise because of their effectiveness.
    Effectiveness at changing the behavior of misbehaving members of the group or effectiveness at making punishment (and punitive actions against other groups) a unifying experience rather than a divisive and debilitating one?


    I think that there is a dilemma for people committing violence against others, especially familiar and probably related others; it's something social behaviors more usually mitigate against, both by inhibition before and shame or guilt after, and those can be potentially debilitating.

    My point is that I would think there would be more evolutionary advantage to such a pleasure response at seeing and participating in punishment meted out for it's unifying impact, than for it's effectiveness at altering future behavior even if there can be the bonus of being a lesson to those being punished and to others. It would have an effect both during and after - the pleasure response gets associated with memory of what happened and helps mitigate against second thoughts and shame and guilt that might arise. I think that guilt, shame and the inhibitions on behavior they can cause are not minor.
    Last edited by Ken Fabos; April 29th, 2013 at 06:24 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Allowing for the possibility that a useless trait could be passed on
    Of course useless traits can be passed on. Poor traits can be passed on. I'm sure male pattern baldness is not exactly giving men the edge, here. You get older, you have some kids and then Boom- hair falls out. Wife goes and finds a hot hairy guy. Meanwhile, the kids you just had carry your genes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    the reason given by Ken Fabos was nonsensical. "binding together to do what otherwise would be dangerous (commit violence), and do it without provoking shame or guilt" is not an evolutionary reason, unless the committing of violence serves an evolutionary benefit. Besides that, such behaviors arose in many species, which would make it unlikely to be just a random occurrence.
    I'm not following you, here. The only guide we have that is reasonable for the development of our species is evolution.
    Considering that we have these traits- if it is not evolved- what is the source of these traits?
    Obviously, the fact that punishment does work to influence behavior would be the source of the trait.
    The group mentality Fabos described is one in which humans will band together to make seeking revenge safer.
    Humans are not a product of isolation, either. We share behaviors with many other mammals and common ancestry.

    I think you need to expand a bit more on what you're trying to convey, here.

    The evolution of humans includes our behaviors along with our physical traits. Our behaviors give our species direction.

    What's bothering me about your post is that you suggest several things that are in direct contradiction to current understanding:
    -That only advantageous or effective traits are passed on ( A common misconception)
    -That behavior is not a product of our evolved state (What is it a product of, then?)
    A behavior which punishes innocent people is not neutral like baldness. It goes against the whole idea of cooperative behavior, which is supposed to mutually benefit the persons engaged in cooperation, not punish the behavior. Punishing innocent members of the society would probably at worst cause them to retaliate against you and at best harm a person who could otherwise benefit yourself and other members of the group. However, punishing an innocent person occasionally might be the best strategy if the policy works most of the time and deters others from violating the rule.
    Ken claims that because the guilt could not be determined accurately enough (to Ken's satisfaction) unless the perpetrator is caught red handed, that therefore the punishment is not accomplishing its desired effect of correcting behavior. This is false. It doesn't have to be perfectly accurate, just accurate enough.
    If there are errors, then the simple strategy of tit-for-tat could lead to an endless cycle of punishment and revenge. In an environment where errors can occur, a better strategy might be one which allows forgiveness for 1 or 2 transgressions. It won't pay to let the habitual culprit off the hook forever, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    Harold -

    Behaviors don't arise in evolutionary terms for such nebulous reasons as not provoking shame or guilt. They arise because of their effectiveness.
    Effectiveness at changing the behavior of misbehaving members of the group or effectiveness at making punishment (and punitive actions against other groups) a unifying experience rather than a divisive and debilitating one?

    My point is that I would think there would be more evolutionary advantage to a pleasure response at seeing and participating in punishment meted out than for it's effectiveness at altering future behavior even if there can be the bonus of being a lesson to others.

    I think that there is a dilemma for people committing violence against others, especially familiar and probably related others; it's something social behaviors more usually mitigate against, both by inhibition before and shame or guilt after, and those can be potentially debilitating.

    I would have more problem accepting that it's the changed behavior - the lesson to others - that has the more direct evolutionary influence.
    What? You think a pleasure response gives an evolutionary advantage? How?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    A behavior which punishes innocent people is not neutral like baldness. It goes against the whole idea of cooperative behavior, which is supposed to mutually benefit the persons engaged in cooperation, not punish the behavior.
    So what? Evolution is not designed. There is no "plan" that we are to adhere to that requires us to only engage in cooperative behavior. In fact, humans are primarily selfish- as most all mammals really are. Even the cooperative behavior is for serving self interest. And there are plenty who will serve self interest by engaging in non-cooperative behavior. Such as filching on taxes.
    Provide some evidence that humans operate on cooperative behavior. On the contrary, human social behavior is varied and complex.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Punishing innocent members of the society would probably at worst cause them to retaliate against you and at best harm a person who could otherwise benefit yourself and other members of the group.
    However, punishing an innocent person occasionally might be the best strategy if the policy works most of the time and deters others from violating the rule.
    Ok, so... Punishing those that commit crimes would not work but punishing the innocent, at times, would? Harold, why is it that I can never make heads or tails of what you say?
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Ken claims that because the guilt could not be determined accurately enough (to Ken's satisfaction) unless the perpetrator is caught red handed, that therefore the punishment is not accomplishing its desired effect of correcting behavior. This is false. It doesn't have to be perfectly accurate, just accurate enough.
    Ken Fabos, please clarify if this is an accurate description of your post.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    If there are errors, then the simple strategy of tit-for-tat could lead to an endless cycle of punishment and revenge. In an environment where errors can occur, a better strategy might be one which allows forgiveness for 1 or 2 transgressions. It won't pay to let the habitual culprit off the hook forever, though.
    Tell us something we don't know. Observed how the legal system works, lately? Community service, jail time, fines, restitution, settlement agreements are all examples of how the affairs are handled. There is not necessarily a set "punish, punish, punish." It depends on the case and for that reason, judges are employed. Juries are also called in for some cases. Judges will determine if punishment needs be severe or light or if "making right" through restitution is more appropriate. Perhaps community service in order to give back to the locals, while not overly pressuring someone that messed up or made a poor decision and got caught on the wrong side of the law.
    I think the "justice" system is far from perfect. But even so, there are many that try to make it as workable as they can.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    A behavior which punishes innocent people is not neutral like baldness. It goes against the whole idea of cooperative behavior, which is supposed to mutually benefit the persons engaged in cooperation, not punish the behavior.
    So what? Evolution is not designed. There is no "plan" that we are to adhere to that requires us to only engage in cooperative behavior.
    Must you nitpick every word I type? I know there is no "plan." However cooperation as an evolutionary strategy only works if the participants benefit mutually. Must I put the word "strategy" in quote marks, or do you understand what I just wrote?
    In fact, humans are primarily selfish- as most all mammals really are. Even the cooperative behavior is for serving self interest. And there are plenty who will serve self interest by engaging in non-cooperative behavior. Such as filching on taxes.
    Provide some evidence that humans operate on cooperative behavior. On the contrary, human social behavior is varied and complex.
    Since you just acknowledged that cooperative behavior is done for self serving interests, why do I need to provide evidence of it? Did I ever imply it was the only strategy?
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Punishing innocent members of the society would probably at worst cause them to retaliate against you and at best harm a person who could otherwise benefit yourself and other members of the group.
    However, punishing an innocent person occasionally might be the best strategy if the policy works most of the time and deters others from violating the rule.
    Ok, so... Punishing those that commit crimes would not work but punishing the innocent, at times, would? Harold, why is it that I can never make heads or tails of what you say?
    Point out where I said punishing those who commit crimes would not work. Maybe you cannot make heads or tails of it because you are not reading what I actually wrote.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Ken claims that because the guilt could not be determined accurately enough (to Ken's satisfaction) unless the perpetrator is caught red handed, that therefore the punishment is not accomplishing its desired effect of correcting behavior. This is false. It doesn't have to be perfectly accurate, just accurate enough.
    Ken Fabos, please clarify if this is an accurate description of your post.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    If there are errors, then the simple strategy of tit-for-tat could lead to an endless cycle of punishment and revenge. In an environment where errors can occur, a better strategy might be one which allows forgiveness for 1 or 2 transgressions. It won't pay to let the habitual culprit off the hook forever, though.
    Tell us something we don't know. Observed how the legal system works, lately? Community service, jail time, fines, restitution, settlement agreements are all examples of how the affairs are handled. There is not necessarily a set "punish, punish, punish." It depends on the case and for that reason, judges are employed. Juries are also called in for some cases. Judges will determine if punishment needs be severe or light or if "making right" through restitution is more appropriate. Perhaps community service in order to give back to the locals, while not overly pressuring someone that messed up or made a poor decision and got caught on the wrong side of the law.
    I think the "justice" system is far from perfect. But even so, there are many that try to make it as workable as they can.
    I fail to see how this relates to anything I wrote. What do you think I wrote that contradicts your statements about the operation of the justice system?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    You have you head so far into your books and your statistics Duck that you have forgotten how life actually works. The 98% that would conform anyway would conform anyway. The 2% may as well be the 100% as they are the only ones who make that difference.
    Or, perhaps, you could learn to follow an argument.
    The original claim was - it is fear of punishment that keeps society under law.
    By your own words - 98% conform ANYWAY.
    Or, again, are you claiming that the 2% who don't/ wouldn't conform would destroy society?
    2% who don't conform could destroy society, depending on how much you let them get away with.
    And, since we have people who clearly don't particularly fear punishment (unless, of course, everyone in jail has been framed), it seems pretty silly to claim that, with 98% conforming WITHOUT the "fear" and whatever-number that DON'T CARE about the threat, that it's the fear that keeps society together.
    How do you know there are people who clearly don't fear punishment? Apparently they didn't fear it enough to deter them from committing the crime, which doesn't mean they do not fear it at all. And maybe they fear punishment enough to limit their criminal activities.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    How do you know there are people who clearly don't fear punishment? Apparently they didn't fear it enough to deter them from committing the crime, which doesn't mean they do not fear it at all.
    What?
    If, as you yourself stated, they didn't fear it enough to prevent them committing the crime, then what does it matter whether they felt fear at all?
    As it stands, the FACT that people do commit crime is an indicator that fear of punishment isn't quite the deterrent it was claimed to be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Must you nitpick every word I type?
    If what you say does not add up- Yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    I know there is no "plan." However cooperation as an evolutionary strategy only works if the participants benefit mutually. Must I put the word "strategy" in quote marks, or do you understand what I just wrote?
    You claimed: It goes against the whole idea of cooperative behavior, which is supposed to mutually benefit the persons engaged in cooperation, not punish the behavior."
    Your post was opposed to punishment in general and in favor of cooperation, in general. Are those your opinions- or, considering the nature of your reply to Ken Fabos, are you arguing that we have evolved to be cooperative creatures and so punishment does not make sense?
    I am not nitpicking- I am trying to cover the bases, here. If your statements are too general- clarify them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Since you just acknowledged that cooperative behavior is done for self serving interests, why do I need to provide evidence of it? Did I ever imply it was the only strategy?
    Yes, you came across that way- rather strongly, really. But if that is not what you meant- that is fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Point out where I said punishing those who commit crimes would not work. Maybe you cannot make heads or tails of it because you are not reading what I actually wrote.
    Correct- Sorry, I had misread what you wrote.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    If there are errors, then the simple strategy of tit-for-tat could lead to an endless cycle of punishment and revenge. In an environment where errors can occur, a better strategy might be one which allows forgiveness for 1 or 2 transgressions. It won't pay to let the habitual culprit off the hook forever, though.
    I fail to see how this relates to anything I wrote. What do you think I wrote that contradicts your statements about the operation of the justice system?
    If you fail to see it, it may be because there isn't a contradiction. It appears that way but perhaps I am reading you with a bias, considering I misread part of what you said above.
    I take it we mostly agree on the "justice" aspect- with minor quibbles. I am uncertain as to where evolution is not included in it. Evolution is the process by which we are what we are today. It's why I went to the horses mouth, so to speak, and asked Ken Fabos to clarify what he said.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    How do you know there are people who clearly don't fear punishment? Apparently they didn't fear it enough to deter them from committing the crime, which doesn't mean they do not fear it at all.
    What?
    If, as you yourself stated, they didn't fear it enough to prevent them committing the crime, then what does it matter whether they felt fear at all?
    As it stands, the FACT that people do commit crime is an indicator that fear of punishment isn't quite the deterrent it was claimed to be.
    Well, for one thing, the 98% who conform may include some who conform due to the fear of punishment. The 2% may fear it enough to prevent them from committing even more crimes than they already do. How do you conclude it isn't quite the deterrent it was claimed to be? Did someone claim it would prevent all crimes?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Well, for one thing, the 98% who conform may include some who conform due to the fear of punishment. The 2% may fear it enough to prevent them from committing even more crimes than they already do. How do you conclude it isn't quite the deterrent it was claimed to be? Did someone claim it would prevent all crimes?
    You're still being obtuse. Deliberately?
    The original contention was: it is fear of punishment that keeps society under law.
    As numerous posters have pointed out, to call on one single reason is not only fatuous it's insupportably specious.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Must you nitpick every word I type?
    If what you say does not add up- Yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    I know there is no "plan." However cooperation as an evolutionary strategy only works if the participants benefit mutually. Must I put the word "strategy" in quote marks, or do you understand what I just wrote?
    You claimed: It goes against the whole idea of cooperative behavior, which is supposed to mutually benefit the persons engaged in cooperation, not punish the behavior."
    Your post was opposed to punishment in general and in favor of cooperation, in general.
    No, that's not it. Punishment of innocent people is counterproductive because it harms members who are engaging in cooperative behavior. Punishment of guilty people is productive because it deters deviation from the societal norms. Hence it encourages the cooperative behavior dictated by the societal norm. If mistakes are made, that's bad, but the policy of punishing violations may still be a good idea if there are not too many errors made.
    If the punishment did not serve to enforce the societal norm, then punishment would always be a bad idea because you would be harming members of your society without gaining any benefit of behavior change. Therefore, it seems unlikely that such a behavior would be selected for, and in fact should be selected against. That's why I think punishment does change behavior. That plus the fact that I observe threat of punishment changing behavior in real life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    No, that's not it. Punishment of innocent people is counterproductive because it harms members who are engaging in cooperative behavior. Punishment of guilty people is productive because it deters deviation from the societal norms. Hence it encourages the cooperative behavior dictated by the societal norm. If mistakes are made, that's bad, but the policy of punishing violations may still be a good idea if there are not too many errors made.
    If the punishment did not serve to enforce the societal norm, then punishment would always be a bad idea because you would be harming members of your society without gaining any benefit of behavior change. Therefore, it seems unlikely that such a behavior would be selected for, and in fact should be selected against. That's why I think punishment does change behavior. That plus the fact that I observe threat of punishment changing behavior in real life.
    I understand everything you just said and everything you just said made sense.
    The disconnect appears to be in the interpretation of Ken Fabos' post- in which case we seem to have taken a completely opposite view of what he said.

    I will re-read the posts and see if I misunderstood what he said.
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  28. #128  
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    Has anyone considered the possibility that the archaic role of punishment was NOT to correct behavior? There are two ways to structure society. One is to modify behavior. The other is to SELECT for behavior. The second option would be particularly important to animals that are governed more by instinct (IE. genetic programming.)

    Perhaps the punishments are not attempts to correct, but "warning shots". After a number of warnings, if the behavior continues, the subject is kicked out of society. (Or out of the pack.) They're a filter, not a corrective measure.

    Remember that for most of human history, people lived in small communities. Exclusion from that community was basically a death sentence. They didn't lock you up up in jail. They simply sent you away.

    The alpha wolf bites the omega wolf to warn him that if he keeps doing what he's doing, he's going to kill him next time. The omega either has the innate intelligence to understand and adapt to that condition, or he doesn't. If he doesn't, then the pack gets rid of him. (And selects against his genes.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Does this side argument really make sense?
    Come on, now... Some people are afraid of legal consequences so they watch their speed and mind their business. How many people filch on taxes? Few- because they fear the IRS.
    This doesn't mean that society is solely controlled by fear. It only means that fear is one aspect of the over-all illusion of control.
    Some people have no fear of the law- they often end up in prison, anyway. Some people will briefly forget their fear, in the heat of a moment- and get caught, even.
    Voicing an opinion about the One Thing that keeps people from breaking any law is always going to be questionable.
    But stating that "such and such" factor will keep people in line is still accurate. Fear will keep people in line. It's just not the only thing that will and it's not the one thing that always works.
    Ethics, a concept of morals, respect for the law, fear of consequences, fear of shame or embarrassment, fear of financial loss, a strong sense of honor, lack of need and lack of motive will all contribute to people staying within the law.
    We never claim its only fear that determine the crime rate in society But we claim fear of punishment has vital role in controlling crime
    There is variation in nature of people and they behave according to their nature There are kind people, heartless people etc
    Naturally there would be people in every society whose nature is most likely to create problems for others /to make harm others
    For these type of people fear of punishment is vital
    Even if there are 2% persons people (although I believe it would be more)
    But these 2% people are responsible for 2% crime in society ?
    Are they not responsible for 80-90% crime in society ?
    If we remove fear of punishment
    Would it be logical to say only 2% crime would increase ?
    Would not crime rate multiply many time if law and completed removed ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAJ_K View Post
    Would not crime rate multiply many time if law and completed removed ?
    No, it would drop to zero.
    If all laws were lifted, nothing would be considered a crime. I'm good with it, myself...
    I say repeal them all- I am an Anarchist.
    Lift the laws and bring it on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAJ_K View Post
    Would not crime rate multiply many time if law and completed removed ?
    No, it would drop to zero.
    If all laws were lifted, nothing would be considered a crime. I'm good with it, myself...
    I say repeal them all- I am an Anarchist.
    Lift the laws and bring it on.
    Then Afghanistan may be good place for you to live
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  32. #132  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAJ_K View Post
    Would not crime rate multiply many time if law and completed removed ?
    No, it would drop to zero.
    If all laws were lifted, nothing would be considered a crime. I'm good with it, myself...
    I say repeal them all- I am an Anarchist.
    Lift the laws and bring it on.
    Then roving bands of thugs would establish new laws. You'd just be trading one legal system for another.

    Perhaps you don't acknowledge the laws laid down by a Mexican cartel as "real" laws? Try breaking one in one of their neighborhoods.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Then roving bands of thugs would establish new laws. You'd just be trading one legal system for another.

    Perhaps you don't acknowledge the laws laid down by a Mexican cartel as "real" laws? Try breaking one in one of their neighborhoods.
    In their area, that's the locals problem.

    I plan on being top thug, here.
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    In that case, then you still want laws. You just want to be the one making them.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    In that case, then you still want laws. You just want to be the one making them.
    Well, works for me. As long as I have perfect and total freedom.
    What others do is their own business.
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    Harold you are misunderstanding me - I never said punishment didn't work or that the potential for innocents being wrongly punished means it would be ineffective and shouldn't be used, I was noting that the urge to punish and the pleasure/satisfaction that we feel is not very discriminating ie that, by itself, it's not a reliable basis for punishment, especially in the modern context. I never said - or ever thought - that punishment couldn't be effective at changing behavior of transgressors but I don't think this urge and reward loop arose specifically or even primarily for that. I think it's role in punishment is piggybacked on a broader behavior that arose to enable group violence that is beyond that which is normally acceptable - violence that was more usually against outsiders.

    Within smallish groups, where transgressors are known, it's probable that problem individuals are correctly identified more often than not. Of course if the transgressor has sufficient social standing or is sufficiently formidable they may be immune from punishment. And this urge and reward loop can handle that - we will be less inclined to seek to punish those we are closely related to, those we respect or those we fear and we are more inclined to respond to the urgings of those we respect or fear or have ties to to punish accused others. ie it's got little to do with evidence of guilt or innocence , it's about perceptions of an individual and the emotions aroused within the group.

    One reason I think it's important to understand this connection of the urge to punish to the more general urge to violence is that I think the same underlying urge to hurt people who do deserve it is the same urge to hurt people who don't - but who, for whatever reason, we believe do. I think the same brain response enables mob violence, nationalistic and racist attacks, vigilantism etc. and leaves the perpetrators feeling good about their actions. It's an easy urge to provoke and as such it's a button that those who wish to influence and manipulate others can and do push.
    Last edited by Ken Fabos; April 30th, 2013 at 07:40 PM.
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  37. #137  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    In that case, then you still want laws. You just want to be the one making them.
    Well, works for me. As long as I have perfect and total freedom.
    What others do is their own business.
    You would only have total and perfect freedom if you were the most powerful person and/or group of people. The odds of that would be very small.

    Some group of people with guns would emerge and inform you not to do something or else they retaliate. You, caring for the safety of your family, would choose not to press the issue.

    Even if you were part of the most powerful group, you wouldn't reign supreme over the others in that group. They would collectively have requirements you had to meet in order to maintain your membership. Standing alone with no group behind you, you'd be horribly outnumbered. You might be a great warrior, but your abilities still have limits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    You would only have total and perfect freedom if you were the most powerful person and/or group of people. Standing alone with no group behind you, you'd be horribly outnumbered. You might be a great warrior, but your abilities still have limits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    Harold you are misunderstanding me - I never said punishment didn't work or that the potential for innocents being wrongly punished means it would be ineffective and shouldn't be used, I was noting that the urge to punish and the pleasure/satisfaction that we feel is not very discriminating ie that, by itself, it's not a reliable basis for punishment, especially in the modern context.
    I never said - or ever thought - that punishment couldn't be effective at changing behavior of transgressors but I don't think this urge and reward loop arose specifically or even primarily for that. I think it's role in punishment is piggybacked on a broader behavior that arose to enable group violence that is beyond that which is normally acceptable - violence that was more usually against outsiders.
    That seems highly speculative.
    Within smallish groups, where transgressors are known, it's probable that problem individuals are correctly identified more often than not. Of course if the transgressor has sufficient social standing or is sufficiently formidable they may be immune from punishment. And this urge and reward loop can handle that - we will be less inclined to seek to punish those we are closely related to, those we respect or those we fear and we are more inclined to respond to the urgings of those we respect or fear or have ties to to punish accused others. ie it's got little to do with evidence of guilt or innocence , it's about perceptions of an individual and the emotions aroused within the group.

    One reason I think it's important to understand this connection of the urge to punish to the more general urge to violence is that I think the same underlying urge to hurt people who do deserve it is the same urge to hurt people who don't - but who, for whatever reason, we believe do. I think the same brain response enables mob violence, nationalistic and racist attacks, vigilantism etc. and leaves the perpetrators feeling good about their actions. It's an easy urge to provoke and as such it's a button that those who wish to influence and manipulate others can and do push.
    I don't see much new here, Ken. This is why we have laws, evidence, trials, etc. People figured that out a long time ago.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    I don't see much new here, Ken. This is why we have laws, evidence, trials, etc. People figured that out a long time ago.
    The first impulse many people have is to lash out at that which hurts them. Ever punch a standing open kitchen cabinet that you wanged your head against?
    Or a marital argument where each spouse will make the most cutting remark they can.

    The laws, evidence, trials, etc. we have seem primarily used to keep ones hands clean while allowing the "Justice" system to do the dirty work of revenge. It's a way of feeling cleaner about vengeance. I don't know - I prefer the old fashioned kind, myself...
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    Harold. Speculative but not nonsensical. There's a lot of overlap between attacking outsiders and punitive actions against your own people - and priming people for that action by establishing in the group's minds that sense of being "other" and of violent action as justified proceeds in much the same ways. It shouldn't be a surprise if a lot of the same things are going on in people's brains.

    Neverfly - the satisfaction that vengeance brings is something that goes on in the avenger's brain and any behavior changing in the avenged would be more indirect. How these behaviors arise and evolve (I speculate) would be more to do with the affects on the behavior of perpetrators of punishment/vengeance than how they change the behavior of those being punished. Not saying there wouldn't be indirect benefits to compliance with laws when vengeance is sanctioned or framed as punishment.
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    A revenge type punishment is actually directed not only at the offender them self, but at all other potential offenders who may see it. That's part of why we have executions in public. It's not just to humiliate the person to be executed. We want the largest possible number of people to see it. I think actually the mind of the offender them self is the one we least care about changing.

    The guy who's already made up his mind to do something heinous, prepared for it, and done it --- that guy is the least susceptible to being "reprogrammed" back into a model citizen.

    However, there could be another person in the crowd who hasn't even started down that road yet. Maybe he's just now started to consider it in the abstract, as more of a daydream and less of an intention. He sees the execution. Now he knows it probably wouldn't be a good idea to develop this intention past the day dream stage.
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    If punishment is necessary for justice than it should be implemented but law should be same for all.
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