Are intentions of equal importance to actions? For example, if I were to be deliberately harmed by another who claimed they had no good reason for their action, or was equally harmed by someone who claimed to hate me because I am a woman why could the latter be more harshly punished, if deemed a hate crime, than the former?
John is 30 years old. Jack is 10 years old. They are clinically sane.
One day, John feels a sudden, uncharacteristic urge to kill. He murders an innocent stranger.
On the same day, Jack feels the same urge to kill. He also murders an innocent stranger.
John and Jack both admit responsibility for the murders.
They acted in the same way for the same reason. Their actions had the same result.
Should they be punished in the same way?
Should a parent report their own children to the police if they are aware that the child has commited a criminal offence. Does the age of the child or the seriousness of the crime matter. Example should you report your child if you suspect they have commited shoplifting or should you only report them for serious crimes like armed ronbbery.
What about other family relations such as your brother or cousin commiting criminal acts. Do you owe any loyalty to your family or is it more important to obey the law.
Why do we punish criminals? Is it to keep society safe, to exact revenge, to set an example or to teach the criminal a lesson? Which of these motivations would lead to the most just society?
Why are most nations opposed to prison labor? From a justice perspective, it seems that would far better repay the damage caused by whatever crimes they committed than sitting around in a prison all day. From a rehabilitation perspective, it would seem that having prisoners (who are often from poor backgrounds) learn or practice a trade of some kind, or engage in unskilled labor, might help facilitate reintegration after release. Yet I've met lots of people who equate prison labor with slavery.
I am often appalled by how sadistically Americans and people of other nations regard their criminals. I am appalled because that very sadism itself reduces people to the level of evil as the people we punish. But how does one go about confronting the absolutely wicked notion that because we dislike a persons behavior we should inflict pain on that person thereby perpetuating the evil. Perhaps it can be argued that on utilitarian grounds that some evil should be permitted if it allows less evil to result in total. But that seems to go against the instinct that their is something immoral about being the author of an evil action even if the ends supposedly justify the means. It seems like an ethical system that acknowledges the truth that punishment is nothing more than a perpetuation of evil is utterly impotent. Is there any way at all to resolve this fundamental contradiction between morality and reality?
Almost two years ago -in January 2009- I was supposed to marry my fiancé with whom I have had a five-year relationship. Three weeks before our wedding, I just called her and cancelled everything over the telephone. That was a very mean and coward thing to do. I inflicted a serious emotional harm on her (and on myself too).
A couple of months after I did such an awful thing (I can’t find a better word for that kind of action) I called her to apologize for what I have done. I explained her that I committed such a grave error because I was terrified of getting married. I wanted her back, but she refused me.
Since then I’ve tried to gain her love again, but she just do not care for me anymore. I accept that as a fair outcome for my reckless behavior. I just deserve to be refused by my ex fiancé.
What I haven’t been able to do until now is to cope with my regrets and my endless sense of guilt. I just can’t believe that I did what I did. I feel awful and unworthy of anything.
I don’t need a priest...
- Read more about Hello:
- 2 comments
- Log in to post comments