On 28 Jun 2011, at 17:38, Rex Allen wrote:
On Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 8:40 PM, Stephen Paul King <stephe...@charter.net
Why does it seem that there is no motivation to consider the victims
of criminal behavior?
In trying to be proactive in eliminating the causes of criminal
behavior, we are considering the victims - by trying to avoid having
anyone victimized in the first place.
Similarly, in trying to deter criminal behavior, we are considering
And in trying to rehabilitate those who have engaged in criminal
behavior we're trying to avoid future victims, and also trying to
find ways for the criminals to repay any debt to society - in part
by becoming productive, tax paying citizens.
Any discussion of criminal behavior is, in a real sense, "about" the
victims of that behavior as well.
Further, victims have a means of redress for actual damages in the
civil court system. Which has a lower requirement of proof. In
criminal court, the burden is on the state to prove guilt beyond a
reasonable doubt. In civil court, the burden of proof is initially
on the plaintiff, but can be moved to the defendant under some
circumstances, and the required standard of proof is only "more
likely than not".
Recall that in the O.J. Simpson case, OJ was acquitted in the
criminal case, but then lost the civil case against Nicole's family
and ended paying damages to them anyway.
If you happen to be unlucky enough to be victimized by a criminal
with no assets...this inevitably raises the question of why they
have so little. It's unfortunate for you that the crime occurred,
but unfortunate also for the criminal that life has led him to a
Similarly, criminal behavior caused by mental illness - such
occurrences are like tornadoes, or earthquakes, or rabid animals.
Mental illness is just an unfortunate consequence of how the world
works. It's unfortunate for those afflicted, and it's unfortunate
for the rest of us too.
I don't think that anyone chooses to be mentally unbalanced...but
that's where some people end up. As with all illness and misfortune,
probably best to remember: "But for the grace of God, there go I."
The article that was originally posted seemed to imply a start of a
chain of reasoning that leads inevitably toward arguing for a
government control mechanism where *any* behavior can be declared to
be criminal and thus in need of adjustment.
I think you're imagining things. Get a hold of yourself man!
You're getting all panicky and hysterical.
The ban on smoking that is occurring in the US is a good example of
It's a negotiation between non-smokers and smokers. As fewer people
smoker, the balance has shifted in favor of non-smokers. We're all
trapped here on the planet together, and there are going to have to
be rules in order for us to keep everything on track. Fewer rules
is better, but no rules is not a realistic option.
A secular version of a theocracy, for example. The movie Equilibrium
(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0238380/ ) comes to mind.
I think you shouldn't rely on movies like this to inform your views
The main problem that I see in such schemes is that they
inevitably lead to situations where a small elite decide what is and
what is acceptable behavior, i.e. tyranny.
"Inevitably" is way too strong a word. I'm extremely skeptical that
a smoking ban will lead to totalitarian government.
Not all slopes are slippery. In fact, *most* slopes are not
slippery. It's entirely possible to stand securely even on a fairly
Either you're engaged in fear-mongering, or you don't have a good
grip on reality.
But *some* slope are slippery. And *one* is enough to get the
I don't know if the smoking ban will lead to totalitarian government,
but I can argue that prohibition of drugs lead to something even worst
than a totalitarian government: it leads to a mafia state. That is
bandits totalitarianism. Prohibition gives the (black) money to the
bandits and to the corrupted people which will favor the continuation
of the process, and it gives more and more power to the bandits and
the special interests. Without stopping prohibition, the bandits take
A large part of Health, like entertainment, like religion, has to be
separated from the state. You should still pay a bill, or be sent in
jail when selling a drug, but only if you sold it with wrong
indications, or lack of warnings on possible side effects, or if you
sold to a minor, or without medical prescription in the relevant cases.
The prohibition of a dangerous drug multiplies its dangerousness by a
large factor. That is why the prohibition of alcohol failed: it led
quickly to individual and social disasters (bandits getting more and
more power). The prohibition of cannabis lasted, and still last, since
a long time, due to its absence of toxicity. The fact that it continue
to last, despite the facts, is worrying. Th fact that just research is
forbidden on the (schedule one) cannabis is the proof that some part
of the American state is already totalitarian
In a mafia state success of any enterprise is no more related to work
but to human relationships. It leads to arbitrariness in all affairs,
not just health, up to the crashes.
And this illustrates also the ethic of Löbian machine, in case you
agree that "good for me" is a protagorean virtue, that is of type of
the self-consistency Dt. BDt -> ~Dt ("Gödel's second theorem"). If you
interpret the 'B' by 'institutionalization', you get that the
institutionalization of health is unhealthy, like the
institutionalization/definition of the good is bad, etc.
Only when the individual is self-incentivized to "to the right
thing" do I see a general diminution of criminal behaviors.
"Self-incentivized"? What does that even mean?
No humans are born knowing the "right thing" to do. They have to be
taught. The incentives have to provided by their environment. By
family, and by society.
So what's this non-sense about self-incentivization? You're not
even thinking logically.
But such requires that the true causes of criminal behavior be
identified and minimized at an individual level, not by some state
If statistics over a population show some recurring pattern or
trend, then those statistics are most likely reflecting something
real and structural.
If not *all* people show the behavior, then it's likely not "human
nature" that is to blame, but rather the way society is structured
that produces the behavior that is seen in individuals.
If criminal behavior is the result of natural predilections within
humans then are we going to have to genetically engineer out
Again, there's no reason to carry things to extremes, except for
rhetorical propaganda purposes, which is what I think most of your
post amounts to.
You don't want to take reasonable steps, so you extrapolate out to
some extreme and then invoke the inevitability of a slippery slope.
It is avoidable. Even the cops explains the total non sense of
prohibition. I am optimist: prohibition will fall down soon or later.
Obviously the cops are the more aware of the total non sense of
prohibition, because they are at the front of the 'war on drugs':
Cannabis has made possible a very long prohibition, but it is also a
sort of fatal error for the bandits.
Perhaps there is no complete solution to criminality, maybe
there are just various methods that work in some cases and fail in
Perfect is the enemy of good enough. That there is no perfect
solution available is not a good reason for refusing to make
I agree with you. But we have to play fair in the process. We need to
think about how to better separate the powers, how to get real
independent press, etc.
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