View Poll Results: If someone breaks the law...

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  • They should receive the applicable sentence, regardless of circumstances (I am Ti)

    2 16.67%
  • They should receive the applicable sentence, regardless of circumstances (I am Fi)

    1 8.33%
  • Different factors e.g. financial circumstances, past record must be taken into account (I am Ti)

    7 58.33%
  • IDifferent factors e.g. financial circumstances, past record must be taken into account (I am Fi)

    2 16.67%
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Thread: You On The Law

  1. #1
    ...been here longer than the fucking monarchy Ezra's Avatar
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    Default You On The Law

    I'm interested to know your stand on this.
    Ideas don't determine who's right. Power determines who's right. And I have the power. So I'm right.

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    This has nothing to do with and .

    Usually, you won't punish someone with the applicable sentence, regardless of circumstances, unless you're an autistic bureaucrat.

  3. #3
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    I'm not voting because I won't commit to Ti vs Fi (and no I'm, as you say, "taking the piss" ) I think that if a person gets caught then circumstances should be considered and punishment applied accordingly. That said, I don't believe in people being punished simply because they committed a crime (as in all crimes should be punished/all perpetrators must be caught). If you can get away with it and nobodies dead, maimed or taken a personal loss (notice I said personal, not corporations) then more power to ya in my opinion. I personally wouldn't turn somebody in even if they did break the above "rules", and I'm not a revenge/vindictive person who needs to see others punished when they wrong those I know, beyond social punishments such as telling others of their "sins". I do understand the need for laws though, and have no problem with others living in a world defined by them.

    The only circumstances I would personally involve the cops in would be for safety sake, my own or those I'm close to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by machintruc View Post
    This has nothing to do with and .

    Usually, you won't punish someone with the applicable sentence, regardless of circumstances, unless you're an autistic bureaucrat.
    lol in your own machintruc way, you expressed my own sentiments pretty well (:

    (i hope glamourama doesn't mind me using those reverse smileys, they're just so cool)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bionicgoat View Post
    I'm not voting because I won't commit to Ti vs Fi (and no I'm, as you say, "taking the piss" ) I think that if a person gets caught then circumstances should be considered and punishment applied accordingly. That said, I don't believe in people being punished simply because they committed a crime (as in all crimes should be punished/all perpetrators must be caught). If you can get away with it and nobodies dead, maimed or taken a personal loss (notice I said personal, not corporations) then more power to ya in my opinion.
    What about social costs?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by hellothere View Post
    What about social costs?
    ehh... personally I think social costs are alot of hype. At the very least they aren't important to my little world (of course I have to qualify this by saying I'm a drug addict and have had several criminal oriented aquaintences over the course of my life)

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    Quote Originally Posted by machintruc View Post
    ... regardless of circumstances, unless you're an autistic bureaucrat.
    The autistic statement of the day. Knew we couldnt possibly go one day without it!

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    Let the punishment fit the crime and the spirit of the law given greater supremacy over the letter of the law.
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    The law already takes into account the possibility of different circumstances. No crime is perfectly equal to any other crime, so of course it is up to each judge to inflict the punishment he finds optimal. I tend to be in disagreement with the notion of punshiment and law and be more in line with what Bionicgoat says here, but that's another story.

    Actually, I am not really against the law. Oftentimes the law (at least, here) is very well organized and reasonable. People that create laws are cultured, civilized and really care about the well-being of society. The real problem is police. I hate the police, and I would find it awesome if all policemen died in very much pain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    The law already takes into account the possibility of different circumstances. No crime is perfectly equal to any other crime, so of course it is up to each judge to inflict the punishment he finds optimal. I tend to be in disagreement with the notion of punshiment and law and be more in line with what Bionicgoat says here, but that's another story.

    Actually, I am not really against the law. Oftentimes the law (at least, here) is very well organized and reasonable. People that create laws are cultured, civilized and really care about the well-being of society. The real problem is police. I hate the police, and I would find it awesome if all policemen died in very much pain.
    I don't know about the 'dying in pain' thing :-), but I don't like their mentality either. They're not really promotors of the law - they're slaves to it, because they don't have any real authority to circumvent it or apply mercy. And government workers annoy me - I guess it's not their fault really, but I hate how they just 'do their job' without considering the circumstances of the particular case.

    When I first moved to Melbourne for instance, I got on a tram having never been on one before, and I bought a concession ticket because I had a student card. And this ticket inspector gets on and looks at my card and tells me that you have to get a sticker or something put on the card before they'll recognise it. So I think "yeah ok, that's a stupid rule .. but anyway", and I tell her that I've just moved down from Queensland so I didn't know, and I show her my Qld driver's license, and I think that's that. Then, I couldn't believe it - she proceeds to write me out a ticket! She was like 'you can appeal this if you don't want to pay the fine'. How stupid is that! I have to go through all this trouble of appealing when this woman could have simply utilised her brain and not given me a ticket. If I had a job like that where I wasn't allowed to take into account different circumstances I would go insane.
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    ...been here longer than the fucking monarchy Ezra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    The law already takes into account the possibility of different circumstances.
    Well, sometimes. But think about it. I'll use the simple example of two identical murder crimes. The murderer in the first murder shot their victim in the head. They did it to defend themselves against their victim, who was also their attacker. In other words, it was a case or them or their attacker. The second murder was committed by someone who had premeditated attacking their victim. They shot their victim in in the head after months of planning. My question is this: do they get the same sentence, or are different circumstances (premeditated murder/self-defence) taken into account?
    Ideas don't determine who's right. Power determines who's right. And I have the power. So I'm right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    Well, sometimes. But think about it. I'll use the simple example of two identical murder crimes. The murderer in the first murder shot their victim in the head. They did it to defend themselves against their victim, who was also their attacker. In other words, it was a case or them or their attacker. The second murder was committed by someone who had premeditated attacking their victim. They shot their victim in in the head after months of planning. My question is this: do they get the same sentence, or are different circumstances (premeditated murder/self-defence) taken into account?
    The law does take into account premeditation versus self-defence.
    "Language is the Rubicon that divides man from beast."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jem View Post
    When I first moved to Melbourne for instance, I got on a tram having never been on one before, and I bought a concession ticket because I had a student card. And this ticket inspector gets on and looks at my card and tells me that you have to get a sticker or something put on the card before they'll recognise it. So I think "yeah ok, that's a stupid rule .. but anyway", and I tell her that I've just moved down from Queensland so I didn't know, and I show her my Qld driver's license, and I think that's that. Then, I couldn't believe it - she proceeds to write me out a ticket! She was like 'you can appeal this if you don't want to pay the fine'. How stupid is that! I have to go through all this trouble of appealing when this woman could have simply utilised her brain and not given me a ticket. If I had a job like that where I wasn't allowed to take into account different circumstances I would go insane.
    that's happened to me too.... but I wonder whether their pay depends on them writing a certain number of tickets. Of course that would be utterly stupid, but sometimes I wonder... it would explain how unreasonable they can be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hellothere View Post
    that's happened to me too.... but I wonder whether their pay depends on them writing a certain number of tickets. Of course that would be utterly stupid, but sometimes I wonder... it would explain how unreasonable they can be.
    I think that may be the case actually. Well, I don't know about ticket inspectors specifically, but I've heard that parking inspectors are rewarded the more tickets they give out. Could be just rumour though ....
    "Language is the Rubicon that divides man from beast."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    Well, sometimes. But think about it. I'll use the simple example of two identical murder crimes. The murderer in the first murder shot their victim in the head. They did it to defend themselves against their victim, who was also their attacker. In other words, it was a case or them or their attacker. The second murder was committed by someone who had premeditated attacking their victim. They shot their victim in in the head after months of planning. My question is this: do they get the same sentence, or are different circumstances (premeditated murder/self-defence) taken into account?
    Jurisprudence (if not the source law) already takes into account this possibility, always.
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  15. #15
    ...been here longer than the fucking monarchy Ezra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jem View Post
    The law does take into account premeditation versus self-defence.
    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Jurisprudence (if not the source law) already takes into account this possibility, always.
    Okay, how about swapping self-defence for a crime of passion? Should the person who shot their victim in their head as a crime of passion receive the same sentence as the premeditated shooting?
    Ideas don't determine who's right. Power determines who's right. And I have the power. So I'm right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    Okay, how about swapping self-defence for a crime of passion? Should the person who shot their victim in their head as a crime of passion receive the same sentence as the premeditated shooting?
    no, why should they?

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    There has to be some form of consistency, but things like previous record should be considered. And killing someone in self-defense should be weighed differently than premeditated murder or a "crime of passion".

    I think of the legal system as pretty much a way to provide the highest degree of safety to society, not about evaluating and punishing right and wrong. Sentences should be about preventing the same person from doing something like that again and preventing others from doing it. It's about cause and effect relationships.

    I don't like it, but I don't know of a better option that's realistic.
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    This is kind of interesting, because although not taking into account circumstances at all is ridiculous, this is exactly what happens with statutory or mandatory sentences. Some politicians who want to look tough on crime like to talk about this, and unfortunately others actually pass it into law for various offences. And alot of people think mandatory sentences are a good idea, though I've never worked out why. Perhaps the one person who voted for that could tell us.
    LII

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    I heard something interesting a little while back, and I think I've mentioned it here before.

    One of the politicians in my state was pushing for a tough mandatory sentence for those who commit homicide against black people. His idea was criticized as being an attempt to keep black people in prison for longer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bionicgoat View Post
    I'm not voting because I won't commit to Ti vs Fi (and no I'm, as you say, "taking the piss" ) I think that if a person gets caught then circumstances should be considered and punishment applied accordingly. That said, I don't believe in people being punished simply because they committed a crime (as in all crimes should be punished/all perpetrators must be caught). If you can get away with it and nobodies dead, maimed or taken a personal loss (notice I said personal, not corporations) then more power to ya in my opinion. I personally wouldn't turn somebody in even if they did break the above "rules", and I'm not a revenge/vindictive person who needs to see others punished when they wrong those I know, beyond social punishments such as telling others of their "sins". I do understand the need for laws though, and have no problem with others living in a world defined by them.

    The only circumstances I would personally involve the cops in would be for safety sake, my own or those I'm close to.
    do you think that law should evolve in order to catch more people? Your stance seems more like a reactive one rather than an opinion on the law or what it should do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    Okay, how about swapping self-defence for a crime of passion? Should the person who shot their victim in their head as a crime of passion receive the same sentence as the premeditated shooting?
    I don't think so personally - no - but then I think most countries' laws allow for different states of mind and intent. I don't know about your country, but in Australia a person can claim 'diminished responibility' if they can show that they were seriously provoked, which would be a crime of passion. I think the law is generally too generous in allowing for extenuating circumstances rather than the other way around. A lawyer can find numerous ways of getting out of or lessening a deserved sentence by citing such laws that take into account the person's state of mind and the degree to which the person was provoked.
    "Language is the Rubicon that divides man from beast."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joy View Post
    I think of the legal system as pretty much a way to provide the highest degree of safety to society, not about evaluating and punishing right and wrong. Sentences should be about preventing the same person from doing something like that again and preventing others from doing it. It's about cause and effect relationships.
    + 10 billion

    ETA also to keep people away from society for a sufficient period of time
    Last edited by hellothere; 06-08-2008 at 05:40 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    Well, sometimes. But think about it. I'll use the simple example of two identical murder crimes. The murderer in the first murder shot their victim in the head. They did it to defend themselves against their victim, who was also their attacker. In other words, it was a case or them or their attacker. The second murder was committed by someone who had premeditated attacking their victim. They shot their victim in in the head after months of planning. My question is this: do they get the same sentence, or are different circumstances (premeditated murder/self-defence) taken into account?
    So the wealthy should suffer more for committing the same crime because they are otherwise suffering less? That is simply bad karma (and very socialist, which is politically if not morally superficial in actual practice)...your example is already accommodated under current law as degrees of murder (1st, 2nd, 3rd). However, I think that you may be referring to objective vs subjective ethical issues. Mandatory law is much easier to enforce (and respect) than are de facto tendencies, and it is also more easily communicated as a complete and consistent set of ethics (with the exception of Gödel's Law). However discrepancies in the applicability of a benchmark crime due to novel circumstances or ambiguous evidence require judicial proceedings and so allow for interpretation. In practice, jury trials and minimum sentences essentially define the limits of arbitrary and literal interpretation. BTW I was considering a similar poll: do you think that a preference for sensory over intuitive information metabolism might contribute to a stronger tendency to rely upon visual identification for typing purposes?


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    As someone schooled in U.S. criminal law, I can assure you that the circumstances surrounding the crime (and the offender's individual life situation - depending on the judge) are almost always factored in during sentencing.

    How do the people here feel about criminal law in general? Do you see the point of criminal law as being deterrence or retribution? Or do you think we should move towards a more rehabilitative model?

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    Quote Originally Posted by reckoner View Post
    As someone schooled in U.S. criminal law, I can assure you that the circumstances surrounding the crime (and the offender's individual life situation - depending on the judge) are almost always factored in during sentencing.

    How do the people here feel about criminal law in general? Do you see the point of criminal law as being deterrence or retribution? Or do you think we should move towards a more rehabilitative model?
    Retribution is the best deterrent. Rehabilitation requires different incentives for different criminals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huitzilopochtli View Post
    Retribution is the best deterrent. Rehabilitation requires different incentives for different criminals.
    Rehabilitation and retribution operate on different planes. One seeks pure punishment - an eye for an eye. While the other seeks behavior modification in hopes of eliminating the criminal behavior rather than the criminal himself.

    I believe studies have shown that our current criminal justice system in the United States is extremely inefficient (if not broken) and does little to deter criminal activity when compared with current pilot criminal rehabilitation programs. This makes sense, economically speaking, since offering individualized "incentives" to offenders would lower the "marginal cost" of the system, no? At least in the case of non-violent offenders, who comprise a large majority of the incarcerated population.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reckoner View Post
    Rehabilitation and retribution operate on different planes. One seeks pure punishment - an eye for an eye. While the other seeks behavior modification in hopes of eliminating the criminal behavior rather than the criminal himself.

    I believe studies have shown that our current criminal justice system in the United States is extremely inefficient (if not broken) and does little to deter criminal activity when compared with current pilot criminal rehabilitation programs. This makes sense, economically speaking, since offering individualized "incentives" to offenders would lower the "marginal cost" of the system, no? At least in the case of non-violent offenders, who comprise a large majority of the incarcerated population.
    Rewarding criminals is hardly justice (if anything it's an incentive to commit the crime)...rehabilitation, indeed - here is an actual study:

    Regarding State prison population growth from 1990 through 2000, the US Dept. of Justice reports, "Overall, the increasing number of drug offenses accounted for 27% of the total growth among black inmates, 7% of the total growth among Hispanic inmates, and 15% of the growth among white inmates (table 19)."

    Source: Harrison, Paige M. & Allen J. Beck, PhD, US Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2001 (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, July 2002), p. 13.

    Is this the rehabilitation to which you are referring?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huitzilopochtli View Post
    Rewarding criminals is hardly justice (if anything it's an incentive to commit the crime)...rehabilitation, indeed - here is an actual study:

    Regarding State prison population growth from 1990 through 2000, the US Dept. of Justice reports, "Overall, the increasing number of drug offenses accounted for 27% of the total growth among black inmates, 7% of the total growth among Hispanic inmates, and 15% of the growth among white inmates (table 19)."

    Source: Harrison, Paige M. & Allen J. Beck, PhD, US Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2001 (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, July 2002), p. 13.

    Is this the rehabilitation to which you are referring?

    First, I'm not sure what kind of conclusions you can effectively draw from that data other than there being an increase in drug offenses from 1990-2000, and that this increase has contributed to the overall growth in the prison population. Also, this data is eight years old. Most of the rehabilitation programs (See California's prop 36) I was referring to weren't yet or were only recently in existence during this period. If anything, the data you cite only reinforces the notion that Reagan era mandatory sentencing laws are clogging our prisons and lining the pockets of the prison-building lobby.

    And also, rehabilitation is not "rewarding criminals." Current rehabilitation programs have strict requirements regarding supervision, drug testing and tightened parole standards. It's also not about bleeding-heart liberal compassion, taking it easy on these criminal bogeymen. Rehabilitation is about behavior modification - plain and simple.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reckoner View Post
    And also, rehabilitation is not "rewarding criminals."...Rehabilitation is about behavior modification - plain and simple.
    But essentially they can commit a crime and not pay their debt to society (negative reward)...do you prefer operant or classical conditioning?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huitzilopochtli View Post
    But essentially they can commit a crime and not pay their debt to society (negative reward)...do you prefer operant or classical conditioning?
    I am talking about non-violent offenders. These folks receive community service, half-way house, extensive monitoring, etc. And if they don't comply with the program, then they are thrown in the slammer to serve their time. It isn't as if you're taking criminals and saying, "now try to behave next time" and throwing them on the street without any accountability for the crime they've committed. I'm talking about diversion programs for first or second offenders who haven't shown a propensity towards violence. Perhaps I should have defined the sample more clearly in my earlier posts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huitzilopochtli View Post
    Retribution is the best deterrent. Rehabilitation requires different incentives for different criminals.
    sorry, but where did you pull that from?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huitzilopochtli View Post
    But essentially they can commit a crime and not pay their debt to society (negative reward)...do you prefer operant or classical conditioning?
    punishment (in the operant conditioning sense) is never very effective

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    Quote Originally Posted by hellothere View Post
    sorry, but where did you pull that from?
    It's my personal opinion. I actually think fear is a better deterrent but here I mean the fear of retribution. It was the only thing stopping a global nuclear holocaust for many years among many countries (North Korea, Pakistan, Russia)...why, from where did you think I pulled it?

    Quote Originally Posted by hellothere View Post
    punishment (in the operant conditioning sense) is never very effective
    I beg to differ. Reward is rarely as immediately motivating or even effective in the long-run (for a consistent incentive).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huitzilopochtli View Post
    It's my personal opinion. I actually think fear is a better deterrent but here I mean the fear of retribution. It was the only thing stopping a global nuclear holocaust for many years among many countries (North Korea, Pakistan, Russia)...why, from where did you think I pulled it?
    oh sorry, I wasn't sure whether you were stating an opinion or a "fact"



    I beg to differ. Reward is rarely as immediately motivating or even effective in the long-run (for a consistent incentive).
    Empirical studies have demonstrated it

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    Quote Originally Posted by hellothere View Post
    Empirical studies have demonstrated it
    There are uncountable ways to condition a subject in endless contexts, each with different results...however, it stands to reason that one man's gunk is another man's pleasure while pain is immediately motivating, permanently distracting, and universally easier to inflict. That's why psychological warfare more often involves physical torture than sexual favors...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huitzilopochtli View Post
    There are uncountable ways to condition a subject in endless contexts, each with different results...however, it stands to reason that one man's gunk is another man's pleasure while pain is immediately motivating, permanently distracting, and universally easier to inflict. That's why psychological warfare more often involves physical torture than sexual favors...

    hmm sure, contingent punishment may be in most cases be more effective for preventing a behaviour than the the removal of reinforcement or even the reinforcement of an incompatible behaviour, but the effects of punishment have been shown to be relatively temporary (the punished behaviour reappears over time) and lacking in generalisability (the supressed behaviour is often only surpressed in the context in which it was punished)

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    Quote Originally Posted by hellothere View Post
    hmm sure, contingent punishment may be in most cases be more effective for preventing a behaviour than the the removal of reinforcement or even the reinforcement of an incompatible behaviour, but the effects of punishment have been shown to be relatively temporary (the punished behaviour reappears over time) and lacking in generalisability (the supressed behaviour is often only surpressed in the context in which it was punished)
    What behavior would you use to replace petty theft? What reward would keep a kleptomaniac from stealing everywhere they go, forever (I agree that incompatible behaviors are very worthwhile because I used them to quit smoking, but this has nothing to do with a preference for reward over punishment, and something else is necessary to make the behavior stick until it is either second nature or first instinct)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huitzilopochtli View Post
    What behavior would you use to replace petty theft?
    The alternative to punishment doesn't just have to be the reinforcement of an incompatible behaviour - you could also try and change his incentive for stealing - through first considering why he feels the need to steal.

    What reward would keep a kleptomaniac from stealing everywhere they go, forever (I agree that incompatible behaviors are very worthwhile because I used them to quit smoking, but this has nothing to do with a preference for reward over punishment, and something else is necessary to make the behavior stick until it is either second nature or first instinct)?
    Well, would punishment in this case really be effective? Unless he was consistently punished (for the rest of his life) in a variety of contexts, they would probably start stealing again some time after the administration of the punishment

    I agree that a combination of punishment and extinction, or reinforcement of an incompatible behaviour is probably the most effective route. But punishment alone probably won't be very effective in long term behaviour modification.

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    If someone breaks the law...
    They should receive the applicable sentence, regardless of circumstances (I am Ti)
    They should receive the applicable sentence, regardless of circumstances (I am Fi)
    Different factors e.g. financial circumstances, past record must be taken into account (I am Ti)
    IDifferent factors e.g. financial circumstances, past record must be taken into account (I am Fi)
    So it's either the object or the subject, eh? Why not both?

    Why not factor in the motivation of the subject to violate the object? (the level to which the subject enjoyed violating the law?) On that token, assess whether the subject was right in what they did. Did the existing conditions justify the subject's reaction to the object? Were they merely fighting unjust oppression?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hellothere View Post
    The alternative to punishment doesn't just have to be the reinforcement of an incompatible behaviour - you could also try and change his incentive for stealing - through first considering why he feels the need to steal.



    Well, would punishment in this case really be effective? Unless he was consistently punished (for the rest of his life) in a variety of contexts, they would probably start stealing again some time after the administration of the punishment

    I agree that a combination of punishment and extinction, or reinforcement of an incompatible behaviour is probably the most effective route. But punishment alone probably won't be very effective in long term behaviour modification.
    The incentive may range from the desire to practice a skill to the spontaneous craving of a thrill...in this case properly treating the patient by finding and changing the incentive and then trying to substitute another behavior, especially for first time offenders, will take much more time than the treatment and even the sentence is worth. In this case a universal punishment is likely to motivate all criminals equally and save on the need for individual psychoanalysis; it also makes the understanding of the crime more consistent and discourages attention-seeking behaviors. You aren't training a stupid puppy not to shit on the rug; most criminals are very capable of making ethical decisions and don't for lack of a common incentive. Victims and taxpayers hardly need to reward them for it.

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