View Poll Results: Should criminals be released(no prison)if rehabilitation came in the form of a pill?

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  • They should still serve out what ever punishment they were handed.

    27 51.92%
  • They should be released after taking the pill.

    21 40.38%
  • I do not know.

    4 7.69%
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Thread: If it was possible to rehabilitate criminals with one pill...........................

  1. #31
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    Re: If it was possible to rehabilitate criminals with one pill.......................

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Still, just a work of fiction. Why would it be immoral to make people not want to commit crimes? Good parents do that all the time.
    Good parents drug their children to prevent them from having the ability to make choices and exercise free will?

    Not in Texas.

  2. #32
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    Re: If it was possible to rehabilitate criminals with one pill.......................

    Quote Originally Posted by 1069 View Post
    Good parents drug their children to prevent them from having the ability to make choices and exercise free will?

    Not in Texas.
    In Clockwork Orange, Alex didn't WANT to commit crimes anymore. I don't see how this is depriving him of his free will (or why this is necessarily a bad thing). Alex didn't want to commit crimes because he had been conditioned to become physically ill at the thought. Similarly, I don't want to commit crimes because I have been conditioned to fear prison, regard most crimes as unethical, and regard most crimes as a poor risk-reward tradeoff.

    What's the fundamental difference between Alex and myself? Haven't we both been deprived of our free will in some way?
    Last edited by Kandahar; 08-27-08 at 12:52 AM.
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  3. #33
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    Re: If it was possible to rehabilitate criminals with one pill.......................

    In Clockwork Orange, Alex didn't WANT to commit crimes anymore.
    I don't think you've read it, if you think that.

  4. #34
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    Re: If it was possible to rehabilitate criminals with one pill.......................

    Quote Originally Posted by 1069 View Post
    I don't think you've read it, if you think that.
    Nope I haven't, I've just seen the movie. Perhaps they changed some things from the book, but basically he was conditioned to become sick at the thought of violence or sex, and so he no longer had any interest in doing those things.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 08-27-08 at 12:55 AM.
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    Re: If it was possible to rehabilitate criminals with one pill.......................

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I don't see how this is depriving him of his free will (or why this is necessarily a bad thing).
    Choice! The boy has no real choice, has he? Self-interest, the fear of physical pain drove him to that grotesque act of self-abasement! The insincerety was clear to be seen. He ceases to be a wrongdoer. He ceases also to be a creature capable of moral choice.
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  6. #36
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    Re: If it was possible to rehabilitate criminals with one pill.......................

    Quote Originally Posted by faminedynasty View Post
    Choice! The boy has no real choice, has he? Self-interest, the fear of physical pain drove him to that grotesque act of self-abasement! The insincerety was clear to be seen. He ceases to be a wrongdoer. He ceases also to be a creature capable of moral choice.
    Self-interest prevents a lot of people from committing crimes, even if they haven't taken a pill to be cured. That's the whole point of our justice system...to make the results of crimes unattractive enough to deter most people.

    Are THOSE people incapable of free will? If so, why is that inherently a bad thing? Is having the free will to commit multiple murders more important than the right to not be murdered?
    Last edited by Kandahar; 08-27-08 at 01:39 AM.
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    Re: If it was possible to rehabilitate criminals with one pill.......................

    I suppose the difference is that Alex was rendered (supposedly) physically incapable of moral choice. That's not quite the same as a person simply being detered by harsh consequences of an illegal action. I don't think there's much need to explain the importance of moral choice up to and including the descision to engage in violence--the basic freedom to do what one has to. Violence is not universally wrong and is often necessary. Sex can be nice too from time to time.
    I recognize the importance of detterence in the legal system, but I do not think that punishment is irrelevant, or that it isn't consdiered by those running the legal system. And I question the effectiveness of detterence in a sense. For example, I don't buy the notion that the death penalty is an effective detterence against murder for an instant. And in my own life I can't think of many times that I refrained from doing something because it was illegal. I have often refrained from things which are immoral, but that's not really the same. We criminals don't intend on getting caught after all.
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  8. #38
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    Re: If it was possible to rehabilitate criminals with one pill.......................

    Quote Originally Posted by faminedynasty View Post
    I suppose the difference is that Alex was rendered (supposedly) physically incapable of moral choice. That's not quite the same as a person simply being detered by harsh consequences of an illegal action. I don't think there's much need to explain the importance of moral choice up to and including the descision to engage in violence--the basic freedom to do what one has to. Violence is not universally wrong and is often necessary. Sex can be nice too from time to time.
    The poll question, as I understand it, refers to crimes. I can't see any reason not to want to "cure" someone of the desire to murder people if possible. It would save lives and prevent the offender from ending up in prison again.

    Quote Originally Posted by faminedynasty
    I recognize the importance of detterence in the legal system, but I do not think that punishment is irrelevant, or that it isn't consdiered by those running the legal system.
    But what is the purpose of punishing crimes? How would these purposes still hold if the offender was "cured" and would not reoffend?

    Quote Originally Posted by faminedynasty
    And I question the effectiveness of detterence in a sense. For example, I don't buy the notion that the death penalty is an effective detterence against murder for an instant.
    Nor do I.

    Quote Originally Posted by faminedynasty
    And in my own life I can't think of many times that I refrained from doing something because it was illegal.
    Maybe not consciously, but everything you've been raised to believe would lead you to that conclusion. If you were born in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, you might feel otherwise.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 08-27-08 at 02:15 AM.
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  9. #39
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    Re: If it was possible to rehabilitate criminals with one pill.......................

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    But what is the purpose of punishing crimes? How would these purposes still hold if the offender was "cured" and would not reoffend?
    Having been born in a free society, and presumably as a competent and autonomous agent of free will, with guaranteed legal rights--the offender elected to commit an illegal act of violence. I donít think that it would just be the religious types who would think that this warrants punishment, even if the perpetrator would be good from after the commission of the initial act. I don't think we necessarily have to get eye-for-an-eye-ish to embrace this, nor Kantian to believe that acts of evil warrant punishment.
    For example, the 90 year old nazis living down in South America certainly aren't likely to hurt anyone any more, they certainly won't be putting anyone in camps anymore. In fact they may live harmless, kind lives, may be good neighbors, grandparents and friends to people today. But you still hope the bastards get caught and made to answer for their crimes.
    Maybe not consciously, but everything you've been raised to believe would lead you to that conclusion. If you were born in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, you might feel otherwise.
    I wasn't born in Rio, but I have been lucky enough in my short adult life to have spent some (brief) time broke, cold, hungry and pissed off. In that state the legality of something is no detterence from hurting someone, stealing, etc, it really isn't. One has to rely on the kindness of their heart and the strength of their conviction.
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    Re: If it was possible to rehabilitate criminals with one pill.......................

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Not likely. Assuming that the person couldn't "profit" from the crime (because they would come to regret it and not want to repeat it), there would be little justification for them to commit it in the first place.
    Nope! Think of it as inconsistent preferences. The potential criminal knows that they can receive criminal benefits now and, when it comes to be punished, merely move on to a new preference path. Given there is no punishment, the incentive to commit those crimes is increased.

    Most crimes against person/property (I'm excluding drug offenses here) are committed because the offender believes he will benefit from committing the crime in some way. The "pill release" would remove that benefit, thus negating the reason to commit the crime at all.
    That only works if the criminal act, being found guilty and then receiving the pill occurs instantaneously. It doesn't. The criminal knows that if they get away with it, they receive the benefits from the crime. If they are caught they only lose the psychic benefits from the crime. The probability of a positive net expected benefit is increased.

    The problem is that you're going for the wrong angle. Take the US's extensive use of prison. That has two conflicting effects. First, we can expect a positive deterrence effect (tending to reduce crime now). Second, we can expect a negative prison population effect (i.e. when the prisoners are finally released there will be an increase in crime from re-offending). The pill eliminates the second effect but, without prison, does nothing for the first effect.

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