A Humanist Perspective on Crime and Punishment

  • February 2, 2013 · 1:30 PM
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Dave Silva, long time member of the HAOC, will present a talk on the issues of crime and punishment from a humanist perspective.

A humanist statement on crime and punishment:

"As humanists who understand that humans are social animals and need both the protections and restraints provided by effective social organization, we support those laws that protect the innocent, deal effectively with the guilty, and secure the survival of the needy. We desire a system of criminal justice that is swift and fair, ignoring neither the perpetrator of crime nor the victim, and considering deterrence, restoration, and rehabilitation in the goals of penalization. However, not all crimes or disputes between people must be settled by courts of law. A different approach involving conflict mediation, wherein opposing parties come to mutual agreements, also has our support."
(from "The Humanist Philosophy in Perspective," by Fred Edwords)

Dave will cite some some ideas he found in a British Humanist Association article that discusses crime and punishment from a humanist perspective. He will pose a few questions for discussion: Why do laws exist? How can we deal ethically with criminals? What is punishment for? How can we apply a rational view on crime?

As usual our program allows for a Q&A, discussion period following the presentation.

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We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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