North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › Is crime against the individual or society?

Is crime against the individual or society?

A former member
Post #: 68
This raises several questions:

1. Who has the say in regards to punishment (or lack thereof) in retaliation for an act of violence. If a crime is against me, I have the right to choose whether I wish for the person the be prosecuted or not. If it is against society, I do not.

2. What is the essense of punishment? Is it victim compensation or is it about punishing the perpetrator? Also, which approach is logically is more likely to prevent crime in the future?

I've been reading lately. I'm intrigued by these questions because I don't have readily available answers to them.
Lathanar
Lathanar
Dallas, TX
Post #: 190
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I'll take a crack at this one.

1. Who has the say in regards to punishment (or lack thereof) in retaliation for an act of violence. If a crime is against me, and I the right to choose whether I wish for the person the be prosecuted or not. If it is against society, I do not.

This is a very difficult question, especially the way our system works right now, so I'll just answer as I think it should be. If a crime is committed against you, you should be the only one to determine whether to press charges or not, unless you are completely incapable. However, punishments should have a set bounds determined objectively by law, it should not be determined by the one who's rights were violated. I also don't believe there are any crimes against society.

2. What is the essence of punishment? Is it victim compensation or is it about punishing the perpetrator? Also, which approach is logically is more likely to prevent crime in the future?

Punishment is justice. I look at justice as simply rewarding a person for their actions, choices, intent. With punishment you reward with a negative value. I think compensation is part of justice, sometimes the negative reward is merely the reimbursement for damages done. But
the punishment can end up being more. If you kill someone, you can't compensate them for the damages. I don't believe in upping punishments so as to make them more deterrents than just.

- Travis

When did this thing get a spell checker?
Sherry
SherryTX
Plano, TX
Post #: 274
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#1 is an interesting question. Today you have domestic violence laws, where a domestic partner's complaint is not necessary (if I understand the gist of the laws correctly) to bring forth assault charges. I think there is flawed thinking on the part of a person that goes back to an abuser, but I don't think those domestic violence laws are objective at all (again if I understand them correctly.)

Leaving the domestic violence laws out of it, let's say I got smacked around a bit by someone. If this person compensated me for any hospital bills, apologized, and I was satisfied with that, then I don't see why I couldn't decline to press criminal charges if I felt like justice was served. However, perhaps if it was in context where this was a violent person that had a previous history known to the police, of smacking people around, and then apologizing and making restitution, I would probably want the person to go to prison and would hope that the police would bring that to my attention.

#2 Punishment is punishment....you were bad, so now you suffer the consequences. To me victim compensation is not punishment, that is just restoring to the victim something you stole from them. You are just giving it back in a monetary form. Now, punitive damages, I think that is a form of punishment, extra money paid to the victims, to punish the offender more.

I am not sure which would prevent crime.
Santiago Valenzue...
sanjavalen
Dallas, TX
Post #: 150
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This raises several questions:

1. Who has the say in regards to punishment (or lack thereof) in retaliation for an act of violence. If a crime is against me, I have the right to choose whether I wish for the person the be prosecuted or not. If it is against society, I do not.

2. What is the essense of punishment? Is it victim compensation or is it about punishing the perpetrator? Also, which approach is logically is more likely to prevent crime in the future?

I've been reading lately. I'm intrigued by these questions because I don't have readily available answers to them.

A crime is against an individual, but it is perpetuated on principle. The person who thus does this has displayed himself as a threat to all individuals within a society; this is why it is rational for private individuals to pay for a police force that protects everyone, not just themselves.

But there is an important aspect to a crime - that of nonconsent. If you tell the police that you consented to the activities involved, there wasn't a crime. So I suppose if you didn't want someone to be prosecuted (? hugh?) then you could say that. Though I don't know why you would, you could.

Second, I don't accept that the two options you gave in option 2 are an either/or proposition. History is rife with examples of very punishing sentences that also benefit the victim. So my answer would be "both."
A former member
Post #: 2
What do you mean by "a crime against society"?
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