|Sent on:||Monday, May 3, 2010 1:21 PM|
A few thoughts:
*Prisons seem to function at once and in varying degrees as an attempt to contain, punish, and rehabilitate (and as far as relating to success, perhaps in that order here in the US).��
*There would be no need for prisons if there were no laws since there would be no lawbreakers.�� One simple solution for the prison problem is to abolish any idea of law and hence lawbreaking.�� This really goes to the root of the matter which is not steel bars and walls, but good/evil/ethics/morality. But as Doug appropriately mentioned before ���With no real morality, we cannot classify a persons actions as either good or evil.���
*I assume Doug (who will undoubtedly correct me if I am wrong) implies that laws do not actually reflect morality (right/wrong/good/bad etc...) in any REAL way and hence are arbitrary.�� To a large degree I would agree with this.�� Human laws (whether a dictatorial decree or a democratic consensus) are so often nothing more than human constructs simply reflecting the fickle nature of humans themselves.��
*C.S. Lewis asked why some cultures have ���Love your neighbor��� as a moral imperative while others prefer ���Eat your neighbor.����� For those who believe there is no REAL morality or that all morality is personal I suggest that a tremendous and immediate clarity arises in one���s own perspective depending on the moral imperative of the new neighbor who just moved in next door (as above).
*I would suggest that if men are atoms and laws are human then prisons of any sort are perfectly acceptable and there is no real need to even try to measure ���success.����� Frankly it may be that prisons are a complete waste and body bags and mass graves would be a better alterative (not that this would be unique ��� seems rather common historically speaking ��� just not here in the US).��
*I suspect the real issue is that we can understand that there are REAL Laws (which I think human laws at their best can reflect) but that many in our society (civilized?) often do not acknowledge or abide by them.�� We are outraged at theft, abuse, rape, etc��� not because they break human laws (which can be changed of course) but because of something more, something beyond atoms.�� I, as I am sure all of you, care about such things.�� I think the real questions is why we care at all.�� Rocks don���t.�� Atoms don���t.�� (Note to hardcore materialists ��� I am fully aware that I am making absolute statements here regarding the nature of reality and sentience, but that is where I am placing all my chips.�� ��That doesn���t mean I don���t have doubts or concerns about this position, but my doubts and concerns multiply exponentially when I assume the opposite is true).
*We care about such things ��� deeply.�� This is either silly sentimentalism or there really is something more���
If you're interested in the psychological makeup of prisoners and jailers, take a look at what is call the Stanford Prison Experiment, conducted by Professor Zimbardo of Stanford. He took volunteers and essentially simulated a jail. He divided the group into "jailers" and "prisoners" and the results were not pretty. It really inspires the need for prison reform.
"But Jim", you say, "that study was done in '73, this is nearly 40 years later, certainly things have changed." Aye, yes, I would agree. However, the entirety of the prison system certainly needs constant evaluation as to it's effectiveness as well as the damage done to individuals inside the prison.
My brother is currently a prison guard in Ohio. His work often involves having bodily fluids lobbed at him, intervening in violent incidents, etc. Really, if a violent criminal is kept in prison for 20 years, when he gets out, his anger will not be cooled, rather, more likely than not, his/her anger will just turn into a need for vengeance.
$0.02 for the day.
Formerly of The DJ Phoenix Fame
Now, just Jim.
"Don't walk behind
me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk
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"I am so clever that
sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying."
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