[ExI] What is Grace?

Gordon Swobe gts_2000 at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 12 03:29:41 UTC 2009

--- On Wed, 3/11/09, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

>> It seems you would reject retribution as a reason for
>> punishment. Yes?

> I do.  I see prison primarily as a societal safety
> mechanism. 

Okay, just wondering.

I think we incarcerate or execute criminals for one or more of the following reasons:

1) retribution (we should make them suffer for what they did)

2) rehabilitation (we should heal them and make them productive citizens)

3) deterrence (we should prevent them from re-offending, and make them an example to others)

I know of no other reasons for treating the guilty different from the innocent. Do you?

Some time ago, perhaps a year ago, I started a thread here in which I argued, along lines similar to yours, that retribution has no place in an enlightened society. On this view we ought punish the guilty only for reasons of rehabilitation or deterrence or both. I offered my best arguments against retribution, but frankly I'm not certain they held water.

> A frozen murderer concerns me not at all, nor do I worry it might be
> a reward in a sense. 

Ah but therein lies the rub: in what way would cryonic-prison deter crime? If as you say it might be a "reward in a sense", then wouldn't it encourage crime? I suspect many would-be criminals would find cryonic-prison an attractive option to an honest but difficult life. And in what way would it rehabilitate the guilty?



More information about the extropy-chat mailing list