[ExI] punishment

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Mon Mar 23 05:24:24 UTC 2009

Gordon wrote:

> --- On Sun, 3/22/09, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:
>>> Should we make the guilty suffer?
>> Yes.

Well, (I meant to say) not for the reason per se of
suffering, but for the purposes of deterrence (and
maybe occasionally for revenge in the case where
families or victims appear to need it).

> In that case I think you must reject Spike's interesting proposal that we place the guilty into suffer-free states of cryonic suspension. Spike's idea addresses rehabilitation (he proposes to thaw them if and when we find a way to cure their criminal dispositions) and deterrence (at least to the extent that it deters second offenses), but it seems to reject retribution. 

I've always been in favor of that. In 1988, when I
first converted to cryonics (and in my case, it was
a *conversion*), I suggested to Christine Peterson
that we simply lop off and freeze the heads of
criminals instead of simply killing them. But as
soon as this ceased having deterrent value---as I
said---then we'd have to stop.

>> To me, attempting to make true criminals into better
>> people exhibits sheer arrogance on our part.
> If I understand you, you reject rehabilitation as a justification for incarceration while accepting retribution and deterrence and perhaps also other justifications. Yes?

Close. Retribution seems like a weak reason to punish
or confine. Of the four reasons commonly given (or,
so it seemed to me)---Removal, Retribution, Rehabilitation,
and Deterrence---I really accept only Deterrence and Removal.

>> The story of a certain Viking (I'll call him Rolf)...
> <snip>
>> ... It's us against them, and those of *us* who don't realize
>> that---those idiots among us---are just helping us dig
>> our own graves.
> Here you seem to have channeled Nietzsche. Nevermind whether it's good or evil for Rolf the Viking to spare or to slaughter infants! We must look Beyond Good and Evil, to Will to Power. :)

Hmm. Really? Nietsche? Or are you joking? I like your
Stanford Philosophy article which explained mine and
others' position in terms of utilitarianism.


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