[ExI] word of the day

SR Ballard sen.otaku at gmail.com
Sat Jul 4 04:32:09 UTC 2020

I think we are confusing the religious sense of penance with the secular usage. 

The penitentiary was originally religious in nature, aimed at reforming the soul and turning the sinner back to God.

The American penitentiary was originally the Quaker conception, with all other places being either prisons, or jails. 

We go not have penitentiaries in the religious sense. We have jails and prisons. People are not sent to jail/prison in an attempt to cause them so much physical and emotional distress (mortification) that they are purged of their sins. 

Jails and prisons are their own punishment. They are not aimed at rehabilitation of the individual within society, nor are they aimed at setting him right with God via mortification of the flesh. Solitary confinement is not used to cut a man off from all evil influences so he will turn to God, but instead to punish a prisoner and break him mentally.

A Jail/Prison is not a place of penance. People do not willingly enter into this place to expiate their sins, nor is there any conscious effort on the part of the State or the staff to effect such a change. 

I sincerely doubt that a jail/prison encourages people to regret their crimes. What counciling is provided to inmates in that regard? Instead they are exposed to a blatant disregard for human life, privacy, and dignity. They are stripped of their agency and abused at every opportunity. They are treated like human trash, regardless of their crimes. What Jail/Prison does is cause people to regret getting caught, teaches them to lie more effectively, and encourages them to learn and master new ways of committing crime and violence which are normalized and rewarded by their environment.
If Jails/Prisons we truly penitentiaries, we should expect to see men go in as broken sinners of the highest degree, and exit devout men, purged of the need to do evil. Alas, even the Quakers found that they just drove everyone insane due to the solitary confinement. 

SR Ballard

> On Jul 3, 2020, at 6:51 PM, Stuart LaForge via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> Quoting Bill W:
>> Penitentiary - in effect if not in intention, the most misnamed thing of
>> all time.
>> bill w
> How so? In what sense is a penitentiary not a place of penance? Do you doubt that inmates of penitentiaries have cause to regret their crimes? Do you not believe incarceration is a punishment? Or is that the inmates are not actually absolved of their crimes by doing their time? Since penance and penitentiaries were originally Roman Catholic religious concepts involving sin, penance, and absolution. Which as SR Ballard points out also made its way into Quaker culture.
> Stuart LaForge
> _______________________________________________
> extropy-chat mailing list
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> http://lists.extropy.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/extropy-chat
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20200703/74ec196e/attachment.htm>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list