Lighthawk wrote:I'd have to agree with Mike and Colm, without a system of punishment the system would fall apart. You'd have people committing crimes because they knew they could get away with it punishment free, probably very nasty crimes due to the mind set of "I can only do this once, so I better do it big!". Then you'd probably have lots of people committing crimes of revenge as they feel said criminals got off too easy, helped by the knowledge that they themselves wouldn't be punished but merely rendered incapable of future criminal acts.
Some interesting thoughts here. The idea of "let's go big since I only have once chance" is one I hadn't thought of. I don't know that it would be something I would think. I mean, my main reason for obeying the law isn't that I'm scared of getting caught, it's rather that I agree with most laws. Under this system everybody can essentially have a single freebie - you can murder somebody, knowing that the only real consequence is that you'll never want to do it again. And yet... even so, I can't imagine myself murdering somebody because of that. The knowledge that I'd most likely be caught and go to prison for a good long time isn't what stops me murdering people, I don't murder people because I believe that it's wrong to do so. The government could abolish all laws against murder and start handing out £100 a time to any murderer, and I still wouldn't kill anybody.
But on the other hand, I'm not sure I feel that way about every
law. There are certainly times I've been tempted to smack somebody in the face, and if I knew the only result would be not doing it again then I guess I might be even more tempted. Quite the dilemma.
If somebody killed one of my relatives... hmmm. I like to hope I wouldn't want revenge, but I don't know. It's possible that my emotions would overwhelm my beliefs, I suppose.
Give a man a fire, and you keep him warm for a day. SET a man on fire, and you will keep him warm for the rest of his life...