Life without government

  • Thread starter wolram
  • Start date
  • #26
Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,051
18
The death penalty does not work as a deterrent, so why should lesser punishments work?
There are two giant flaws in this line of reasoning (if indeed, the question is rhetorical).

1. If at all, we only know that the death penalty as an alternative to life imprisonment, does not serve as a deterrent. There has been no study, to my knowledge that has compared the death penalty with the alternative option of walking scot-free. I highly doubt you'd find the same result, were such a study conducted in a fantasy land where a murderer or rapist would not be incarcerated for his/her actions.

2. The second flaw is in the implicit assumption that deterrence of crime depends only on the nature of the punishment and is independent of the nature of crime. If there was a life sentence for jay walking, I think you find fewer jay walkers on the street.
 
  • #27
arildno
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
9,970
132
IMO, it's not so much the severity of the punishment that deters crime, it's the certainty of it.
That depends on the crime.
For example, that minority of crimes which involves cool reasoning and the willingness to take risks will be significantly affected by the severity level.

This would include high-level fraud and other white collar crimes.


For other types of crimes, the performance of them requires mentalities so wrapped up in themselves with minimal attachments to the rest of the world that severity level, or even just certainty level has very little effect.

That would include on-the-spur crimes of passion (say, committed out of jealousy), along with compulsive sexual exploitation crimes like child molestation, serial killings etc.
 
  • #28
Kurdt
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,812
6
For other types of crimes, the performance of them requires mentalities so wrapped up in themselves with minimal attachments to the rest of the world that severity level, or even just certainty level has very little effect.

That would include on-the-spur crimes of passion (say, committed out of jealousy), along with compulsive sexual exploitation crimes like child molestation, serial killings etc.
There are also crimes committed by those disillusioned with or who feel separated, ostracised or let down by society for whatever reason. To these people the punishment has very little bearing on their decision to commit crimes. All too often however people have the revenge reflex and call for more severe punishments rather than solving the root of the problem, which is why these people feel removed from society and helping reintegrate them.
 
  • #29
lisab
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,887
616
That depends on the crime.
For example, that minority of crimes which involves cool reasoning and the willingness to take risks will be significantly affected by the severity level.

This would include high-level fraud and other white collar crimes.


For other types of crimes, the performance of them requires mentalities so wrapped up in themselves with minimal attachments to the rest of the world that severity level, or even just certainty level has very little effect.

That would include on-the-spur crimes of passion (say, committed out of jealousy), along with compulsive sexual exploitation crimes like child molestation, serial killings etc.
Point taken; I suppose a criminally insane person would not think to do a risk-benefit analysis.
 
  • #30
664
3
There are two giant flaws in this line of reasoning (if indeed, the question is rhetorical).

1. If at all, we only know that the death penalty as an alternative to life imprisonment, does not serve as a deterrent. There has been no study, to my knowledge that has compared the death penalty with the alternative option of walking scot-free. I highly doubt you'd find the same result, were such a study conducted in a fantasy land where a murderer or rapist would not be incarcerated for his/her actions.

2. The second flaw is in the implicit assumption that deterrence of crime depends only on the nature of the punishment and is independent of the nature of crime. If there was a life sentence for jay walking, I think you find fewer jay walkers on the street.
The fact that murder rates in the states is pretty high despite the death penalty contradicts your assertions.
 
  • #31
Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,051
18
The fact that murder rates in the states is pretty high despite the death penalty contradicts your assertions.
That makes absolutely no sense, Moridin. I made no assertions about murder rates. I merely pointed out logical flaws in your argument.
 
  • #32
wolram
Gold Member
4,267
557
I think this goes back to the idea that locks are designed to keep an honest man honest.

A crook is a crook regardless of deterrents.
This is so true and under examined.
 
  • #33
918
16
Government is a kind of slow motion pillage with reduced levels of rape. I expect that without it, these things would run more efficiently.
 
  • #34
lisab
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,887
616
Government is a kind of slow motion pillage with reduced levels of rape. I expect that without it, these things would run more efficiently.
There are places on Earth with little or no government. Somalia comes to mind. No where I'd like to be, thanks anyway.
 
  • #35
664
3
There are places on Earth with little or no government. Somalia comes to mind. No where I'd like to be, thanks anyway.
The reason Somalia is the way it is, is a direct result of government.
 
  • #36
The reason Somalia is the way it is, is a direct result of government.
Direct result of colonisation as well. But that's a positive and negative issue.
 
  • #37
wolram
Gold Member
4,267
557
There are places on Earth with little or no government. Somalia comes to mind. No where I'd like to be, thanks anyway.
There aint much in Knightcote, though i think they may re introduce our old toll gate to pay for the half dozen buckets of tar they used fixing our road.
 
  • #38
lisab
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,887
616
The reason Somalia is the way it is, is a direct result of government.
And when the government was dissolved, did life improve for its citizens? Did Somalia, freed from the unbearable yoke of government, suddenly become some sort of nirvana? No, it did not.

I'm no fan of stupid government, but this notion that all that is wrong with your lives stems from government is sophomoric.

In my work I have a lot of contact with Canadians and Canadian regulators, and I find their point of view towards government quite different from what I hear here in the US. They strive for good governance. Imagine that!
 
  • #39
arildno
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
9,970
132
Direct result of colonisation as well. But that's a positive and negative issue.
You don't know about the depredations that Islamic slavery made in Eastern Africa, do you?
Villages and valleys were ruined and depopulated in order to fill the slave markets of the Maghrib, Turkey and Arabia.

Only when Western powers intervened militarily from the 1880's onwards (rather than ineffectual diplomatic pressures) were it possible to eradicate this evil.
 
  • #40
You don't know about the depredations that Islamic slavery made in Eastern Africa, do you?
Villages and valleys were ruined and depopulated in order to fill the slave markets of the Maghrib, Turkey and Arabia.

Only when Western powers intervened militarily from the 1880's onwards (rather than ineffectual diplomatic pressures) were it possible to eradicate this evil.
I'm not arguing in favour of any colonisation, I'm sorry if it appeared that way. God if there's one thing that can be learned from history it's that invading other countries is seldom worth the effort and the loss of life, if we consider it holistically. And in the 20th/21st it's slowly becoming obsolete despite ourselves.
 
  • #41
mheslep
Gold Member
311
728
I think this goes back to the idea that locks are designed to keep an honest man honest.
Agreed and in two ways: first to dissuade the citizen from straying and preying on others, and second to prevent the citizen from seeking revenge when preyed upon because society has agreed on punishment and will at least attempt to execute the punishment.

But this is feebly trying to reinvent Hobbes, Hume and Locke, back to them:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobbes#Leviathan"
http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/3207

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Treatise_of_Human_Nature" [Broken]

http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Treatises_of_Government#Second_Treatise" [Broken]
http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/7370
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #42
Could there be a civilised way to live without central government? suppose some catastrophe wiped out your countries government, would there be a priority to replace
it?

I have almost no faith in human nature, so I think most people need leaders because they would be lost without them. To me, a country without a strong ,central government would be anarchy.

Did you mean all the law enforcement-such as the police-be destroyed?
 
  • #43
586
2
There is much more to "government" than is being discussed here... what about development and maintenance of infrastructure?
 
  • #44
lisab
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,887
616
There is much more to "government" than is being discussed here... what about development and maintenance of infrastructure?
I'm all about infrastructure, pantaz! Infrastructure is destiny!
 
  • #45
arildno
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
9,970
132
There is much more to "government" than is being discussed here... what about development and maintenance of infrastructure?
Sure enough; but the point concerning that a society needs to have a mechanism by which criminality is held in check is SUFFICIENT reason to to regard "life without government" as un-enviable.

That there also are, or might be, OTHER reasons supportive of that conclusion is, of course, not denied.
 
  • #46
664
3
Statism has been the source of the most appalling genocides in all of history. Stalin, Mao, Hitler are some examples of what statism has given us.
 

Related Threads on Life without government

Replies
35
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
13
Views
2K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
30
Views
4K
Replies
5
Views
8K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
32
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
22
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
12
Views
3K
Top