Re: Is the death penalty Extropian?

Max M (
Thu, 26 Nov 1998 11:04:03 +0100

From: John Clark <>

>Hash: SHA1
> >>Me:
> >>Just punishment for an evil act is the minimum action needed to
> >>a future similar occurrence, anything more than that is revenge.
> >Dick Gray:
> >First off, studies have called into question the deterrence value of
>If punishment didn't deter anyone then I can see no reason for punishing
>for anything, at least no reason I'd want to defend.

I shure do believe that punishment is a deterence. You CAN learn by pain. But probably only what not to do. Try to make a kid stick a nail into a wall socket. The next time you try to make them do it they wil be much harder to persuade. ;-) At least I remember that I only did it once.

It's just that it works best for certain types of crime. Some of the recent litterature that I have read regarding consciousnes and behaviour seems to suggest that we act on impulse in many situations. To not do a crime we have to pre-program our brain not to act on certain impulses. Probably crimes of passion, or done in a moments rage is much harder to control, especially if you haven't conditioned yourself not to do them.

One of the problems with carrying a weapon is that when you decide to carry it you also decide to use it in certain situations, and thus are not conditioned not to do it. Indeed people carrying weapons takes pride in being willing to use them. Why else carry a weapon? This makes for a bigger risk of a weapon being used.

One way to uncondition people from carrying weapons would be to make the carrying of illegal weapons a serious crime. It would give the police a better tool for locking up criminals carrying weapons.

(I'm not trying to start that weapons debate again. I am talkíng about what I think will work here in Denmark where weapons are almost only carried by criminals, and practically nobody wants them legalised.)

If you got +4 years just for carrying a weapon maybe you would think twice about bringing it in the first place. Thus conditioning yourself for less severe solutions.

# Max M Rasmussen,   New Media Director   Denmark
# Private  
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