Child abuse (Was Re: Is the death penalty Extropian?)

den Otter (
Sun, 29 Nov 1998 14:45:57 +0100

> From: J. R. <>

> Extropians identify the cause of criminal behavior and deal with that rather
> than merely react to the behavior. Just about anything would probably work
> better than the death penalty. In fact, i guess that if you killed the
> parents of murderers, instead of the murderers, the crime of murder would
> drop to near zero in one generation, because we can sum up the cause of
> violent crime in three words: stupid, unfit parents.

Well, it is true that many of society's problems are caused by parents abusing their kids. In fact, afaik, child abuse is a much bigger problem than all other crimes combined. Of course it doesn't explain *all* criminal activity, as some criminals are simply "born evil" and some crimes are fairly rational or due to circumstance. Nevertheless, solving the problem of child abuse should be high on every government's agenda (for various practical and "moral" reasons).

How to deal with it?

  1. Compulsory psychological screening and parenting tests for everyone who wants children (let them care for a very annoying "automatic" baby that has, em, full bodily functions etc. for about a month. That should put off most unprepared parents).
  2. No children if you can't support them financially (abuse is especially rampant in poor families. Everyone's frustrated (nothing gets people more on edge than financial problems, as I know from personal experience), the parents are often drunks, the father beats the kids and his wife because he's a dumb, frustrated asshole etc. You know the picture...) Ironically, those that can least afford it often have the most children.
  3. A special police service for abuse victims: if you're being abused at home (or any other place for that matter), the police will install a domestic surveillance system without the abuser's knowledge and monitor the situation. Evidence gathered in this way will be used in court. Incidentally, the monitoring service can also be installed if others (such as doctors, friends of the alleged victim, school officials) point out a household as potentially abusive).
  4. Tough punishments for abusers (jail time and corporal punishment). After jail (or in the case of minor abuse after a stern warning/fine) permanent installment of cameras in the offender's house, as a preventive measure and to serve as evidence should abuse reoccur. The victim gets a personal alarm, which summons the police (after checking via integral phone and the cam system). In a libertarian scenario, this would be a PPA (but, how does a kid pay a PPA? Uh-huh!)
  5. In more severe cases the victim would be placed in a special caring center (with varying degrees of independence according to age, but generally speaking a lot of freedom, according to the golden rule). Separate living quarters for everyone, of course full surveillance (appartment surveillance is optional, not compulsory) to prevent any abuse or other irregularities by staff (strict selection, few or no men) or other occupants. The general feel should be that of a vacation resort or a hotel, *not* a (pedophile & fascist-ridden ) prison. Education is, of course, "transhuman style", with a lot of emphasis on rational thinking, personal empowerment etc. Multiple generations of rational, law-abiding and progressive individuals would likely be the pleasant (side-) effect of the anti-abuse program.
  6. Of course, the abusers (should they ever get out of jail) would be slapped with a perpetual restraining order, to be enforced by an electronic ankle bracelet (or something more sophisticated). The former victim gets a receiver that goes off whenever the abuser gets within the "forbidden" (1 mile for ex.) radius. Of course the police also get a beep. Should the abuser somehow manage to do harm to the victim anyway (or abuse someone else), he goes to jail (labor camp) for life (or at least a *long* time). Should he kill his victim, he is to be executed in a most unpleasant way.
  7. It goes without saying that known abusers are *never ever* allowed to have kids (again).