Thursday 26 August 2010

L'esprit de l'escalier

I was having a wee debate about capital punishment last night (not with myself you cheeky rapscallion) and the deterrence effect of punishment on levels of crime (next to nought in my opinion) and I've just thought of the question I should have put to my pro-hangin-an-floggin chum:

Do you need the deterrent of capital punishment to prevent you committing murder?

Must remember in future ...


voiceofourown said...

No doubt your chum would proffer the view that it's not there to deter right-thinking folks like you and me but the evil-minded criminal fraternity. You see they don't think like we do.

And therein lies the problem.
Draconian punishment would cetainly deter the people who, well, don't need deterred.
As for the wrong-uns, well, as your opponent (might have) said - they don't think like we do, do they?

Anonymous said...

The answer is of course "only if I thought I'd be found out"

Anonymous said...

I genuinely didn't get it until I read your first comment. Weird way of looking at things - punishment only makes sense if everyone in the world would commit crimes? Fair enough.

Calum Cashley said...

You're right, Anonymous 2, you don't get it. The discussion was about whether draconian punishments act as deterrents, not whether punishment makes sense - that's an entirely different debate which takes you into some real strange areas.