Read an article this morning on the web about a psycholigist who is spreading a "controversial" theory: crime is a choice made by criminals. Read it at this link.
Why is this theory called "controversial"? Is the end of the world near?
I guess you're never too old for learning something new, because I always thought crime was caused by bad parenting, video games, violent movies and those pesky lyrics in certain genres of rock&roll/rap.
Pick up a copy of Stanton Samenow's "Inside the Criminal Mind." In it he answers the question, "Why do folks from the same or similar backgrounds end up on different sides of the criminal justice system?" Samenow makes it clear that real criminals don't think like other folks. Their world view is demonstrably different and predatory. They look at us the way a lion looks at a gazelle.
I prefer to think that it is not a choice. After all, the sooner everyone accepts this, the sooner we can start taking anyone who commits any crime and simply locking them up FOREVER! If their conduct has nothing to do with their conscious choices to commit crimes, then they are just like malfunctioning machines that we should turn off and store somewhere where we won't have to be concerned about them ever again. All this free will bull just leads us to silly concepts like morals, and justice, and rehabilitation.
If you want to strain your brain on why people do criminal acts, try reading Leo Katz' "Bad Acts and Guilty Minds." It was assigned as reading in my first year Criminal Law class at Texas Tech by Professor Thomas E. Baker. It definitely requires a side of Excedrin!
read "FUTURE DANGER" 3d edition--does it really matter that they make the wrong choice or they just can't help it??
Is this now an argument about evolution? Did the brains of some evolve to higher reasoning while some still retain the primitive mentality of the primates from which we evolved?
Look at it this way: if people can't control themselves then it doesn't make sense to punish them. It does, however, make sense for those of us whose conduct is not destructive, to remove those who are from society. So we should still incarcerate people to protect the rest of us, but if people can't be rehabilitated, then we should just stop releasing them.
Here's another angle on it: we have a law that says a dumb animal who attacks a person can be summarily executed. We don't expect animals to know right from wrong. A person who *kills* another seems to think he should get a better deal than the animal, despite the fact that he has done something that he *knew* to be wrong. The only justification for this would be the premise that a human life (even a killer's) is inherently more valuable than, say, a dog's. But if human's have no more control over their conduct than animals do, where is the justification for that premise?
Seems to me you either have to start with the idea that people have free will and act according to their conscious choices, or you have to accept that humans are inherently no better than animals, and their lives are worth no more.
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