Human Nature not a constant ?

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MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

David,

You ought to come over to my blog when I do a drug war article.

It is totally in doubt by some. You know the kind - "I can't imagine why in the world some one would do that. It seems so obviously dysfunctional."
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

wisnij
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Post by wisnij »

ravingdave wrote:A friend that I talk to often, always mentions the idea of having a robot which he calls "hamarabi" just for the purpose of raping rapists. While I think the idea is silly, I very much agree with the idea that criminals should suffer at least as much as their victims, and that would only make them EVEN. Then the criminal should be PUNISHED !

Call it equality before the law.
I understand where this sort of emotional reaction comes from. It's very instinctive, very Old Testament. I'm not sure that it's useful, or rational.

ravingdave
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Post by ravingdave »

wisnij wrote:
ravingdave wrote:A friend that I talk to often, always mentions the idea of having a robot which he calls "hamarabi" just for the purpose of raping rapists. While I think the idea is silly, I very much agree with the idea that criminals should suffer at least as much as their victims, and that would only make them EVEN. Then the criminal should be PUNISHED !

Call it equality before the law.
I understand where this sort of emotional reaction comes from. It's very instinctive, very Old Testament. I'm not sure that it's useful, or rational.

Well I agree about the instinctive and Old Testament, but not useful or rational ?

I guess usefullness depends on what your intentions are, and if your purpose is to minimize crime, then I daresay I can't think of anything that would work better. Likewise, the concept seems highly rational to me, and to be honest I can't see the rationality in the methods we currently use.


David

ravingdave
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Post by ravingdave »

Why would a man like Bruce Pardo kill his ex wife, her parents, and 6 other people at a christmas party ?
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,473024,00.html

Gene warfare. It seems a common enough occurance for a man to kill his ex wife or girlfriend, and lots of people wonder why someone would do such a thing. How can a man go from love to bitter hatred ?

Obviously men are attracted to attractive women, and attractive women are attractive because they have genetic characteristics that make them attractive. Usually these deal with the ability to bear and raise offspring.
Men instinctively look for good genetic material, and women do the same.

Suppose a man finds himself a good woman, and she likewise finds him acceptable or even desired. Everything is well and good, but suppose on the other hand that the woman rejects the man. SHE still retains those very desireable genetic characteristics, but instead of being utilized by the man for the rearing of HIS children, they are going to be utilized instead to rear some other mans children. A competitor.

The competitors children will posess the competitors genes and those of the woman the man already deemed as desireable. This makes them a threat to the original mans children for they will likely benefit from the higher quality female, and the genes of the higher quality male. ( the competitor male is of higher quality in the mind of the female, and as a judge of male genes, the female is very probably correct in this assumption.)

In the mind of a primitive man, it is far easier to kill the woman than the competitor, (women likely pick a stronger man over a weaker) so the woman is the easier target.


Why would a man take the attitude of "if I can't have her No one can ! " ?
Those that accept their rejection benignly either mate with a lesser class female or not at all, and their children suffer the brunt of less fit genes.

The meek don't inherit the earth. They die off, or sire servants or outcasts.

The vengeful ones at least reduce the competition for their genes. ( or their relatives genes.)


Ugly Ugly Ugly... but sensless ? Not at all.


David

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

David,

It is also my understanding that the divorce was "bitter".
COVINA, Calif. – A man who carried out a Christmas Eve massacre and arson dressed as Santa at the home of his former in-laws apparently intended to flee the U.S., but his plans were dashed after the inferno he created severely burned his arms and melted his red costume onto his body, police said Friday.

Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, a laid-off aerospace worker, apparently shot some of his nine victims execution-style in a plot to destroy his ex-wife's family after a costly divorce that was finalized last week. He had an airline ticket for a Christmas morning flight to Canada and $17,000 in cash on his body, some attached to his legs with plastic wrap and some in a girdle, Covina police Chief Kim Raney said. He did not know the Canadian destination.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081227/ap_ ... a_shooting

You know. If she had just been smart enough to let him go his way, after all they were only married for about two years.
Bruce Pardo wrote in a legal declaration that he was laid off in July and had been denied state unemployment payments in August. He said he was "desperately seeking" work with many companies.

"I was not given a severance package from my last employer at termination and I am not receiving any other income. I am desperately seeking work and have since applied to many companies, resulting in several job interviews," he wrote. "I ask for support just until I gain employment."

Bruce Pardo complained in a court declaration that Sylvia Pardo was living with her parents, not paying rent, and had spent lavishly on a luxury car, gambling trips to Las Vegas, meals at fine restaurants, massages and golf lessons.

Documents from the divorce show Bruce Pardo got their house, which was valued at more than $500,000, but the couple only had $106,000 in equity in it. The mortgage was $2,700 a month, a declaration said.

He complained in a filing that he had monthly expenses of $8,900 and ran a monthly deficit of $2,678.

In June, the court ordered him to pay $1,785 a month in spousal support and put him on a payment plan of $450 a month for $3,570 that was unpaid.

His attorney, Stanley Silver, told The Associated Press his client had trouble making the support payments after he lost his job in July, but spousal support was waived in the settlement last week. Bruce Pardo was trying to pay $10,000 to finalize the divorce proceedings, Silver said, and he never showed any anger or instability.

"All of my dealings with him were always pleasant and cheerful," said Silver, who heard from him last on Tuesday.

Friends and neighbors described Bruce Pardo as a cheerful man who seemed upbeat and doted on a big, brown Akita he owned with his former wife.
The wife got the dog. He had no children with her.

I think it was losing the dog that set him off.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

ravingdave
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Post by ravingdave »

MSimon wrote:David,

It is also my understanding that the divorce was "bitter".
COVINA, Calif. – A man who carried out a Christmas Eve massacre and arson dressed as Santa at the home of his former in-laws apparently intended to flee the U.S., but his plans were dashed after the inferno he created severely burned his arms and melted his red costume onto his body, police said Friday.

Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, a laid-off aerospace worker, apparently shot some of his nine victims execution-style in a plot to destroy his ex-wife's family after a costly divorce that was finalized last week. He had an airline ticket for a Christmas morning flight to Canada and $17,000 in cash on his body, some attached to his legs with plastic wrap and some in a girdle, Covina police Chief Kim Raney said. He did not know the Canadian destination.


You know. If she had just been smart enough to let him go his way, after all they were only married for about two years.

When I saw that story my first reaction was to wonder how much influence Canada's imposition of their moral superiority onto our justice system had in his decision to kill those people.

I mentioned this in the thread on US bashing. Canada, is in effect, undermining the deterence of the Death Penalty, by their refusal to extradite. Apparantly some criminally minded people are aware of this, and intending to use it to their advantage.

Did Canada's moral superiority contribute to these people's deaths ?

Bruce Pardo wrote in a legal declaration that he was laid off in July and had been denied state unemployment payments in August. He said he was "desperately seeking" work with many companies.

"I was not given a severance package from my last employer at termination and I am not receiving any other income. I am desperately seeking work and have since applied to many companies, resulting in several job interviews," he wrote. "I ask for support just until I gain employment."

Bruce Pardo complained in a court declaration that Sylvia Pardo was living with her parents, not paying rent, and had spent lavishly on a luxury car, gambling trips to Las Vegas, meals at fine restaurants, massages and golf lessons.

Documents from the divorce show Bruce Pardo got their house, which was valued at more than $500,000, but the couple only had $106,000 in equity in it. The mortgage was $2,700 a month, a declaration said.

He complained in a filing that he had monthly expenses of $8,900 and ran a monthly deficit of $2,678.

In June, the court ordered him to pay $1,785 a month in spousal support and put him on a payment plan of $450 a month for $3,570 that was unpaid.

His attorney, Stanley Silver, told The Associated Press his client had trouble making the support payments after he lost his job in July, but spousal support was waived in the settlement last week. Bruce Pardo was trying to pay $10,000 to finalize the divorce proceedings, Silver said, and he never showed any anger or instability.

"All of my dealings with him were always pleasant and cheerful," said Silver, who heard from him last on Tuesday.

Friends and neighbors described Bruce Pardo as a cheerful man who seemed upbeat and doted on a big, brown Akita he owned with his former wife.
MSimon wrote: The wife got the dog. He had no children with her.

I think it was losing the dog that set him off.

" He was such a nice young man.... "

Don't you always seem to hear that about multiple murderers ?

In any case, I was refering to the General case of women getting murdered by their exes, and I was using this recent specific case as an example of such a thing. Obviously there were other contributing factors.


David

wisnij
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Post by wisnij »

ravingdave wrote:
wisnij wrote:
ravingdave wrote:A friend that I talk to often, always mentions the idea of having a robot which he calls "hamarabi" just for the purpose of raping rapists. While I think the idea is silly, I very much agree with the idea that criminals should suffer at least as much as their victims, and that would only make them EVEN. Then the criminal should be PUNISHED !

Call it equality before the law.
I understand where this sort of emotional reaction comes from. It's very instinctive, very Old Testament. I'm not sure that it's useful, or rational.
Well I agree about the instinctive and Old Testament, but not useful or rational ?

I guess usefullness depends on what your intentions are, and if your purpose is to minimize crime, then I daresay I can't think of anything that would work better. Likewise, the concept seems highly rational to me, and to be honest I can't see the rationality in the methods we currently use.
What I mean is, if your purpose is to deter by example, that's one thing (although how effective a strategy it is in practice is a separate matter). But punishing someone just for the sake of getting back at them holds no meaning for me. "An eye for an eye" might have been pretty progressive in Hammurabi's time, but I think we can do better nowadays.

ravingdave
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Post by ravingdave »

wisnij wrote:
ravingdave wrote:Well I agree about the instinctive and Old Testament, but not useful or rational ?

I guess usefullness depends on what your intentions are, and if your purpose is to minimize crime, then I daresay I can't think of anything that would work better. Likewise, the concept seems highly rational to me, and to be honest I can't see the rationality in the methods we currently use.
What I mean is, if your purpose is to deter by example, that's one thing (although how effective a strategy it is in practice is a separate matter). But punishing someone just for the sake of getting back at them holds no meaning for me. "An eye for an eye" might have been pretty progressive in Hammurabi's time, but I think we can do better nowadays.

All legal systems are based on deterence. The concept of punishment is for the purpose of prevention. Every law has a penalty, those penalties exist for the sole purpose of deterence, and without penalties, there is no deterence.

People can say what they want about whether or not deterence works, but the entire legal system is based on the premise that it does. If you question deterence, you are questioning law.

As for vengence. Vengence is a natural human emotion, and represents a balance between wronger and wronged. It is in the best interest of society that no one be "Owed" payback from another. As people often take matters into their own hands, it is the governments responsibility to prevent vigilantism ( vigilantes often go beyond mere payback) by insuring that both parties are treated reasonably and fairly.

To someone who deserves punishment, being treated fairly means to insure that they are punished, but punished fairly.


Is this not reasonable ?


David

alexjrgreen
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Post by alexjrgreen »

Ars artis est celare artem.

tomclarke
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Post by tomclarke »

[/quote=ravingdave]
All legal systems are based on deterence. The concept of punishment is for the purpose of prevention. Every law has a penalty, those penalties exist for the sole purpose of deterence, and without penalties, there is no deterence.

People can say what they want about whether or not deterence works, but the entire legal system is based on the premise that it does. If you question deterence, you are questioning law.

As for vengence. Vengence is a natural human emotion, and represents a balance between wronger and wronged. It is in the best interest of society that no one be "Owed" payback from another. As people often take matters into their own hands, it is the governments responsibility to prevent vigilantism ( vigilantes often go beyond mere payback) by insuring that both parties are treated reasonably and fairly.

To someone who deserves punishment, being treated fairly means to insure that they are punished, but punished fairly.
[/quote]

Deterrence is not the foundation of the legal system - that is justice. The motivations for punishment are various. Although deterence has its place it is not the most important factor.

For example - if I park in the wrong place I have a chance of getting a £60 fine. This deters me. If the fine were £10, given that the chance of being fined conditional on parking where not allowed is 1/10, it would not.

But I don't view parking where not allowed as very wrong - though in some cases (where it poses a clear danger to other road users) I do view it as wrong and would not do it regardless of possible penalty.

Now consider murder. There is no evidence that the level of punishment (10 years in prison or death) deters murder. Perhaps this would have some marginal effect on contract killers, whose rates would be lower (and therefore they would be more often used) if penalties were lower. But this is a small portion of the overall homicide rate. Homicides in US are much higher than in Uk simply because guns are more widely available. When people get out of control the presence of guns makes death much more likely. Because murder is mostly the result of people out of control most murderers will say that "they did not think of the penalties when committing the act".

There are no doubt many reasons for killing people. In evolutionary terms, compared with other apes, the human race, at least when living in civilised conditions, and probably also as hunter-gatherers, is particularly aggressive. Perhaps we survived and the Neanderthals dies out because we were better at killing them than they at killing us. The US colonisation succeeded because the newcomers were able to control and mostly wipe out the native population.

The purpose of the legal system is to put some agreed understood limits on what we might otherwise do, and resolve conflicts without vengeful feuds. Restorative justce works well. People need to feel that the wrongdoer has made up for his crime. Whether by the negative expedient of hurting him as much as he hurt his victim, or the more positive one of making him work hard to recompense the victim and/or society.

Non-industrialised societies that use peer-group condemnation together with demanding an apology and reparation to keep rules seem to do as well as those that severely mutilate wrongdoers. Of course, the easiest way to prevent repetition of crime is to kill or exile the criminal. But most crime is not habitual. And most young first-time criminals, if not locked up with a peer group of confirmed habitual criminals, will see the error of their ways.

Best wishes, Tom

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