AltInst: On Crime and Punishment: a new social philosophy? (I)

From: dennis morgan <>
Date: Sun May 13 2001 - 11:53:03 PDT

Without getting into the controversial politics
surrounding the death penalty, suffice it to say that
a significant number of people have philosophical
problems with state-sanctioned execution. Also, a
number of citizens resent having to financially
support those in maximum security facilities (as well
as the habitual felon criminals who have proven
themselves to be beyond reform).

The proposal for "permanent exile in a wilderness area
of free containment" would address those concerns. It
is based upon a different philosophical position
regarding crime and punishment than what is currently
espoused by democratic societies in the world today
since it seeks to put an end to the negative feedback
loop of the crime and punishment cycle which it sees
as the natural result of a bankrupt social philisophy
steeped in antiquity.

We are born into the social contract. We seem to have
no choice in the matter. There are some, however, for
one reason or another, who rebel against society by
committing heinous crimes or else continue to commit
the same crimes again and again. Their actions
indicate that they can no longer live by the social
contract in which they were born into. They have
become a burden to and a sickness of that society.

This new social philosophy sees these individuals as a
sickness of society that must either be cured or else
cast aside so that the sickness does not develop into
a plague. With this end in view, punishment is viewed
as only one of the means of reform. Beyond reform, it
serves no other purpose. Punishment for the purpose of
satisfying justice and morality is just a game played
by children pretending to be god. It has no place in
an enlightened society.

Habitual and hardened criminals are anarchists who
must be returned to the natural world - outside of the
social contract. At the same time, society should be
cleansed and absolutely protected from their
destructive impulses. A wilderness area of containment
would seek to satisfy this social need without
perpetuating the endless cycle of crime and

Of course, there are many concerns and details which
much be addressed in the implementation of such an
idea. That's why this idea must be exposed to
objective and constructive criticism if it is to prove
itself since what does not kill an idea can make it
stronger. That's why I thank those who have provided
such criticism thus far and I will reply in a separate
email addressed to Mr. Lewis since his criticism seems
to be the most useful while embracing the others.

Dennis Morgan


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Received on Sun May 13 12:07:47 2001

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