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The Western notion of justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, equity or fairness.

There is no way to equally judge another human being or bring back what the violation has caused equally. The attempt will lead to mistakes and cruelty. More insidious is the notion someone can bring justice. I bring this up because the smart men and women I know (asked 40) all agreed this is why they still believe in the religion they believe in. Some cited fear of death as number 2 but all said they believe there has to be justice  from higher power ultimatey. And that this is the only solace they have in this world. They believe someone who took so much life, like a Dahmer, would have to be judged by something eternal. I said someone in war may take 100's of lives but this is judged justice because they did it under orders or for a "just" cause.

Justice does seem to be hard wired instinctual.Most social mammals show different degrees of abhorrents to inequality.Especially primates.

But essentially isn't the pursuit of real justice not possible? Calling it necessary means this will make those who deem the power to wield it, to better humanity, unjust from the beginning? Isn't justice another way of claiming superiority? Doesn't a despot in the world use it to claim there power? If we agree justice is not a noble pursuit and clearly impossible (like following the word of god), what laws or punishments should be changed or updated? How would you feel if a mass murder or child molester was treated with a kind hand, rather than the visceral feeling of gutting them like a pig and dancing in the entrails as they slowing die. I am the first to admit this sounds more like justice at a primal level. But should we be smarter than that?

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Than they are determined at one time to have only one recourse or action? You are actually assuming, more than I am, that they can't either be made aware or identify it s bad behavior. Putting them in a better environment so the rate at which crime from repeat offenders down. If the person is born that way then you would need to act like all the sci fi pictures show to prevent those people from every getting the power enough to follow through.

My experience is more that we all have impulses that run through our minds that we know not to act on, no matter how hard the impulse is and those who know their trigger points are better equipt to deal with them.

Mat do you think they can act differently? Is it possible to act contra your nature? 

I am not saying a person is born a murderer or rapist, but that the environment, the experiences a person has can be such that a person may turn out a rapist.

Nature of who we are individually only exists statically as we leave the womb. Whatever we learned in the womb and the proclvities (not complete absolutes) in our genes are at ground zero for the new enviroment. We have our physical but mental traits as potentials at this point. Enviroment comes in to shape those proclivities and potentials, trying to exploit the genes as they are for survival at first then more as we mature. Adding new data into any enviroment changes the experiment.

think of it this way. Are you the same person you were as a baby, or a child? if you think essentially you are, you actually are a complete stranger. Every cell is different from year to year. why do you think we will only learn and react one way our entire lives? 

If you were given tools to understand how the world is and how it reacts to your decisions and why you made the decisions you made in the first place, would you continue to not use information, especially when the survival reward becomes so great? And if you can't exploit them would that lend itself to a lethal illness? 

The fact remains that at the moment you make a choice, be it good or bad, it is the choice you were going to make given who you are + the the situation you find yourself in. The ONLY other alternative is that your choice is somehow random, which doesn't seem to be much better than determinism.

This is just as true of those wanting revenge for a crime as it is for the perpetrator.

Ok lets use that then determinism unlike fatalism has to take into account all those who effect you enviroment so if some was determined to kill and be sent for treatment they would have a mathmatical outcome that could be predetermined, possibly, but at the very least agreed upon that is determined. In some respect the past that determines the outcome also involves the causual treatment. At this point I can see where the natural next step in trying to help humanity involves how we treat all victims in these crimes. That is it had to be done the way it was done to come to the the determination there is a better path. it isn't like we are changing nature of anyone, I am just discussing a way to progress the nature of humanity. Seems like there is a lot of examples of doing it wrong for a lot issues before determining a more natural path. And without the wrong determination. How could we determine the right process.

I agree we aren't changing humanity or changing the predetermined path we changing the process which only looks like its changing the determined path while its actually apart the determined way in balance of nature. But you could also argue that we cannot do anything unnatural so than the change will be never ending. Since somethings cannot be determined without knowing something unknown to begin with. Like the earth being flat or round?


@Mat Waldie  In some respect the past that determines the outcome also involves the causual treatment. At this point I can see where the natural next step in trying to help humanity involves how we treat all victims in these crimes.

Whether we do or not we have no real control over. We will do what we will do, even if we feel like we have made a choice, there really was no conscious choice. Science is showing us that choices are made pre-consciously, not consciously. The conscious choice is simply when the pre-conscious mind reveals the choice to us. What goes on pre-consciously is either deterministic or some determinism + randomness. Neither one seems terribly compatible with true free will. The fact that people so regularly make choices we can predict better the better we know them seems to indicate that we do what it is in our nature to do, That goes for everyone involved, not just the perpetrator.

@Unseen, Well I actually still on the fence on whether we are completely without freewill or not so I understand your point. And although I concur only to the point that precognition always has a cross reference it isn't ever completely without a personal past reference. We materialize our patterns from suggestion that start at first in the womb and then more maturely after birth. They do shape how we reveal the path and does feel like things were determined for us almost but it does not happen without a thread to go on. This isn't about  choice you have this is about presenting the environment the path of least resistance. it is the Occam razor in some respects. It isn't about letting someone choose the right path which i agree is complete bullshit and going to fail miserably. this about finding the path that you cannot live without or more to the point cannot live with less.

The reason it hasn't been tried is because people think it wasted resource allocation, even though the more people to rehab the less spread out the resources become. And second which is far more of an issue, no public will. They see it as not defending the victim, by letting down there principles in god. By not following what they think is a noble pursuit of Justice. And that the money is just too huge in keeping folks down and out and in jail.

It's in their nature to act in their own self-interest, which is exactly why there need to be punishments and effective enforcement.  Focusing on moral culpability is a mistake.  It's a fact that the threat of effective punishment will cause a very significant percentage of wrongdoers to alter their behavior.

This free will versus determinism debate is just a waste of time.  Worse, arguments such as those made by Mat simply fuel religious bigotry against non-believers.  See, this essay below:


from your link:

"The evidence that various punishments and incentives will alter the behavior of
the vast majority of people is overwhelming.  In fact, the evidence that the
right punishments and incentives will alter the behavior of everyone who can be
described as a conscious and aware is overwhelming.  If you doubt this, ask
yourself how many people will touch a red hot stove eye.  The answer is
none--absent some huge, hypothetical incentive needed to counterbalance the
obvious, huge negative reinforcement awaiting those who do."

So the percentage is enough now, or are you saying we aren't strict enough? I don't understand how anything I am proposing differ from this. I want to know? I do not believe punishment should be taken away I believe the punishment right now isn't helping the situation and more incentivised solution should be explored because justice cannot exist, so the idea that not treating a criminal better does not remove the crime. We have tried hard consequences now we should use what we know is more of an incentive then punishment alone. Treatment of a health issue is a basic human right. Your moral dillema is no different then those of religious back grounds. One point i have been trying to make over and over again is housing the sick only means they get to infect more people. We need a carrot to go with the stick if you can't see that than don't worry your not alone.

The rest of the blog you posted is filled with odd logic and is missing a lot of depth and understanding of the topic they posting about. How you can translate determinism into some religious idealogy is not understanding all the side to the way fo thinking. i agree that we should not dwell on how we talk that it is all implied as such but a waste ot time of incredibly closed off and deliberatly shuts down communication. if you don't understand something don't shit all over everyone else who does. Excuse me if this is harsh but really there is never a reason to not communicate idea's no matter how they are discussed.

Thanks Mo, I like that blogpost.

One point i have been trying to make over and over again is housing the sick only means they get to infect more people.

Mat, how about something like more halfway houses? Where there's a mix of dysfunction with mature oversight. It'd be a whole lot more expensive in the short run, but less costly (in many cases) in the long run.

@Pope Definitely a good idea. Also being in a hospital or care taking situation will make a difference in how the path can be incentivised. but to Mo's point that may seem more of a moralistic approach. i do think that protections for the public need to be made just like the zoo doesn't allow the tigers to get out. but still treat the tigers with as much respect as possible. I think a secure halfway house setting is a very good way of getting those who are on the mend a foot in the water. Another point is usually the best counselors are the ex addicts themselves. that is another solution to totally throwing someone away but still keeping them from harming the public if we can never be sure if they will re-offend.


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