Originally Posted by Pila
Careful with the red wine hangovers, they's the worst.
Oh, so that wasn't your piece? I got the impression you said it was yours...
While my observation of people was meant to be funny, it is also true for the most part. This forum here certainly does nothing to dispell that notion. I think even you would agree with that.
I said it was from 'my' paper - Information - where I worked until 1.st of February and will resume again on the 1.st of June. In the meantime I'm a corporate communications lacey
The writer was credited in italics btw.
Anyway - the point here is that if we take a step back, agreeing as we are on what constitutes peoples' (broadly speaking) rationale for what constitutes desireable policy, then we have to ask as well what politicians should do in a representative democracy?
Because if we agree that people want what is best for themselves and not necessarily what science- or other knowledge/experience based experts believe to be better for the community, then we might as well allow for sms-polling on issues if we willingly accept that politicians legislate like that too.
We have representative democracies because it cannot be asked that people in general inform themselves adequately to be in the know on all the issues pertaining the well being of the state. That is obvious.
Any elected politician can count on civil servants and hired expertise to draft papers that keeps him/her in the know. What is more - politicians are payed to be in the know. It's their responsibility to be in the know.
It is their responsibility to do what they believe to be right (as opposed to doing what their electorates commom sense perception of right is - the public offers a time-specific mandate for the politician to do as he/she sees fit - if the electorate is displeased it can vote differently next time?).
Punitive sanctions is an obvious tough cookie here. On one hand we have ample evidence to tell us that harder pusnishment has not proven to be an effective deterrant against crime in itself (in general terms, no Rudy G. references this time please
), and on the other hand it is a normal human reaction to call for pusnishment, and certainly to get agitated when particularly cruel transgressions take place.
So - this is about striking a balance between what we believe will work in terms of reducing or keeping a lid on crime, and at the same time satisfy the public's sense of justice. The latter is and can never be the task of science. But it is only right that crime-scientists, law-professionals and professors chip in when legislative changes in their estimation actually produce MORE criminals.
And this isn't just fallacious, circular reasoning, because most our prison/correctional facilities systems in western countries (we have ample statistical evidence here) serves to harden first time offenders and minor criminals and their criminal records obviously makes it harder to reform them, as many employers understandably won't take a chance on them.
But the point of the article itself isn't that there's an easy solution as regards crime, or that we should stop 'punishing' altogether.