Justice and Retribution

Hi-Phi Nation | 27 June 2020 | 0h 54m | Listen Later | iTunes
Considers the arguments for and against eliminating punishment from the justice system. Ranges across the denial that we have free will, the view that perpetuating injustice disqualifies the state from punishing, and arguments for the necessity of retributive punishment. Considers whether any of us have the right to punish anyone else, and questions the very purpose of the criminal justice system.

2 thoughts on “Justice and Retribution

  1. 1. There are serious arguments for doubting the existence of free will. However, if we conclude thereby that nobody “deserves” anything, then we also must drop the idea of justice. If one says that nobody deserves to be in prison, one must also say that nobody deserves *not* to be in prison. And if there is no free will, are not the police, judges, guards, etc. no more responsible for emprisonment than the cell door clanging shut?

    2. One need not believe in free will to acknowledge the power of incentives. A stock trading algorithm has no free will, yet it makes trades based on whether, considering the probabilities, it expects on net to profit. Equally a human being without free will could commit a crime or not factoring in the likelihood of punishment and its severity.

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