• Robert Peters
    Concept of Guilt

    We live in societies and due to the variations of thought processes present within the Human race we have made laws. Laws designed to protect us.
    However the laws are based not on right and wrong, good and bad, but an amalgamation of communal ideals.
    The "thou shalt and shalt nots" and things pushed strong enough for. These laws aren't solid and can be changed as needed (slavery good, slavery bad) even when against the "thou shalts" and the books they are found in (slavery good, slavery bad).
    But what isn't taken into account is the why of the crime.
    We have varying degrees of murder even down to the point of being incompetent to even stand trial, yet the "why" question isn't always asked. Nor is it taken into the process.
    "I had a stroke and lost control of the car!" Would not result in the death penalty no matter how many lives are lost.
    And culpability is taken into account.
    "My pet Bangle tiger's cage was open causin' I hates my neighbor." Resulting in a long stay in prison.
    We are supposedly an enlightened society yet people are punished harshly when extenuating circumstances exist all the time.
    The drug addict stealing hubcaps, wallets or ATMs via whatever means is being punished for something medically and possibly psychologically out of their control. There isn't universal healthcare, there aren't enough treatment programs and psychological help centers and or practitioners aren't available.
    They have no place to turn for help and their primary, overriding need put them in this situation.
    So what do we do as an enlightened society?
    We dehumanize them profoundly. We beat them to a pulp whether or not resisting. We incarcerate them knowing full well they are addicts and giving no medical or psychological attention to their obvious problem. Of course laughing as they go through days of withdrawals.
    We dump them in prison. Again no attention paid to their addiction and what is prison?
    Well in a "christian" nation it should be a place of rehabilitation. Where the wrong doer can be helped on a better path.
    Unfortunately in the United States prison is a congested holding pen designed with the archaic belief that "make a situation as bad as we can the criminals won't return!"
    So this addicted individual in need of help from the society they live in, who, yes did go against the law, needs not to be abused and shoved in a box.
    This person needs to be helped so their need for drugs is quelled and they can return to our collective warm bosom.
    These people and others around us with their needs which push up against or break our laws are in no way disposable. For some reason, we as a society see them all as bad and wrong. Period!
    But life is not black and white. There is a reason why we all lean away from the "norm" in whatever way we need. Sometimes those needs push us too far away from the flock and if they result in crime then yes this must be stopped.
    But treating those with a medical or physiological need by worse than throwing them away only shows that our society is not is desperately in the wrong.
    Further, that need should never lead to permanent ostracization and that is what the legal system truly hands down.
    To go through withdrawals or to try to manage a psychological condition without the medicine, legal or otherwise, you NEED in a holding pen where you are isolated, physically, mentally, emotionally and sexually brutalized is for lack of a better idiom "hell on earth".
    These people are our family, just like all of us and it seems just fine to subject them to this state.
    Drugs can be obtained in prison, for a price of course, so all we have done is to take them out of our neighborhoods and put them somewhere else where they continue to do the illegal activities that put them there.
    So some time later, very often decades later, if they survive in any way intact, they are released. Their debt to society paid.
    Any concept of humanity summarily beaten out of them by an enlightened society.
    So now "post judgment" we welcome them back into society by not renting to them, not employing them no matter education or experience. Even families, like the loving society they live in, turn their backs on them.
    So, no help, psychological, medical, familial, they re-offend, imagine that!
    President trump says they should be killed off as a blight on society and everyone jumps up and down, yet execution is profoundly more humane.
    In your eyes they are dead. Dead enough to put in the hell of jail to protect your hubcaps and capital. Dead enough to not give a modicum of help or care.
    Shit, just put them out of their misery.
    It would be more just than the current standard of justice.

    Good luck out there
  • Robert Peters
    Sorry everyone,

    Auto-correct mistake, it should say Bengal tiger.

    Sorry, only human.

    Good luck out there
  • Wayfarer
    So - you’re not actually saying that prisoners ought to be euthanised instead of being rehabilitated?

    Or, if you mean that the community has to find a better way to re-integrate prisoners into society on their release, then sure, I think that is true.

    It seems to me in the USA with the ‘three strikes’ rule and many imprisoned for drug offences, that there’s a vicious circle of imprisonment, deprivation and re-offending that goes on. I think the prospects of reforming that would seem pretty challenging in the current political climate.
  • Robert Peters
    Excellent Wayfarer,
    Yes it is big especially with the political World we have always lived in but the system that is the foundation per

    "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons."

    -Fyodor Dostoevsky, from The House of the Dead

    This was in the 1800s speaking at the same system in place today.
    These people are in need and not refuse. "Every "man" is created equal" is another quote to place herein.
    Yes they did wrong but we all do wrong. If everyone was convicted for every crime they commit the streets would be completely empty. As would the schools, churches, offices and the White House, the World.
    They did wrong, they got caught, nothing more. Very Human action to go against "no" especially when "need" is in play.
    The next step is the measure of a society. To kill a drugs offender or any criminal is not to see that all we are doing is "legally" ending the pain of this poor persons life. Excising them, yes, but we killed them. We murdered them a member of society, a brother or sister. We then are all to be punished under the Thou Shalt Not Kill list of 10, no?
    We are also saying we have given up on this person, the ultimate betrayal of a society made of family.
    I worked in the psych ward of a children's prison and I am aware that there are people who are beyond the "touch of man". In these cases society does very much need to be protected but these people are only currently psychologically/psychologically incapable of being reached.
    To put a bullet through their brainbox again only makes society culpable in their death. And someone has to pull the trigger or flick the switch or whatever "humane" method is the flavor of the week. Yes, this person, sorry this man says "just doin' my job" and claims he "just brushes it off" but if it doesn't effect him the executing, murdering, legally or otherwise of another Human then society needs to be protected from him.
    Huge but again this, Wayfarer could happen to you, you like me are very fallible and we all make mistakes and missteps. Don't you deserve a fair shake? Don't you deserve to be treated well, like a Human?
    And as for mental stability that is totally fluid. The correct series of events could well put you into some very bad places very quickly. We, as Humans are also reactionary, on this don't react but think.

    Good luck out there
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    Forgiveness inspires confession.

    Good luck in there.
  • XTG
    Sorry everyone,

    Auto-correct mistake, it should say Bengal tiger.

    Sorry, only human.

    Good luck out there
    Robert Peters

    You can go back and edited any post you’ve made at any time; in case you didn't see that option.
  • XTG
    Is guilt an emotion? I’ve experimented with the concept personally, and I’ve never felt guilty for anything I can think of. I'm certainly familiar with regret, but if I try to fish around inside for guilt, I draw a blank.

    How about innocance? Is it that an emotion? Indeed; to me they do seem more like categories that outside parties place you in. Are we all innocent or are we all guilty?
  • Robert Peters
    Great XTG,
    Thanks for posting.
    Guilt in my opinion is a combination of perceived expectations, how I should act, and what is inside of you, so emotional addition. If you have no guilt it is immediately apparent to those around and we all mask who we are and what we think so we act out in a combination of how we are actually feeling and what we believe we should be presenting to those around us.
    With guilt about a situation you have the initial hit the feelings around the situation. But as with everything guilt is fluid. What you feel right this second you may well absolutely have a different view the next.
    With guilt it can build if you can't work through the process of making the situation part of your life. So the guilt grows and is perverted in your experience and thoughts.
    So is it emotional, yes it is. A hit at your psyche you feel bad about. But it isn't solely an emotion because there is the thought processes that get involved and completely change the perspective or guilt you have.
    As for innocence again this is just my opinion I think innocence needs to be looked very much into. "the state, quality, or fact of being innocent of a crime or offense." per Google.
    Using the stroke patient from my post you can say that he/she is innocent of mowing over a bunch of pedestrians. It was out of his/her control. However, to be truly innocent, again in my opinion, in the presence of a possibility of a stroke, i.e. age, health, etc. if any of these known factors were taken into account prior to getting behind the wheel makes the driver culpable of the accident. By possessing a vascular system which can bleb or block or burst means you can have a stroke.
    I know I am going far but their is the reality of innocence to be taken into account.
    So in this way culpability goes beyond the driver and goes back to the first of us wanting to go faster which lead to us having cars.
    This is the problem I am trying to address in my post. The concept of guilt, innocence and punishment especially when we aren't robots and each possess our own thought processes and each react to and deal with each "lion" in our lives.

    Thank you,
    Good luck out there
  • TheMadFool
    Perhaps you expose a deep flaw in society and perhaps you set too high a standard on society. Yes, there's the perfect way to deal with anything, including criminals, but there are constraints imposed by social and economic dynamics that prevent us from achieving the state you seem to be suggesting - a perfect world. Perfection is too good to be true I guess.
  • Robert Peters
    Thanks TheMadFool for your comment.

    I agree that perfection appears to good to be true but what I am suggesting is nothing near perfection it is just my of constructing a more Humane way of treating our family members.
    But I don't mean to sound too much an optimist but we need to reach higher to see what we can accomplish. To continue to do because that's the way it's been done negates the possibilities found in change.
    We also need to add Einstein's intelligent perceptive about "expecting different results".
    Just because society is putting the weight of conformity upon you doesn't mean you can't look for a better way. And when you do dream big.
    We can make a change and make a better place to be "ok" even for those of who unfortunately get caught for their missteps.

    Good luck out there
  • Robert Peters

    Excellent thanks always trying to look in as well.

  • Robert Peters

    I am sorry XTG I can't find that option yet, but I am searching. Thanks
  • XTG
    I don't know why I kept thinking this as I was reading your post; but can you imagine living in a world in which everyones thoughts and decisions were constantly recorded, examined, scored, judged, and summarized by an A.I.?

    Suppose the AI in the case of the stroke victim example used its methods to actually ”measure”: the subject's awareness of his or her medical condition, the degree of wellness they did or didn't feel at that moment, and their confidence in their decision to drive somewhere that day. The AI could literally compute a ”guilt” score of the subject to provide to the courts for use in a possible trial, hearing, or case.

    The AI would be programmed to keep the specifics of the persons thoughts confidential, but it would provide a summary, and rank their degree of ”guiltiness” based on algorithms that accounted for not just pre-meditative thoughts, adequate judgment, and irresponsible dismissal, but internal symptoms of schizophrenia, tinnitus, torrents, etc. All of those things would be measured and worked through formulas and algorithms to generate a score of ”guiltiness”. Better yet, most of the information would have all been collected before, and during the event or crime.

    Now if our thoughts, and feelings, can be recorded at all time by AI through a system of mandatory biotechnological implants; then how about ”direct intervention?” There are rumors of course that governments can already read and control minds wirelessly, but if we start implanting people with gizmos at birth then we could very quickly find ourselves witnessing AI’s being tasked and entrusted with jobs that previously; only God was worthy of. If we implement AI’s enough, we might even see ourselves create God in our own image. Wouldn't that be poetic?.... Hahaha
  • Robert Peters
    Interesting XTG,

    I think that to truly judge someone the factors needed couldn't be calculable. Not that a considered right or wrong can't and shouldn't be brought into the equation but if I steal your hubcaps to impress a girl vs I stole the hubcaps for a loaf of bread or I stole them because they are a symbol of god on Earth to be prayed to should be part of this. As to how to punish the end should be the direction you push. A person who does this to be cool needs to be shown the results of such actions. The hungry should be fed and not treated with derision and them needing help to even function shouldn't be in any situation other than a care facility where the medication and treatment/help can be given.
    Of these the only close to a cell would be the one who did it to impress, but this was simply a poor judgement call, this person should in no way be put with "the worst of the worst" and thrown away after.
    Our move towards technology possibly being smart enough to be perceived able to judge I would have to add that though we can do all these wiz bang things doesn't mean we have evolved as a society to be able to comprehend the morality and the ethical issues of such a giant leap.
    Look at the atomic bomb, we can build it but we are not smart enough to have it in our possession.
    Please I am not saying tech=bad I am saying that huge jumps far too often results in trauma.
    The ramifications need to be further investigated. We have attached nearly half of the World with computer tech and yet no one seems to be considering the effect this change will make.
    The way it will forever affect the Human race whether we get to a "judgebot".
    The other problem is found within the constraints of what we collectively "know". Could a person who believes in god swear to a computer and allow it to judge them? I think that would be a huge battle for the Sci-fi I love so much.

    Thanks a lot for continuing my conversation XTG

    Good luck out there
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    Is guilt an emotion? I’ve experimented with the concept personally, and I’ve never felt guilty for anything I can think of. I'm certainly familiar with regret, but if I try to fish around inside for guilt, I draw a blank.

    How about innocance? Is it that an emotion? Indeed; to me they do seem more like categories that outside parties place you in. Are we all innocent or are we all guilty?

    Guilt is definitely an emotion. It is feeling brought on by a recognition that oneself has acted in a way that was not right, "I made a mistake". It may be imposed on us by others, if it requires others to bring this to one's attention. But this is not necessary as an individual can recognize oneself to have done wrong. It is closely related to shame, and shame is related to embarrassment, which are the softer forms of recognition of one's own mistakes. Related to these are shyness, which is a fear of doing wrong. When an individual is prone to embarrassment and shame, that person might also be prone to shyness.

    If you have no guilt it is immediately apparent to those around and we all mask who we are and what we think so we act out in a combination of how we are actually feeling and what we believe we should be presenting to those around us.Robert Peters

    Just like guilt may be evident as embarrassment, shame, and shyness, the lack of guilt may also be evident in the opposite emotions. However many people master the art of disguising their true emotions, so a confidence and bravado which you might think would indicate a lack of guilt, might really be an act which is covering up guilt. That is a very real problem, if one is trying to develop ways to recognize guilt in others. Different people behave in completely different ways, when they recognize that they have made a mistake. Some are inclined to confess, others are inclined to cover up.

    With guilt it can build if you can't work through the process of making the situation part of your life. So the guilt grows and is perverted in your experience and thoughts.Robert Peters

    This experience, "the guilt grows", is probably the result of not knowing whether to confess or to cover up the mistake. This is another choice, and to make the wrong choice is to make a mistake, and to recognize that one has made a mistake is guilt. So making the wrong choice about how to deal with one's own guilt can create more guilt. Even a very simple mistake, like telling a simple lie in some cases, can manifest into a massive operation of cover up, if one is never inclined to confess. This brings to mind the question, is confession always the right choice, or is the cover up sometimes the better choice. How would one know? And, in relation to your subject, punishment, if punishment is the result of confession, doesn't this promote the thought that the cover up is always the better choice? But then the cover up can lead to a growing guilt.
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