September 18, 2006
September 9, 2006
Just added the links. I don’t actually have anything in mind for these links, so I may edit these in the future..
September 8, 2006
An acquaintance told me to sign in to technorati. So .. this is a "mark" that I signed up.
… so.. how’s that ??
A while ago, some guy got me interested in one particular topic. In short, he expressed his condolences for the enactment of physical punishment (whipping) in a province of some country. Another guy, party to the conversation, disagreed and cited the penal law in two other countries, quoting the “success” of that type of punishment in controlling human/society behaviour in those countries.
I was particularly fascinated by the reasoning of the first guy, a commonly heard reasoning, especially in the western world :
"Whipping degrades humanity values to a level of a mere animal".
My mind started to wonder. Which standard did he use? Or was he the first to have expressed that?
Although I was not at home with this field (penal law), I tried to see it from the legal viewpoint in analysing the problem. The physical punishment was enacted due to the situation that in fact, the people of the province want the punishment to be enacted. So to speak, it is enacted through the will of society. It is apparently seen as the fairest punishment by the people.
I remember reading a passage in a book ages ago : “Law is something that lives in society. If it does not “live” in a society, a law would have a minuscule chance to be complied by that society”. In this viewpoint, given that the physical punishment is what the society wants, it lives in society, and therefore according to this legal philosophy (and perhaps democracy?), the enactment of the law is correct. It may even fulfill one of the “proposed” objectives of penal law, which is to prevent crime. The terror of pain and humiliation that may be caused by the whipping might just make a ciminal-to-be refrained from whatever criminal intention he/she is having in mind! But again, who am I to say all this things. My field is not even pure public law!
It is true however; the law itself can be enacted as a tool to alter the behaviour of society. In this case, the government could just force the enactment of a “softer” law in the region against the consent of the local inhabitants in the hope that they would eventually forget their preferences of the “barbaric” punishment. On the other hand, this would also be in contrast with the current so called trend of rejection of coercion (by the government). Therefore, coercion by the government to enact a softer law will be in contrast to the reasoning behind oppostion of the “barbaric” punishment it self! How is it logical that a person on the one hand pursue the idea that the “harsh” punishment is unwanted, but on the other hand encourage coercion by the government?
Not to get too deep into the unfamiliar subject, the first problem that needs tackling here is the standard of value. The sender of the email had his own value. So did the people in the said province. Which value then is to be used? Fairness to some people may not be seen as fairness by many others. If a value is seen suitable by the people in the area the value is practiced, according to today’s ever-growing liberalism, no right may be given to a person not living in one area, abide by other standard of value to judge and criticize a value practiced in the former area. This may however still change. But to do that coercion must first be made the norm to be followed.
What a bunch of crap… I stayed silent during the whole conversation…
Be posting here soon..