Re: [evol-psych] Re: Can defects in the brain identify a psychopath?
- In message
Irwin Silverman <isilv@...> writes
> From my experience, albeit limited, I have the impression that theAgreed. Indeed one can make a reasonable argument that the entire
>essential motivating force for retribution on the part of victims and
>victims' families is a personal sense of closure, particularly when there
>was loss of life or some enduring disabling condition.
criminal justice system has evolved out of the desire for revenge and
closure. Such emotions are ignored by juristic rationalists at their
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- Irwin Silverman wrote:
> In any case, who is to decide whether retribution in the serviceThis seems to me a muddled analogy to say the least. Regardless of whether
> of closure or forgiveness in the name of mental illness represents
> the scientifically based enlightened view.
someone might choose to "forgive" people responsible for acts of criminal
insanity (whatever "forgive" might mean in this context), no-one, so far as
I know, is advocating that society should facilitate, support or encourage
the expression of violent and criminal tendencies by the criminally insane.
If someone is going to argue that retribution in the name of closure is
something society should facilitate or support, then the appropriate analogy
would be to argue that society should also facilitate and support the
expression of violent or homicidal tendencies by the criminally insane, by
the fanatically motivated or indeed by anyone who can justify a claim to
feel murderous rage in the name of psychological gratification.
Another way of looking at this whole idea of "closure", is that it's just
another manifestation of modern consumer society, in which psychological
self-gratification is just another commodity we should be allowed to buy,
acquire or have given to us on a plate. Needless to say, this takes no
account of the vast numbers of people -- including the victims of crimes for
which the perpetrator is unlikely even to be prosecuted, let alone
convicted -- for whom this sort of "closure" is a luxury item which will
never be available.