Daily Prompt: Punishment

My response to the daily prompt titled Punishment which asks;

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Dammit, it looks like we have another political prompt on our hands, sound the alarm and brace yourself.

Does punishment even exist anymore? Seriously I remember as I was finishing up at school the teachers could barely punish the naughty kids anymore and instead moved to a system of bribing them for, not quite behaving but more like less disruptive than they usually are. I dread to think how bad it must have gotten in recent years with PC culture etc.

You see stuff in the news constantly about how prisons are becoming soft with prisoners have all kinds of luxuries etc. Now don’t get me wrong, prisons should help rehabilitate people, they will come out of prison one day so we should do everything we can to make sure that they are able to make that transition, but not at the expense of not punishing them. Prisons should act as a deterrent.

Societies have rules and laws which need to have consequences if they are broken or disobeyed otherwise the whole system collapses, whats the point of following the rules if there is no consequence for breaking them? Sadly the I’m a good person defence of well I wouldn’t murder someone because I think it’s bad doesn’t work because some people don’t share that value, that’s probably the reason why rules and laws with consequences were created in the first place.

Of course I’m not quite sure how you punish a religious fanatic who doesn’t care if they die and believes that murder will get them into heaven. Well I suppose you could go with things like desecration but that’s quite an ugly route to go down.

I think the problem I have here is that I’m a big fan of social contract theory and think it makes a lot of sense and is generally a good way to bind a society together. As we enter into the contract or society together we all give up some of our rights, like our rights to go around killing and stealing, this offers us all mutual protection because none of us can kill or steal from each other. Such a system only works while everyone agrees to abide by the contract, as soon as someone violates it, they are a risk to you and should be punished.

Of course the great thing about social contract theory is you can decide on the punishment for breaking it at the start when making it, the rights you give up, the type of society you have etc can all also be decided by the contract makers.

Oh and for anyone saying that they never agreed to any such thing or they didn’t sign a contract etc, the fact that you live in a society, agree and follow its rules, take part in its various activities, can be seen as tacit consent for the contract.

That’s not to say that you should always blindly follow the rules and not challenge them. If things go too far, if too many rights are taken away, if the contract is not being upheld then you should challenge it or even rip it up and start again.



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