Abu Qatada extradition blocked by court of human rights
Posted: 19 January 2012 09:20 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Hello,

Apparently this guy has links to al qaeda and faced a trial in Jordan that may have used evidence obtained under tourture. Hence the repeal. Care to discuss the morality of this?

                                        Chris.

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Posted: 19 January 2012 11:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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We lose more through torture than we gain, especially since we can probably gain it through other means.

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Posted: 19 January 2012 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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softwarevisualization - 19 January 2012 11:28 AM

We lose more through torture than we gain, especially since we can probably gain it through other means.

Thanks. This is what i’m after, people’s views. I’m in agreement with you there softwarevisualisation. Anyone else?

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Posted: 21 January 2012 10:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Yeah but you’re not going to like my follow on wink

I think some crimes are so horrendous in their scope - the number of people effected- and their consequences - the degree of damage inflicted that they ought to be classified as “super crimes” - and the current prohibition on torture as a punishment lifted.

To qualify as a “super crime” it would have to effect some super large number of people- millions say, and result in some sort of catastrophic damage to those people.

So candidates are germ or biological warfare. Nuclear warfare. Genocide on a Nazi scale. Falsification of information which results in large scale societal upheavals and deaths.

The reason I think this now is because I think nothing will *get through* to the sociopaths behind these types of “super crimes” except the promise of unlimited physical suffering of unlimited duration.

Sociopaths have a unique ability to disassociate themselves from sources of anxiety which renders them immune to the fear of punishment which is what controls the rest of humanity (if nothing else does).

The societal justification for punitive punishment is to serve as an example and a deterrent (aside from the victim’s need for retribution however valid that may be) and the combination of a sociopath and “a super crime” is not one we are deterring effectively.

Even death and the promise of imprisonment doesn’t scare them. But both of these are abstract entities (unless you’ve been to prison I suppose) and because they’re abstract, the sociopath is able to create a space in which to operate without anxiety.

But torture and the depiction of torture is another matter. I would be interested to know if the prospect of torture would deter a greater number of people who otherwise are not deterred. Is this a signal that gets through even to their brains and supposing this is the case, are we justified in incorporating it into our system of criminal justice?

Of course sociopaths are known to torture people themselves, but they know it’s not going to happen to them as a result.

Maybe there’s a historical context that serves as an effective refutation of my idea; we tortured Christians and it didn’t stop them, but there were they sociopaths? I am not implying that torture is a universal deterrent; I am wondering if it’s a signal “strong enough” to deter a set of people who otherwise are not deterred.

Aside from deterrence there’s he issue of retributive justice. Do some people just deserve it because of their scale of their crimes?

 

 

 

 

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Posted: 22 January 2012 05:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Hello again,

I think some crimes are so horrendous in their scope - the number of people effected- and their consequences - the degree of damage inflicted that they ought to be classified as “super crimes” - and the current prohibition on torture as a punishment lifted.

To qualify as a “super crime” it would have to effect some super large number of people- millions say, and result in some sort of catastrophic damage to those people.

So candidates are germ or biological warfare. Nuclear warfare. Genocide on a Nazi scale. Falsification of information which results in large scale societal upheavals and deaths.

The reason I think this now is because I think nothing will *get through* to the sociopaths behind these types of “super crimes” except the promise of unlimited physical suffering of unlimited duration.

Here’s my thoughts. Firstly, this would easily be open to abuse. Just convieniently label someone a psycho and out come the “pair of pliers and a blowtourch” to quote pulp fiction.

Sociopaths have a unique ability to disassociate themselves from sources of anxiety which renders them immune to the fear of punishment which is what controls the rest of humanity (if nothing else does).

I think that’s true of all humans.

The societal justification for punitive punishment is to serve as an example and a deterrent (aside from the victim’s need for retribution however valid that may be) and the combination of a sociopath and “a super crime” is not one we are deterring effectively.

In my view, need for revenge is understandable and part of being human, but it’s also a useless emotion. My current belief is that deterrenace is an overrated judicial idea and that the causes of crime lie more in the fact of humans massive moral confusion.

But torture and the depiction of torture is another matter. I would be interested to know if the prospect of torture would deter a greater number of people who otherwise are not deterred. Is this a signal that gets through even to their brains and supposing this is the case, are we justified in incorporating it into our system of criminal justice?

This justification has been used by all insane regemes throughout history. (I’m not saying you are insane, that would rude and arrogant. I am saying i believe the idea is).

Maybe there’s a historical context that serves as an effective refutation of my idea; we tortured Christians and it didn’t stop them, but there were they sociopaths?

I think i would see sociopathy as somthing that exists in all human beings to some degree. I would argue for example, that believing in a god who tortures people for all eternity is a deeply sociopathic idea.

I am not implying that torture is a universal deterrent; I am wondering if it’s a signal “strong enough” to deter a set of people who otherwise are not deterred.

I suppose i’m arguing that humans cannot rid the world of sociopathic behavior by behaving in a sociopathic manner.

What are your thoughts?

 

 

 

 

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Posted: 22 January 2012 04:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Here’s my thoughts. Firstly, this would easily be open to abuse. Just convieniently label someone a psycho and out come the “pair of pliers and a blowtourch” to quote pulp fiction.


I did think of this, but everything is open to abuse i.e. impeachment. I think the law would have to exist at a super-national level to have the best chance of not being abused. Then the “danger” is it would never be used.

Sociopaths have a unique ability…

I think that’s true of all humans.


Ahh I should have said “capacity” in stead of “ability”.. to be clearer. I meant, ability as in “It has been found that long distance runners have a unique ability to remove the by-products of exercise from their bloodstreams” .

In my view, need for revenge is understandable and part of being human, but it’s also a useless emotion. My current belief is that deterrenace is an overrated judicial idea and that the causes of crime lie more in the fact of humans massive moral confusion.

Well revenge on the personal scale is useless. Revenge on a larger scale is not useless if extracting it has a mollifying and unify effect on billions of people who would otherwise seek it for themselves, say. It’s about the control of populations in the wake of some horrendous event.

This justification has been used by all insane regemes throughout history. (I’m not saying you are insane, that would rude and arrogant. I am saying i believe the idea is).

Maybe so. But does it work or doesn’t it? That’s a question that goes to science IMHO.

I think i would see sociopathy as somthing that exists in all human beings to some degree.

  That we’re all maybe like this to some degree at times is just the point, only to some degree and only at times.


Sociopathy is defined in terms of behaviours AND persistence AND intensity.  In some theories,  there’s a unchanging -or very persistent-  pathological organic state that underlies the sociopath. If we can identify that, the fact that we all sometimes display these traits en passant is interesting but would not confuse the definition.

Perhaps many things- including hypothetical the underlying organic states which constitute pathology- is transitive and only separated by degree and not kind (meh.. perhaps).  But it doesn’t change what they are- nor what they did.

I would argue for example, that believing in a god who tortures people for all eternity is a deeply sociopathic idea.

It’s a crude attempt to control the behaviour of people. My idea is an attempt to control the behaviour of crude - where “crude” is rightly interpreted - people.

I suppose i’m arguing that humans cannot rid the world of sociopathic behavior by behaving in a sociopathic manner.

Yeah I am thinking I agree with this. The goal however,  is not to rid,  the goal is make less likely. Also to serve as a mollifying agent for an otherwise uncontrollable reaction on the part of a large number of people in the wake of some horrendous event.


I am not set on this idea, which is to say I go back and forth in my own mind.  I would take defeat for the pro side in the form of a strong argument from history.  For instance, everything you said applies to the death penalty and we have a strong argument against the deterrent effect of the death penalty available to us from history .

In England, they used to hang pickpockets in public and it drew crowds. And who showed up to the hanging? Pickpockets who picked the pockets of the gawkers.  So much for the death penalty deterring criminality when that criminality is borne or economic desperation.

 

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Posted: 23 January 2012 06:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Hello mate,

I did think of this, but everything is open to abuse i.e. impeachment. I think the law would have to exist at a super-national level to have the best chance of not being abused. Then the “danger” is it would never be used.

Yes definately. law is open to abuse just by it’s very nature. good point.

Ahh I should have said “capacity” in stead of “ability”.. to be clearer. I meant, ability as in “It has been found that long distance runners have a unique ability to remove the by-products of exercise from their bloodstreams” .

Yeah fair enough.

Well revenge on the personal scale is useless. Revenge on a larger scale is not useless if extracting it has a mollifying and unify effect on billions of people who would otherwise seek it for themselves, say. It’s about the control of populations in the wake of some horrendous event.

I guess i’d say, revenge at a personal and societal level are ultimately useless, but i take your point given that huge numbers of people do not see revenge as useless. I don’t know though. Short term social stability sacrifices long term prospects of overall peace i think.

Maybe so. But does it work or doesn’t it? That’s a question that goes to science IMHO.

That sounds a bit abstract to me, as if science were a big old know it all in the sky. People make science and i wouldn’t want science,as created by fallable and naturally prejudiced people to be idolised as an abstract epistemological absolute. There has been and i think still is, some utter bullshit written in the name of science.

That we’re all maybe like this to some degree at times is just the point, only to some degree and only at times.

But isn’t that, in however narrow and extreme a way, also true of sociopaths?

Sociopathy is defined in terms of behaviours AND persistence AND intensity.  In some theories,  there’s a unchanging -or very persistent-  pathological organic state that underlies the sociopath. If we can identify that, the fact that we all sometimes display these traits en passant is interesting but would not confuse the definition.

I still don’t believe in an abstract, absolute sociopath. If a very obvious type of neurological damage shows up that would be great. then we can isolate them for the public’s protection.

Perhaps many things- including hypothetical the underlying organic states which constitute pathology- is transitive and only separated by degree and not kind (meh.. perhaps).  But it doesn’t change what they are- nor what they did.

A think an aspect of humanity’s difficulty with morality is this idea that a person is intrinsically anything. It’s also i think,  the reason people get angry when called abusive names(You are a **** rather than why are you behaving like a ****?). A **** does not exist.

It’s a crude attempt to control the behaviour of people. My idea is an attempt to control the behaviour of crude - where “crude” is rightly interpreted - people.

See above.

Yeah I am thinking I agree with this. The goal however,  is not to rid,  the goal is make less likely.

Very good point. Looking at the world now though, i’d say there is a catastrophic imbalance in human behavior towards the sociopathic end of the spectrum.

I am not set on this idea, which is to say I go back and forth in my own mind.  I would take defeat for the pro side in the form of a strong argument from history.  For instance, everything you said applies to the death penalty and we have a strong argument against the deterrent effect of the death penalty available to us from history.

Yes i agree,. I’d say you only need a death penalty to control people in a society that believes human beings to be insane and in need of being controlled. An obvious self fulfilling Prophercy.

                                          Chris.

 

 

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Posted: 24 January 2012 07:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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I think we just disagree on the existence of a certain thing called a sociopath. For me, it’s not a degree, it’s a kind. I have met a few of these people in my travels and I can tell you this left me very strongly with the impression that they’re a kind, and not just a fun house mirror exaggeration of normal.


For instance, if it were strictly behavioral with no permanent underlying etiological mechanism pulling their strings, why do early behavioral markers correlate so strongly amongst unrelated individuals? Things like torturing animals and setting fires and the like.


This is my unscientific, no-professional opinion. They’re a kind.

Really I think that much more of human character is determined that we like to generally suppose, where “determined” translates in the real world as “bracketed between two extrema” or perhaps “probability that people in group with X characteristic will Y within Z timeframe relative to the general population” .

As far as the threat of sheer physical suffering - currently prohibited by our Constitution I think everyone agrees- having the power to control or deter or make less likely evil deeds of vast scope, I am still up in the air about it. I am not worshiping science by deferring to it and being willing to accept the possibility of an real and valid metric being developed and cause and effect relationship being established on this matter. Sure, mistakes are made for all the reasons you say, especially in social sciences and the more social science-y you get, the less authority science has in society general, not least because of all the reasons we all can recite- Eugenics, Tuskegee, lobotomies etc etc. the list goes on and on.

I am tossing around an idea, a thought, a wondering aloud, not making proclamations. Would the thought of indefinite physical suffering sober up some of the people who otherwise are not deterred by the threat of punishment.

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Posted: 24 January 2012 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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I think we just disagree on the existence of a certain thing called a sociopath.

I agree and i think disagreement is a healthy thing.

For instance, if it were strictly behavioral with no permanent underlying etiological mechanism pulling their strings, why do early behavioral markers correlate so strongly amongst unrelated individuals? Things like torturing animals and setting fires and the like.

I certainly agree that if there is proven neurological damage markers that are strongly consistant that this would be a very useful tool for identification. Especially if it were in conjuction with animal torture and fire lighting. Confession time:

I loved lighting fires as a kid and i have a brother who apparently used to electricute maggots by wiring them up to a car battery. Deeply sick. My brother is now a “normal” citizen with two children of his own and i have no desire to behave psychopathically.

Really I think that much more of human character is determined that we like to generally suppose, where “determined” translates in the real world as “bracketed between two extrema” or perhaps “probability that people in group with X characteristic will Y within Z timeframe relative to the general population” .

Yes that makes sense. “Types” are generalisations based on multi determined factors like gender,genes,evironment etc. But following that causal logic, if a new factor enters the system (Eg in the case of a depressed person encountering a psychotherapuetic entrironment) the pattern changes. Is that chaos theory, I don’t know?:) Freedom is inherant in the laws of determinism.(I am not saying sociopaths would respond to therapy, that would be a stretch of the imagination).

I am tossing around an idea, a thought, a wondering aloud, not making proclamations. Would the thought of indefinite physical suffering sober up some of the people who otherwise are not deterred by the threat of punishment.

Good. Carry on tossing(heh,heh) and draw your own conclusions. I am certainly not a world authority on anything.

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Posted: 27 January 2012 03:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Hi,

Yes that makes sense. “Types” are generalisations based on multi determined factors like gender,genes,evironment etc. But following that causal logic, if a new factor enters the system (Eg in the case of a depressed person encountering a psychotherapuetic entrironment) the pattern changes. Is that chaos theory, I don’t know?:) Freedom is inherant in the laws of determinism.(I am not saying sociopaths would respond to therapy, that would be a stretch of the imagination).

Just wanted to amend an error i think i made here. It occured to me that actually the idea of free will doesn’t make sense to me. I see the world holistically and to speak of free will is to imply a separate thing that is entirely “independant”(whatever that means). Equally determinism in “a something else controls me” kind of way is inconsistant to me for the same reasons.

 

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