Is Imprisonment of Criminals Just?

Class Forums Government 2017-2018- Assignment 4 Is Imprisonment of Criminals Just?

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    • #1317

      abigail
      Participant

      <p style=”text-indent: .5in;”>Is it just to take away years of the life of an individual who has a purpose and job to play in society? The law imprisons people for murder, theft, and many other crimes, but is this just? If the just society is where everyone plays their part, and the government imprisons people for crimes, then the imprisoned are hindered from playing their part in society. In this light, it would seem that it is unjust to imprison a person for any crime.</p>
      <p style=”text-indent: .5in;”>This question, however, goes much deeper. The person that commits a crime is not just because when he steals or kills, he is harming society and other people. He is not playing his part to build the city, and he is meddling in another person’s business. He is violating both of Socrates’s requirements for a just life. Once this person violates justice and decides to act against the just laws, he forfeits his right to keep contributing to society.</p>
      <p style=”text-indent: .5in;”>Socrates often says in The Republic that in the just society, the happiness of the city is more important than the happiness of the individual. This view supports imprisoning criminals. If someone or something is harming the city, then it must be eliminated for the good of the city. Christians, however, believe differently than Socrates because they believe that every individual is important in God’s eyes. Christians are also supposed to love others. Is it then just and loving to ruin the life of a person loved by God? Do punishment and imprisonment ruin someone’s life? It is both just and loving to punish others because it does not ruin their life. The purpose of imprisonment is to punish people for their crimes and in this punishment help him see that he never wants to commit the crime again. If his punishment encourages him not to commit crimes again, then the punishment was a loving act. He will now live justly, and the just life is the happy life. Punishment is also inflicted because justice demands that people pay for their crimes. Imprisoning criminals also protects others. We cannot have thieves and murderers running rampant on the streets. Soon, if imprisonment was not enforced, everyone would be dead from murderers and thieves. Thus, to be just, we must punish and imprison those that commit crimes.</p>

    • #1332

      michael
      Participant

      I will disagree in theory but agree in application. You say that it would seem unjust to removes a citizen who plays a role from society and that criminals belong to this category. I would say that, while unreformed, criminals play no rule in a just city. Thereby, permanent or temporary removal, until reformed, would not be unjust to the city; instead it would be unjust to allow criminals to remain in society. Moreover, justice is to give what is due, and what is due to criminal is exile according to Socrates. For a Christian it would be punishment in hopes of reform.

    • #1341

      michael
      Participant

      after further review, i think my argument actually agrees with Abigail’s, so i think i will leave it as my positive post that simply adds clarity.

    • #1344

      abigail
      Participant

      Yes, I think that agrees with my argument. I think that was what I was trying to say, but it did not come out clearly so thank you.

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