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Determinism and Punishment

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Imagine that hard determinism is true. Would there be any justification for punishment? Why or why not?

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Dear Student,
The concise narrative below discusses determinism and free will as it relates to crime and punishment. I hope this solution helps.

Sincerely,
OTA 105878/Xenia Jones
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Determinism, Free Will and Punishment

Siegel (2004) defines crime and criminology from a legal perspective as "...crime which involves acts that interfere with the operations of society and the ability of people to function efficiently...." In other words, it is deviant behaviour that becomes criminalized because it has become disruptive and uncontrollable, i.e., informal ways of dealing with it has not resulted to any positive result. But what if the criminal has no control over what he have become - his choices, his persuasions, and his behaviours. What if he lived in a reality where determinism is true?

'Free Will' is a term that we refer to when we rational a choice of actions in the manner by which we conduct our lives. While it can be a simplistic explanation for individual choices, it also implies religious, ethical & scientific grounds to our actions whether or not we consciously acknowledge it during the fact. Debate rages on to this day whether or not 'free will' is what it actually connotes to us linguistically - is it a total freedom of choice or is it determined and caused. If such is the case is it really 'free' as we imply it to be? Can freedom coexist with something that is already determined? Determinism per se holds that ever event, every human behaviour ...

Solution Summary

The solution, a concise essay on determinism, free will and punishment as it relates to justice, cause and the law is written in APA-format. References are provided and sources cited. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing.

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See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Hard determinism and routine activities theory

Match the explanation with the appropriate key term.

Hard determinism
Routine activities theory
Utilitarianism
Mala in se
Nothing-works doctrine
Situational choice theory
Positivism
Rational choice theory
Recidivism
Mala prohibita

Questions:
A. View that criminal behavior results from choices made based on specific opportunities and constraints
B. Using scientific methods to study criminality; based on an acceptance of hard determinism
C. View that criminal acts are deliberate choices based on whether the crimes will have positive benefits that outweigh any negative possibilities
D. Belief that rehabilitative efforts such as lessening punishment and providing treatment programs are ineffective
E. Committing a criminal act after punishment for a previous crime has been completed
F. Belief that lifestyle influences the number and types of crimes committed in a society; also called "lifestyle theory"
G. Phrase meaning that something has been determined to be wrong
H. Theory that the amount of pleasure or pain involved in an action dictates
I. Phrase meaning that something is inherently wrong
J. Belief that crime is committed due to forces beyond the offender's control

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