Thursday, January 02, 2014

Argumentum ad passiones …

… Sense and Sentimentality — Theodore Dalrymple. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… there are some people who should not be given a second chance. Had Himmler and Goebbels not committed suicide, would anyone have said they should be given a second chance? To take an example on a less world-historical scale, there was a jealous violent man in England not long ago who drugged his girlfriend and, while she was drugged, gouged out her eyes and rendered her permanently blind. Why should such a man be given a second chance, a scintilla of a chance? If you cannot imagine (after a recent century of such horrors as the Holocaust, Pol Pot and the Rwandan genocide) a crime so terrible that people who commit it forfeit their right to live as free persons in society, then your imagination has been brutalised to an astonishing degree – or you are ignorant to an equally astonishing degree.

1 comment:

  1. Second chances for everyone? No way! Rehabilitation and "debt to society" seem like nice enough concepts for criminal justice theory, but let us not lose sight of the more important focus: punishment. And, for some people, punishment cannot and should not include second chances. This does not mean, however, that I generally endorse capital punishment (in fact, I am opposed to it), but I think we do not adequately punish some offenders.