Who is your favorite criminal from history?

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Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Jesus (executed)
0
No votes
Socrates (executed)
1
17%
William Wallace (executed)
0
No votes
John Brown (executed)
0
No votes
Martin Luther King Jr. (assassinated)
1
17%
Mahatma Gandhi (assassinated)
0
No votes
other (please specify in replies)
4
67%
 
Total votes: 6

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Sculptor1
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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by Sculptor1 » February 17th, 2021, 12:38 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
February 17th, 2021, 7:07 am
I'm going to go with Johannes Kepler and his mum. His mum was allegedly a witch (he had to defend her against the accusation) and there are rumours that he poisoned flamboyant gold-nosed astronomer Tycho Brahe. But who can honestly say that at one time or another they haven't poisoned a famous astronomer to nick his astronomical data and succeed him at the court of the king?
TB had a pet elk.
Such heroes are hardly comparable with MLK and Gandhi.

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Pattern-chaser
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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by Pattern-chaser » February 17th, 2021, 1:16 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote:
February 17th, 2021, 9:44 am
A criminal is someone who has acted (in some way) against the wishes and/or wellbeing of their fellow citizens. Such people do not warrant remembrance, in the way this topic refers to it. I do not recommend 'cancelling' such people, but I do not think we should venerate them
Steve3007 wrote:
February 17th, 2021, 11:34 am
Pattern-chaser wrote:A criminal is someone who has acted (in some way) against the wishes and/or wellbeing of their fellow citizens.
An alternative definition (possibly a more standard one) is that a criminal is someone who has broken the laws in place in the society in which they find themselves. Not necessarily the same thing. I assume that's the point of the topic.

Fair enough. But, in the context of the topic, is my slightly unusual phraseology not still pretty much on the mark? We are all agreed, I think, that some few who break the law are justified because the laws they break are unjust in themselves. But most are just criminals, in the normally-accepted sense of the word. It is to the latter that I refer when I suggest that these people are not worthy of remembrance.
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LuckyR
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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by LuckyR » February 17th, 2021, 2:26 pm

Depends on what you mean by criminal. If you mean someone convicted of a crime, among your choices I would go with John Brown (over MLK, since Brown officially died for his cause whereas King was killed by a citizen). However choosing beyond your list, I would choose Georges-Jacques Danton since he started the French Revolution before Brown and King and also was officially killed for his work.

If, OTOH one considers professional criminals as opposed to folks who happened to get arrested somewhere along the way, I would go with Pancho Villa.
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chewybrian
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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by chewybrian » February 17th, 2021, 2:54 pm

Sculptor1 wrote:
February 17th, 2021, 12:35 pm
Seriously?
It's a bit of a stretch. Socrates to CBT via Epictectus, when compared to MLK making himself a target for people's hate and getting shot.
I mean, what game are we playing here? I was asked to pick my favorite, and it should be no surprise that someone on a philosophy forum might prefer Socrates. He had more direct impact on me because his ideas hit me directly. MLK was also a great man who died for his beliefs, and I'm not sure how you decide which is greater, and I don't care to try. I don't have to look down on one to admire the other.
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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by baker » February 17th, 2021, 4:52 pm

HJCarden wrote:
February 16th, 2021, 4:35 pm
Don't see how this is very philosophy related but I absolutely love DB Cooper. Not only for his reference in the Kid Rock classic Bawitabada, but also for the fact he did a crime that no one else has ever successfully pulled off. Robbery, skydiving, getting away with it all? Top 1 of all time.
What a display of integrity on your part, as someone who believes in God and objective morality. :shock:

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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by Tegularius » February 17th, 2021, 5:58 pm

Robin Hood, the one described in legend. One has to wonder how many times criminality has been reversed by making it legal, incorporated in law, while those who fight against injustice get labelled as criminal in its resistance to a decrepit legal system.

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Scott
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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by Scott » February 17th, 2021, 10:23 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote:
February 17th, 2021, 9:44 am
A criminal is...
Steve3007 wrote:
February 17th, 2021, 11:34 am
An alternative definition (possibly a more standard one) is that a criminal is someone who has broken the laws in place in the society in which they find themselves.
I am using the word criminal in the way @Steve3007 has described above.

According to my dictionary, a criminal is someone who has committed a crime, and a crime is an activity that is illegal.

These are the definitions I am using:
Merriam-Webster wrote: criminal noun
1 : one who has committed a crime
2 : a person who has been convicted of a crime

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/criminal
Merriam-Webster wrote: crime noun

1 : an illegal act for which someone can be punished by the government

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crime
My understanding was (and is) that the above definitions are standard to say the least, but I apologize nonetheless for any misunderstanding or lack of clarity in my preceding posts.

Thus, using the above dictionary definitions, a person like Martin Luther King Jr. who broke many laws, was repeatedly arrested, and did jail time is indubitably a criminal.
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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by Steve3007 » February 18th, 2021, 8:09 am

So, I guess an interesting question might be: What criteria might we use in deciding who is our favourite criminal from history, and do those criteria vary widely from person to person?

Obviously one common/almost universal base criterion will be that the criminal has broken a law which we consider to be wrong by doing something that we consider to be right. But on top of that might be a greater variety of criteria. We might think that the criminal's actions are emblematic of some kind of very broad moral principle (e.g. Spartacus) or we might simply think that the criminal made some great additions to the sum of human knowledge and that the alleged crime was incidental to that (Kepler?).

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NickGaspar
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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by NickGaspar » February 18th, 2021, 12:25 pm

My favorite is our Modern Economic System. It has killed more people than any other criminal or historical physical disasters and still does while even moral people jump to its defense!

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Steve3007
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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by Steve3007 » February 18th, 2021, 12:33 pm

NickGaspar wrote:My favorite is our Modern Economic System. It has killed more people than any other criminal or historical physical disasters and still does while even moral people jump to its defense!
Net or gross?

Given that the current population of the world is approaching 8 billion I assume you can't mean gross.

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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by NickGaspar » February 18th, 2021, 12:38 pm

To be accurate, we don't really have historical sources that could verify the existence of Jesus or Socrates in a high standard. (non contemporary recordings)
Both were not criminals (on objective standards) but only those teachings attributed to Jesus have been inspiring to future criminals.
So if our standards are not that strict we could include also criminals like Batman and Robin Hood.

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NickGaspar
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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by NickGaspar » February 18th, 2021, 12:50 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
February 18th, 2021, 12:33 pm
NickGaspar wrote:My favorite is our Modern Economic System. It has killed more people than any other criminal or historical physical disasters and still does while even moral people jump to its defense!
Net or gross?

Given that the current population of the world is approaching 8 billion I assume you can't mean gross.
Well, the number of people surviving a criminal economic system isn't a metric for its "benevolence" or its economic profile.
A single number of its own can not really inform us for the efficiency, economy or success of a method. i.e. observing a pond with a huge number of frogs tells us nothing about the "economy" of their reproductive methods. We need to compare the number of their eggs vs the surviving adult population. Quickly we will see the wasteful nature of their reproductive methods.
An other serious problem of our economic system is that ...it also destroys our "pond"...making it a potential criminal in a league of its own.

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Scott
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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by Scott » February 18th, 2021, 6:39 pm

To summarize the additional suggestions to add to our list of possible favorite criminals, I noted these nominations:

DB Cooper, nominated by @HJCarden

Spartacus
, nominated by @Sculptor1

Johannes Kepler and his mum, nominated by @Steve3007

Georges-Jacques Danton, nominated by @LuckyR


If I missed any other nominations, let me know! :)


I also asked a similar question on Twitter and recieved the following additional suggestions of criminals via Twitter:

- Jesse James

- Dr OYENUSI

- Bridget Bishop


Finally, while I didn't include him in the original poll, I think Henry David Thoreau deserves a mention, especially considering he is literally the author of Civil Disobedience.
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Sculptor1
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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by Sculptor1 » February 18th, 2021, 6:49 pm

Scott wrote:
February 18th, 2021, 6:39 pm
To summarize the additional suggestions to add to our list of possible favorite criminals, I noted these nominations:

DB Cooper, nominated by @HJCarden

Spartacus
, nominated by @Sculptor1

Johannes Kepler and his mum, nominated by @Steve3007

Georges-Jacques Danton, nominated by @LuckyR


If I missed any other nominations, let me know! :)


I also asked a similar question on Twitter and recieved the following additional suggestions of criminals via Twitter:

- Jesse James

- Dr OYENUSI

- Bridget Bishop


Finally, while I didn't include him in the original poll, I think Henry David Thoreau deserves a mention, especially considering he is literally the author of Civil Disobedience.
Was he ever convicted?

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Sculptor1
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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by Sculptor1 » February 18th, 2021, 6:51 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
February 18th, 2021, 8:09 am
So, I guess an interesting question might be: What criteria might we use in deciding who is our favourite criminal from history, and do those criteria vary widely from person to person?

Obviously one common/almost universal base criterion will be that the criminal has broken a law which we consider to be wrong by doing something that we consider to be right. But on top of that might be a greater variety of criteria. We might think that the criminal's actions are emblematic of some kind of very broad moral principle (e.g. Spartacus) or we might simply think that the criminal made some great additions to the sum of human knowledge and that the alleged crime was incidental to that (Kepler?).

Galileo would be front and centre.
What about Thomas Paine????

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