Does Society Need Prisons?

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Scott
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

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LuckyR wrote: March 30th, 2021, 6:13 pm
Scott wrote: March 30th, 2021, 2:39 pm LuckyR, I may have missed it, but I don't think you answered my below question:
Scott wrote: March 26th, 2021, 1:44 pm
Scott wrote: March 25th, 2021, 7:33 pm
If I am understanding correctly (which is never a safe assumption), that means your question is as follows: For someone who steals my identity and ruins my credit score, what punishment seems logical to me?

My answer is that I don't think any punishment for anything would have a logical value one way or other other, so the answer is null or n/a.

Logical inferences have values of logical (a.k.a. valid) or illogical (a.k.a. invalid).

Propositions have values of true (a.k.a. correct or right) versus false (a.k.a. incorrect or wrong).

Events and behaviors--such as spanking a person on their butt--have neither. Events and behaviors are neither true nor false. Events and behaviors are neither logically valid or logically invalid.
LuckyR wrote: March 26th, 2021, 2:46 am Ok, that's where we differ.
I am not sure what you mean. Where specifically is where we differ? Is there a specific sentence from the above post with which you disagree (or most disagree)? Which sentence(s) specifically in the above post do you think are untrue?
I think I could better understand your latter comments once I understand better the precise point in which our views are diverging on the above matter.
Well since we are speaking of our opinions, there are no untruths in your commentary. As to disagreements I do not share your red opinion. Perhaps my use of the word logical was confusing.
I don't see the claim highlighted that "only logical inferences have values of logically valid/invalid" as an opinion per se. In other words, I don't see it as being subjective.

To give another example, I don't think an apple can be logically valid or logically invalid. An apple is not an inference or argument.

While I could be mistaken, or there could be a misunderstanding due to an equivocal word, I don't think any sentence in this post is a matter of opinion, but rather each one is a matter of alleged fact. Opinions cannot be wrong, but alleged facts can be. Propositions and alleged facts can be true or false. Arguments and logical inferences and arguments can be logically valid or invalid. Apples, behaviors, and events do no have truth values or logical values; for instance it is not meaningful to say an apple is untrue or to say an apple is fallacious.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by GE Morton »

Scott wrote: March 30th, 2021, 2:39 pm
I think we both agree that crimes can be roughly classified into three categories:

-- 1. violent
(e.g. murder, rape, or a marijuana smoker "resisting arrest" by pulling away while being handcuffed)

-- 2. non-violent but allegedly not victimless
(e.g. scratching a lover's car after catching the person cheating, forgetting to return a VHS movie rental, or using a relative's address to get your kids in a better school district)

-- 3. non-violent and victimless
(e.g. marijuana possession, consensual adult prostitution, pacifistic tax protesting, etc. )
Why choose such trivial examples of #2? Why ignore burglary, grand larceny, auto theft, arson, identity theft, embezzling, credit card or check fraud, etc.?

>> I am very concerned with #3 in that it results in the violent non-defensive victimization of human beings by the government.

So am I. But are you not also concerned with non-violent victimization by the government --- such as the confiscatory taxes the State imposes on legal marijuana (as mentioned above) and on tobacco and alcohol? Or laws which prohibit landlords from evicting non-paying tenants? (All of which are, of course, backed by the threat of force).

>> So, yes, I am more concerned with violent victimization (i.e. #1 and #3) than non-violent victimization. Are you not?

No, not necessarily. There are degrees in both. Most people, I think, would prefer a broken nose resulting from a barroom assault than the loss of their house to an arsonist, or the loss of their work truck with all their tools inside to an auto thief, or the loss of their savings and the ruination of their credit to an identity thief, or the loss of a 5-generation heirloom to a burglar. There is nothing morally "special" about violent crimes. Many property crimes inflict as much or more grief and suffering than most physical assaults (short of homicide).
Most of Rosa Park's and Martin Luther King's crimes would likely be classified as #2 and/or as "property crimes" by your standards along with other cases of trespassing, right?
Some property crimes, just as some violent crimes, can be justified. Parks, BTW, was not trespassing. She was invited to enter that bus, conditioned only on payment of the fare. Her refusal to change seats was a challenge to the local government, which commanded transit operators to provide separate seating section for white and black passengers.
What about when someone gets arrested for calling a police offer a "pig", which is usually labeled as "disorderly conduct" or some kind of similar public order offense?
There is no victim there. And unless there is something more than speech, it is not disorderly conduct. Insulting speech directed to government officials is protected by the First Amendment.
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

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GE Morton wrote: March 30th, 2021, 10:08 pm >> I am very concerned with #3 in that it results in the violent non-defensive victimization of human beings by the government.

So am I. But are you not also concerned with non-violent victimization by the government
I am sorry if my earlier posts didn't make this clear: I am concerned with nonviolent victimization, but I am significantly more concerned with violent victimization than non-violent victimization.

GE Morton wrote: March 30th, 2021, 10:08 pm non-violent victimization by the government --- such as the confiscatory taxes the State imposes on legal marijuana (as mentioned above) and on tobacco and alcohol? Or laws which prohibit landlords from evicting non-paying tenants? (All of which are, of course, backed by the threat of force).
I do not consider it nonviolent when it is backed by the threat of force. In other words, I would consider armed robbery to be violent victimization.

So indeed I am much more concerned with such violent taxation than I am with nonviolent victimization, especially if the latter is merely citizen-on-citizen rather than done by an organized powerful mafia or by a government.
GE Morton wrote: March 30th, 2021, 10:08 pm Most people, I think, would prefer a broken nose resulting from a barroom assault than the loss of their house to an arsonist
I believe arson is typically classified as a violent crime, along with robbery.

Scott wrote:What about when someone gets arrested for calling a police offer a "pig", which is usually labeled as "disorderly conduct" or some kind of similar public order offense?
GE Morton wrote: March 30th, 2021, 10:08 pm There is no victim there. And unless there is something more than speech, it is not disorderly conduct. Insulting speech directed to government officials is protected by the First Amendment.
Such an arrest would typically be counted as disorderly conduct (or worse) statistically on government statistical reports:

https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/20 ... en-in-jail

For that arrest, the charge was disorderly conduct, a common charge used on peaceful people engaging in victimless behavior.

Indeed, I would classify "disorderly conduct" arrests and other public order arrests as generally essentially victimless along with consensual adult prostitution, drug arrests, pacifistic tax protesting, etc.

I would do the same for situations in which the only charge is 'resisting arrest'.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by GE Morton »

Scott wrote: March 31st, 2021, 1:21 pm
I am sorry if my earlier posts didn't make this clear: I am concerned with nonviolent victimization, but I am significantly more concerned with violent victimization than non-violent victimization.
Why, given the varying degrees of suffering that may ensue from both?
I do not consider it nonviolent when it is backed by the threat of force. In other words, I would consider armed robbery to be violent victimization.
I agree.
I believe arson is typically classified as a violent crime, along with robbery.
Not according to these sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Property_crime

https://nij.ojp.gov/topics/crime/property-crimes

https://www.findlaw.com/criminal/crimin ... rimes.html
Scott wrote:What about when someone gets arrested for calling a police offer a "pig", which is usually labeled as "disorderly conduct" or some kind of similar public order offense?
GE Morton wrote: March 30th, 2021, 10:08 pm There is no victim there. And unless there is something more than speech, it is not disorderly conduct. Insulting speech directed to government officials is protected by the First Amendment.
Such an arrest would typically be counted as disorderly conduct (or worse) statistically on government statistical reports:

https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/20 ... en-in-jail

For that arrest, the charge was disorderly conduct, a common charge used on peaceful people engaging in victimless behavior.
The article you cite supports my claim. The disorderly conduct charge was not based on what the subject said, but for opening the door of a moving vehicle. As the article notes, "'If the arrest had occurred for shouting through an open window, it probably would have been unconstitutional,” says Vanderbilt University Law School professor Christopher Slobogin.'

"But, Slobogin says, 'opening a door while a car is moving is probably a traffic violation” and the U.S. Supreme Court's 1996 Whren v. United States decision therefore allows for such a stop.'"
I would do the same for situations in which the only charge is 'resisting arrest'.
There are few cases where the only charge would be resisting arrest. There had to be a lawful basis for the arrest in the first place. If there is not, the subject can't be charged with resisting it. In some states, however, any interference with a police officer performing his lawful duties is considered and charged as "resisting arrest."

https://www.findlaw.com/criminal/crimin ... rrest.html
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

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GE Morton wrote: April 1st, 2021, 9:24 am
Scott wrote: March 31st, 2021, 1:21 pm
I am sorry if my earlier posts didn't make this clear: I am concerned with nonviolent victimization, but I am significantly more concerned with violent victimization than non-violent victimization.
Why, given the varying degrees of suffering that may ensue from both?
Technically, suffering is not my only concern. I am concerned with freedom in addition to suffering, but I do believe that in practice they generally tend to be coherent. In other words, I am not a utilitarian but generally in practice that turns out to be moot. (In hypothetical thought experiments such as murdering an innocent fat man by pushing him in front of a train to save others, it is not moot.) I would prefer to see someone suffer in freedom (i.e. by their own choice) then be a slave to a nanny state. In other words, even if the idea of the benevolent dictator was possible let alone plausible, I would still oppose it, but luckily in practice I believe that point is moot, meaning freedom (i.e. nonviolence) is generally coherent with utilitarianism.

With that said, even if just judging in utilitarian terms of human suffering (or death), I believe the typical, mode, and upper limit for violent victimization each tend to be significantly greater than that non-violent victimization.

As an example of what I mean by the upper limit, I'd rather see a billion cars get scratched than one person get murdered, let alone a violent genocide like the holocaust occur. In another example, what nonviolent victimization is equal to worse than the murder of a bunch of innocent children?

In regard to the typical or mode, what i mean is that I am not at all swayed by the idea that if we take an exceptionally minor case of violent victimization and compare it to an exceptionally extreme case of nonviolent victimization the former could arguably be worse in terms of human suffering. The use of the word exceptional is why.

So both in terms of upper limit and typicality, violent victimization is significantly more concerning to me than nonviolent victimization.

However, if it is helpful, I am happy to coceptually subdivide violent victimization into two mutually exclusive categories, which we could label 'minor violent victimization' and 'non-minor violent victimization', defined as such:

Minor violent victimization -- Incidents that are arguably no more concerning or damaging than is possible with nonviolent victimization, e.g. a woman slapping a man because he called her ma'am instead of miss making her feel old. Another way of defining it could be cases of violent victimization that many of us would prefer happen to us than extreme cases of nonviolent victimization. (I would much rather be lightly slapped than have my car stolen, especially if I am far away from home and was depending on that car to get back home.)

Non-minor violent victimization -- Incidents that are worse--possibly infinitely worse--than any nonviolent victimization. Examples might include murdering innocent children or the holocaust. While still preferable to either of those two things, I would also put in this category the mass incarcerating hundreds of thousands of peaceful human beings in cages for victimless crimes such as but not limited to marijuana possession, consensual adult prostitution, and pacifistic tax protesting.

If you accept this terminology, I can say that my earlier about concern are almost entirely if not entirely reflective of non-minor violent victimization (e.g. murder, rape, full-fledged slavery, mass incarceration of non-victimizers, the holocaust, etc.).

Those matters concern me far more than non-violent victimization.

Like nonviolent victimization, minor violent victimization (e.g. a light slap in the face) is also not nearly as concerning as non-minor violent victimization.

Scott wrote:I believe arson is typically classified as a violent crime, along with robbery.
Are you working under the assumption that a crime cannot simultaneously be a property crime and a violent crime?

In any case, the source I checked states, "Crimes defined as violent may vary by state, but they often include crimes of harm against another person like assault or battery, sexual crimes like rape, and serious property crimes like arson."

Regardless, generally, if any property crime leads to serious human damage, then it becomes (also) a violent crime. Examples include: (1) cutting someone's brake lines, and they get in a car accident and die or are injured, (2) you set a fire in someone's house and they die, they get injured, or their pet dies or gets injured, (3) you rip up all of someone's money, and as a result they quickly starve to death and die, (4) you are a cook who drinks on the job and then through gross negligence poison someone's food causing them to get terribly sick or die, (5) you are a car mechanic who drinks on the job and through gross negligence ruin the braking system on a car and it causes someone's injury or death, (6) you are a roller coaster inspector and mechanic and through gross negligence cause the roller coaster to malfunction injuring or killing a coaster full of innocent people, or (7) you swap out someone's birth control pills with placebos, and they get pregnant, have a pregnancy complication, and die.

Point being, if a so-called or would-be property crime is so extreme, so exceptional, or significantly indirectly damaging to humans (or animals), then it is a violent crime.

Even verbal assault is usually treated as a violent crime by most people.


Regarding crimes like the following:

- disorderly conduct
- disturbing the peace
- resisting arrest
- fleeing from police
- obstructing a police officer
- failure to obey a police order

They do often get filed as standalone charges.

Even in the case of something like resisting or fleeing, it is simply untrue when you write, "There had to be a lawful basis for the arrest in the first place," not that it would be much of a defense anyway. First, there is a big difference between lawful basis and alleged lawful basis; cops frequently break laws and lie too, just like the rest of us humans. Moreover, even if in a given case there happened to actually be a true lawful basis (e.g. the completely legal war on drugs) to harass peaceful people, then that is an even worse problem. So when a pacifist allegedly smoking marijuana gets charged only with the standalone charge of resisting arrest, which happens, or the standalone charge of disorderly conduct, it's irrelevant to the question of violence and victimization if the initial allegation was true or if the alleged basis for it (e.g. "I smelled marijuana") was true.

The cops may need to claim that their was an alleged lawful reason for detainment/arrest in the first place but they absolutely do not have to pursue that charge or would-be arrest. People absolutely get arrested on the standalone charge of resisting arrest or disorderly conduct, but again that's a moot point if the alleged reason for the initial detainment attempt or interaction was a victimless crime or non-crime. A genuine pacifist can easily get arrested for resisting arrest, distributing the peace, disorderly conduct, obstruction, etc.

Long story short, saying that there is a "lawful basis" for something is in no way remotely a defense for it, not to me, not philosophically. If anything, it makes it sound worse.

I cannot and would not speculate upon whether your intention is to defend big government and the violent agents of big government, which together cost trillions per year of violently stolen taxpayer money. However, I can say that for anyone who seeks to do that, a 'lawful basis'--alleged or otherwise--will not work to that end, not for me, not philosophically.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
GE Morton
Posts: 2107
Joined: February 1st, 2017, 1:06 am

Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by GE Morton »

Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 2:42 pm
Technically, suffering is not my only concern. I am concerned with freedom in addition to suffering, but I do believe that in practice they generally tend to be coherent.
Sorry for the delay.

You don't think property crimes reduce freedom? E.g., if someone steals my car, I'm no longer free to use it. Do you consider imprisoning a thief an illegitimate infringement of his freedom? Does freedom include the freedom to steal, in your view?
I would prefer to see someone suffer in freedom (i.e. by their own choice) then be a slave to a nanny state. In other words, even if the idea of the benevolent dictator was possible let alone plausible, I would still oppose it, but luckily in practice I believe that point is moot, meaning freedom (i.e. nonviolence) is generally coherent with utilitarianism.
Freedom is understood by most to be a broader concept than non-violence (by "violence" I mean a physical assault upon a person, or the threat of it). There are many non-violent ways to reduce someone's freedom. (I take "freedom" to mean the absence of constraints on one's actions imposed by other moral agents. In a social setting that freedom encompasses all actions which do not inflict loss or injury on other moral agents).
With that said, even if just judging in utilitarian terms of human suffering (or death), I believe the typical, mode, and upper limit for violent victimization each tend to be significantly greater than that non-violent victimization.
That is surely true, since the upper limit is death. But most crimes fall well short of that limit. As I pointed out before, many property crimes inflict more suffering, and greater loss of freedom, than many violent crimes.
As an example of what I mean by the upper limit, I'd rather see a billion cars get scratched than one person get murdered, let alone a violent genocide like the holocaust occur. In another example, what nonviolent victimization is equal to worse than the murder of a bunch of innocent children?
None. But that some violent crimes are worse than most non-violent crimes doesn't render the latter innocuous. I'd prefer to see no one murdered or any cars scratched. Both inflict suffering; that suffering should be compensated, whatever its extent.
In regard to the typical or mode, what i mean is that I am not at all swayed by the idea that if we take an exceptionally minor case of violent victimization and compare it to an exceptionally extreme case of nonviolent victimization the former could arguably be worse in terms of human suffering. The use of the word exceptional is why.
A principle must hold for extreme cases as well as for ordinary ones. Most counterarguments in debates rely on extreme cases.
However, if it is helpful, I am happy to coceptually subdivide violent victimization into two mutually exclusive categories, which we could label 'minor violent victimization' and 'non-minor violent victimization', defined as such:

Minor violent victimization -- Incidents that are arguably no more concerning or damaging than is possible with nonviolent victimization, e.g. a woman slapping a man because he called her ma'am instead of miss making her feel old. Another way of defining it could be cases of violent victimization that many of us would prefer happen to us than extreme cases of nonviolent victimization. (I would much rather be lightly slapped than have my car stolen, especially if I am far away from home and was depending on that car to get back home.)

Non-minor violent victimization -- Incidents that are worse--possibly infinitely worse--than any nonviolent victimization. Examples might include murdering innocent children or the holocaust. While still preferable to either of those two things, I would also put in this category the mass incarcerating hundreds of thousands of peaceful human beings in cages for victimless crimes such as but not limited to marijuana possession, consensual adult prostitution, and pacifistic tax protesting.

If you accept this terminology, I can say that my earlier about concern are almost entirely if not entirely reflective of non-minor violent victimization (e.g. murder, rape, full-fledged slavery, mass incarceration of non-victimizers, the holocaust, etc.).

Those matters concern me far more than non-violent victimization.
Well, given the brief jail stints usually imposed for "marijuana possession, consensual adult prostitution, and pacifistic tax protesting," I suspect many victims of those prosecutions would prefer their sentences to, say, having their cars stolen or their businesses looted by burglars.

I agree with your thrust. But that some crimes or more concerning than others doesn't render the latter of no concern.
Scott wrote:I believe arson is typically classified as a violent crime, along with robbery.
Are you working under the assumption that a crime cannot simultaneously be a property crime and a violent crime?
Oh, no. Armed robbery is both a violent crime and a property crime. I'm using the conventional classification scheme used by most scholars and government agencies.
Even verbal assault is usually treated as a violent crime by most people.
Well, I'm not sure who those people would be. It certainly wouldn't be prosecuted as such in any US state.
Regarding crimes like the following:

- disorderly conduct
- disturbing the peace
- resisting arrest
- fleeing from police
- obstructing a police officer
- failure to obey a police order

They do often get filed as standalone charges.
Not resisting arrest, in most states (in some states obstructing a police officer is charged as "resisting arrest").
Even in the case of something like resisting or fleeing, it is simply untrue when you write, "There had to be a lawful basis for the arrest in the first place," not that it would be much of a defense anyway. First, there is a big difference between lawful basis and alleged lawful basis; cops frequently break laws and lie too, just like the rest of us humans.
Well, of course. But if the person arrested can show that the arrest was not lawful, the resisting charge would be mooted, as a matter of law (an arrest can be lawful even if the charge is eventually dropped or the person acquitted):

------------
In order to secure a conviction for resisting arrest, the prosecutor must produce evidence on the following issues, called the “elements” of the offense, and the judge or jury must decide that the prosecutor has proved each one of them beyond a reasonable doubt. While the elements of the crime may vary from state to state, usually all of the following must be true:

* The defendant intentionally resisted or obstructed a law enforcement officer. This means the defendant intentionally acted in a way to hinder the arrest. However, the person need not have intended the result or harm that his actions caused.

* The defendant acted violently toward the law enforcement officer or threatened to act violently. For example, striking or pushing the officer would satisfy this requirement. Similarly, a defendant’s threat to strike an officer with an object in the defendant’s hand would also satisfy this requirement.

* The law enforcement officer was lawfully discharging his official duties. This means the law enforcement officer was properly engaged in the performance of official duties, such as investigating a crime or making a traffic stop. A law enforcement officer can be acting lawfully even when arresting the wrong person and even if the charges are dropped or the defendant secures an acquittal at trial.
------------
https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/c ... Arrest.htm
A genuine pacifist can easily get arrested for resisting arrest, distributing the peace, disorderly conduct, obstruction, etc.
It would depend upon what the pacifist was doing. Just standing on a street corner with a sign, or blocking traffic on a public street? If the cop attempted to arrest him for the former that arrest would be unlawful, and if he was charged also with resisting that arrest that charge would be moot (in some states).
I cannot and would not speculate upon whether your intention is to defend big government and the violent agents of big government, which together cost trillions per year of violently stolen taxpayer money. However, I can say that for anyone who seeks to do that, a 'lawful basis'--alleged or otherwise--will not work to that end, not for me, not philosophically.
I'm certainly no defender of big government. Indeed, I consider deterring and preventing crime, and securing restitution for its victims, to be one of the few justifiable roles for government, and the primary one. By a "crime," of course, I mean intentional acts by moral agents which inflict loss or injury on other moral agents, without justification, the only justification for such acts being to prevent such an act or rectify a prior unjustified act. Obviously marijuana possession, prostitution, etc., do not satisfy that definition of "crime," and prosecution for them is not justifiable.
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by Scott »

Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 2:42 pm
Technically, suffering is not my only concern. I am concerned with freedom in addition to suffering, but I do believe that in practice they generally tend to be coherent.
GE Morton wrote: April 9th, 2021, 11:55 pm You don't think property crimes reduce freedom?
As I wrote in previous posts, I am concerned with nonviolent property crimes and with minor violent crimes (e.g. a small woman giving a much larger man an open-handed slap to the face). I am significantly more concerned with violent crimes (e.g. murder, rape, violent kidnapping, forcible nonconsensual bondage, etc.).

In other words, I do think property crimes as well as minor violent crimes (e.g. the light open-handed slap) can infringe freedom. I am thus not strictly opposed to using a parallel mechanism for dealing with those as dealing with non-minor violent crime (e.g. murder, rape, violent kidnapping, forcible non-consensual bondage, etc.).

If you and I don't agree philosophically regarding what to do with murders and rapists, it's hard to imagine we will agree on what we will do about kids spray-painting walls and tiny women slapping giant men in the grocery stores. If we can agree on the philosophy that deals with the former, I bet the latter agreement will fall into place much easier.



GE Morton wrote: April 9th, 2021, 11:55 pm
As an example of what I mean by the upper limit, I'd rather see a billion cars get scratched than one person get murdered, let alone a violent genocide like the holocaust occur. In another example, what nonviolent victimization is equal to worse than the murder of a bunch of innocent children?
None. But that some violent crimes are worse than most non-violent crimes doesn't render the latter innocuous. I'd prefer to see no one murdered or any cars scratched. Both inflict suffering; that suffering should be compensated, whatever its extent.
I agree. That is why I say that I am much more concerned with non-minor violent victimization (e.g. murder, rape, etc.). I am not saying that I lack any concern at all for any nonviolent property crime at all. I agree that wouldn't make sense for me to say if I was to say it.

GE Morton wrote: April 9th, 2021, 11:55 pm A principle must hold for extreme cases as well as for ordinary ones. Most counterarguments in debates rely on extreme cases.
I agree.

GE Morton wrote: April 9th, 2021, 11:55 pm I agree with your thrust. But that some crimes or more concerning than others doesn't render the latter of no concern.
Yes, I agree.

If at any point I gave the impression that I have no concern for any non-violent property crime, I am sorry for not being clear. I am significantly more concerned with non-minor violent victimization (e.g. murder, rape, etc.) than I am with non-violent property crime, but that doesn't mean I have no concern at all for the latter.

Even verbal assault is usually treated as a violent crime by most people.
GE Morton wrote: April 9th, 2021, 11:55 pm Well, I'm not sure who those people would be. It certainly wouldn't be prosecuted as such in any US state.
If the following types of crimes are not often classified as "violent" then I am happy to learn that:


- disorderly conduct
- verbal assault
- disturbing the peace
- resisting arrest
- fleeing from police
- obstructing a police officer
- failure to obey a police order
- etc.


Scott wrote:A genuine pacifist can easily get arrested for resisting arrest, distributing the peace, disorderly conduct, obstruction, etc.
GE Morton wrote: April 9th, 2021, 11:55 pmIt would depend upon what the pacifist was doing.
Of course, yes, I agree. That is really true of any criminal from the most violent to the most pacifist in the world. For instance, a serial killer who is good at hiding the bodies will be less likely to get arrested than the one who is worse hiding bodies.

Let's imagine it's a pacifist in the backseat of a car with smelly marijuana in his pocket, and let's imagine the sober driver who doesn't even smoke marijuana let alone drink alcohol (which presumably we can agree is much worse than marijuana) goes through a DUI stop and during the stop the cops claim to smell marijuana, and thereby insist on detaining everyone, searching the car, and patting down and searching each person in the car.

It's very easy to imagine that pacifist in the backseat getting arrested not only for one (or more of the following):

- disorderly conduct
- disturbing the peace
- resisting arrest
- fleeing from police
- obstructing a police officer
- failure to obey a police order
- etc.


But what if he didn't have marijuana and just smelled like it ?That's just one less charge, assuming it, or a gun, doesn't get illegally planted on him or such which certainly does happen sometimes.


Scott wrote:I cannot and would not speculate upon whether your intention is to defend big government and the violent agents of big government, which together cost trillions per year of violently stolen taxpayer money. However, I can say that for anyone who seeks to do that, a 'lawful basis'--alleged or otherwise--will not work to that end, not for me, not philosophically.
GE Morton wrote: April 9th, 2021, 11:55 pm I'm certainly no defender of big government. Indeed, I consider deterring and preventing crime, and securing restitution for its victims, to be one of the few justifiable roles for government, and the primary one. By a "crime," of course, I mean intentional acts by moral agents which inflict loss or injury on other moral agents, without justification, the only justification for such acts being to prevent such an act or rectify a prior unjustified act. Obviously marijuana possession, prostitution, etc., do not satisfy that definition of "crime," and prosecution for them is not justifiable.
I figured as much, and I agree with you on those points.

For that reason, I don't think it's worthwhile to consider the requirement of a "lawful basis" as being significant in terms of what we are discussing, even if we ignore the fact that some police officers can and do lie and can and do break the law. In other words, even if we falsely assume all police officers are honest and law-abiding, it still is of little to no value in terms of current statistics that a "lawful basis" needs to exist before a pacifist has an initial confrontation with police that ultimately results in a charge such as one of the following:

- disorderly conduct
- disturbing the peace
- resisting arrest
- fleeing from police
- obstructing a police officer
- failure to obey a police order
- some other 'public order' crime
- etc.


In my book, the pacifist is still the victim even if there is a true honest lawful basis for the original arrest/detainment. And the pacifist isn't just a victim, but a victim of significant violence. It isn't an open-handed slap to the face; it's a human being getting chased down like a rabid dog and shoved into a horrible cage potentially for years, if the arrest itself doesn't lead directly to the death of the pacifist.

And the taxpayers get victimized too, since they are forced to fund the violent victimization, which is nothing short of violent armed robbery as far as I am concerned.

When it comes to something like the war on drugs, the direct targets aren't the only ones violently victimized. The level of collateral damage is horrific and immeasurable.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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