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Theft - should people in poverty face lighter punishments? Watch

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      (Original post by L i b)
      Our basic human needs are effectively guaranteed in this country. Capitalism is, if anything, a competition for topping-up which - again in this country - the many win, being able to afford abundant luxuries and a standard of living which would make most human beings throughout history blush.

      It would be a sad day if we, as you appear to be encouraging, decided to consider human beings as creatures without free will and moral choice.
      No, our basic human needs are not guaranteed in this country, millions of people are homeless, unemployed, underemployed and undereducated precisely because capitalism coercively imposes access to such things through competition. The welfare of welfare-capitalism, which you are presumably making reference to here, represents nothing more than the throwing the minimum of crumbs at those who are capable of jumping through enough hoops to prevent riot and all out civil unrest. At the same time, of course, the coercive monopolisation of the earth, its resources and the productive forces dependent upon such things, means that the capitalist class easily have their most whimsical and vulgar desires satisfied many times over.

      I don't believe in 'free will' in the abstract sense because I've never encountered a compelling case in its favour and have encountered plenty of good philosophical and scientific argument against the idea. Yes, rejection of 'free will' problematises the subject of morality and I don't claim to have all the answers but I'm not prepared to believe in something simply because it is convenient and makes difficult questions disappear.
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      (Original post by Oswy)
      No, our basic human needs are not guaranteed in this country, millions of people are homeless, unemployed, underemployed and undereducated precisely because capitalism coercively imposes access to such things through competition. The welfare of welfare-capitalism, which you are presumably making reference to here, represents nothing more than the throwing the minimum of crumbs at those who are capable of jumping through enough hoops to prevent riot and all out civil unrest. At the same time, of course, the coercive monopolisation of the earth, its resources and the productive forces dependent upon such things, means that the capitalist class easily have their most whimsical and vulgar desires satisfied many times over.

      I don't believe in 'free will' in the abstract sense because I've never encountered a compelling case in its favour and have encountered plenty of good philosophical and scientific argument against the idea. Yes, rejection of 'free will' problematises the subject of morality and I don't claim to have all the answers but I'm not prepared to believe in something simply because it is convenient and makes difficult questions disappear.
      You'd do yourself a huge favour intellectually by dropping the Marxist overtones. Capitalism is flawed, yes, but it contains TWO elements: the productive side (factories, capital, wages and profits etc) and the parasitic side: copyright, protectionism, regulations that restrict barriers to entry and government protected cartels and monopolies. Marxist in general make no attempt to seperate out the good and bad parts of capitalism which is why Marxist societies are always doomed to failure. This short article may be of interest: http://www.fredharrison.com/?p=303
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        (Original post by chefdave)
        You'd do yourself a huge favour...
        Oh dear, couldn't help yourself huh? You'd do yourself a huge favour if you didn't try to engage with me by starting out with such condescension.
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        (Original post by Oswy)
        Oh dear, couldn't help yourself huh? You'd do yourself a huge favour if you didn't try to engage with me by starting out with such condescension.
        Great response. Really dealt with the issues I raised.
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        (Original post by Wattsy)
        As soon as you start bringing emotion into judgements, you've lost consistency; the absolutely fundamental aspect of law in the UK. The poster here is spot on, take into account the objective circumstances of an offender but emotion cannot factor.
        lawl.
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        (Original post by l0uis)
        Had an interesting debate at work today with a couple of colleagues regarding the above question.

        I definitely think the background of the criminal should be considered when deciding what sentence to impose. Both of my other colleagues said no and were shocked at my reasoning.

        My two colleagues argument was that the victim of the crime would not care what sort of person committed the theft and that the same crime is of equal wrongness regardless of the criminal.

        I can understand why people in certain situations see crime as their only option. What do other people think? If you were the victim of theft, once your initial reaction had subsided, would you pity the criminal if they were from a deprived background/broken home/abused past or would you want them to be treated the same as a much more fortunate person convicted of the exactly the same crime in near identical circumstances?

        Do you think my opinion is more commonly held than my colleagues opinion?
        I'm pretty sure that speeding fines are dependent on income already.
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        (Original post by Oswy)
        No, our basic human needs are not guaranteed in this country, millions of people are homeless, unemployed, underemployed and undereducated
        There is free state education available to all, and all unemployed and underemployed people are supported through the benefits system. People who are homeless often suffer from mental health problems, alcoholism, drug addiction which realistically we can take steps to help, but cannot solve for them.

        The welfare of welfare-capitalism, which you are presumably making reference to here, represents nothing more than the throwing the minimum of crumbs at those who are capable of jumping through enough hoops to prevent riot and all out civil unrest.
        Which, regardless of the communist rhetoric, does in fact meet the basic needs of the people concerned except in extreme situations, usually where there has been some problem or ****-up.
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        This is actually one of those debate that unlike the death penalty debate, or same sex marriage debate, in the sense that both side has their logic.
        It's about equal for all in the face of justice (important in maintaining a functional justice system) VS to have rehabilitation as the real goal, not just punishment we need to take offender's brought up/backgrounds into consideration.

        I haven't come to a conclusion yet.
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        (Original post by mrjackherer)
        lawl.
        There are so many things in our law compromised for consistency.

        You should learn newbie that here you have to put coherent counters together or you'll get taken apart by people much much cleverer than me. If you can't argue properly against me, good luck to you.
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        Why should poor people be allowed to steam from people who are more well off than them?, people who have most likely worked hard for their money in the first place.

        How would these poor people like it, if in the future they become more fortunate and then had their house burgled by a poor person, I guess it would be okay, after all they did the same thing.
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        How would you be able to prove who stealed out of necessity though? How could you prove without reasonable doubt that they HAD to steal to survive. What would be the line between lighter and heavier punishments? How could you say that "yes he deserves a lighter sentence because he hasn't ate for 5 days and only stole a chicken pie, but him over there no he gets a tougher punishment because he stole a cheese sandwich but has ate the day before"

        I think that is something to think about.
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        (Original post by danny111)
        I'm pretty sure that speeding fines are dependent on income already.
        Yeah. I wonder if the people in this thread who do not agree with my point feel that footballers speeding in their supercars should get a £60 fine just like the rest of us?

        Also, a couple of posters have interpreted my comments as meaning poor people should not be punished/should be allowed to steal from people wealthier than them. I just think that people who are higher up on the social ladder should be punished more severely.

        People born in postcode E3 (Tower Hamlets, one of the most deprived places in the UK) are much more likely to become a criminal than someone born in postcode CM1 (Chelmsford, wealthy commuter town).

        The schools are much better. The housing is better. Public services are better. Children are more likely to be in a two parent house hold. Much less likely to be a victim of crime yourself. Less social pressure in general. Less likely to be exposed to drugs. Sure there are a few more reasons too which I can't think of now. All of these reasons greatly narrow the opportunity for someone to improve their living standards. No gang culture.

        Surely these factors should be taken into account?
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        if you commit a crime you face the punishment why should anyone be exempt from that just because they have a questionable background? If anything its going to encourage crime by giving the mnessage its fine to steal etc. so long as youre poor.
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        Leave the poor lighters alone!
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        Should single rapists get a lighter punishment? This country is messed up and the right-wingers have no idea about the reality of poverty and that needs to change. But letting people use poverty as an excuse for crime helps nobody,let alone poor people who might be encouraged to commit theft.
       
       
       
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