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    If we could, do you think we should police peoples' thoughts?

    Lets say you have the power to read a person's mind, and you had the power to lock them up.

    Which of the following thought crimes would you lock a person up for, and why?:

    VIOLENT INTENT:
    -Intent to maim/kill
    -Intent to rape/assault
    -Intent to stalk/harass
    -Intent to rob
    -Intent to violently protest

    NON-VIOLENT INTENT:
    -Objectifying thoughts
    -Anti-democratic thoughts
    -Racist thoughts (including seemingly harmless stereotyping)
    -Hatred or fear of groups of people
    -Elitist views (e.g. superiority based on anything from intelligence to wealth to ethnicity)
    -Pro-Hitler views (not necessarily racist, e.g. "he was a great leader, but misguided" )
    -Mistrust of authorities
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    Perhaps I should add a poll?
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    Too much ethics involved here for me to make an informed choice :erm:
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    (Original post by iEthan)
    Too much ethics involved here for me to make an informed choice :erm:
    Follow your heart
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    If we could, do you think we should police peoples' thoughts?

    Lets say you have the power to read a person's mind, and you had the power to lock them up.

    Which of the following thought crimes would you lock a person up for, and why?:

    VIOLENT INTENT:
    -Intent to maim/kill
    -Intent to rape/assault
    -Intent to stalk/harass
    -Intent to rob
    -Intent to violently protest

    NON-VIOLENT INTENT:
    -Objectifying thoughts
    -Anti-democratic thoughts
    -Racist thoughts (including seemingly harmless stereotyping)
    -Hatred or fear of groups of people
    -Elitist views (e.g. superiority based on anything from intelligence to wealth to ethnicity)
    -Pro-Hitler views (not necessarily racist, e.g. "he was a great leader, but misguided"
    -Mistrust of authorities
    Sounds like you're not that keen on thoughts being a crime. Do you count Mens Rea as thought crime?

    If thoughts should not be a crime, how would you distinguish between manslaughter and murder, or do you think they are essentially the same thing?
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    No, thoughts are not actions and intent is different to just considering a possibility, if we decided to lock people up for their thoughts, the prisons would be full
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    no
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    (Original post by pjm600)
    Sounds like you're not that keen on thoughts being a crime. Do you count Mens Rea as thought crime?

    If thoughts should not be a crime, how would you distinguish between manslaughter and murder, or do you think they are essentially the same thing?
    I don't know much law, but from my impression of it, Mens Rea should be a crime

    AFAIK, murder is pre-medidated, manslaughter is not

    I think murder should carry a much heavier penalty than manslaughter - everyone makes mistakes, and it is possible to commit manslaughter while doing absolutely nothing wrong

    The problem, of course, is determining intent of a killing, or whether it is accidental or not. I am in favour of monitoring people's thoughts, and monitoring their actions to stop them doing harm, but I wonder where to draw the line between the ability of a state to tolerate differing views, and the need of the state to protect itself from extremists.
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    (Original post by Blondie987)
    No, thoughts are not actions and intent is different to just considering a possibility, if we decided to lock people up for their thoughts, the prisons would be full
    But wouldn't it save lives, acting preemptively? If someone was minutes away from committing violent crime, shouldn't they be locked up, for the safety of others?

    (Original post by GettingitDone)
    no
    Why?
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    But wouldn't it save lives, acting preemptively? If someone was minutes away from committing violent crime, shouldn't they be locked up, for the safety of others?



    Why?
    I plan to kill people all the time.... Unless I take action im doing no wrong


    Also you cant arrest people for sympathising with Hitler.
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    But wouldn't it save lives, acting preemptively? If someone was minutes away from committing violent crime, shouldn't they be locked up, for the safety of others?



    Why?
    Being seconds away from committing the crime and just thinking about anything remotely criminal is not the same thing, plus surely criminals would just find a way around it anyway
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    (Original post by GettingitDone)
    I plan to kill people all the time.... Unless I take action im doing no wrong


    Also you cant arrest people for sympathising with Hitler.
    Let's not bring arbitrarily defined "right" and "wrong" into this

    Wouldn't you like to be locked up in prison during your "plan to kill others" periods, to ensure you don't do anything you regret later?
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    No it would be a very difficult thing to try and justify imprisoning someone for.

    If someone has a thought they'd like to kill someone you shouldn't imprison them on the off chance they might actually do it.

    If you can tell someone has the intention to kill then that's different and is considered illegal in our society anyway.
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    Let's not bring arbitrarily defined "right" and "wrong" into this

    Wouldn't you like to be locked up in prison during your "plan to kill others" periods, to ensure you don't do anything you regret later?

    Absolutely not, I might actually have a a good reason to one day and don't want people stopping me because they can read my thoughts.
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    (Original post by GettingitDone)
    Absolutely not, I might actually have a a good reason to one day and don't want people stopping me because they can read my thoughts.
    If there were a good reason to kill someone, you could report them to the authorities...
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    If there were a good reason to kill someone, you could report them to the authorities...

    Nahh I would rather kill them If i felt i needed to.
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    The technology would have to be robust and completely infallible, with a huge tolerance for error, to allow this. What if someone is reading a book during which a character is murdered? If they have a vivid mental image, surely it would not be beyond the bounds of reason that this device would pick this up as a thought crime?

    Even if the technology was completely perfect and intelligent enough to distinguish between thoughts and actual intent to commit a crime, to have any meaningful effect everyone would have to be under constant surveillance. To do this, everyone would have to be fitted with a device of some sort, which criminal groups would be likely to quickly find a way to deactivate, starting a 'Black Market' of sorts.

    In principle, the idea is brilliant, ant despite the above problems, it does raise a possibility for those considered to be a suicide risk, for example. They could be fitted with a device like this to monitor their thoughts and automatically alert the relevant people if thoughts of suicide occur. Alternatively, perhaps a patient with a mental health condition could have a device to measure and record their thoughts in order to aid Doctors and Psychologists in making a diagnosis and deciding upon a treatment plan?

    What do you think?

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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    If we could, do you think we should police peoples' thoughts?

    Lets say you have the power to read a person's mind, and you had the power to lock them up.

    Which of the following thought crimes would you lock a person up for, and why?:

    VIOLENT INTENT:
    -Intent to maim/kill
    -Intent to rape/assault
    -Intent to stalk/harass
    -Intent to rob
    -Intent to violently protest

    NON-VIOLENT INTENT:
    -Objectifying thoughts
    -Anti-democratic thoughts
    -Racist thoughts (including seemingly harmless stereotyping)
    -Hatred or fear of groups of people
    -Elitist views (e.g. superiority based on anything from intelligence to wealth to ethnicity)
    -Pro-Hitler views (not necessarily racist, e.g. "he was a great leader, but misguided" )
    -Mistrust of authorities
    Would never work.

    Practically speaking, just thinking about doing harmful things couldnt be a crime otherwise the entire world would be in prison (eg. I want to wipe out all the racists in the debate forum on here). It's not a crime until you actually commit the action.
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    (Original post by Gucci Mane.)
    Would never work.

    Practically speaking, just thinking about doing harmful things couldnt be a crime otherwise the entire world would be in prison (eg. I want to wipe out all the racists in the debate forum on here). It's not a crime until you actually commit the action.
    Yet we prosecute people for dangerous and drink driving, even though no harm is done, because we want to reduce the risk of them harming someone.

    Similarly, perhaps we should prosecute people for dangerous thoughts, even if no harm is done, because we want to reduce the risk of them harming someone.
 
 
 
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