Lecture Notes For Feburary 17th

Okay this is my first time doing this so bare with me….

Today in class we talked about punishment. Not only punishment but punishment in it's relationships to utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is the concept of doing the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. This view or concept was founded by Jeremy Bentham. Bentham lived in the end of the 18th century. He was British. He helped created and reform the prison system and the codes of conduct that are put into place. He was very interested in the effects of the prison system on human beings and their mind. He used the example of little kids not being around discussions of race when they were younger. He explained that if they weren't exposed to those kind of discussions then the child might have a false view on race. It would have the child wondering why noone is talking about it, like a form of taboo or something.

We talked about how prisoners often come out as more hardened criminals. The professor talked about how the good programs that offer support and results are being cut due to lack of funding. He asked the question of why? If your looking at all this from a utilitarian view, then you must do the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Education programs and rehabilitation services are being cut, while at the same time more and more people are being put on parole. Many of these people that are put on parole often return to jail in a relatively short amount of time (often for the same or similar crime). The professor said that we incarcerate more people in the United States than any other country, yet crime rates are higher in our country than in any other country in the world. Is this because of our second amendment right? I read online that there is 90 guns for every 100 people in the United States. Does having the right to bear arms provoke us to be more violent? What's your opinion?

We also talked about what Bentham defines as punishment. In order for it to be punishment it must…..

1. Must harm the person
2. Must be intentional
3. Must be done in response to something earlier

Those are the class notes for February 17th 2010

-Tesha, I feel as if having the right to bear arms does make our society much more violent. As the Professor stated in class today in the 18th century people were being put in jail over petty reasons or if you disliked someone. So people having access to guns may give them a feeling of power and they may harm people over reasons they think are just. I think Bentham's definition of punishment is a great one. The professor stated in the 18th Century the greatest reason people were sent to jail was Debt, and other poor people were sent to Australia. It's good to know that Benthan helped much by changing the system around but as we discussed in class much work still could be done. The professor also mentioned Ideology, which refers to all ideas we use to structure the world. Things are the way they are, but we don't know why.

I do not feel the 2nd Amendment has made our society more violent or increased our prison population. The reason out prisons are overcrowded today is because of drug laws not violence. Our gun laws now are more strict then they were when the constitution was written and the purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to give the people a way to protect themselves from the government. -Beth

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License