„Punishment is now unfashionable… because it creates moral distinctions among men, which, to the democratic mind, are odious. We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility.“

Última atualização 16 de Agosto de 2021. História
Thomas Szasz photo
Thomas Szasz5
1920 - 2012

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„I suppose I am still a believer in the now unfashionable "heroic" school, which says that history is shaped by individual men and women and the choices that they make, by deeds glorious and terrible.“

—  George Raymond Richard Martin American writer, screenwriter and television producer 1948

infinity plus interview (2001)
Contexto: Historical processes have never much interested me, but history is full of stories, full of triumph and tragedy and battles won and lost. It is the people who speak to me, the men and women who once lived and loved and dreamed and grieved, just as we do. Though some may have had crowns on their heads or blood on their hands, in the end they were not so different from you and me, and therein lies their fascination. I suppose I am still a believer in the now unfashionable "heroic" school, which says that history is shaped by individual men and women and the choices that they make, by deeds glorious and terrible.

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„We are living even now among punishments and ruins.“

—  Wendell Berry author 1934

"A Few Words in Favor of Edward Abbey".
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„I collect power supplies like other men collect meaningful relationships! THAT IS TO SAY, AT THE RATE OF ABOUT ONE A YEAR“

—  Ryan North Canadian webcomic writer and programmer 1980

Comment on LiveJournal http://www.livejournal.com/users/qwantz/24526.html

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„The distinction between responsible moral agents and beings with diminished or no responsibility is coherent, real, and important.“

—  Daniel Dennett, livro Elbow Room

Fonte: Elbow Room (1984), p. 157-162. Chapter 7, "Why Do We Want Free Will?"
Contexto: The distinction between responsible moral agents and beings with diminished or no responsibility is coherent, real, and important. It is coherent, even if in many instances it is hard to apply; it draws an empirically real line, in that we don't all fall on one side; and, most important, the distinction matters: the use we make of it plays a crucial role in the quality and meaning of our lives. [... ] We want to hold ourselves and others responsible, but we recognize that our intuitions often support the judgement that a particular individual has "diminished responsibility" because of his or her infirmities, or because of particularly dire circumstances upon upbringing or at the time of action. We also find it plausible to judge that nonhuman animals, infants, and those who are severely handicapped mentally are not responsible at all. But since we are all more or less imperfect, will there be anyone left to be responsible after we have excused all those with good excuses? [... ] We must set up some efficiently determinable threshold for legal competence, never for a moment supposing that there couldn't be intuitively persuasive "counterexamples" to whatever line we draw, but declaring in advance that such pleas will not be entertained. [... ] The effect of such an institution [... ] is to create [... ] a class of legally culpable agents whose subsequent liability to punishment maintains the credibility of the sanctions of the laws. The institution, if it is to maintain itself, must provide for the fine tuning of its arbitrary thresholds as new information (or misinformation) emerges that might undercut its credibility. One can speculate that there is an optimal setting of the competence threshold (for any particular combination of social circumstances, degree of public sophistication, and so on) that maximizes the bracing effect of the law. A higher than optimal threshold would encourage a sort of malingering on the part of the defendants, which, if recognized by the populace, would diminish their respect for the law and hence diminish its deterrent effect. And a lower than optimal threshold would yield a diminishing return of deterrence and lead to the punishment of individuals who, in the eyes of society, "really couldn't help it." The public perception of the fairness of the law is a critical factor in its effectiveness.

John Adams photo

„It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished“

—  John Adams 2nd President of the United States 1735 - 1826

1770s, Boston Massacre trial (1770)
Contexto: It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished.
But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, "whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection," and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.

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„The inevitable hypocrisy, which is associated with the all the collective activities of the human race, springs chiefly from this source: that individuals have a moral code which makes the actions of collective man an outrage to their conscience.“

—  Reinhold Niebuhr, livro Moral Man and Immoral Society

Fonte: Moral Man and Immoral Society (1932), pp. 8-9
Contexto: The inevitable hypocrisy, which is associated with the all the collective activities of the human race, springs chiefly from this source: that individuals have a moral code which makes the actions of collective man an outrage to their conscience. They therefore invent romantic and moral interpretations of the real facts, preferring to obscure rather than reveal the true character of their collective behavior. Sometimes they are as anxious to offer moral justifications for the brutalities from which they suffer as for those which they commit. The fact that the hypocrisy of man's group behavior... expresses itself not only in terms of self-justification but in terms of moral justification of human behavior in general, symbolizes one of the tragedies of the human spirit: its inability to conform its collective life to its individual ideals. As individuals, men believe they ought to love and serve each other and establish justice between each other. As racial, economic and national groups they take for themselves, whatever their power can command.

U.G. Krishnamurti photo

„Our mind (and there are no individual minds — only "mind", which is the accumulation of man's knowledge and experience) has created the notion of the psyche and evolution.“

—  U.G. Krishnamurti, livro Mind is a Myth

Fonte: Mind is a Myth (1987), Ch. 1: The Certainty That Blasts Everything
Contexto: Our mind (and there are no individual minds — only "mind", which is the accumulation of man's knowledge and experience) has created the notion of the psyche and evolution. Only technology progresses, while we as a race are moving closer to complete and total destruction of the world and ourselves. Everything in man's consciousness is pushing the whole world, which nature has so laboriously created, toward destruction. There has been no qualitative change in man's thinking; we feel about our neighbours just as the frightened caveman felt towards his. The only thing that has changed is our ability to destroy our neighbor and his property.

Tim Jackson photo

„Prosperity, in any meaningful sense of the term, is about the quality of our lives and relationships, about the resilience of our communities and about our sense of individual and collective meaning.“

—  Tim Jackson, livro Prosperity Without Growth

Prosperity Without Growth: Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow, 2017 edition, Routledge, pages xxxviii-xxxix (ISBN 9781138935419).
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