Spanking as a form of Retribution ?

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Re: Spanking as a form of Retribution ?

#61  Postby Agrippina » Feb 25, 2014 6:31 am

Darwinsbulldog wrote:
Agrippina wrote:
Darwinsbulldog wrote:I always thought that spanking was a form of recreation-for someone.


:grin:

Of course as a spanked child I turned out OK. I can manage not to be barking mad for a few miniutes a day, so its all good. :thumbup: :)


I think most people were spanked as children, until fairly recently. Also some of us spanked our kids because it was the way that children were disciplined, in the past. Rather than remove dangerous objects, or things of value, from children, their hands were slapped to stop them exploring. It was around the time that I was raising my kids when the removal of danger, or valuable items, rather than stifling their natural urge to explore became the norm.
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Re: Spanking as a form of Retribution ?

#62  Postby Frank Merton » Feb 25, 2014 6:42 am

Any form of punishment, not just corporal forms but also verbal abuse and denial of privileges, has negative effects in the form of bitterness and resentment. Most children get through it but are less than optimal. People refuse to believe it but it is possible to guide children rather than force them into behaving -- a lot though depends on how consistent one is and on how one has handled such things in the past, and on how patient one is.
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Re: Spanking as a form of Retribution ?

#63  Postby Agrippina » Feb 25, 2014 6:55 am

Frank Merton wrote:Any form of punishment, not just corporal forms but also verbal abuse and denial of privileges, has negative effects in the form of bitterness and resentment.

Yes, even denial of privileges can't always be a good thing. For example, if the kid is told that they can't attend a function that they've saved up to pay for, bought an outfit for, and where all their friends are going, is not going to make the kid feel anything but resentment. You have to choose your battles.

Most children get through it but are less than optimal. People refuse to believe it but it is possible to guide children rather than force them into behaving -- a lot though depends on how consistent one is and on how one has handled such things in the past, and on how patient one is.

Most kids want to please their parents. I suppose because happy parents makes kids feel secure, so if you keep the home as strife-free as possible, they won't, usually, do something to upset the equilibrium. Sometimes though things go wrong, and you just deal with it in a way that causes the least amount of upset.
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Re: Spanking as a form of Retribution ?

#64  Postby Frank Merton » Feb 25, 2014 7:20 am

The most disturbing thing is when the child does something dangerous. I guess I was lucky to have girls; they have more sense.
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Re: Spanking as a form of Retribution ?

#65  Postby Agrippina » Feb 25, 2014 8:07 am

Frank Merton wrote:The most disturbing thing is when the child does something dangerous. I guess I was lucky to have girls; they have more sense.


I had a step daughter who was into (and still is) dangerous things. She would climb walls, trees, anything that was higher than the ground. So rather than stop (with punishment) her climbing onto the crumbling wall on the side of our property, her dad just told her after several warnings that the wall was crumbling and she would get hurt, she could climb the wall, but to first dig a hole next to it, so when the wall fell over and killed her, we could just close the hole. That did the trick. :grin: She left that one and sought other, safer, objects for her need to be high up.
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Re: Spanking as a form of Retribution ?

#66  Postby monkeyboy » Feb 25, 2014 11:07 am

Mick wrote:

You don't want Bernardo to suffer? I'm not asking that you want him to be tortured. However, I do want him to receive repayment, something as similar as we can (morally, I suppose) give him. I want just deserts. It's not necessarily personal; and so it is not vindictive. He needs to suffer in return for the children he raped, tortured and deprived of life. I want the remainder of his life to suck; I want the remainder of his life to be a constant repayment, and even that would be asking for far less than what he took from those girls and our society.

Why? Why do want him to suffer? Because he has done bad things to others? Are you remotely interested in why he did bad things to others? Is there a part of you that might understand that he did those things to others because he has turned out differently to the majority of the rest of us for some reason and that he may well be a victim himself?
Do children who are bullied at home go out and bully weaker children? Not to pass on what they have learned at home but to experience a feeling of power and control in some aspect of their life.
Consider the rapist Mick. They don't rape to fulfill their need for loving and enjoyable sex. They do it because it instills a feeling of power and control. The child rapist often mixes in experiences of abuse they have witnessed or been victim to.
Paul Bernardo certainly lived in a family where violence was common and sexual abuse is hinted at.
Is it worth exploring whether this man, despite his henious crimes, is also a victim before we decide to punish him for the rest of his natural life. Or, is it worth exploring whether he has already had his punishment up front and arrived in his current circumstances as a messed up person, certainly dangerous but worthy of some compassion for once in his life?

What would you do with him? A back rub? I am serious. Just what would you have our prisons look like?

Well, for a start, they could be places where people understood criminal behaviour isn't just undesirable but behaviour arrived at often determined by the parenting of children, values instilled, morality role modelled and love given. When someone turns out bad for a reason, it quite often shows up in their history. More often than not, their experiences as children will play out in adult life.
Criminals in prison didn't wake up one morning and make a career choice to be criminals. Most never stood a chance. So, should we take these unfortunates and kick them whilst they're down, attempt to beat them into submission or do we look at what went wrong for them, educate them, nurture them, build them up into better people and actually rehabilitate them?


Non-sequitur. What are you attempting to say here? That prisons suck and this is because ''we'' want people to suffer and this is as it should be? You need to argue for that. I'd rather follow a different system. But as I said, at the moment you're simply re-defining the subject. It was pretty clear my comments referred to the corporal punishment of children.


I'm getting there. First we need to accept retributivism in principle.


Why? What good does it do? What function does it perform for society?

Back to an earlier question still unanswered Mick and still pertinent.

What is the difference between a spanking and an angry, knee jerk, loss of control type assault on a child?
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Re: Spanking as a form of Retribution ?

#67  Postby Fallible » Feb 25, 2014 11:40 am

Mick wrote:I'm neither switching goals posts or talking about irrelevancies.


Yes, you are. I submitted a one-line post very clearly referring to children and spakning, which is the topic of the thread. From that you've spun out a whole scenario where I may want to give child rapists backrubs.

Retribution, deserts and criminality was mentioned in my OP. I'm using it to help anchor an understanding that we use retributive justice; and hence it cannot be impermissible in principle unless we are being inconsistent.


That's because you're lumping the whole world into ''we''. You've already been shown that at least two people here are not included and therefore do not agree with ''retribution", "deserts" and "retributive justice''. I for one would be quite happy for none of those things be taken into account when considering what to do with criminals. I'm not being inconsistent because I am not a part of ''we'', that's your bad strategies on display.

Establishing the retributive justice is permissible in principle is an important step to establishing whether some particular instance of it is permissible. Once we establish this, we can move on.


Pay close attention - we're not gonna establish that unless you can do much, much better here, better than I've ever seen anyone do. At the moment you're not even close, not least because I'm still just seeing ''this is how prisons are, therefore it must be OK'', although you refuse to just cut to the money shot and appear intent on making us watch the interminable loveless squelching and slapping which inevitably precedes it.

Surely the idea of desert is fine and peachy, at least when we are talking about rewards. We want to give people what they deserve, amiright? If I win some race, I get a metal. Canadians kicked ass in hockey-we deserved the gold. We all grant this. Yet, there seems to be some resistance when it comes to punishment, I wonder why.


Really? You wonder why? You do not leave your own position for long enough to gain a full view of the bigger picture. If you did, it would occur to you that giving rewards to people who ''deserve'' them is positive reinforcement which encourages them to repeat that good behaviour, while causing perpetrators of some transgression to suffer benefits no one and causes that which the naughty man did wrong to begin with. It's illogical, because it sends a mixed message - "I am the distributor of justice. As such I tell you that this thing is bad and wrong, you are bad and wrong to do it. To teach you that you are bad and wrong to do it, I will do it to you, because you deserve it." Now the punisher also deserves retributive justice for causing suffering.

You seem to think that two separate actions - rewarding good behaviour with incentives and punishing bad behaviour with suffering - are in fact the same action, and are trying to argue for inconsistency if one supports the first and doesn't support the second. That's your misunderstanding. They're not a part of the same action; you must accept "retributive justice" as valid for that. I don't. You have some work to do to argue your case. Get going.
Last edited by Fallible on Feb 25, 2014 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spanking as a form of Retribution ?

#68  Postby Doubtdispelled » Feb 25, 2014 11:50 am

Agrippina wrote:Study the history of any serial killer, and you'll find a parent who abandoned/raped/beat them, or otherwise extracted retribution from them for any real or imagined "wrong," whatever that is.

Yes. It's very rare to find an account of the childhood of any of the worst offenders which does not contain evidence of a disrupted and dysfunctional family life. Neglect, violence, mental abuse, they all play a part in shaping the personality.

monkeyboy wrote:Paul Bernardo certainly lived in a family where violence was common and sexual abuse is hinted at.

Not just hinted at, MB. Bernardo's father was apparently a pedophile, peeping tom, and abused his own daughter in front of the family, which his mother did nothing about, if accounts are to be believed. There doesn't seem to be any evidence that he abused Paul himself sexually, but his own mother turned on him at some point and called him 'the bastard child from hell' to hurt him.

When Paul was 16, he got into an argument with his mother and she told him that Kenneth was not his real father and showed him a photo of his real father. The effect on Paul was devastating. After that, Paul openly mocked and taunted his mother, calling her such names as a “slob” and a “whore.”

Considering his mother’s infidelity and his “father’s” sick sexual perversions, Paul began to hate his parents. Paul’s attitude in general, and towards women in particular, changed dramatically for the worse. Upon refection, these events in Paul’s life were extremely influential in the direction that Paul would ultimately take as a serial rapist and killer.

http://mrjamesryan.com/2011/12/15/paul- ... al-killer/

monkeyboy wrote:What is the difference between a spanking and an angry, knee jerk, loss of control type assault on a child?
If by an angry knee jerk you mean a slap on the hand, as mentioned by Aggie, then there's a world of difference between that and a spanking, calculated and carried out deliberately. A loss of control assault would be just that, unthinking abuse.
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Re: Spanking as a form of Retribution ?

#69  Postby Doubtdispelled » Feb 25, 2014 12:36 pm

Fallible wrote:If you did, it would occur to you that giving rewards to people who ''deserve'' them is positive reinforcement which encourages them to repeat that good behaviour, while causing perpetrators of some transgression to suffer benefits no one and causes that which the naughty man did wrong to begin with. It's illogical, because it sends a mixed message - "I am the distributor of justice. As such I tell you that this thing is bad and wrong, you are bad and wrong to do it. To teach you that you are bad and wrong to do it, I will do it to you, because you deserve it." Now the punisher also deserves retributive justice for causing suffering.

You seem to think that two separate actions - rewarding good behaviour with incentives and punishing bad behaviour with suffering - are in fact the same action, and are trying to argue for inconsistency if one supports the first and doesn't support the second. That's your misunderstanding. They're not a part of the same action; you must accept "retributive justice" as valid for that. I don't.

You've reminded me with this, Fall, that when I was working in a school I came to the conclusion that punishments dished out to the most disturbed and disruptive children simply did not work to alter their behaviour, and for a very good reason. They just confirmed to the child what he/she already thought, i.e. that they were bad and deserved whatever they got. One boy even said to me 'You see! I told you I was bad!' And because he seemed happy (which is really screwed up, whatever else we may think) to have this demonstrated to him by his being sent to 'the naughty room' I realised that for him, the punishment simply served to reinforce whatever it was that caused his bad behaviour in the first place.
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Re: Spanking as a form of Retribution ?

#70  Postby Fallible » Feb 25, 2014 1:01 pm

Aye, negative attention is attention still, and one might speculate that with a child whose life may be quite confusing, being shown to be correct about himself would be quite a buzz and some solid ground for him to stand on. However it isn't going to do that kid or anyone at all any favours to punish him for what he has come to believe is his nature. The whole idea of ''deserving'' suffering is quite bizarre to me - it eats its own tail. Why not protect, educate and encourage?
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Re: Spanking as a form of Retribution ?

#71  Postby Onyx8 » Feb 25, 2014 5:01 pm

That wouldn't be christian.
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Re: Spanking as a form of Retribution ?

#72  Postby monkeyboy » Feb 25, 2014 6:38 pm

Doubtdispelled wrote:
Fallible wrote:If you did, it would occur to you that giving rewards to people who ''deserve'' them is positive reinforcement which encourages them to repeat that good behaviour, while causing perpetrators of some transgression to suffer benefits no one and causes that which the naughty man did wrong to begin with. It's illogical, because it sends a mixed message - "I am the distributor of justice. As such I tell you that this thing is bad and wrong, you are bad and wrong to do it. To teach you that you are bad and wrong to do it, I will do it to you, because you deserve it." Now the punisher also deserves retributive justice for causing suffering.

You seem to think that two separate actions - rewarding good behaviour with incentives and punishing bad behaviour with suffering - are in fact the same action, and are trying to argue for inconsistency if one supports the first and doesn't support the second. That's your misunderstanding. They're not a part of the same action; you must accept "retributive justice" as valid for that. I don't.

You've reminded me with this, Fall, that when I was working in a school I came to the conclusion that punishments dished out to the most disturbed and disruptive children simply did not work to alter their behaviour, and for a very good reason. They just confirmed to the child what he/she already thought, i.e. that they were bad and deserved whatever they got. One boy even said to me 'You see! I told you I was bad!' And because he seemed happy (which is really screwed up, whatever else we may think) to have this demonstrated to him by his being sent to 'the naughty room' I realised that for him, the punishment simply served to reinforce whatever it was that caused his bad behaviour in the first place.

Indeed, often for these kids, any attention is better than none. What some people also find hard to grasp is that when 'punishments' are administered to children from abusive backgrounds, it reinforces their identity and provides some element of comfort. It seems alien to us that someone could seek comfort from being punished and reviled.
In the same way, often when these children are removed from abusive parents and placed in care, they will seek to return to their parents and will minimise the abuse they suffered.
What I see at work are guys who seriously struggle with being told 'well done'. They aren't accustomed to it at all. Such praise belongs to other people that aren't like them.
Likewise, affection is difficult to handle. We all know that a functional relationship involves an element of trust and unconditional giving of that trust. In the main, we get through life not having it trampled all over save for a few occasions. For someone whose life hasn't had that trust, ever, but the constants are abuse, beatings, bullying etc its no surprise that the stable and comfortable situation involves such things. All that changes for those who become offenders is the balance of power.
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Re: Spanking as a form of Retribution ?

#73  Postby Charlou » Feb 26, 2014 4:00 pm

I find the "it never did me any harm" justification interesting ... Recently came across an article about initiation rituals, the upshot of which suggested that the psychology of the victim of initiation often defaulted to acceptance of what happened in order to make sense of it, and to normalise it .. as a form of ego preservation. I'll try and find it.
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Re: Spanking as a form of Retribution ?

#74  Postby Sendraks » Feb 26, 2014 4:10 pm

Charlou wrote:I find the "it never did me any harm" justification interesting ... Recently came across an article about initiation rituals, the upshot of which suggested that the psychology of the victim of initiation often defaulted to acceptance of what happened in order to make sense of it, and to normalise it .. as a form of ego preservation. I'll try and find it.


That's be helpful, although I suspect it will consistent with the experience of many who go through therapy that they have normalised abusive behaviour.

A child really has little or no concept of "normal" and what occurs within the bounds of their family is normalised by them. It is only when they reach an age that they have experience about how other children were treated by their parents that they can put "normal" behaviour into some sort of context.
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Re: Spanking as a form of Retribution ?

#75  Postby Charlou » Feb 26, 2014 4:14 pm

I agree .. have experienced both (abuse and neglect as 'normal in my home environment', and some fortunate input from more constructive external sources) in my formative years.
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Re: Spanking as a form of Retribution ?

#76  Postby Agrippina » Feb 26, 2014 4:43 pm

Charlou wrote:I find the "it never did me any harm" justification interesting ... Recently came across an article about initiation rituals, the upshot of which suggested that the psychology of the victim of initiation often defaulted to acceptance of what happened in order to make sense of it, and to normalise it .. as a form of ego preservation. I'll try and find it.


Yes, it would be helpful.
I've always thought that initiation was just a form of bullying.
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Re: Spanking as a form of Retribution ?

#77  Postby quas » Feb 26, 2014 7:01 pm

Sendraks wrote:
Charlou wrote:I find the "it never did me any harm" justification interesting ... Recently came across an article about initiation rituals, the upshot of which suggested that the psychology of the victim of initiation often defaulted to acceptance of what happened in order to make sense of it, and to normalise it .. as a form of ego preservation. I'll try and find it.


That's be helpful, although I suspect it will consistent with the experience of many who go through therapy that they have normalised abusive behaviour.

A child really has little or no concept of "normal" and what occurs within the bounds of their family is normalised by them. It is only when they reach an age that they have experience about how other children were treated by their parents that they can put "normal" behaviour into some sort of context.


Probably just a variant of Stockholm Syndrome.
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Re: Spanking as a form of Retribution ?

#78  Postby Sendraks » Feb 26, 2014 8:10 pm

quas wrote:Probably just a variant of Stockholm Syndrome.


Pretty much.
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Re: Spanking as a form of Retribution ?

#79  Postby Mick » Feb 26, 2014 9:10 pm

Fallible wrote:
Mick wrote:I'm neither switching goals posts or talking about irrelevancies.


Yes, you are. I submitted a one-line post very clearly referring to children and spakning, which is the topic of the thread. From that you've spun out a whole scenario where I may want to give child rapists backrubs.

Retribution, deserts and criminality was mentioned in my OP. I'm using it to help anchor an understanding that we use retributive justice; and hence it cannot be impermissible in principle unless we are being inconsistent.


That's because you're lumping the whole world into ''we''. You've already been shown that at least two people here are not included and therefore do not agree with ''retribution", "deserts" and "retributive justice''. I for one would be quite happy for none of those things be taken into account when considering what to do with criminals. I'm not being inconsistent because I am not a part of ''we'', that's your bad strategies on display.

Establishing the retributive justice is permissible in principle is an important step to establishing whether some particular instance of it is permissible. Once we establish this, we can move on.


Pay close attention - we're not gonna establish that unless you can do much, much better here, better than I've ever seen anyone do. At the moment you're not even close, not least because I'm still just seeing ''this is how prisons are, therefore it must be OK'', although you refuse to just cut to the money shot and appear intent on making us watch the interminable loveless squelching and slapping which inevitably precedes it.

Surely the idea of desert is fine and peachy, at least when we are talking about rewards. We want to give people what they deserve, amiright? If I win some race, I get a metal. Canadians kicked ass in hockey-we deserved the gold. We all grant this. Yet, there seems to be some resistance when it comes to punishment, I wonder why.


Really? You wonder why? You do not leave your own position for long enough to gain a full view of the bigger picture. If you did, it would occur to you that giving rewards to people who ''deserve'' them is positive reinforcement which encourages them to repeat that good behaviour, while causing perpetrators of some transgression to suffer benefits no one and causes that which the naughty man did wrong to begin with. It's illogical, because it sends a mixed message - "I am the distributor of justice. As such I tell you that this thing is bad and wrong, you are bad and wrong to do it. To teach you that you are bad and wrong to do it, I will do it to you, because you deserve it." Now the punisher also deserves retributive justice for causing suffering.

You seem to think that two separate actions - rewarding good behaviour with incentives and punishing bad behaviour with suffering - are in fact the same action, and are trying to argue for inconsistency if one supports the first and doesn't support the second. That's your misunderstanding. They're not a part of the same action; you must accept "retributive justice" as valid for that. I don't. You have some work to do to argue your case. Get going.


No one reasoned that prisons are in such-and-such way, and so that must be OK. Instead, I pointed out that are prisons are this way, that is, fashioned toward retributive justice, and hence that is good evidence that we think retributive justice is OK. Otherwise, we'd be inconsistent, and surely we are not. Aside from the hug-a-thugs and such, many North Americans agree with the idea of retributive justice to some degree, I reckon.

You might object that you're not included in this 'we' stuff, and that's fine. I'm able to speak generally insofar as most people within the scope of reference, indeed a great many, agree with the line of thinking I attribute to them. Likewise, I can say we agree with democracy, even though a few here and there, do not.

Moving on, your ideas are muddled. When we give someone a medal, someone who won a race, say, we do it because they deserve it. This is true even if the medal promotes nothing; it is true even if it had no positive results in future behavior, no positive reinforcement. Of course that it also offers positive reinforcement is another motivator, and a good one at that. However, it is not necessary. The winner deserves his prize; and so he gets it. Likewise, we someone only earns a silver or a bronze, rather than the gold, it is because someone else deserved the gold better than he. This silver winner deserves silver, not the gold; and hence he doesn't get the gold.

You need to grant this: things can be given simply because they are deserved, regardless of whether it is an instance of positive reinforcement.

Now, the logic with retributivism in justice is not that 'all x is wrong; and you did x; and I hence I will do x to you'. That's a little dumb, and it is a strawman. Instead, behaviors are wrong or permissible in relation to privilege, status and authority, and in relation to justification. For instance, it is a captain of a ship can behave in ways different from the rest; he has different authoritative powers. It is wrong for a member of the crew to imprison another member, but not wrong for a captain, so long as he has justification. It is wrong for a child to drive, but not an adult. A sibling does not have parental authority, but parents do, etc..

In the case of violent bullying, the charge against the child is that 'bullying is wrong', 'tarnishing the family name is wrong', 'hitting another person unjustly is wrong', etc.. Thus, you deserve to be spanked or hit by your parent. Notice that none of this carries the inconsistency you tried to attribute-there is no formal inconsistency of any sort. Hell, the way you reason, imprisonment would be inconsistent as a sentence for the crime of unlawful detainment. lol.
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Re: Spanking as a form of Retribution ?

#80  Postby NamelessFaceless » Feb 26, 2014 9:17 pm

Onyx8 wrote:That wouldn't be christian.


Well, it's kind of the whole philosophy behind Christianity, isn't it? That we're all just a bunch of bad kids who deserve to be punished because of all the bad things we've done (Romans 3:10 "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.") And someone has to be punished for our misdeeds. But then this cool guy Jesus came along and took our licks for us. That dude "saved" us! What a friend we have in Jesus!

Maybe this is why Mick is having a hard time letting go of the retributive philosophy. Once you accept that no one deserves to suffer, it may lead to the conclusion that no one needs the services of a "savior."
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