Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Reward and Punishment

From Thiroux and Krasemann:
Relationships among Reward, Punishment and Justice:
Three theories of Reward and Punishment:

1. Retribution, Retributive Justice (107, Reward 113-114, Punish 118-120).
Kaplan: Compare what the authors claim for Exodus 21:24-25 with the commentary to the Torah on these passages. Apparently, they are missing the point of the passage.

2. Utilitarianism (107, Reward 114, Punish 120-123).

3. Restitution (107, Rawls/Distribution of Wealth: 114-116, Punish 124-125).
Arguments for and against the above.
Criteria for rewarding and punishing (Reward 108-113, Punish 116-126).

John Rawls' Theory of Justice:
The Equity Principle: "Each person has equal rights to maximum liberty comparable with the same amount of liberty for everyone else. In other words there must be freedom for all" (115).
The Difference Principle: "Any equality is permissible to the extent that it is to everyone's advantage, including the people at the bottom of society's ranks, and that it arises under conditions of equal opportunity" (115).
Kaplan: How does the difference principle contrast with what Locke offers? Do both seek to acheive the same ends, albeit through different means? I suggest the difference lies in Rawls' fundamental Kantian approach (authoritarian, rule based). Locke's system relies upon "Natural Law," while Rawls' is based upon a system of synthetic laws or rules dictated by elites. Look up Rawls' notion of the "veil of ignorance" (linked above). Compare Kant's argumentation and use of the Categorical Imperative. 

"Nozick, who is a libertarian, seeks to maximize individual liberty and minimize or even eliminate any violation of liberty by government or others. He believes that the wealth of a society is the sum of individual's wealth. Rawls, on the other hand, who is considered a welfare liberal or welfare capitalist, believes that wealth of society is society's wealth and that all members of society cooperate in creating that wealth by making it possible for individuals to earn the wealth they do because of mutually agreed upon fundamental rules of society" (116).

Locke, Jefferson and Nozick (115-116).

Kaplan: It is interesting that in the beginning of the chapter the authors consider Rawl's theory a key objective, but Jefferson, Locke and Nozick are not underscored. Also, in their conclusion to this section (131), Rawls is contrasted with Nozick (who is called a "libertarian" but no such contrast is presented between Rawls and Locke. Is Locke (or Jefferson) a libertarian?

Relationship of Rights to Moral Duties?

Kaplan: Compare Locke, Jefferson and Hutchinson. Contrast these against Kant and Rawls.

From The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Chapter 33:

Once I said to myself it would be a thousand times better for Jim to be a slave at home where his family was, as long as he's got to be a slave, and so I'd better write a letter to Tom Sawyer and tell him to tell Miss Watson where he was. But I soon give up that notion, for two things: she'd be mad and disgusted at his rascality and ungratefulness for leaving her, and so she'd sell him straight down the river again; and if she didn't, everybody naturally despises an ungrateful nigger, and they'd make Jim feel it all the time, and so he'd feel ornery and disgraced. And then think of me! It would get all around, that Huck Finn helped a nigger to get his freedom; and if I was to ever see anybody from that town again, I'd be ready to get down and lick his boots for shame. That's just the way: a person does a low-down thing, and then he don't want to take no consequences of it. Thinks as long as he can hide it, it ain't no disgrace. That was my fix exactly. The more I studied about this, the more my conscience went to grinding me, and the more wicked and low-down and ornery I got to feeling. And at last, when it hit me all of a sudden that here was the plain hand of Providence slapping me in the face and letting me know my wickedness was being watched all the time from up there in heaven, whilst I was stealing a poor old woman's nigger that hadn't ever done me no harm, and now was showing me there's One that's always on the lookout, and ain't agoing to allow no such miserable doings to go only just so fur and no further, I most dropped in my tracks I was so scared. Well, I tried the best I could to kinder soften it up somehow for myself, by saying I was brung up wicked, and so I warn't so much to blame; but something inside of me kept saying, "There was the Sunday school, you could a gone to it; and if you'd a done it they'd a learnt you, there, that people that acts as I'd been acting about that nigger goes to everlasting fire."

It made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray; and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of a boy I was, and be better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn't come. Why wouldn't they? It warn't no use to try and hide it from Him. Nor from me, neither. I knowed very well why they wouldn't come. It was because my heart warn't right; it was because I warn't square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting on to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all. I was trying to make my mouth say I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write to that nigger's owner and tell where he was; but deep down in me I knowed it was a lie-and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie- I found that out.

So I was full of trouble, full as I could be; and didn't know what to do. At last I had an idea; and I says, I'll go and write the letter- and then see if I can pray. Why, it was astonishing, the way I felt as light as a feather, right straight off, and my troubles all gone. So I got a piece of paper and a pencil, all glad and excited, and set down and wrote:

Miss Watson your runaway nigger Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville and Mr. Phelps has got him and he will give him up for the reward if you send.


I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn't do it straight off, but laid the paper down and set there thinking- thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell. And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me, all the time; in the day, and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a floating along, talking, and singing, and laughing. But somehow I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him agin in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey, and pet me, and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had smallpox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the only one he's got now; and then I happened to look around, and see that paper.

It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself:

"All right, then, I'll go to hell"- and tore it up.

It was awful thoughts, and awful words, but they was said. And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming. I shoved the whole thing out of my head; and said I would take up wickedness again, which was in my line, being brung up to it, and the other warn't. And for a starter, I would go to work and steal Jim out of slavery again; and if I could think up anything worse, I would do that, too; because as long as I was in, and in for good, I might as well go the whole hog.

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