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Peace, or Justice?
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28 / M / In your room stea...
Posted 12/25/10
Justice because without justice there can't be peace. Fairy tale things like utopias don't exist.
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50 / F / Toronto
Posted 12/26/10 , edited 12/26/10

amersfoort wrote:

This topic is mainly just about you, what would be your pick in a situation that forces you to choose between a act of peace, or a act out of Justice.

Personally I would go for peace, since I am completely against violence in any way besides sports.
Even if that means having the feeling of being a victim or anything like that.

Well before I continue to ramble on I will jut press the post new topic button.

( insert one zillion posts claiming there can be no peace without justice)

My justice is that everyone must prostrate themselves to the great god Aslsoigigthoth. I'm glad all of you support the concept that I must make war upon you until this is achieved.

Also I wonder how the War of the Roses would have ended had all of you been in charge of either the Lancasters or the Yorks or both.
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24 / M
Posted 12/27/10
Peace cannot be obtained without justice. Our world is already filled with corruption. Without justice, chaos will consume whats left of our world.
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50 / F / Toronto
Posted 12/28/10

TerrorAdvent wrote:

Peace cannot be obtained without justice. Our world is already filled with corruption. Without justice, chaos will consume whats left of our world.

After the war of the roses, if they hadn't amnestied everyone who had obeyed the orders of a crowned king. There would have been no peace between the Yorks and the Lancasters, there would have been 'justice' until everyone was dead.

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21 / F / library
Posted 1/7/11
i prefer peace in the first place.

why bothering to do justice while the peace itself is actually already given from the start.
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27 / M / Scotland, Aberdeen
Posted 1/11/11 , edited 1/11/11

TerrorAdvent wrote:

Peace cannot be obtained without justice. Our world is already filled with corruption. Without justice, chaos will consume whats left of our world.

Now that's a bit vague and ambiguous.

I would argue that justice does not exist and peace is beneficial.
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23 / F / Half-Blood Camp
Posted 9/24/11
It will be justice. Because what is peace without justice? For me it will be like being locked up inside a perfectly made world. But of course, it should have the right Justice system but then again, who dictates what is right or wrong because as far as I can tell, if some wrong doings are repeatedly done, it will eventually become publicly accepted and therefore be right...

Now Im confused. LOL
Posted 9/24/11
The Comedian is right It's all a fucking joke.
Posted 9/24/11 , edited 9/24/11

missy115 wrote:

It will be justice. Because what is peace without justice? For me it will be like being locked up inside a perfectly made world. But of course, it should have the right Justice system but then again, who dictates what is right or wrong because as far as I can tell, if some wrong doings are repeatedly done, it will eventually become publicly accepted and therefore be right...

Now Im confused. LOL
What you just described at the end is known as the social process of conformity.

As for what should be the right justice system to have, I've been debating based on the recent kidnapper of 3 years old Keinan Hebert, Randall Hopley.

When Randall Hopley was eight years old, doctors at a Vancouver hospital identified him as mentally disabled and recommended he be sent to a specialized institution that could help him learn and develop his social skills.

He wasn't.

Instead, Hopley spent the next several years descending into a pattern of sexually assaulting young children that continued into adulthood, according to newly released court documents, which reveal what appear to be a number missed opportunities to intervene as the list of his crimes and victims grew.

... By age 8, Hopley's tumultuous upbringing was already well underway, starting with the death of his father at two and followed by what court documents describe as persistent problems at school, aggressive behaviour and a "deprived" environment at home.

But Hopley wasn't sent to any special facility, as officials debated whether he was even disabled.(citation)

I think a lack of the experience of belongingness for Hopley during his childhood development was the most telling factor in his social conditioning.

What is It?

“Belongingness” (sometimes referred to as “relatedness”) is a measure of the depth and quality of the interpersonal relationships in an individual’s life. The need to belong, or the need to form strong, mutually supportive relationships and to maintain these relationships through regular contact, is a fundamental human motivation that can affect emotional patterns and cognitive processes. Supportive relationships can serve to buffer the impact of stressful life events, leading to superior adjustment and well-being.

Why is it Important in School?

Both peer relations and teacher-student relationships are vital to maintaining high levels of motivation and engagement in school. Positive peer relations in the school setting can refer to either the number of supportive, intimate friendships maintained by a student, or to general popularity among the wider peer group, which leads to a sense of being accepted and respected at school. Both types of positive peer relations have been found to influence school competence, involvement in the classroom, and academic achievement. Positive teacher-student relationships are also important in that they can enhance student motivation, engagement, coping with failure, and achievement.

In contrast, socially rejected students show lower levels of engagement, have higher levels of academic and behavioral problems, and can be at significant risk of dropping out of school and eventually running afoul of the law. In the school setting, socially rejected students are defined as those children nominated by others in the classroom as being someone who, for example, is “liked least” or “fights a lot”. In addition to social rejection, friendships with negative features (i.e., regular conflict, rivalry) can predict poorer school adjustment and more disruptive behavior.

Belongingness also has a profound impact on adolescent mental heath and well-being. Intimate, supportive adolescent friendships can enhance adjustment, perceived competence, and self-esteem, as well as reduce emotional distress and suicide ideation and lead to lower levels of involvement in high-risk behaviors, including violence, drug use and teenage pregnancy. Children with low levels of perceived friendship support are at a higher risk for depression than children who report supportive friendships. Belongingness becomes especially important to well-being as children enter adolescence. During this phase, the ability to establish and maintain positive peer relations is linked to higher levels of sociability, perceived competence and self-esteem, and reduced hostility, anxiousness and depression.(citation)

Ironically, when we look at our current correctional institution and legal system, that's based on the traditional punishment system. We're creating the exact opposite for belongingness, because we lost our wisdom of when and where to bend the rules and be flexible, because the betterment of our civilization that's grounded in empathy needs it.

Dealing with other people demands a kind of flexibility that no set of rules can encompass. Wise people know when and how to bend the rules. Wise people know how to improvise. The way my co-author , Ken, and I talk about it, they are kind of like jazz musicians; the rules are like the notes on the page, and that gets you started, but then you dance around the notes on the page, coming up with just the right combination for this particular moment with this particular set of fellow players. So for Aristotle, the kind of rule-bending, rule exception-finding and improvisation that you see in skilled craftsmen is exactly what you need to be a skilled moral craftsman. And in interactions with people, almost all the time, it is this kind of flexibility that is required. A wise person knows when to bend the rules. A wise person knows when to improvise. And most important, a wise person does this improvising and rule-bending in the service of the right aims. If you are a rule-bender and an improviser mostly to serve yourself, what you get is ruthless manipulation of other people. So it matters that you do this wise practice in the service of others and not in the service of yourself. And so the will to do the right thing is just as important as the moral skill of improvisation and exception-finding. Together they comprise practical wisdom, which Aristotle thought was the master virtue.

So I'll give you an example of wise practice in action. It's the case of Michael. Michael's a young guy. He had a pretty low-wage job. He was supporting his wife and a child, and the child was going to parochial school. Then he lost his job. He panicked about being able to support his family. One night, he drank a little too much, and he robbed a cab driver -- stole $50. He robbed him at gunpoint. It was a toy gun. He got caught, he got tried, he got convicted. The Pennsylvania sentencing guidelines required a minimum sentence for a crime like this of two years, 24 months. The judge on the case, Judge Lois Forer thought that this made no sense. He had never committed a crime before. He was a responsible husband and father. He had been faced with desperate circumstances. All this would do is wreck a family. And so she improvised a sentence -- 11 months. And not only that, but release every day to go to work. Spend your night in jail, spend your day holding down a job. He did. He served out his sentence. He made restitution and found himself a new job. And the family was united.

And it seemed on the road to some sort of a decent life -- a happy ending to a story involving wise improvisation from a wise judge. But it turned out the prosecutor was not happy that Judge Forer ignored the sentencing guidelines and sort of invented her own, and so he appealed. And he asked for the mandatory minimum sentence for armed robbery. He did after all have a toy gun. The mandatory minimum sentence for armed robbery is five years. He won the appeal. Michael was sentenced to five years in prison. Judge Forer had to follow the law. And by the way, this appeal went through after he had finished serving his sentence, so he was out and working at a job and taking care of his family and he had to go back into jail. Judge Forer did what she was required to do, and then she quit the bench. And Michael disappeared. So that is an example, both of wisdom in practice and the subversion of wisdom by rules that are meant, of course, to make things better.(citation)

Without that master virtue of practical wisdom to improvise belongingness, we're left with precisely a heavy-handed, apathetic, and abusive system that only exercises power without moral oversight.

So the Lucifer Effect, although it focuses on the negatives -- the negatives that people can become, not the negatives that people are -- leads me to a psychological definition: evil is the exercise of power. And that's the key: it's about power. To intentionally harm people psychologically, to hurt people physically, to destroy people mortally, or ideas, and to commit crimes against humanity. If you Google "evil," a word that should surely have withered by now, you come up with 136 million hits in a third of a second.

... This is the foundation of all of social sciences, the foundation of religion, the foundation of war. Social psychologists like me come along and say, "Yeah, people are the actors on the stage, but you'll have to be aware of what that situation is. Who are the cast of characters? What's the costume? Is there a stage director?" And so we're interested in, what are the external factors around the individual, the bad barrel? And social scientists stop there and they miss the big point that I discovered when I became an expert witness for Abu Ghraib. The power is in the system. The system creates the situation that corrupts the individuals, and the system is the legal, political, economic, cultural background. And this is where the power is of the bad-barrel makers.

So if you want to change a person you've got to change the situation. If you want to change the situation, you've got to know where the power is in the system. So the Lucifer Effect involves understanding human character transformations with these three factors. And it's a dynamic interplay. What do the people bring into the situation? What does the situation bring out of them? And what is the system that creates and maintains that situation?

... So what are the seven social processes that grease the slippery slope of evil?
Mindlessly taking the first small step.
Dehumanization of others.
De-individuation of self.
Diffusion of personal responsibility.
Blind obedience of authority.
Uncritical conformity to group norms.
Passive tolerance to evil through inaction or indifference.

And it happens when you're in a new or unfamiliar situation. Your habitual response patterns don't work. Your personality and morality are disengaged. "Nothing is easier than to denounce the evil-doer; nothing more difficult than understanding him," Dostoevksy tells us. Understanding is not excusing. Psychology is not excuse-iology.

So social and psychological research reveals how ordinary good people can be transformed without the drugs. You don't need it. You just need the social-psychological processes. Real world parallels? Compare this with this. James Schlesinger --and I'm going to have to end with this -- says, "Psychologists have attempted to understand how and why individuals and groups who usually act humanely can sometimes act otherwise in certain circumstances." That's the Lucifer Effect. And he goes on to say, "The landmark Stanford study provides a cautionary tale for all military operations." If you give people power without oversight, it's a prescription for abuse. They knew that and let that happen.

... So you need a paradigm shift in all of these areas. The shift is away from the medical model that focuses only on the individual. The shift is toward a public health model that recognizes situational and systemic vectors of disease. Bullying is a disease. Prejudice is a disease. Violence is a disease. And since the Inquisition, we've been dealing with problems at the individual level. And you know what? It doesn't work. Alexander Solzhenitsyn says the line between good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. That means that line is not out there. That's a decision that you have to make. That's a personal thing.

... So situations have the power to do, through -- but the point is, this is the same situation that can inflame the hostile imagination in some of us, that makes us perpetrators of evil, can inspire the heroic imagination in others. It's the same situation. And you're on one side or the other. Most people are guilty of the evil of inaction, because your mother said, "Don't get involved, mind your own business." And you have to say, "Mama, humanity is my business."

So the psychology of heroism is -- we're going to end in a moment -- how do we encourage children in new hero courses, that I'm working with Matt Langdon -he has a hero workshop -- to develop this heroic imagination, this self-labeling, "I am a hero in waiting," and teach them skills. To be a hero you have to learn to be a deviant, because you're always going against the conformity of the group. Heroes are ordinary people whose social actions are extraordinary. Who act.

The key to heroism is two things. A: You've got to act when other people are passive. B: You have to act socio-centrically, not egocentrically.

Belongingness is about mutual interdependency, and without it life simply cannot prosper. This valuable life lesson, along with other facts in life science, are being taught to the inmates in some North American correctional institutions. And the results are positively life changing.

And I began to think about ways that we might consider this lesson of trees, to consider other entities that are also static and stuck, but which cry for change and dynamicism. And one of those entities is our prisons. Prisons, of course, are where people who break our laws are stuck, confined behind bars. And our prison system itself is stuck. The United States has over 2.3 million incarcerated men and women. That number is rising. Of the hundred of incarcerated people that are released, 60 will return to prison. Funds for education, for training and for rehabilitation are declining. So this despairing cycle of incarceration continues. I decided to ask whether the lesson I had learned from trees as artists could be applied to a static institution such as our prisons. And I think the answer is yes.

In the year 2007, I started a partnership with the Washington State Department of Corrections, working with four prisons, we began bringing science and scientists, sustainability and conservation projects to four state prisons. We give science lectures. And the men here are choosing to come to our science lectures instead of watching television or weightlifting. That, I think, is movement. We partnered with the Nature Conservancy for inmates at Stafford Creek Corrections Center to grow endangered prairie plants for restoration of relic prairie areas in Washington state. That, I think, is movement. We worked with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife to grow endangered frogs, the Oregon spotted frog, for later release into protected wetlands. That, I think, is movement.

And just recently, we've begun to work with those men who are segregated in what we call Supermax facilities. They've incurred violent infractions by becoming violent with guards and with other prisoners. They're kept in bare cells like this for 23 hours a day. When they have meetings with their review boards or mental health professionals, they're placed in immobile booths like this. For one hour a day they're brought to these bleak and bland exercise yards. And although we can't bring trees and prairie plants and frogs into these environments, we are bringing images of nature into these exercise yards, putting them on the walls, so at least they get contact with visual images of nature. This is Mr. Lopez, who has been in solitary confinement for 18 months. And he's providing input on the types of images that he believes would make him and his fellow inmates more serene, more calm, less apt to violence.(citation)

But still this wasn't enough to be considered of a dynamic change, when India has a truly remarkable transformation regarding their correctional institutions.

So I'm going to move on. This is about tough policing, equal policing. Now I was known that here's a woman that's not going to listen. So I was sent to all indiscriminate postings, postings which others would say no. I now went to a prison assignment as a police officer. Normally police officers don't want to do prison. They sent me to prison to lock me up, thinking, now there will be no cars and no VIP's to be given tickets to. Let's lock her up. Here I got a prison assignment. This was a prison assignment which was one big den of criminals. Obviously, it was. But 10,000 men, of which only 400 were women -- 10,000 -- 9,000 plus about 600 were men, terrorists, rapists, burglars, gangsters -- some of them I'd sent to jail as a police officer outside. And then how did I deal with them. The first day when I went in, I didn't know how to look at them. And I said, "Do you pray?" When I looked at the group, I said, "Do you pray?" They saw me as a young, short woman wearing a tan suit. I said, "Do you pray?" And they didn't say anything. I said, "You you pray? Do you want to pray?" They said, "Yes." I said, "All right, let's pray." I prayed for them, and things started to change. This is a visual of education inside the prison.

Friends, this has never happened, where everybody in the prison studies. I started this with community support. Government had no budget. It was one of the finest, largest volunteerism in any prison in the world. This was initiated in Delhi prison. You see one sample of a prisoner teaching a class. These are hundreds of classes. Nine to 11, every prisoner went into the education program -- the same den in which they thought they would put me behind the bar and things would be forgotten. We converted this into a ashram -- from a prison to an ashram through education. I think that's the bigger change. It was the beginning of a change. Teachers were prisoners. Teachers were volunteers. Books came from donated school books. Stationery was donated. Everything was donated, because there was no budget for education for the prison. Now if I'd not done that, it would have been a hellhole.

That's the second landmark. I want to show you some moments of history in my journey, which probably you would never ever get to see anywhere in the world. One, the numbers you'll never get to see. Secondly, this concept. This was a meditation program inside the prison of over a thousand prisoners. 1,000 prisoners who sat in meditation. This was one of the most courageous steps I took as a prison governor. And this is what transformed. You want to know more about this, go and see this film, "Doing Time Doing Vipassana." You will hear about it, and you will love it. And write to me on, and I'll respond to you. Let me show you the next slide. I took the same concept of mindfulness. Because, why did I bring meditation into the Indian prison? Because crime is a product of a distorted mind. It was distortion of mind which needed to be addressed to control, not by preaching, not by telling, not by reading, but by addressing your mind. I took the same thing to the police, because the police, equally, were prisoners of their minds, and they felt as if it was we and they, and that the people don't cooperate. This worked.(citation)

Finally, you can't get anymore deviating from the modernity for inaction, and caring about beloningness and mindfulness, than a 2,500 years old practical wisdom for humanity called Vipassana.
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