Can punishments make one decent?

By | January 24, 2018

Why should a person be punished if he or she doesn’t understand or accept his mistakes? Obviously he/she will continue with the same punished behavior behind our back.

I am trying to watch it in a broader sense, say like starting from parents punishing kids to the punishments by the court. In all cases, if one cannot understand his/her mistake, won’t it be repeated?

May be kids won’t do it in their parents presence. But definitely they will do in their parent’s absence. These punishments are just making them a little bit polite, but not moral. They may appear disciplined for a while, but not forever if they don’t understand the wrongs in their side.

Reminds me of this Malayalam song sung by Vineeth Sreenivasan in the movie Oru Vadakkan Selfie “Enne thallendammava njan nannavoola. Mandeel adiyum vare njan nannavoola” [Meaning “No need to beat me uncle, I won’t change good”]

No one would change actually if he/she is not convinced on the mistakes. Simply they may try to avoid the home of punishments. Whenever the situation changes in their favor or if they are not watched, the real nature will be exposed.

And moreover the thought ‘I am being watched’ can actually damage one’s peace, cause stress and ultimately lead to unavoidable crises.

Another point dancing in front of me right now is “If one accepts and feels guilty of his mistakes, should he/she be really punished again?” He already had the punishment of guilty feeling, so why again?

So aren’t these punishments bad weapons? Still why is it being used everywhere?

Or are these punishments showcased as a threat to the future criminals to make them beware of the consequences?

This being a world of ‘add-ons’ I feel some add-ons are required with the current punishments strategy too where in some views must be put before punishing straightaway so as to make them aware of the actual mistakes.

Otherwise what’s the use “If a criminal never regrets on what he has done”? Or otherwise either he must have some solid reasons behind the crime or he must be psychic as posted in Crime is a crime. But who cares his feeling while punishing him straightaway?

15 thoughts on “Can punishments make one decent?

  1. paulliverstravels

    I think humanity decided how to control its fellows back when we were small tribes and everyone knew everyone. So if I committed a crime I could be publically shamed/punished and would have to earn the respect of my tribe back. And everyone grew up learning the basic skills to survive, so punishment wasn’t a handicap to survival the way a criminal record severely limits the average person’s economic abilities (unless you are one of the 1% in which case a criminal record can get you a job in politics). Unfortunately, our society has changed much faster than our hearts.

    1. Akhila Post author

      Probably the era you mentioned is in history only now… today no one care others, no one know much about each other, so no much botheration about the image too..and what to say more, the higher your black marks, the more opportunities in front of you..that has become the motto of many in this world now

  2. utahan15

    a very good thought
    each action has consequences
    but the ability
    to see
    and learn
    can be difficult

    1. Akhila Post author

      Very true that.. never the lessons learned ar properly recorded in ones own programmed brain

  3. mywords331

    A very thought provoking post di. I feel that even though we have a long list of acts and punishment for every major or minor crime,the number of crimes everyday is increasing.
    There must be a middle ground.
    BTW I really liked the reference of song.

  4. Sha'Tara

    Excellent topic. Punishment simply does not work as people think it does. It’s always counter productive as it creates fear and slavish submission in some children and powerful criminal rebellion against society in others thus the driving extremes in society. In a Star Trek episode, a society had evolved a crime-less and even mistake-less society by simply “eliminating” (state sanctioned capital punishment) anyone who committed an infraction to clearly stated rules. For example, stepping off a path in a flower garden where a sign said, “No walking in Garden.” That would be a capital offence and the offender was given a drug to peacefully die. Extreme? Actually for most serious and violent crimes, that is the only guarantee there will be no re-offending. Jail is cruel and unusual punishment which fosters more crime and also attracts psychopathic individuals as wardens and guards. The US of A is the most blatant example of this in the world. They now openly use their prisoners as slave labour.

    “Offenders” should be given a real and sincere chance to demonstrate that they are willing to, can change their ways, and have done so. How? Only someone who could actually “read” another’s deepest thoughts could determine if it is legitimate or not. I’m afraid we’re a long way from such developments. Meanwhile, we can continue to add crime to crime through various kinds of punishments, or we can learn to practice compassion, humility and forgiveness.

    Another alternative, used in “biblical” times, is for the family of crime victims to take vengeance on the criminal when apprehended. A popular method was stoning the criminal, and sometimes his entire family, to death. Hmmm… I’m afraid that only succeeded in making a certain tribal group lose every bit of human compassion and decency they possessed. That particular group remains trapped in this loss to this very day, daily imposing their inhuman ways upon those they lord it over. I think we all know which nation I refer to.

    1. Akhila Post author

      Hmm… mind readers..can it really happen in today’s world… even if it’s possible can it be trusted..

  5. Jay Thomas

    In most belief systems, there is a system of “punishment.” So I can’t say that we should simply do away with it. People have to know there is a consequence for their actions. Imagine if children knew that they could do anything they wanted without repercussion.

    I don’t know if punishment can make a person decent, because I don’t believe that just because you’re being punished, you’re “indecent.” I believe a system of reform and rehabilitation is more effective that simple punishment. Take the crime, and rehab the person into a better human being with “some” punishment. Give them an opportunity to change and become a productive member of society.

    What we’re doing now isn’t working. It has turned into a money-making scheme (if we’re talking about incarceration). If we’re talking about children, punishment work (most of the time). Because children are more receptive to the lessons of punishment than adults are.

    1. Akhila Post author

      You are absolutely right Jay. You are being punished does not imply that you are indecent. Vice versa is also much true..but the current system of justice fails to incorporate the aspects of minds..and thinking loud as shatara was mentioning who can include that mind reading aspects?

  6. thewritewomanblog

    I suppose humans are led to believe that ‘punishments’ are an indication of power of keeping in control. We are well aware that they might tweak the behavior but not change it entirely so I suppose the exercise will just feed your ego and nothing much.


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