The Justification of Punishment. The Justification of corporal punishment, positive punishment, and operant response are discussed here. The argument for corporal punishment demonstrates that it is an effective means of teaching children appropriate behavior. In other words, punishment has a valid role to play in the restorative process. This process should seek to recognize an offender’s wrong and make appropriate reparations for it. It is also a method of secular penance, which teaches children to respect authority.
Justification of punishment
While all philosophers believe in the justification of punishment, not all of them hold the same view. Some hold that punishments should be justified only if they are effective and necessary for achieving some objective. Some even argue that punishments should not be used when there are less burdensome methods. And there are still some whose position is not based on empirical evidence. For example, some think that punishments should never be used because they are immoral.
Retributivists argue that punishment should be used only when a person deserves it, while utilitarians argue that it should be used when it can achieve useful ends. They are sometimes called consequentialists. While most theories of punishment do not fall into either category, satiating both criteria may be necessary. Depending on the circumstances of a specific case, the utilitarian approach may be appropriate. However, the utilitarian theory may not be enough to justify all punishments.
Justification of positive punishment
The justification for punishment has varied over time. Some societies use punishment to deter future offenders. Others punish people for committing crimes, such as theft. Others see punishment as a way to correct a wrong. In both cases, punishment is meant to be sufficient to deter crime. Here are some ways that punishment is justified. But the justification for punishment depends on the crime committed. If the punishment is not sufficient to deter crime, then it is ineffective.
A perfect example of a positive punishment is detention. Let’s say the substitute teacher catches a student throwing spitballs in the classroom. The substitute teacher then orders the student to clean up the room. While this punishment is undesirable, it can help the other students. This method of punishment does not have an immediate impact on the perpetrator. It can, however, be used in conjunction with negative punishment to change unwanted behaviors.
Justification of operant response
The Justification of Operant Response to Punishment claims that certain behaviors are modifiable, such as speeding through a red light, can be modified with the application of consequences. The likelihood of a response occurring again increases with reinforcement, while it decreases with punishment. Reinforcement can change both the temporal and topographical properties of a behavior. In the case of speeding through a red light, the consequence is a car accident.
The law of effect was first developed by Thorndike. It states that responses which produce typically pleasant outcomes are more likely to occur in the future. Thorndike’s ideas were further developed by B. F. Skinner, who proposed that positive reinforcement strengthened a response by presenting a pleasant thing after the response, while negative punishment weakens the response by removing or reducing a typically pleasant experience.
Justification of corporal punishment
Some people raise the issue of faith-based justifications for corporal punishment. Various religious texts justify the use of corporal punishment, or even provide a duty to do so. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights guarantees freedom of religion for everyone, provided that it is compatible with respect for others’ human dignity and physical integrity. However, certain restrictions on freedom of religion may be justified to protect fundamental rights. For example, the de minimis principle requires that minor assaults between adult parties are only prosecuted in exceptional circumstances.
One study found that attitudes toward domestic violence were a strong predictor of support for corporal punishment. Moreover, these attitudes were associated with the likelihood of psychological and physical abuse towards children. This study was carried out in 25 low and middle-income countries and revealed that people in these countries supported corporal punishment. Therefore, this evidence supports the notion of restraining abuse in children. While such a study does not address the underlying causes of violence towards children, it does provide an important foundation for further research.