Ethics in TOK

by Jasmine on April 12, 2016

What makes punishment fair? Do you think that someone can be “born bad” and if so is it fair to punish them before they commit a crime?¬†

There’s a lot of thought that needs to be considered before determining a punishment for a criminal, which is why a jury is needed to make those decisions. Many people think that a fair approach to punish a criminal would be to do exactly what he did to the criminal (eg. Death Penalty). However, I don’t believe this approach to be fair: For example, if person A killed 100 people by blowing up a bomb in the public and person B was driving but killed a pedestrian that ran into the middle of the road when it was a red light, and person B hit the brakes as fast as possible… is it still fair to punish them through the death penalty? The punishment really depends on the situation even if both of them committed a crime.

I strongly believe that punishing someone before they commit a crime is extremely unfair. This is because there is no guarantees that if criminals give birth to a child, then the child will be a criminal – even if there’s scientific evidence and existing, discovered genes supporting this statement. Just in the US alone, as of today, there are approximately¬†2,193,798 criminals, does this mean all of their parents are criminals as well? Does this mean none of those 2 million criminals have law-abiding parents? Most certainly not. This shows that there is no certainty, ASSUMING they will do something illegal is never the right answer.


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