If we assess the problems with administrating justice and sentencing within a democratic context, then these issues pale into insignificance when compared to those which concern punishment rehabilitation. The reason for this is that any prison sentence or consequence that is passed down within a democratic rule must be dual purpose, and need to provide a delicate balance between legitimate punishment and rehabilitating the perpetrator.
It is this balance which epitomizes a slight weakness within the armory of democracy, as it attempts to serve as many citizens as possible and in a vast number of individual ways. This aspiration is integral to the ideal of democracy, but it can occasionally create a situation where an individual goal or target can fall short of expectations. In terms of rehabilitation, this means that where a prison environment Is too lenient, a criminal is neither encouraged to repent or reform for their misdemeanors.
Can Punishment and Rehabilitation be Carried out Simultaneously?
This raises an interesting point with regards to the separate entities of punishment and rehabilitation, and whether they can be carried out simultaneously. Although they are individual concepts in their own right, they are closely linked in terms of their relationship and relevance to a perpetrator of crime, and any punishment administered must be harsh enough to provoke thought, remorse and ultimately a desire to reform. Where this punishment fails to be efficient,
Of all the aspects of a democracy that create debate and consternation, the approach to justice and criminal rehabilitation is one of the more significant. This is chiefly because it has a definitive impact on the well being and security of society, in addition to accounting for a large sum of tax revenue and government expenditure, and also challenges the important issues of morality amongst a nation’s citizens. This not only applies to the morality of the perpetrators of crime, but also the methodology used in administering justice.
There are many different approaches to crime and punishment across the globe, from those based upon democratic principles to others that are primitive and often reflective of a totalitarian rule. The US largely adheres to the former, although some states within the countries boundaries do still employ capital punishment as a consequence of specific types of crime. While the democratic model of justice is one that reflects the best balance of morality and rehabilitation, there are issues with originate from it’s core values.
Admitting Guilt and Reduced Sentencing
As aspect of this is reduced sentencing in exchange for a guilty plea, which remains a feature of existing law regardless of the severity of a crime or its moral implications. This is a longstanding pivot upon which justice veers, and allows perpetrators of crime to escape from the maximum punishment allowed by law through a simple and public admission of their guilt. While this is seen as a partial act of acceptance and also saves crucial tax payers money designated for a trial, the question remains as to whether it has become a largely cynical deed rather than a humanitarian one.
The majority of religions have their roots based in ancient scripture and teachings, and as such are fairly inflexible in various aspects of their culture. However, as technology and accepted knowledge has advanced at an increasing pace, so too many religions have sought to adapt and reflect a more contemporary mindset. While this has been generally considered as beneficial and a significant step in religions maintaining their relevance, it has been questioned in some circles as distasteful and opposed to religious values.
Catholicism is an example of a religion that has long since been considered as inflexible and archaic in its values, until recent times have seen it evolve to cater to a more contemporary view of existence. In addition to modifying its views on abortion and marital union, it has also begun to communicate with followers through Facebook and other social media sites, creating a modern version of the faith that is far removed from its previous incarnation.
Religion and Social Media
The link between Catholicism and social media began in earnest last September, as the Pope visited the UK and the church used the medium to publicize the trip and its details. It has since retained this page and advanced the presence further, creating an additional layout to promote the Pope’s impending beatification in May of this year. This is one of the most significant instances of an established and major religion utilizing online media to reach out to their followers, and has prompted mixed emotions in response.
As we currently live in an age of unchecked technological advancement, it is hard for us to comprehend the speed at which particular developments occur. While we appreciate the changes that are influential in our own daily existences, the larger picture remains somewhat vague and distorted, and it is only if you analyze them from afar that you realize the vast nature of metamorphosis. Then, you see a subtle but significant increase in the speed of change over a consistent period of time, with the result that we may soon entering an epoch of time where nature is overwhelmed by technology.
This may seem farfetched, but it is a theory which is well considered in academic circles. Professor Ray Kurzweil has made this study his life’s work, and he believes that machines and computers will soon be completely superior to human entities, leading into the emergence of artificial intelligence and the coalition of mankind and technology within a single being. Given the already significant and appreciable speed at which technology continues to advance, it is argued that by as early as 2050, human beings may be able to shape shift, control their nutrition and life free from disease for as long as they desire.
The Concept of Singularity and Rapid Technological Growth
The reason put forward for this is referred to as Singularity, which describes a single moment of time whereby machines advance beyond their human creators and into the ascendancy. This is based on a theory of accelerating returns, which states that technology has been developing at a steadily increasing rate since the beginnings of time, and is set to explode out of all accepted proportion in the coming years. This will see technological advances spiral beyond any semblance of human control, and eradicate the steady and linear lines of progression expected by social analysts and economists.
Individual human nature is a strange entity, and can often influence behaviour in the worst and most divisive ways imaginable. It is curious, and is itself often colored by personal experience, environment and the example set by elders. The problems arise where a negative perception is created that concerns a specific group or demographic within society, which can lead to prejudice and the very worst kind of religious or racial intolerance. In addition to this, it is rare for the perception to be accurate in its detail, leaving a suspicion or dislike that is unique to a personal experience rather than a social group.
The Advent of Religious Extremism
In America this week, Republican representative Peter King has courted controversy by calling for hearing to discuss what he describes as the radicalization of Muslims throughout the entire nation. Regardless of any logic or thought that has gone into his campaign, he has drawn staunch criticism from various bodies by singling out the Muslim faith, despite his initial claims that many different factions of society maybe vulnerable to such extremism. While some support his assertions as courageous and necessary, others see it is a deliberate campaign to marginalize the Muslim faith within the US.
While Mr King is right to assert that radicalization is a serious and potentially dangerous element within contemporary society, it is certainly not specific to a single religious group or faith. It is more a reflection of the strained financial and cultural circumstances that exist in the country, as the continuing processes of integration and economic recovery create a society that is uneasy and unsure of their immediate future. Subsequently, any act or discussion which serves to isolate a specific culture or religion can only have a negative impact upon the society where it subsists.