The Future will have no Prisons

All behaviour is either learnt or innate.

There is no such thing as evil. That religious concept went out with the death of the Devil (another human invention).

That does not mean that people do not do ‘evil’ things. They do. We all have the innate behavioural pathways to do cruel, hateful, callous and nasty things.

But most of us don’t. Should the ones who do be punished?

Either their behaviour is the result of being damaged by their horrible experiences, of being taught badly, or of an innate character flaw. Whatever the cause it is down to bad wiring in the brain and bad brain chemistry.

What has been learnt can be unlearnt, wiring can be rewired, chemistry imbalances can be corrected.

In future when we have understood the functioning and biochemistry of the brain a lot better, rather than punish someone for bad behaviour all that will be required is reprocessing.

Should criminals and violent people lose their rights and be forcibly subjected to reprocessing?

I think so. At least given the choice of incarceration or reprocessing.

There will be no need for prison or punishment. It never works anyway does it? The problems are brain wiring and chemistry. Perhaps we can have a society where the aggressive, violent and antisocial aspects of our personality can be addressed?

Is that ethical or Brave New World/1984??

10 thoughts on “The Future will have no Prisons

  1. Well, Opher, I hate the idea of prisons but see them as a necessary evil. Your suggestion is the best one I’ve heard yet. Although, I worry that unscrupulous people could control the “reprocessing” and create something just as bad.

  2. “Perhaps we can have a society where the aggressive, violent and antisocial aspects of our personality can be addressed?”
    A fish rots from the head. To have such a society, one would first have to apply this this idea to the leaders/rulers. The definition of a State is, an entity that has a monopoly on aggression and violence within a given geographical area. Those who usurp this monopoly run the risk of imprisonment.
    If a society practiced a moral code based around personal non-aggression, learned violent or aggression would not exist.
    However, self defense and protection from those who do not practice non-aggression would require some sort of action against them.
    As far as rewiring the brain of someone who has an inherent violent streak goes…that is potentially a huge can of worms. For instance, if we had the ability to do this preventively, would that be ethical and who is the arbiter?

    1. Jack – now there is the nub – what behaviour to change? Who decides? Is it ethical?
      However, we are on the brink of such possibilities. It seems to me that our understanding of brain function and our manipulation of it will produce a number of ethical and practical possibilities that may require great thought. The ethics are not clear.

      1. As far as being on the brink of such possibilities; I have an acquaintance that is a top neurologist, he says that we know a minute fraction about how the brain works but, we rampantly move forward as if we know it all. Paraphrasing of course.

      2. Jack – that is true. But I say we’re on the brink because our new imaging techniques are beginning to give us a better understanding. Coupled with more biochemical knowledge I think we are about to make a leap forward. That opens up possibilities.
        Science is still young. There is so much to find out yet we go forward in leaps and bounds. The speed of progress is staggering.

  3. Reblogged this on 61chrissterry and commented:
    Now these are area for consideration and there may be advantages but there will also be many disadvantages.

    One of the main advantages will be that there is an ordered society, but the disadvantage is who creates the order and who will monitor it.

    Society values change from time to time and when this occurs would there have to be widespread rewiring or reprogramming. and who will decide when, where and how.

    Is this not the Big Brother of Orwell’s 1984.

    Will this only be occurring within the UK or all over the World and if the latter, what about the different perceptions of Society in each individual country. Then if this is so what would occur when people visit from other countries where the aspects of Society differ from the country they are coming to.

    On the face of it rewiring and reprogramming is the ideal, but when taking into account the practicalities, then may be not.
    It is also open to abuse from anyone within the ruling classes.

    In effect is there not an option at the moment with the rewiring and reprogramming substituted by some forms of medication.

    Lastly, would any of us wish to be, within an environment, where everyone would be the same as the next person, surely our individual differences bring enlightenment to all our lives.

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