[PW] more on paying one's debt to societyh

cowan at ccil.org cowan at ccil.org
Mon Apr 27 09:58:16 PDT 2015


Mark Halpern scripsit:

> if what the criminal did was to incur a debt,  why
> may he not, by paying off that debt, regain all the rights and  privileges
> of a law-abiding citizen?

Do you still think this is absurd when the penalty is a fine?  If you pay
your (non-points-creating) traffic ticket, why *shouldn't* you regain all
the rights and privileges of a non-speeding citizen?

> (And a side issue: how does serving  time in
> prison pay his debt?)

What counts as satisfying a debt always depends on the will of the
creditor and of society.  If these are the same, so much the simpler.

> It seems to me that it's a very modern idea; I'd be surprised to  learn
> that it was older than the 19th century.

With respect to the punishment of imprisonment, it probably isn't, since
that was only put into serious practice in the late 18C.

-- 
John Cowan          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
Man has no body distinct from his soul, for that called body is a portion
of the soul discerned by the five senses, the chief inlets of the soul
in this age.  --William Blake




More information about the Project-Wombat mailing list