On punishment

I have on different occasions shared opinions and quotes on this topic. It is known by regular readers that I am I lean towards abolition of prisons. I also believe with JJR that we should abolish capital punishment in the few places where it is still in the statutes. This doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with what to do with violent offenders. I listen to podcasts on crime and some of the offenses leave me wanting to throw up. The cruelty. The pain caused to families. The violence to the victims. It is all too sick. And the question is, what must society do to protect itself from such?

All that is not the subject of this post.

In this post, I want to ask a question. Different countries have term limits for different crimes ranging from a few weeks to several lifetimes or even capital punishment. The question is, was there a rational basis for say determining that for the crime of sexual assault, the minimum time for rape is 10 years (according to the Kenyan law)? I think the mandatory sentence was ruled unconstitutional. What is to be achieved in the ten years? Could the society achieve the same goal with a shorter sentence? Say 2 years?

What are your thoughts on this matter? Are there rational ways of determining what length of a sentence is required for say a murder? Keep in mind society doesn’t always punish murders. For example, during war, the guy whose side wins i.e kills the most, gets more stars on his shoulder and a presidential commendation for valour and other military honours. It is the killing by individuals not sanctioned by the state that we abhor completely.

Maybe I have this all wrong.

what is violence?

WHO defines violence as the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation. Others define it as the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy.

Can we still talk of violence if it doesn’t involve physical force? In which way should words be considered violence? Should the courts treat words as we would physical assault? I ask this because of this comment

calling on the public to desist from any form of violence against women, whether online or offline.

Daily Nation, 14th September.

Is this As per the 2018 law, a person found guilty of cyber-harassment is liable for a Sh20 million fine or imprisonment of not more than 10 years reasonable?

I am known to not like politicians

But occasionally I can agree with them. And this is one of those instances where I agree with the sentiments of one of the presidential candidate in the just concluded plebiscite.

Reuben Kigame, who is an evangelical Christian has said the Ruto team is overdoing religion. In his own words

I know I will be bashed but I need to be truthful and accountable to the nation. I think the Ruto administration is overdoing religion

Star Newspaper

and this is just the first week of the administration. You maybe wondering why he said this. Again, we will just defer to him

“over-representation” of the evangelical wing of the church during his inauguration and that of his deputy Rigathi Gachagua on Tuesday was unnecessary.

And he has more.

I am a committed Christian who believes in prayer and believe God has helped us this far and will continue to trust Him for the future of Kenya. But I hope that issues such as lowering food prices will not be met with State House saying, “letโ€™s pray about it,”

He was right on the backlash because our morality police, Ezekiel Mutua- I hope you remember him- responded thus

We had sunk so low and thrown morality to the dogs. We cannot have too much of God, provided we also work hard!

I pray to the dead gods that we be spared a theocracy.

The article has comments. Some are weep inducing.

I hear there is atheistic religious fanaticism

Hey friends, did you miss me these few days? I thought not. It was too short to realize I wasn’t doing any posting or visiting your wonderful blogs. Now that I am here, we can return to regular broadcasting. Shall we?

I have always told myself that my time is best spent not offering opinions on blogs by some theists. Then you bump into a blog that leaves you scratching your head. You begin to wonder why so many believe things that are outright crazy. And so this next blog is like that. It starts by alluding to bigotry and vitriol of atheists towards theists. The author even says you guys- atheists- deny Christians freedom of speech.

Atheists are guilty of manipulation. Demanding that arguments be had on their terms, refusing to admit the bible to evidence room and claiming to be intelligent among others.

You are all guilty of being Darwinists, hardcore presuppositionalists– whatever this means- evolutionists, and materialists. Most of all, you are guilty of denying god exists, when you already know it. And you hate the followers of god. Can you stop with the hate, now!

I thought about linking to the post and decided to let it pass. But anyone interested can search for the creation cowboy on wordpress.

I am, therefore I think.

Descartes famously wrote, I think, therefore I am. He could as well have said, I feel or I eat therefore I am. But there are many animals that eat, that feel and shit but are not Descartes. As the title of this post suggests, it is time to rewrite the dictum to I am, therefore I think. It is the awareness that we think, the awareness of the I that is quite distinctive between us and other animals of which we are not aware of their cognition, but this is all for another day.

I love philosophy. Some of friends think it useless because it gives us no answers. But that is the beauty of it. Anyone looking for certainty should look to Math. Not philosophy. Wisdom, the love it, makes a whole difference in the world of feeling in which we live. Maths is good too. When I want to balance my bills, I turn to math.

So, the supreme Court upheld the results of the last presidential election. We will soon be swearing in the 5th president. I am conflicted about the incoming government. Maybe philosophy can help resolve the conflict and contradictions in my head. But this too, is for later.

So what was this post really about? Nothing serious.

Annihilation or immortality? Which is worse, all things considered.