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  #1  
Old 02-09-2011, 01:34 AM
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Anyone seen this movie before? If so, you probably already know what I'm proposing for discussion here. Before I state what should be discussed here LET ME LAY DOWN A FEW GUIDELINES:

- First rule, you do NOT talk about fight club...jk lol
- No personal vendettas allowed, if you normally argue with someone on these forums, just let it go if someone "calls you out"
- Keep the conversation ON TOPIC, that means it's not necessary to discuss the branch of a branch of a branch of a former roommate of the original discussion, and/or argue about said nonsense for days. If someone proposes some statistics, or sources, or opinions that are slightly relevant, let's not argue semantics and have them become completely irrelevant.
- I'm having this thread deleted if it gets out of hand (as it does fairly often), and you'll probably be able to tell when that would be.


Now that that's settled, here's what this thread's about: Insanity and murder/crime. Really all that I need to add to that is this: how fine of a line should be drawn between someone who is actually insane, or someone who deserves the full punishment of the law? There are lots of facets to this argument, so I don't foresee this thread going "off track" so to speak. Then again, we are in the debate section, so all I can really do for that is hope. Feel free to discuss the movie "M", by the way, as it is an OSSIM movie.
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:14 AM
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Never heard of it.
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:52 AM
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No, sorry nethier have I heard about it, If I can ask what is it about??
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:27 AM
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EXCELLENT MOVIE. I own it. Man, you're really discovering all the treats the 40s (and 30s) has to offer! First "It's a Wonderful Life", now "M". Soon you'll be watching "His Girl Friday", "Penny Serenade", "Strait-Jacket", "The Lost Weekend", any Frank Capra film besides Wonderful Life ()... Many young people nowdays simply aren't seeing the classics anymore; good to know you are.

I just have to comment on the movie first (I NEVER thought this movie would ever get mentioned on ToS).

M is a very... different film. Hitler certainly took it the wrong way when he used this as a propaganda film to paint the Jews (claiming that Lorre was playing a Jew). Director Fritz Lang was utterly appalled; he left Germany for Hollywood before things got worse (gotta love Robert Osborne and his trivia ). Sure, it has its controversial aspects, but aside from the message (I just need to point out) the acting is incredibly realistic. Everyone acts like... normal people act. And the narration... it just flows. When they have the voiceover talking about everything they're doing to catch the killer, just gives me chills everytime, knowing how hard-working and efficient the police are (you really admire them in this movie).

The message is clear: does a psychologically-deranged killer who knows what he's doing is wrong, and doesn't want to do it (very important point to consider), deserve to meet with a second chance at rehabilitation, even after this method has failed time and again? Shouldn't he be executed? Truth is, I really don't know. His conviction to become fully sane seemed quite strong, so giving him a chance to do so is a wonderful option... but he's killed so many girls after God-knows how many times he was sent to institutions. Personally, I'd keep him in prison for life. He's too much of a danger, and if he truly wanted to stop hurting people, knowing he'll probably never get well, he'd agree to prison.

Last edited by Woodsprite; 02-09-2011 at 05:35 AM. Reason: Changed "20s" to "30s". I seriously thought this was made in 1927. :P
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:47 AM
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It's a German movie from 1931 about a child murderer who lures children then kills them. His killings put the city into a frenzy, fearful for their children's lives, and super paranoid since he leaves virtually 0 clues. The police search nothing but dead leads. Meanwhile, the criminals of the city are hindered by this murderer because the constant police searches are putting a hold on their activities and livelihood, so they conclude the only way they can do anything is to find this guy themselves. Both the police and the criminals go after this murderer, and the criminals end up capturing him and taking him to a rundown factory and holding a "trial" for him. This is where the issue of insanity vs. someone who legitimately deserves to die comes up. Clearly everyone wants him to die or suffer for what he did, but he explains how messed up his head is, and his fake defense attorney stand up for him in which a large argument between the two sides occur. Eventually the police break in, take him into their custody and by the ending, it's presumed that they "go easy on him" for his insanity.
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Woodsprite View Post
EXCELLENT MOVIE. I own it. Man, you're really discovering all the treats the 40s (and 20s) has to offer! First "It's a Wonderful Life", now "M". Soon you'll be watching "His Girl Friday", "Penny Serenade", "Strait-Jacket", "The Lost Weekend", any Frank Capra film besides Wonderful Life ()... Many young people nowdays simply aren't seeing the classics anymore; good to know you are.

I just have to comment on the movie first (I NEVER thought this movie would ever get mentioned on ToS).

M is a very... different film. Hitler certainly took it the wrong way when he used this as a propaganda film to paint the Jews (claiming that Lorre was playing a Jew). Director Fritz Lang was utterly appalled; he left Germany for Hollywood before things got worse (gotta love Robert Osborne and his trivia ). Sure, it has its controversial aspects, but aside from the message (I just need to point out) the acting is incredibly realistic. Everyone acts like... normal people act. And the narration... it just flows. When they have the voiceover talking about everything they're doing to catch the killer, just gives me chills everytime, knowing how hard-working and efficient the police are (you really admire them in this movie).

The message is clear: does a psychologically-deranged killer who knows what he's doing is wrong, and doesn't want to do it (very important point to consider), deserve to meet with a second chance at rehabilitation, even after this method has failed time and again? Shouldn't he be executed? Truth is, I really don't know. His conviction to become fully sane seemed quite strong, so giving him a chance to do so is a wonderful option... but he's killed so many girls after God-knows how many times he was sent to institutions. Personally, I'd keep him in prison for life. He's too much of a danger, and if he truly wanted to stop hurting people, knowing he'll probably never get well, he'd agree to prison.
Absolutely...this movie certainly made me think. On one hand, he is a threat to society, considering he would probably be released and just repeat his old ways. On the other hand, how would things look from his point of view? But as far as good movies, I'll definitely be posting more and more as the semester goes on, this development of motion picture class I'm in is BADASS. Robert Rodriguez apparently took this class/had my professor . But seriously, this class makes me consider majoring in radio, television, film alongside business...interesting mix, but awesome.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:10 AM
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That sounds really, really interesting. I should put this movie on my "to watch" list.

I'm actually working on a novel right now that explores a similar theme. Namely: what really defines a person's guilt or innocence? Is it solely a function of their physical actions? Or is it more internal -- a function of their memories, psychology, and tendencies?

For example... let's suppose someone commits a horrific crime, but then they suffer some kind of head trauma or illness that causes them to lose all memory of the event. Can you be guilty for something you can't even remember doing? The intuitive answer might be "yes, of course," but just imagine someone coming up to you right now and saying "hey, you killed someone last year in a fit of jealous rage. We have photographic evidence. We're taking you away." "What?? I don't remember that." "Too bad."

Anyway, getting back on topic... based on Woodsprite's post, I think imprisoning him for life would be a tragic but necessary decision. I sometimes think of criminal insanity as analogous to a malignant tumor. Say you get bone cancer in your foot. It's not really your foot's "fault" that it has cancer, but it's still necessary to amputate it in order to save the rest of the body. The difference is that most people would be sad for the loss of their foot, rather than wanting to make it suffer for what it did.

Violent crime is so devastating and emotional to those affected... because of the depth of that pain, I think humans have a very deep need to demonize the perpetrators in order to derive some satisfaction from their punishment/ destruction. Where else can you place that sense of rage and injustice, if not on the heads of those who performed the act? Dealing with the tragedy of the victims and their loved ones is hard enough... if you were to view the perpetrator's situation as its own tragedy, it would be too much for most people to handle, emotionally.

I can look at this from an abstract, philosophical perspective and say that a disturbed criminal is a person too and that their plight is tragic too, but I'm sure that if such a person killed my little sister or anyone else I care about... all that would go straight out the window and I would want them dead. :-(
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How do you make up after you've done the unforgivable? Jake and Neytiri have a conversation in the wake of Hometree's destruction, during their first real moment alone following his return as Toruk Makto.

The Last Train Home
Fourteen years after the war, a lone spaceship appears in the sky. The former members of the Avatar program watch its approach expecting the worst, fearing for their adopted home. Then the ship lands. And suddenly, nothing makes sense anymore.

Five seconds too late
This is a different kind of Jake/Neytiri romance, the story that would've unfolded had she been delayed for just five seconds while trying to reach him following the fight with Quaritch.

Last edited by Sothis; 02-09-2011 at 05:20 AM.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Sothis View Post
That sounds really, really interesting. I should put this movie on my "to watch" list.

I'm actually working on a novel right now that explores a similar theme. Namely: what really defines a person's guilt or innocence? Is it solely a function of their physical actions? Or is it more internal -- a function of their memories, psychology, and tendencies?

For example... let's suppose someone commits a horrific crime, but then they suffer some kind of head trauma or illness that causes them to lose all memory of the event. Can you be guilty for something you can't even remember doing? The intuitive answer might be "yes, of course," but just imagine someone coming up to you right now and saying "hey, you killed someone last year in a fit of jealous rage. We have photographic evidence. We're taking you away." "What?? I don't remember that." "Too bad."

Anyway, getting back on topic... based on Woodsprite's post, I think imprisoning him for life would be a tragic but necessary decision. I sometimes think of criminal insanity as analogous to a malignant tumor. Say you get bone cancer in your foot. It's not really your foot's "fault" that it has cancer, but it's still necessary to amputate it in order to save the rest of the body. The difference is that most people would be sad for the loss of their foot, rather than wanting to make it suffer for what it did.

Violent crime is so devastating and emotional to those affected... because of the depth of that pain, I think humans have a very deep need to demonize the perpetrators in order to derive some satisfaction from their punishment/ destruction. Where else can you place that sense of rage and injustice, if not on the heads of those who performed the act? Dealing with the tragedy of the victims and their loved ones is hard enough... if you were to view the perpetrator's situation as its own tragedy, it would be too much for most people to handle, emotionally.

I can look at this from an abstract, philosophical perspective and say that a disturbed criminal is a person too and that their plight is tragic too, but I'm sure that if such a person killed my little sister or anyone else I care about... all that would go straight out the window and I would want them dead. :-(
Indeed this is a difficult subject to debate about, because, frankly, I can't take a side. For a society that's so screwed up sometimes, it's ironic that we feel it necessary to rid ourselves of those not worthy of living in it. That's the thing though...it shouldn't be about what the affected family wants for the person, they're just as biased as the killer himself. Of course the natural reaction for the affected is going to be punishment, but I'm not sure about punishing someone when it really isn't their fault. Damn...this is one of the tougher debates I've been involved in, lol.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:22 AM
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Well you started it.

To quote Farquaad, "It's rude enough being alive when no one wants you." The line is so wrong, it's funny... but it fits just this situation.

We need more people to get in here with their input.
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:40 AM
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Is this an argument about the death penalty?
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:28 PM
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Is this an argument about the death penalty?
Not by my understanding, no. The debate is about the situation in the movie, and the ethics of how to deal with the character in question.

I suppose part of that might involve a debate about whether the character should receive the death penalty, and whether his condition should matter in determining that. But I think a general debate about the death penalty should go in its own thread.
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You came back
How do you make up after you've done the unforgivable? Jake and Neytiri have a conversation in the wake of Hometree's destruction, during their first real moment alone following his return as Toruk Makto.

The Last Train Home
Fourteen years after the war, a lone spaceship appears in the sky. The former members of the Avatar program watch its approach expecting the worst, fearing for their adopted home. Then the ship lands. And suddenly, nothing makes sense anymore.

Five seconds too late
This is a different kind of Jake/Neytiri romance, the story that would've unfolded had she been delayed for just five seconds while trying to reach him following the fight with Quaritch.

Last edited by Sothis; 02-09-2011 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:26 PM
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Indeed this is a difficult subject to debate about, because, frankly, I can't take a side. For a society that's so screwed up sometimes, it's ironic that we feel it necessary to rid ourselves of those not worthy of living in it. That's the thing though...it shouldn't be about what the affected family wants for the person, they're just as biased as the killer himself. Of course the natural reaction for the affected is going to be punishment, but I'm not sure about punishing someone when it really isn't their fault. Damn...this is one of the tougher debates I've been involved in, lol.
I think the difficulty is that this question -- like many ethical questions -- has no solution that is "universally" just. There is no outcome that is fair to ALL parties in ALL dimensions.

Faced with this reality, I don't think it's possible to deal rationally with such problems by relying solely on your innate sense of justice and morality. Each alternative will "feel wrong" depending how you look at it. Instead, I think you have to turn to ethical theory for guiding principles. Of course, different ethical principles may produce different recommendations, so you have to decide for yourself which principles you think should take precedence, independently of the specific problem at hand.

One example of a principle from ethical theory is utilitarianism, often summarized as "the greatest good for the greatest number." From Wikipedia:
Quote:
Utilitarianism (also: utilism) is the idea that the moral worth of an action is determined solely by its usefulness in maximizing utility and minimizing negative utility (utility can be defined as pleasure, preference satisfaction, knowledge or other things) as summed among all sentient beings. It is thus a form of consequentialism, meaning that the moral worth of an action is determined by its outcome. The most influential contributors to this theory are considered to be Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill.
A simple utilitarian argument might say that the killer should be permanently jailed (or perhaps even executed, if he is an escape risk). Even if what he does is not his fault, the decision to jail/execute him is ethical under utilitarianism because it creates the greatest utility for society as a whole.

Of course, other schools of thought may disagree; the "criticism and defense" section of the article is worth a read. I'm still trying to work through it all.

I will say that I don't believe any ethical institution of justice should make "punishment" part of its reason for existence, per se. I'm not saying criminals shouldn't suffer... I'm just saying their suffering shouldn't be the point of the system. In my opinion, the point should be to protect the rest of society from harm and to discourage criminal behavior. Suffering might turn out to be an unavoidable side-effect of these goals at times, but I do think suffering should be minimized where possible.
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You came back
How do you make up after you've done the unforgivable? Jake and Neytiri have a conversation in the wake of Hometree's destruction, during their first real moment alone following his return as Toruk Makto.

The Last Train Home
Fourteen years after the war, a lone spaceship appears in the sky. The former members of the Avatar program watch its approach expecting the worst, fearing for their adopted home. Then the ship lands. And suddenly, nothing makes sense anymore.

Five seconds too late
This is a different kind of Jake/Neytiri romance, the story that would've unfolded had she been delayed for just five seconds while trying to reach him following the fight with Quaritch.

Last edited by Sothis; 02-09-2011 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sothis View Post
I think the difficulty is that this question -- like many ethical questions -- has no solution that is "universally" just. There is no outcome that is fair to ALL parties in ALL dimensions.

Faced with this reality, I don't think it's possible to deal rationally with such problems by relying solely on your innate sense of justice and morality. Each alternative will "feel wrong" depending how you look at it. Instead, I think you have to turn to ethical theory for guiding principles. Of course, different ethical principles may produce different recommendations, so you have to decide for yourself which principles you think should take precedence, independently of the specific problem at hand.

One example of a principle from ethical theory is utilitarianism, often summarized as "the greatest good for the greatest number." From Wikipedia:


A simple utilitarian argument might say that the killer should be permanently jailed (or perhaps even executed, if he is an escape risk). Even if what he does is not his fault, the decision to jail/execute him is ethical under utilitarianism because it creates the greatest utility for society as a whole.

Of course, other schools of thought may disagree; the "criticism and defense" section of the article is worth a read. I'm still trying to work through it all.

I will say that I don't believe any ethical institution of justice should make "punishment" part of its reason for existence, per se. I'm not saying criminals shouldn't suffer... I'm just saying their suffering shouldn't be the point of the system. In my opinion, the point should be to protect the rest of society from harm and to discourage criminal behavior. Suffering might turn out to be an unavoidable side-effect of these goals at times, but I do think suffering should be minimized where possible.
I agree. I also think of the book Crime and Punishment anytime I see "utilitarian." In the case of the movie M I would definitely say that the death penalty would be too extreme, as I am never a proponent of the death penalty. As far as these situations, M shows us that we should certainly be thankful in some respects that the general public isn't deciding the fate of our criminals, and that we have a mostly neutral judicial system that shouldn't deliver sentences based on emotion. As you mentioned utilitarianism, the proper course of action would definitely be to send these types of deviants to a mental institution or prison. If, however, we want to compromise between "the greater good" and the human perspective, the proper course of action would probably be some type of mental institution. Now as far as being re-released and re-admitted after committing more crimes, I think advancement in the psychological fields and such may be able to reduce such occurrences. Not only that, but there's now all sorts of tracking devices, house arrest, crime watch, things of the sort to make sure that doesn't happen. But the point that needs to be made is that it does still happen. However, I'm not sure that overcomes the process. What do you guys think?
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:08 AM
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Oh, forgot to mention, first 4 words of the movie: "The man in black..."

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Old 02-10-2011, 01:29 AM
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Thanks men in black and to the rest of thanks also, I will have to find this movie and whatch it. Then I can add more to this converation.
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