“ARRGHHHHHHHHH!!!!” Is This Wrong?

"I'd be so very appreciative if you resolved not to contact me again!"

Some years ago, a person in my household who shall not be named made the mistake of buying some drugs off the internet. Now, with ever-increasing frequency, we receive calls from illicit on-line pharmacies. all hours of the day, sometimes one after the other. Telling them not to call doesn’t work; telling them we are going to report them doesn’t work. I have warned the callers of dire consequences to future callers, and now have to find some actual consequences to inflict.

My new practice, when they reveal who they are and their purpose, is to  give a blood-curdling, high-pitched scream directly into the phone, as loud as I can make it. I am certain this is startling (I have a great scream), and I hope it is painful. I would not be sorry to learn that it bursts an eardrum or seven.  Plan B…an airhorn.

Is this unethical?

Is Flogging More Ethical Than Incarceration?

Ah, those were the good old days!

Peter Moskos is about to publish a book entitled “In Defense of Flogging.” He’s not really advocating a return to the Cat O’ Nine Tails, however, but engaging in a so-called “thought experiment”, which Moskos, an assistant professor of law, police science, and criminal-justice administration at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, summarizes at the end of his article on the topic (in the Chronical of Higher Education) like this:

“So is flogging still too cruel to contemplate? Perhaps it’s not as crazy as you thought. And even if you’re adamant that flogging is a barbaric, inhumane form of punishment, how can offering criminals the choice of the lash in lieu of incarceration be so bad? If flogging were really worse than prison, nobody would choose it. Of course most people would choose the rattan cane over the prison cell. And that’s my point. Faced with the choice between hard time and the lash, the lash is better. What does that say about prison?”

I’ll answer that:  it says that imprisonment is a better and more efficient punishment for serious crimes than flogging, and who didn’t know that? Continue reading