Philosophy Ripped From The Headlines!, Issue #14, 1 (November 2018): Crime-&-Punishment Inc., USA.

By Hugh Reginald

1. “Larry Krasner’s Campaign to End Mass Incarceration”

By Jennifer Gonnerman

The New Yorker, 29 OCTOBER 2018

Full article available at URL =

2. “Too Poor To Vote”

By Danielle Lang and Thea Sebastian

The New York Times, 1 NOVEMBER 2018

Full article available at URL =

Some Follow-Up Thoughts For Further Reflection and Discussion:

Is the following argument sound? If so, why? If not, why not?

  1. Dignity is an innate endowment of human persons, not an achievement; therefore their dignity cannot be either lost or reduced by their immoral choices or actions.
  2. Moreover, their dignity cannot be lost or reduced by merely illegal choices or actions, since immorality and illegality are logically independent of one another: not everything that is immoral is illegal, and not everything that is illegal is immoral.
  3. Thus even people who are called and treated as “criminals” by the police and rest of the legal justice system, especially including the courts-and-trials system and the prison system, fully possess human dignity and should always be treated with sufficient respect for that dignity.
  4. The current American system of brutal, racist policing and mass incarceration with loss of basic political rights, aka The Carceral State, clearly fails to treat those who are called “criminals” by it, with sufficient respect for their human dignity; on the contrary, it’s a deeply oppressive and unfair system, hence it’s rationally unjustified and immoral.
  5. Therefore we should either radically transform the existing system, or end it altogether — thereby abolishing the police, the courts-and-trials system, and the prison system — and put something radically better in its place, so that all people are treated with sufficient respect for their human dignity, no matter how badly they’ve chosen and acted.


ISSUE #13, 2 (September 2018):

Formerly Captain Nemo. A not-so-very-angry, but still unemployed, full-time philosopher-nobody.

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