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Science of evil: Depravity scale ranks crimes

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posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 04:36 PM
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Science of evil: Depravity scale ranks crimes

Project seeks to legally define 'heinous,' 'cruel,' 'atrocious,' 'depraved or 'evil'

by Emily Sohn
Which is worse: Bombing a building or forcing a child to watch a crime? Attacking a stranger for fun or causing a car accident while under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Murder with intent or murder by mistake?
They're complicated questions that, in the heat of a criminal trial, can get tangled up in emotion, abstract impressions and arguments about how bad a crime really was.

In an attempt to restore order that even judges and juries often can't instill, an ongoing project is working to clarify exactly what it means for a crime to be "heinous," "cruel," "atrocious," "depraved" or "evil" - words that get thrown around courtrooms but lack clear definitions.

By creating societal standards for different levels of criminal activity, the project aims to create a clear-cut "Depravity Scale" that would guide sentencing decisions. To achieve that goal, researchers are asking for input through online surveys from as many people as possible -- including you.


More including link to survey: www.msnbc.msn.com...




posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 04:40 PM
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The public survey, located at www.depravityscale.org, asks users questions about race, gender, education level and religious beliefs. Then it plunges into the hard stuff — asking people to rank 26 features of theoretical wrongdoings on a scale from most to least depraved.


I find this every interesting--"which features of a crime make it seem especially abhorrent to people".



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 04:46 PM
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This is a scary idea. If this survey data is allowed in court, we are on a slippery slope to using facebook poll data in the furture.

The mob is alive and well.



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 05:33 PM
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Originally posted by zroth

This is a scary idea. If this survey data is allowed in court, we are on a slippery slope to using facebook poll data in the furture.

The mob is alive and well.


I think you are going too far to be honest, and the idea might actually make the judgement more transparent to the public.

If you're aware of the Baby P case in the UK recently, the tabloids would have you believe a certain Sharon Shoesmith is a depraved maniac, and actually she is just the imperfect human being who works in social services at haringley council and made a mistake at work like we all do.

What we have at the minute is a system of tabloid hysteria where Sharon Shoesmith is the scum and the likes of convicted nonce Roman Polanski are apparently not so bad. Lets get the words from the horses mouth defined so we know the truth (or at least more of it than the general populace know now!)



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 06:33 PM
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reply to post by Pauligirl
 


Evil cannot be measured on a scale, evil is evil.

The negative impact or negative cost of that the evil can be quantified in a somewhat subjective manner. That said, whether it is accepted or not by the majority can shift over time, WWII Germany and the holocaust and other genocides by one group against another are great examples. Moral relativism can affect how evil is perceived but it is still there nonetheless, ignorance purposeful or otherwise is not an excuse.

I for example see abortion as a great evil, the great genocide of our time. On the other hand others see it as a non-issue. You can change how you perceive reality but moral reality is absolute. If it weren't then everything could be classified as "good" based on personal preference. Everything,..... think about that a moment, where would society end up? in the toilet that's where,... the fall of empires coincides with the rise of moral relativism.



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 07:06 PM
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reply to post by Pauligirl
 


By the title of your post I would guess you would really understand the book, "Political Ponerology" by Andrew M. Lobaczewski.

It's a monumental book, worth the price and describes the how and why of evil.

I'm still reading this and trying to wrap my brain around it, it's that good of a read.

This book give one the psychology of "evil" in very basic language.

Excellent reading.



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