Just a little philosophical session because why not? My posts have kinda derailed into the whole ranting about my feelings deal, and to be honest, though it helps me release pent up emotions, I don't particularly want (nor do I enjoy) this type of content on the internet. So like I mentioned at the start, I’m going to get philosophical in this post because I want people to think really hard about the topic of crime. I tried getting you guys to think about the idea of eternal nothingness after death, but only a few people managed to fathom (and comprehend) the idea that similar to pre-birth, those billions of years of nothingness before you came into existence, our death will inevitably come and we will experience that nothingness for all eternity; that is, (rationally) assuming there is no potential for ‘life after death’.
I want to start off by asking you, the reader, what defines a crime? Take a moment to think about this. What is crime? Surely the simplest and most common answer would be an act of breaking the law, but then we’re required to ask many more questions. Why are these laws in place? Who makes these laws? Why do laws constantly change; why is it that the nature of these laws and crimes, and what we consider to be criminal constantly change? And why is what is considered a crime in some places considered acceptable in others?
These are the kind of questions that challenge humanity and society.
If you want to break it down to the most comprehensible level, you can rationalise that any individual’s actions that harm members of society, negatively affect said society or impact on the functioning of society can be deemed as a crime. When you think about it at this level, it’s the ideal definition. The way we constitute a crime is by looking at an individual’s action and intention. You’ll get that a lot: act and intent. What was the intention of that action? Why did they do that? It’s very simple to comprehend that every action has an intention (with a small exception of those mentally ill and therefore unaware of the action and/or intention), but this is challenged when we think about victimless crimes.
If we look at victimless crimes, the action and intention are still there, and I’ll provide an example. Marijuana users—they don’t hurt anybody, and most people know there are no short term side effects on the consumption of marijuana (though I don’t encourage it, I’m not exactly condoning it). It’s even prescribed by doctors in some cases; but otherwise it’s illegal. Only because it’s a drug that alters our state of mind—it affects our psychological state. You’ll find that most drugs that affect our psychological wellbeing are illegal. It’s against the law. It’s a crime. But it’s a victimless crime; but nevertheless, it is a crime. And then there is alcohol. Alcohol is not illegal, though it may as well be, seeing as the effects of alcohol and alcohol abuse is much more devastating than marijuana use, or abuse for that matter. Think about how many times you’ve heard of cases where a husband has just gone home from a night of intense drinking and decides to beat the shit out of his wife and kids. Do you think a stoner would come home from a night of smoking pot and beat up his wife? Probably not (mainly because stoners don’t even leave their homes or have wives for that matter; but this is a hypothetical scenario, damnit!). But obviously it’s a dumb idea to place a prohibition on alcohol; remember how well that worked out?
So is it really a crime to smoke marijuana? The judicial system says yes, but if you think about it, there’s no real harm.
Is it a crime to drink alcohol? No. But the number of alcohol related violence is staggeringly, astronomically higher than marijuana related violence. I don’t think such a thing even exists.
Crime is a funny thing, and not to say that criminal activity is one to be taken lightly, but the fact that some acts are classified as criminal and some are perfectly legal when they ought not to be, is quite amusing to me. Humans are weird. That’s all I have to say about the topic.
To conclude, I want you think about this. Why is it that certain crimes have less weighing in some societies than in others? When we look at religion, they’ve never had a problem with killing. In fact, some religions promoted it! (You know which religions I’m talking about…) Yet they’ve had to amend those sections in their ‘holy books’ to fit societies evolving standards of what we consider righteous and what we consider barbaric. But if the law is constantly changing, and what we considered legal and acceptable just 500 years ago (the sanction and encouraging of conviction (it was really just slaughter, crucifixions and burning of supposed ‘witches’; and keep in mind over 60,000 were killed) is now completely insane; do you think something we consider legal today will be illegal tomorrow? (not literally 24 hours later, of course)