David Steele

Davis, CA, United States

About David

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An idea worth spreading

I think TED videos should be shown in schools. I'm currently a high school student and I see what I believe to be an unacknowledged crisis. My generation can't think. Now, I can't really know for sure if the older generation can-that would certainly explain why this issue is ignored-but I would like to think so. The problem is, students are taught at a very young age that they don't need to think to succeed. I don't mean to blow my own horn, but I think that I am one of the fair amount of kids who avoided this trap. I didn't accomplish this because I am some sort of boy genius-however much I'd like that to be the case-but rather because my parents taught me to think before I started school. I'll give you an example of how thinking is not required in school. Basic philosophy is taught in English class. Because there are tests on the subject, many students can summarize Socrates' views on the immortal soul, but those views mean nothing to them. They can't further their own ideas.

Talk to me about

I encourage anyone to ignore my age and start a conversation with me-if they so desire-about law as though I were an adult. Let's say...a first year law student.

People don't know I'm good at

I am very adept in the field of law.

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Comments & conversations

Noface
David Steele
Posted over 1 year ago
Why does the American government meddle in everything?
I would like to expand on what Feyisayo brought up. I am not yet convinced that the United States is as much of a meddler as it's been made out to be in this forum. To be clear: I do realize that the US is involved in many foreign affairs, and my personal opinion is that we're involved in too many. However, I'm not sure that all of these should be called meddling. It seems to me that this discussion was set up with too many preconceptions, such as the assumption that the US government is arrogant and ambitious in its foreign policy. I would very much like someone to present this argument too me, as that is what this entire discussion seems to be based on. Secondly, a quick response to Zman. Some of those 900 military bases you mention are in Germany, but that's not to say we're meddling in Germany, or at least not in the way discussed here. We have military bases in most of the countries in the world, but the vast majority of those are of mutual consent. A very small minority are actually used for combat or other actions that might be seen as meddling. For example, we have a base in Germany that is used virtually only for emergency medical treatment of American and allied personnel in need of immediate advanced medical care who don't have time to be removed to the nation they're serving.
Noface
David Steele
Posted over 1 year ago
Should criminal sentencing be oriented towards punishment or rehabilitation?
So how do you feel this should affect the goal of our criminal justice system? Rehabilitation or punishment? "Those that argue in favor of free will do so as part of a belief system, they provide no research on the subject. " I thought that while I want this debate to stay focused on how our criminal justice system should be oriented, I might briefly address this by offering some logic based arguments that might be used in support of fee will. First of all, the question of the possible existence of free will is a philosophical question. As such, I'm not sure it's fair to say there is no research supporting a side. Second, free will is a very abstract concept, and while you may read articles such as the one in the Atlantic and feel they disprove the existence of free will, hypothetically I could read the same article and arrive at a different conclusion. "The power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion." This definition is provided by Wikipedia (the well known arbiter of philosophical truths). The article claims that free will cannot exist because ultimately our brain chemistry is what determines our choices, and what it chooses is predictable. I might look at this and say that since my brain is part of me, my decision is not being controlled by necessity or fate, and as such I have free will. This is just one of many possible examples intended to show that there is virtually always an argument for any idea (sometimes even a good one), so I'm not sure the belief in free will should be dismissed as simply part of a "belief system." It's also worth noting that every belief, even the belief that we have no free will is based on a belief system. But I don't want to belabor a point that may have just been poor phrasing. Finally, I don't want to let any of this distract from the overall topic, so make sure if anyone comments on this topic you do it in the scope of criminal justice and the debate prompt.
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David Steele
Posted over 1 year ago
Should criminal sentencing be oriented towards punishment or rehabilitation?
http://www.cyc-net.org/features/viewpoints/c-steenkillers.html Are you precluding the possibility that Kevin Hughes might be rehabilitated? This is one example, but we all know the multitude of hypotheticals and real life examples like Kevin that could be used. To name just a few: What about someone who committed murder while under the influence; so he was not in full control of his mental faculties and decision making proccess? Someone whose violence was a result abuse? a crime of passion, rather than deliberate planning and intent? Or, to introduce one that I think is new, what about someone who accidentally killed someone during the commission of a separate crime? Most states in the U.S. (I believe all of them but without being sure I'm not going to state that) allow someone to be charged with murder if the death was a result of another crime they were committing. A good example of this is an old lady having a heart attack during a bank robbery. The robber can now be charged with that woman's murder. Or if a security guard tried to shoot the robber but missed and killed a bystander, the robber can again be charged with that bystander's murder. Are you saying that this bank robber, or any of the examples listed above can't be rehabilitated?
Noface
David Steele
Posted over 1 year ago
Should criminal sentencing be oriented towards punishment or rehabilitation?
Isn't this all an argument for rehabilitation? Correct me if I'm wrong (I mean that literally) but it seems your argument has two main points: lack of punishment may lead to indigents committing crimes to get the benefits of prison rehabilitation programs, and that most criminals-or at least a lot more than we currently acknowledge-have psychological issues that don't qualify them as legally insane, but nevertheless is the root cause of their criminal behavior. To address the first issue, it seems to me that if some members of society would be willing to commit a crime for basic education, job training, or whatever other potential benefit of a criminal justice system oriented towards rehabilitation would offer, the problem that would present towards said criminal justice system would be an avoidable one, and the real failure would be on the part of the public education system and other social programs that were supposed to be available to them and failed them. Anything you can think of that someone might commit a crime to get in prison is something that is already supposed to be available to them for free or a reduced price. Your second point, that criminals might have unrecognized psychological issues seems to suggest that our criminal justice system should improve it's psychological care, which is also a rehabilitative program. Are you in fact arguing for a more rehabilitation focused system? Or am I misinterpreting your arguments?
Noface
David Steele
Posted over 1 year ago
Should criminal sentencing be oriented towards punishment or rehabilitation?
Thanks, that's an interesting response; gives me a lot to think about. I don't mean to get too far off topic, but as far as getting sued for your lunch goes, there should be more done about that. While that sort of story makes my dad a very interesting person to talk to at parties, it's tragic for those who are affected and have to worry about litigating with some crazy inmate. Here's what I can tell you: this problem is not knew. In fact, there's a case that went before the U.S. Supreme Court that decided judges are supposed to summarily review cases filed by prisoners and decide if they meet some minimum requirements for a legitimate lawsuit such as all named defendants actually being accused of tortious behavior. The problem is, judges are not reviewing these cases at all. This is easy to figure out for yourself, just read some of the rulings, they're a matter of public record. I usually hesitate to say judges need to be harsher on litigants, especially those who are poor and received little education such as prisoners, however this is a special situation. The judges are not living up to their instructions.