Bentham's Theory Of Punishment Analysis

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This essay will distinguish between the theories of punishment illustrated by Jeremy Bentham and Immanuel Kant and will explain why I oppose Jeremy Bentham’s utilitarian approach on punishment. Although Bentham and Kant did not have a concrete answer to the methods of issuing punishment, Bentham’s theory consists of more questionable and empty statements. Kant, in my opinion, has a more realistic view of life-based on the innate actions of human beings as opposed to Bentham utilitarian theory. Therefore, it is a more ethical decision to side with the views and system of punishment offered by Kant.
Jeremy Bentham has a very complex view of the theory of punishment and the procedure of when and how to induce punishment within society. The role
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A punishment is considered profitable if it offers greater pleasure rather than pain towards an individual and within a community. The term “expense” (Bentham, pg.27) is applicable if the punishment produces a greater evil rather than a greater good and therefore, not an appropriate punishment. The real value and apparent value are two ideologies deemed pivotal in Bentham's theory of punishment as well. Through real value, Bentham intends to explain the “loss” or pain resulting from punishment, which the State has to identify through the subtraction of “profit” or pleasure (Bentham, pg.28). Since the criminal is part of the community, their needs are essential to be considered, and therefore the punishment inflicted should be assigned by a person of no …show more content…
Immanuel Kant’s claims are based on two simple, but greatly controversial, philosophies. The first concept insists that the criminal shall only be punished if the individual’s actions “deserve” to be punished. The aim of retribution is to merely punish in accordance with the crime committed, not to for “promoting” a future positive, not either for civil society or individual good. Private crimes such as “embezzlement of money” amongst private citizens are managed by civil court and crimes such as robbery are dealt with by public law because it “endangers commonwealth” (Kant, pg.1). The second component of Immanuel Kant’s retributive theory portrays how one should be prosecuted for committing the crime. When distributing punishment, the “scale of justice” should not be in favor of one party over the other. When one perpetrates evil onto an individual it should be addressed as evil imposed on himself. Therefore, the punishment should be given in equivalence to the crime committed on the basis of an eye for an eye. This concept “assigns both the quality and quantity” of a fair penalty. In regards to crimes committed by a higher “social status”, their crimes are not qualified for the “principle of retaliation” . The reason for this is that a “pecuniary penalty” does no justice for one who is “wealthy” and guilty of a crime.

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