Thursday, November 21, 2019

Classical Criminology vs. Biological Determinism Essay

Classical Criminology vs. Biological Determinism - Essay Example Human beings in his theory are believed to be hedonistic, acting in terms of their own self-interest, they are rational and are capable to consider the course of action that is really in their self-interest. In 'On Crimes and Punishments', Beccaria stays that in just society punishments ought to be proportional to the degree of crime, they ought to bring to mind the crime in the mind of observes, to strengthen the connection in the people's mind between the crime and the punishment. [Beccaria, p. 13-15] Beccaria's Classical Criminology claims that people by their nature are 'selfish and pursue their self-interest; they want to avoid pain and increase their happiness' [Ellis, L. & Walsh, A., p. 17-18] Also they are 'rational, capable of calculating what is really in their self-interest, and therefore can be considered to be free' [Beccaria, p.7-8] Biological determinism, appeared in the 1920s, stays that 'biological factors such as an organism's individual genes completely determine how a system behaves or changes over time'. [Gibson, M., p.34] Considering certain human behavior, for example, committing murder, biological determinism look only at 'innate factors, such as genetic makeup', ignoring non-innate factors, such as social customs and expectations, education, and physical environment. As for the human nature, Lombroso thinks that 'all human behavior is innate and cannot be changed or altered'. The theory of biological determinism claims that 'humans - their appearance, behavior, and even long-term fate - are entirely determined by genes' [Ellis, L. & Walsh, A., p.36]. Biological determinists deny that effects of environmental variables on a gene, and a single mutation can have far-reaching effects on the phenotype. Lombroso also states that everything in a person innate. According to his theory, the criminals cannot be reformed - they were 'born that way', that suggest a kind of defense for the criminal. [Lombroso, C., p.17] Moreover, biological determinism divorces human action from human responsibility, where the blame for actions is placed on the genes exclusively; it also negates the idea of free will entirely, because all behavior is said to be controlled by the genes. Based on the theory of the social contact, Beccaria suggests that 'if people lived without government, their interests would conflict and their lives be that of perpetual war. There would be no secure and hence little happiness'. [Beccaria, C., p.117-119] So that, he continues to think that 'therefore, people agree to give up some of their freedom for the sake of their overall security and happiness' - they make promises not to do some activities, but do others. These promises he calls 'laws', and stays that 'laws are the terms under which independent and isolated men come together in society, in order to enjoy what remains in security and calm' [Beccaria, C., p.39]. Beccaria says that people's behavior need to be controlled by the government with the help of laws, while biological determinism assume that human behavior is governed by the genes, and 'the environment here is not at all important in the determination of appearance, behavior, and functionality'. [Ellis, L. & Walsh, A., p. 76] As for the government, Classical Criminology (Caesar Beccaria, in particular) perceives it as the 'sum' of the individual promises - so that, people have created the government in order to defend their mutual promises by laws and

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