Spike Logan, a student at Vanderbilt University, is beginning a summer project on restorative and retributive justice. He will be posting his reflections at http://reconsideringjustice.blogspot.com/. Here’s a description of the project:
This blog is dedicated to following a research project on the differences between restorative and retributive justice and the way each viewpoint contributes to our understanding of how to treat others. It will be a 10 week project revolving around exploring questions like:
- What are the implicit assumptions and implications that can be drawn from societies that utilize retributive justice and those that utilize restorative justice?
- What is the purpose of punishment? What should be the ultimate goal in punishment? In what form should punishment be delivered? Who should administer punishment/justice?
- If someone acts ethically solely because they are afraid of punishment, is this truly acting ethically? Does it matter?
- What role does religion play in justice? What forms of punishment are endorsed in a religious worldview? What role does punishment serve if there is a higher being that will ultimately hold individuals accountable for their actions?
- Contemporary science increasingly points us toward the idea that many of our behaviors and actions are somewhat outside of our conscious perception and are based on intricate processes within the brain. How can justice be administered in a way that is fair and appropriate in light of this neurological model of behavior and decision making?
I will be attempting to post at least once each week (generally on Fridays) and I welcome any feedback, criticism, thoughts and comments you may have.
Check out Spike’s blog, and leave him a comment to share your own insights on these issues!