How does a society decide what to criminalize?
Why might some deviant behaviors be sanctioned while others are not?
A civilized society, and it must be a "civilized" society, makes that determination on the basis or the morals and mores that guide their daily lives. Essentially it become a question of what we will tolerate and what we will not. On those things that we will not tolerate, then society has to find a balance between the crime and the punishment. Here's an example, in America, a man might go into a bank waving a gun and rob the bank. When caught he is charged with and tried under an "armed robbery charge (used weapon or threat of). If he is found guilty he will likely go to prison for a specified period. In another culture, the same crime is committed and the people of that culture decide that the crime warrants cutting off the man's right hand to mark him as a robber. In either case, the individual is tried for the same crime. In an uncivilized society, the laws of nature are at work, people operate on instinctions just like animals and the strong tend to survive. WB
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