‘Humanitarian’ Punishment Isn’t Really Humane While being tough-on-crime seems like a return to the retributive mentality, it is actually an extension of the humanitarian theory. The Humanitarian theory removes from Punishment the concept of Desert. It is only as deserved or undeserved that a sentence can be just or unjust. Lewis has a way of packing pages of wisdom into one sentence. c-s-lewis-and-the-humanitarian-theory-of-punishment 3/16 Downloaded from www.gettinguxdone.com on January 20, 2021 by guest accessible style, Peterson has crafted a major contribution to Lewis scholarship presented in a way that will interest scholars and benefit the general reader. I do not know whether the fear of death is an indispensable deterrent. It is only as deserved or undeserved that a sentence can be just or unjust. I do not know whether a murderer is more likely to repent and make a good end on the gallows a few weeks after his trial or in the prison infirmary thirty years later. In society, there are two types of viewpoints on the issue of punishment: utilitarian and retributive. C.S. Lewis argues against the humanitarian framework for punishment saying that, “The Humanitarian theory removes from punishment the concept of Deserts. Only enormous ill-desert could justify it; but ill-desert is the very conception which the Humanitarian theory has thrown overboard. But the concept of Desert is the only connecting link between punishment and justice. This is not the case. Punishment is awarded to reduce crimes and used as means to an end, is the claim of the utilitarian. . But whether he is discussing "Evil and God," "Miracles," "The Decline of Religion," or "The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment," his insight and observations are thoroughly and profoundly Christian. The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment By C. S. LEWlS IN England we have lately had a controversy about Capital Punish­ ment. THE HUMANITARIAN THEORY OF PUNISHMENT' By C. S. LEWIS Fellow of Magdalen College IN ENGLAND we have lately had a controversy about Capital Punish- ment. The Humanitarian theory removes from Punishment the concept of Desert. That it includes most of the elements for which any punishment is feared—shame, exile, bondage, and years eaten by the locust—is obvious. This short essay addresses the issue of punishment. . Lewis). But the concept of deserts is the only connecting link between punishment and justice” (C.S. The Humanitarian theory removes from Punishment the concept of Desert [i.e., deserving]. . I do not know whether a murderer is more likely to repent and make a good end on the gallows a few weeks after his trial or in George Hegel and Immanuel Kant criticized and rejected the utility theory, presented the contrast retributive theory of punishment, which is of non-utilitarian on the premises that punishment is not means to an end but end in itself. It is only as deserved or undeserved that a sentence can be just or unjust. 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