Hell On Earth Essay 4

Submitted By mattyd1000
Words: 1154
Pages: 5

Essay 4: Hell on Earth Synthesizing to Respond In an article titled “Hell on Earth” by Ross Andersen, Andersen talks about different ethical and moral consequences to the use of technology to extend or create a virtual Hell for prisoners and other violent criminals. Andersen conducted an interview with Rebecca Roache, a philosopher at the University of Oxford, in which he asked her specific questions about the use of these technologies. The article allows readers to realize that although these technologies have yet to be created, the possibility of life extension is becoming a reality as society starts to live longer lives. In his article, Andersen does a great job allowing the readers of the article to make a judgment of their own on the morality of these issues, and the effect they will have on prisoners and other violent criminals. A question that is asked at the end of Andersen’s article is “is it really OK to lock someone up for the best part of the only life they will ever have, or might it be more humane to tinker with their brains and set them free?” This question allows readers to take a perceptive look at the way society currently punishes prisoners. When a person thinks about prison, more likely than not, they consider it a place that is dangerous and a place that they never want to spend time. Andersen’s article spends a lot of time talking about the possibilities of these future punishments to create a virtual Hell for prisoners. A statement at the end of the article puts into perspective what these technologies are meant to do in today’s society. The article states, “The goal [of these technologies] isn’t simply to imagine a bunch of futuristic punishments – the goal is to look at today’s punishments through the lens of the future.” This statement is important when we ask if today’s punishments of criminals are humane. Is society looking for more ways to punish criminals, or are these technologies a way to help improve the prison system? As a society, we know that the punishment must fit the crime. We know that for violent criminals, they deserve to be punished for their heinous crimes. At what point however, can society say that a punishment is in humane? Can society as a whole justify the use of these technologies that Andersen talks about to further extend the life of an individual just so we can punish them for the crimes that they committed. Roache stated in one of her responses to Andersen that “if you put someone in prison for a crime they committed at 40, they might, strictly speaking, be an entirely different person at [age] 940. And that means you are effectively punishing one person for a crime committed by someone else.” This statement is interesting to think about because it says that no matter how long we can extend someone’s life, people change over time, and even violent criminals have the ability to become a different person over a long amount of time.
If society looks into today’s current prison system, they would probably see a multitude of prisoners; prisoners ranging from minor violations to violent mass murderers on death row. Most of society would say that the current system that the U.S. has is appropriately humane. Criminals do their crime, and they pay their time. This has been a collective thought throughout most of society. Although most people consider prison a place to serve time, most prisons have many different programs that they offer in order to help “correct” the prisoners behavior. In many instances, they have programs that will rehabilitate the prisoner so that when they come to be released they are better individuals that can contribute to society rather than reverting to a life of crime.
Although prison systems today are relatively humane, there is always room for improvement, especially considering violent criminals. Most psychopaths have a lack of empathy that does not allow them to relate to most normal people. A few questions in Andersen’s article relate to…