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 What is crime?

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Sir Emeth Mimetes
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PostSubject: What is crime?   Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:34 am

What Is Crime?

How can a government be designed to combat and punish crime if it doesn't know what it is? It would be a crime for it to punish an innocent action or one outside of its jurisdiction. It would be crime compounded with incompetence for it to let a crime get away. We must know what the boundaries of crime are.

I believe that crime is essentially the removal of someone else's liberty in some way without their informed consent. I do not have any specific formulas about how to go about qualifying this, but I believe that that is a good, basic working definition.

  • What mechanism should be used to delimit the boundaries of crime in our nation?
  • How would you define crime without it overstepping or underestimating its boundaries?
  • What is crime?


With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
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Jonathan S.
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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:50 am

I have been reading some of Richard Mayburry's books (a political author), and he says that the two laws that govern society on any level (family, town, government) are:
1. Do everything you have agreed to do.
2. Do not infringe on other persons or their property.

These are the foundation of contract law and criminal law. I would tend to agree with him, because as the Bible says, "Love your neighbor as yourself." These laws would enforce treating your neighbor with "love" as much as can be enforced. Another interesting conclusion he comes to from these laws is that over taxing violates the second law, and is stealing. He also applies this to international relations, and is therefor against attacking or even helping other nations in war most of the time. I don't agree with everything he says, because he is not a Christian or all-knowing, but he has some great points. The book he wrote that mainly deals with this is Whatever Happened to Justice?. I haven't yet read this one, but I plan to very soon.

So in conclusion, I would say that any thing that violates these two laws would be a crime.

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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:41 am

Greetings,

I am answering here a question broached by Jonathan in the What is Liberty thread. I think that it is a great question that is crucial to our purpose here.

Jonathan S. wrote:
I'm not yet sure how to define liberty. I do have a question, however. In an unbelieving society, how could pornography be made a crime? I know that it causes huge problems, but it could be seen as a choice that people make that has huge consequences. Obviously in a perfect society or one run only by Christians, it would be outlawed, but otherwise, should it be? I just wanted to throw this out there. I don't have much opinion on this so far.

The first thing that I want to point out is that the law is not under the legislator, but over him. If it was under the legislator, then Hitler's acts would have been justifiable. God as Creator defines the Law, and not man. Because of this, crime is crime no matter what the personal inclinations of the legislator. So what we ought to consider is whether or not publishing pornography is a crime. I think that this should include immodesty in public in general as well: both should fall under the same heading.

I agree with your statement of the definition of crime, although it is a little imprecise and difficult to apply as is. I think that its second point can be summed more applicably this way: Do not remove another's rightful liberty without their consent. If you can think of a better way to put it, please let me know.

Now we must discern how to apply our working definition of crime to pornography.

The first thing that I would like to point out is that porn takes advantage of the woman involved, whether she wanted to participate or not. A murder is still committed in assisted suicide even though the person wants to die.

The second thing is that it removes part of the liberty of every man it has opportunity to come into contact with. A man who wants to remain righteous must work and limit his actions to avoid seeing the evil.

It is also addicting, and unlike alcohol, it exerts its influence over a person by its very presence. You can refuse to drink a beer; you cannot refuse to look if you are suddenly confronted by porn (try walking through a mall nowadays).

You might have noticed that my definition of porn is slightly more strict than some people's. I think that cultural “standards” of porn are quite inadequate and insufficient, but I also have not been able to generate a good definition on my own. Perhaps we could nominate a committee to research the Modesty Survey to find out how we could legislate porn and immodesty in an ideal nation. What do you think?

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:41 pm

Before I answer the questions, I would like to say that since pornography is one of the biggest issues we have faced in this country today, we should definately define porn, and moreover, rules on pornography and how should we combat pornography.

What mechanism should be used to delimit the boundaries of crime in our nation?

I think one reason that we have crime is the wanting of more liberties as well as socity has been given more and more to work with. We should also ask our selves, what is the cause of crime. if we look at it that way, then that might help as well.

How would you define crime without it overstepping or underestimating its boundaries?

Crime would be at its roots, anything that oversteps the boundries of the Bible. but I have another question that we should ask ourselves, is morality any good anymore, and can we legislate morality?

What is crime?

Like above, anything against the Bible. And here is another question for you, what would life be without crime? now I'm definatly not promoting crime, but lets look at it at a different perspective. and another thing, crime is just the action of taking anything good, and twisting /perverting it so that it's bad. Think of it this way, can good exist without evil? and can evil exist without good?
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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:17 pm

Your far too specific Peter... Porn is not one of the biggest problems we face today, it is the result of THE biggest problem we face, that being moral depravity. It is only a part of a whole.
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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:11 pm

What mechanism should be used to delimit the boundaries of crime in our nation?

The Bible, the Ten Commandments and that is all. If the Bible does not command directly against it, then it is not crime, it is a morality issue. And morality issues or sin are not under the command of the government but under the juristication of the church.

What is crime?

Crime is anything that goes against the Ten Commandments and God's laws as stated in the Bible.
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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:59 pm

Peter G. wrote:

Like above, anything against the Bible. And here is another question for you, what would life be without crime? now I'm definatly not promoting crime, but lets look at it at a different perspective. and another thing, crime is just the action of taking anything good, and twisting /perverting it so that it's bad. Think of it this way, can good exist without evil? and can evil exist without good?

Yes, good can exist without evil. God is good, and he was good long before sin ever entered the world. Evil cannot exist without good, because, by your definition, it is a distortion or absence of good. Just like dark cannot exist without light, but light can exist without dark. Does that make sense?
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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:31 pm

Jonathan S. wrote:
Peter G. wrote:

Like above, anything against the Bible. And here is another question for you, what would life be without crime? now I'm definatly not promoting crime, but lets look at it at a different perspective. and another thing, crime is just the action of taking anything good, and twisting /perverting it so that it's bad. Think of it this way, can good exist without evil? and can evil exist without good?

Yes, good can exist without evil. God is good, and he was good long before sin ever entered the world. Evil cannot exist without good, because, by your definition, it is a distortion or absence of good. Just like dark cannot exist without light, but light can exist without dark. Does that make sense?

I agree. Another way to look at it also is that Satan was once an angel before he tried to take power away from God. So good, God and angels, existed before Satan ever became evil.
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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:09 pm

Greetings,

I think that we need to focus our conversation here. We are drifting and generating some possibly wasteful conversation.

Please consider the following statements, which I hope all of you will agree with.

-Crime must be punished by government, as in that is its duty.

-All crimes are morally wrong.

-This not because legislature made a law, but because God made The Law: man is below the Law, not above it.

-For an action to be a crime, it must be against God's Law, that is, it must be morally wrong.

-There are things that are morally wrong (sins) that are not crimes, and are not punishable by government: i.e. lust and unrighteous anger.

-Therefore, crime is a subdivision of sin: as in, everything that is crime is a sin, but not every sin is a crime (like: every poodle is a dog, but not every dog is a poodle, thankfully, Smile ).

-Government cannot punish anything that is not a crime (if you can think of something that is morally right that it can punish, or a sin that is not a crime that it can punish, let me know: I do not see how it is logically possible).

-Therefore, we must find out how we are to delimit the boundaries of crime so that we can limit our nation's government to punishing only crime.

Did you follow it? I hope I was able to make it a little more clear what exactly we are discussing.

I have an idea about how we ought to delimit crime from sin, but I will only give you a hint for now: what is the only difference between the sin of lust and the sin and crime of physical adultery?

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:18 pm

Thanks for getting us back on track. Side discussions are so easy to get into, and I'm a naturally distractable person.

I agree with your post, by the way, and I think that crime can be defined as any action that is a sin, with the exception of any sin that is only against God (like setting up an idol) or sins like laziness, which I don't know how to define.

In Christ,
Jonathan.
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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:04 am

Yes, crime is when a sinful thought is set into place, but only then.
When you have sinful thoughts, it is you who suffer, but when you put them into place, you immediately bring other people into the equation, which makes it a crime and makes it punishable by government, because it comes into direct contradiction with the furthering of a harmonious society.

Is this an accurate definition, or not?

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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:13 am

Greetings,

Good thought! You are almost there! Think about it: there are actions that involve other people, but which are still not crimes. You almost had it: it has to involve another person, but in what way? If I scream at my mother in anger I have hurt her terribly as well as sinned; I have acted in a sinful way which has affected another person, yet it is not a crime. How do we limit the types of sinful interaction that constitutes a crime?

Keep up the good work!

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:36 am

Whoops, I'm sorry...
The actions that could be defined as crime are the ones where you take something tangible away from another person by force (money, property), or you hurt them physically.

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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:47 am

Greetings,

Right, a crime could be best defined by an action which hurts the life, liberty, or property of another without their consent. Agreed?

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:53 am

Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
Greetings,

Right, a crime could be best defined by an action which hurts the life, liberty, or property of another without their consent. Agreed?

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

Totally agree!
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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:15 pm

What about so-called "hate speech?" I think that people can be hurt physically and monetarily by having others incited against them. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like pornography and racist propaganda and flag burning are all in the same boat (though not in God's eyes, maybe). They all hurt others in one way or another, pornography hurts women, racism hurts blacks or other minorities, and flag burning could be seen as "aiding and abetting" our enemies, which hurts everyone.

Correct me if I'm wrong, that's just the way I see it right now.

Jonathan
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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:31 pm

Jonathan S. wrote:
What about so-called "hate speech?" I think that people can be hurt physically and monetarily by having others incited against them. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like pornography and racist propaganda and flag burning are all in the same boat (though not in God's eyes, maybe). They all hurt others in one way or another, pornography hurts women, racism hurts blacks or other minorities, and flag burning could be seen as "aiding and abetting" our enemies, which hurts everyone.

Correct me if I'm wrong, that's just the way I see it right now.

Jonathan

Jonathan,

Yes, these things are hurtful to others but are they directly against them? Does pornography, racist propaganda and flag burning go directly against the Ten Commandments? If we choose that the government has the right to punish these three things then we are in someways giving the government the right to punish sin. The only thing, we determined, the government has the right to punish is crime. While these things are wrong, I believe this is more of a church issue then a government issue because it is more sinful behavior then it is actual crime. At least this is how I see it.
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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:27 pm

Well, in the Ten Commandments, it says "thou shalt not commit adultery", and the Bible also says that if a man looks at a woman and lusts after her, he has commited adultery with her in his heart. In that way, porn does go directly against the Bible and the Ten Commandments.
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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:06 pm

BeccaMc wrote:
Well, in the Ten Commandments, it says "thou shalt not commit adultery", and the Bible also says that if a man looks at a woman and lusts after her, he has commited adultery with her in his heart. In that way, porn does go directly against the Bible and the Ten Commandments.

Becca,

The key words in what Jesus said was 'in his heart'. When in comes down to sinful thoughts or heart issues, that is not for the government but for the church. Committing adultery is an action that involves another person directly, therefore making it a crime. I'm not saying the pornography is in any way right or not evil, it is. But that is not an issue for the government, the government's sole purpose is to punish crime. The church's purpose is to recognize and correct sinfulness and sinful behavior which involves lust.
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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:33 am

Hannah Marie wrote:
BeccaMc wrote:
Well, in the Ten Commandments, it says "thou shalt not commit adultery", and the Bible also says that if a man looks at a woman and lusts after her, he has commited adultery with her in his heart. In that way, porn does go directly against the Bible and the Ten Commandments.

Becca,

The key words in what Jesus said was 'in his heart'. When in comes down to sinful thoughts or heart issues, that is not for the government but for the church. Committing adultery is an action that involves another person directly, therefore making it a crime. I'm not saying the pornography is in any way right or not evil, it is. But that is not an issue for the government, the government's sole purpose is to punish crime. The church's purpose is to recognize and correct sinfulness and sinful behavior which involves lust.

Becca and Hannah,

Great points! I have done much thought on the subject of porn and crime. My conclusion was that, although lust is not a crime, publishing porn is. Ask yourself this question: why would someone walking down the street naked be a crime? I think that this falls under the definition of crime that we have outlined, can you see how?

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:10 am

Greetings,

I want to clarify a little what the actual plan is here. We are going to define crime in this thread, and when we have defined it, we will archive it and move another thread in for discussion. These first three threads that are in here now are the three fundamental terms that need to be defined for us to work efficiently on more specific topics. Most of our later discussions will be asking questions like: "Since we know what crime is, is this a crime?" We will be specifically applying our definitions to many topics and situations to find out what our stance is on them. So we will be able to decide later whether "hate crimes" and porn and flag burning are actually crimes later. Right now we need to be focusing on specifically improving our statement of the definition of crime so that it will be able to be applicable to any situation under any circumstances in any era for any culture over anybody. It needs to be made exactly precise and completely true. Our whole basis of our future conclusions rests on our phrasing of this definition. One of the main considerations we need to deal with now is how we are going to stipulate more clearly contract law in this definition. Any ideas or thoughts?

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:12 pm

Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:

Right, a crime could be best defined by an action which hurts the life, liberty, or property of another without their consent. Agreed?

This is an excellent definition that I think we can work with. Maybe we can add that a crime includes any action that does not fulfill a legal promise (aka contract).

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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:20 am

Jonathan S. wrote:
Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:

Right, a crime could be best defined by an action which hurts the life, liberty, or property of another without their consent. Agreed?

This is an excellent definition that I think we can work with. Maybe we can add that a crime includes any action that does not fulfill a legal promise (aka contract).

Jonathan,

I was thinking about that, but was wondering how we could phrase it right. For now we could say: Crime is an action that hurts the life, liberty, or property of another without their consent, or which breaks a legal promise. ("Does not fulfill" implies that the only thing that you can do is fulfill legal promises). We will have to define a "legal promise" or the equivalent phrase that we will use.

On another note, we might have to rephrase the first clause as well: we need to clarify the "without their consent" part and the word "hurts." We need to think of another word to use than "hurts," and "without their consent" means that assisted suicide is legal right now. confused

Any ideas?

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:58 pm

Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
On another note, we might have to rephrase the first clause as well: we need to clarify the "without their consent" part and the word "hurts." We need to think of another word to use than "hurts," and "without their consent" means that assisted suicide is legal right now. confused

Any ideas?

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

Instead of saying 'hurts' and 'without their consent', you could rephrase it to say "Crime is an action that impedes or violates a person's right to life and liberty, the property of another, or a legal promise." 'Impede' can be described as obstructing or preventing the carrying out of something and 'violate' can be described as disobeying, abusing, or infringing on something. In this manner, assisted sucide would be wrong because it is abusing and preventing a person's right to life. Would this work as an accurate definition?

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PostSubject: Re: What is crime?   Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:32 am

Crime is an action that impedes or violates a person's right to life and liberty, the property of another, or a legal promise.

Sounds pretty good. I really like the way you structured it grammatically to make sure that it was clear. Good job! I also like it because a transaction can be included into "legal promise" and it would still be consistent with the rest of the definition, which was another problem with mine. It even includes suicide indirectly, since "a person's right to life and liberty" doesn't necessarily stipulate another person, or do we need to make that clearer?

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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