Do certain white collar criminals do more harm to society than the average murderer?

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by Dante, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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    Reload this Page Do certain white collar criminals do more harm to society than the average murderer does?

    Think about it. Who harms society most?
     
  2. Epsilon Delta
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    Epsilon Delta Jedi Master

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    They do harm to society in different ways. One's cost has immeasurable impact on a specific, concentrated context (murder), while the other's cost are diffused across entire society (corporate crime). Both are bad.
     
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  3. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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    You did not answer the quantitative question of harm to society. Do you consider both to be equal in the harm they cause to society?
     
  4. George Costanza
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    George Costanza A Friendly Liberal

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    Obviously, as phrased, white collar crime causes greater harm to society than murder, since white collar crimes (presumably) affect more members of society than does murder.

    There are white collar crimes that are as individually selective as murder, by the way, such as identity theft. I think, however, the OP is referencing more the type of big scale white collar crimes that affect huge numbers of people.
     
  5. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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  6. George Costanza
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    George Costanza A Friendly Liberal

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    Not so fast, Mojambo . . . there is still the little matter of the substantive nature of the crime involved and the degree of "harm" that is caused by its commission.

    First off, murder is classified by the law as being a crime that is malum in se (bad in and of itself) while white collar crimes are classified as being crimes that are malum prohibitum (bad because society says so, rather than being inherently evil). To put it another way: a malum in se offense is "naturally evil as adjudged by the sense of a civilized community," whereas a malum prohibitum offense is wrong only because a statute makes it so.

    It is obvious that murder is "bad." It is not so obvious that selling bogus securities or bundling bad mortgages are "bad" things to do.

    One must ask, who has experienced more "harm" - the young widow with six children whose husband has been gunned down by gang crossfire, or a group of investors who lose money due to a white collar crime?

    While everything is relative, I would submit that substantially more harm has come to the young widow than to any of the individual investors.

    The question as posed in the OP is subject to a logical fallacy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010
  7. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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    I'm thinking more of a murderer and the harm they have caused society, and a white collar criminal who causes societal harm. Who has caused more harm to society -- the murderer or the white collar criminal?
     
  8. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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    Subject to a logical fallacy? Huh? A question is not a claim.

    I tried to find a link that might be acceptable: Fallacies


    please, show me what type of logical fallacy the question is subject to and how?
     
  9. Toome
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    Toome Active Member

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    To break it down into much simpler terms: if a white-collar criminal embezzled a million dollars and it affected the life savings of a thousand people, those thousand people are still alive. Life just became tougher for them, but it's a matter of finding a way to overcome the hardship.

    A murderer takes away a life, and that life can never be replaced. It affects the victim's immediate family, friends, coworkers and others (e.g. witnesses, bystanders, etc.). Add to it if it was a parent and how that affects the child or a child and how that affects the parent and siblings.
     
  10. Gem
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    Gem BANNED

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    I understand the "point" you are making, but....

    I would rather be ripped off than murdered.

    I would rather have my loved ones ripped off than murdered.

    I'm guessing most people would rather have 100000 people ripped off than have just 1 of their loved ones murdered.

    Does "white collar crime" effect more people? Sure. But I'm not quite sure I understand why we have to quantify the two as a "Crime A is worse than Crime B" kind of way.

    Both are terrible. Both can be prosecuted appropriately...

    So whats the big deal?
     

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