View Full Version : Holding Families Responsible for Shaping Individuals?

Thursday, December 14th, 2006, 09:11 PM
We all know that a community and especially families are responsible for shaping individuals. If that someone commits a crime (a serious crime; robbery or murder say) should we punish the community that failed to keep tabs on that individual?

Yes? If so, how?
No? Why?

Please take the poll and elaborate on your vote!

Gorm the Old
Friday, December 15th, 2006, 12:44 AM
Almost no one becomes a felon overnight with no previous record of misdemeanours. The parents whose children can do no wrong, who hire expensive lawyers to assure that they will be unpunished for their earlier and lesser infractions at, at least, morally responsible for their children's careers in crime. "As the twig is bent, the tree's inclined."

In the US, and except in religious schools, teachers are forbidden to teach their students moral and ethical values. This education they MUST receive from their parents. Repeatedly enabling them to evade the consequences of their actions assures that they will never develop any sense of moral or legal responsibility.

Controlling the behaviour of the young and teaching them proper conduct is far less, if at all, the responsibility of the community and mainly, if not exclusively, the responsibility of their PARENTS.

If the parents feel no responsibility for their children's actions, perhaps they can be induced to view the matter otherwise if. when a minor commits a serious crime, not only does he/she not evade the appropriate legal penalties, but also, the parents are charged with dereliction of parental duty and delinquency and, if convicted, required to pay very substantial fines or face imprisonment, themselves.

Friday, December 15th, 2006, 08:53 PM
NO: We live in a society, nay, a world governed by free will and although our environment may influence our behaviour, we alone stand responsible for our actions. Frankly, I refuse to be held responsible for the actions of "wee rotten Johnnie" from round the corner, much as, at times, I may wish to lamp him with a cricket bat. It is one of these concepts that idealistically seems a great idea, where everyone polices each other's behaviour, however I find the idea repugnant in its claustrophobia.

Friday, December 15th, 2006, 10:27 PM
I voted for no, because if we did this, we would revert to a primitive, tribalistic kind of society where the individual is completely reduced to being a member of his tribe (since the "community" would equal a tribe in your model). There would be neither individual responsibility nor individual freedom insofar as transfer of punishment would mean transfer of responsibility and of the ascription of freedom. Thus, there would not even be the collective identity of an association of free men like in the Germanic tribes. Rather, members of such a community would become half-individualized (not to say half-human) dependent entities similar to the "Orientalist" caricature of the "fatalistic Muslim".

Friday, December 15th, 2006, 11:12 PM
Yes, but only in a moral sense. There's nothing wrong with some good old shame - and regret & penitence - of people caring for their reputation as a family, more or less like an Army platoon being hard on its weakest link in order to create a common bond and individual soldiers of extraordinary quality. :)

Saturday, December 16th, 2006, 03:19 AM
I voted "No" for various reasons, but it depends. If family members played a clear and important role for a concrete crime or child's attitude in an irresponsible way, then yes, but in "normal cases" in which the parents didnt supported criminal and destructive behaviour, it would be absurd, because as we all know, children can develop in a very different way whether parents like that or not. They being oftentimes punished enough by having such a child, to hold them responsible beyond reasonable limits of conscious decisions and influences in the context of the child's criminal behaviour is absurd and unfair.

If a parent told his child to steal or harming other individuals is a good thing, probably even motivating it to do so, then there is a clear responsibility. But if the parent just raised the child in a suboptimal way, I see no clear responsibility and if the child acted against parent's rules they should be rather involved if its about the punishment and what to do with the child, to hear their opinion about different ways of resocialising, but not being punished themselves.

So far we dont know for sure which results certain influences will show in a child, which means that there is not always one right way ro raise an individual child with an individual personality. Thats a very important point for the issue in my opinion. If it would be known that certain actions lead to specific negative results for the child as individual and the community, but the parents still do it, against better knowledge and education, consciously and without taking their responsibility serious, then they have to be punished first, even before the child in some thinkable cases.

Dr. Solar Wolff
Saturday, December 16th, 2006, 06:43 AM
I don't think we can hold families responsible. I have three children and they were so different in terms of behavior as to be from three different families.

But, in fact, families are responsible. For instance, if your under age child gets behind the wheel of your car and causes an accident, the victim comes after the parents up to a certain limit.

Saturday, December 16th, 2006, 01:13 PM
If the families are not directly responsible, then no. Maybe it would be necessary to take measures, but not holding them responsible for something one of their members did, unless they have direct guilt or participation.

Of all tv shows out there, I heard on CSI (!) a very true thing: nowadays everybody blames their own behaviour on the way they were raised, on the behaviour of the people around them, on TV, on society... but never on themselves. Everbody finds an excuse: now we are not just allowed to behave bad, but also to not feel bad about it. It is true that the community where we live influences us, but it is also true that we are rational beings, capable of learning (and un-learning if that word exists), taking decisions and so on...

Saturday, December 16th, 2006, 05:05 PM
Are you kidding me? NO!

Thats similar to russian mafia ideals, they dont just kill you, they kill your friends and family.

Pure bullshit.

Saturday, December 23rd, 2006, 05:20 AM
I voted no because after you are an adult your family should not be held legally responible for your actions.

I agree that the truely henous crimes have lesser crimes in before them. If people watch hoe a child treats animals and smaller children they will learn alot.The worst criminals almost all come from an abusive childhood. There are studies if people want me to look them up. This does not excuse the criminal.

I feel that it is appropriate to hold the extended family and community responible when a child commits a serious crim but I do not have any impamentable suggestions. A closeknit community where people care about what others think reduces public crime but not nessisarily child abuse and domestic violence. But being strangers to each other only makes it worse.

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009, 09:41 AM
Yes, communities are responsible for shaping individuals. They give them the education they should receive. But it's beyond their power to control every action of the individual. It's not their fault if the individuals choose to throw away the education they received. If instead of an individual there were a remote-controlled thing, a robot, then yes, communities should be held responsible. Otherwise, no, the individual who commits the crime should pay for it by himself.

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009, 10:05 AM
This is not a matter of yes or no, or black or white since the question is about the broad term of authority. Authority springs out of many entities family and state being two of them.

Unlike liberals(in the broad, real term, including thus individualists and libertarians), conservatives believe that authority is a natural being, risen from necessity and tradition. Liberals believe that authority is a result of a mutual contract between two or more individuals. For example that children have a contract to later take after their parents in return for their bringing up. That's of course rubbish, since a contract implies free choice and knowledge of the contract. Thus, authority is a natural offspring that rises from the parents simply because the children don't know what's good for them. You can draw this line further to society. Authority for the teacher in the classroom, for the employer in the working room, or the state in society.

Thus, various entities are responsible for the upbringing and discipline of individuals, and that's just the external factors, you must add the internal, genetic factors to the comparison too, thus only the latter are a pure individual matter.

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009, 10:46 AM
No. Germanic children are free spirits. Boisterousness, violence and manliness should be smiled upon. When Egil Skallgrimson killed another boy as a youth it was frowned upon but it was his inner nature that did it. I tried a similar thing age 10 fracturing a boys skull with a metal bar. ( he recovered and remained my friend. I had no punishment-I knew I had done wrong but I learned to control my temper). Some of us just get a red mist at times. It was my fault. My parents were church goers.
I cannot speak for different breeds of men, they should be in their own lands and culture.

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017, 04:18 AM
Absolutely not. That would be treating the person who committed the crime like a child. Unless this person is mentally deranged and does not realize right from wrong, in which case they will be judged according to those reasons, they should be held responsible for their actions. Shaping individuals is one thing, it does not mean you control their every action. Anyway, if we were to apply such logic then we would have to hold our governments responsible for not being able to keep tabs on the communities, and so on...