Negative Proofs

It’s a hard row to hoe, convincing people that all punishment is harmful, Sisyphean, in fact, but the opposite, that was pretty easy: a complete lack of punishment, no dispensing of negative consequences whatsoever – has no ill effects. Punishment is not necessary for life.

 

You may not be ready to allow that it’s harmful – but for the lack of it to be harmful, me and my family would have to show some harm, some of the sorts of harm we all agree might result from a lack of discipline, wildness, inconsiderateness, poor boundaries, violence, opposition, poor morals . . . and that is just not the case.

 

You can’t prove a negative, but you can prove whether removing an organ kills the patient. Punishment is like our appendix, a legacy condition that can only cause trouble. It’s not a requirement for life. I’ve proved that much, and that is no small thing.

 

You’re welcome.

 

Jeff

 

 

Jan. 16, 2016

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Comments (24)

  1. BostonBill

    Your saying no punishment is a good thing?

    January 16, 2016
    1. Neighsayer

      yup! My girlls are 21 and nearly 18 and as far as I can see, I’m having no troubles, no scary effects. Never punished them, not so much as a timeout.

      January 16, 2016
      1. BostonBill

        Unique, but without punishment, where is the line in the sand? What would stop anyone from crossing it?

        January 16, 2016
        1. Neighsayer

          we talked to them, mostly. We TOLD them what’s right and wrong of course, and yes, that doesn’t mean much to babies or toddlers, I know, believe me! The toddler years were pretty exhausting, stopping them ourselves for every badly destructive thing they might want to do, saving ours and everybody’s stuff ourselves, I mean rather than training the kid (or just trying) to control herself about things she doesn’t understand yet, hence her exploring in the first place. But, by the time they were five or so, when they could reason and converse, the trouble was over. Like, no trouble through the teen years, like, without punishing, the fighting years were over many years earlier than they were among the normal parents around us. It appears the causation people assume may be backwards.

          January 16, 2016
        2. Neighsayer

          it was sort of an accident and a miracle, don’t get me wrong! I’m only now sort of letting myself realize how scary it was, only now that it seems to have worked out.

          January 16, 2016
  2. wirelessguru1

    I should punish you for that!

    January 16, 2016
    1. Neighsayer

      I know you think you’re a top, but we’ll see, Big Boy.

      January 16, 2016
      1. wirelessguru1

        We’ll see what!?

        January 16, 2016
    2. Neighsayer

      seriously though – you mean for taking the chance?

      January 16, 2016
      1. wirelessguru1

        No. For being a Canadian buffoon!

        January 16, 2016
  3. GoldenPig2012

    Well, neighsayer, honey…………………you and your family with the no punishment template seems to have worked wonderfully. But……………….that’s a far cry from saying no punishment, discipline, just life happening, means………………..a good thing for everyone involved. While I’ve tried and, mostly, succeeded with this template, that does not mean it will or can work for everyone.

    January 16, 2016
    1. Neighsayer

      while I can’t really argue your words here, I gotta say, slippery slope. Like does that mean that striking your child or holding the door closed on her for her timeout is then, what? A personal choice? A personal choice for one person to bring the pain for another, kinda the whole point of the change I’m hoping to bring down around us all, socialist totalitarian dictator that I am. How many of those armbands do you have sewn, BTW? The time draws near.

      January 16, 2016
      1. GoldenPig2012

        No, ha ha ha ha, you aren’t drawing me into THAT argument, you and I both know that punishment might accomplish some small thing short-term, but, could lead to long-term shit none of intend, so, better to forego it. Oh, no, you won’t get me into that again.

        It IS a slippery slope, no doubt about it. But, to completely allow each and everyone of us to just do what we want………………..that’s a slippery slope, also.

        January 16, 2016
        1. Neighsayer
          -) -) I’m watching you . . .

          January 16, 2016
          1. GoldenPig2012

            And I’m glad of it. We need to watch out for one another, all of us. Nothing can keep you trying for the right track like the care of someone else.

            January 17, 2016
            1. Neighsayer

              muah.

              January 17, 2016
  4. wirelessguru1

    Look buffoon, punishment may not be necessary for life but it still is an integral part of life just like judgment, etc, is also an integral part of life.

    January 16, 2016
    1. Neighsayer

      don’t mind judgment, obviously an important mental process. It’s just when someone says, screw communication, screw this person’s rights, I’m gonna goddam do something about it, that’s the problem.

      January 16, 2016
      1. wirelessguru1

        When someone says “screw communication, screw this person’s rights, etc” you punish them…

        January 16, 2016
        1. Neighsayer

          ?

          January 16, 2016
          1. wirelessguru1

            January 16, 2016
  5. sethrussell

    This raises the question in my mind: Is it ever a good idea for a person to impose unwanted consequences on another … weather in a parenting relationship, or adult-adult? I mean should we not always act to increase freedom for all?

    January 20, 2016
    1. Neighsayer

      I’m there! For the immediate costs of incarceration and then the never-ending and compounding social costs of abusing people for maybe years or decades and then setting them free with no chance of a job with a living wage, yeah, we lock up the dangerous one someplace nice, good food, TV and all that, safe from one another and do nothing to the non-dangerous ones. Well, talk to them, work with them, let ‘em know we’re watching and we care. We’d be way ahead, socially and financially!

      January 21, 2016
      1. sethrussell

        well self defense is necessary … i don’t think society can let people do harm willy nilly with no consequences. i was talking more about just person to person relationships … for example manipulating a person with consequences.

        January 21, 2016