Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2016 Sydney R Scott
This paper attempts to justify punishment on the grounds that it is a benefit to the person being punished. I accept the basic premise of a previous theory of punishment, the Moral Good Theory (MGT), which states that we cannot harm anyone. Thus, punishment can only be justified if it is not a harm. The MGT claims that punishment is beneficial in that it provides a moral education to the offender. I reject the idea that punishment is morally educational and instead propose a new theory which revises and strengthens the MGT, accounting for its flaws. This new theory, the Social Good Theory, argues instead that punishment is beneficial because it allows a criminal to be reintegrated into society.
Scott, Sydney R., "Defending the Social Good Theory of Punishment" (2016). Pomona Senior Theses. 164.