In his 2012 article, "James Q. Wilson" Thomas Sowell observed,
"There are undoubtedly many people who are alive today because of James Q. Wilson, who died last week...James Q. Wilson was a scholar who studied crime. He saved lives because his penetrating analyses of crime, and the effect of the criminal law, debunked the theories of....the intelligentsia, with their theories on how to "solve" our "problems." First of all, they claimed, we had to stop focusing on punishment and get at the "root causes" of crime. In other words, we had to solve the criminals' problems, in order to solve the problem of crime." (Sowell, townhall.com, 2012/03/06)
To punish someone for wrongdoing implies six things. First, that there really is such a thing as an objective standard of right and wrong, therefore there are some things that you "ought" to do, and some things that you "ought not" to do. Third, and by extension, there really is a transcendent Moral Law and fourth, a personal Moral Law-Giver. Fifth, punishment implies free-will, which means finally, that man is a free moral agent capable of choosing between right and wrong.
Man can freely choose to lie or tell the truth. He can choose to respect other people or to disrespect them. Though some men and women have same-sex desires because of their fallen condition, no one is "born" gay or lesbian anymore than he or she is "born" an adulterer or serial killer because all human beings without exception can choose between acting on such desires and compulsions (sin) or not. Punishment implies all of this.
Our secular (neo-pagan) intelligentsia reject punishment because they reject all six implications. The rationale for their denial is explained by Lester Crocker:
"There existed in the eighteenth century a widespread desire to equate the moral with the physical world..." What was desired above all was "total integration of man in nature, with refusal of any transcendence, even though it was admitted that (being God's spiritual image-bearer) gave him certain special abilities and ways of thinking. The important thing, as La Mettrie, d'Holbach and others made clear, is that he is submitted to the same laws; everything is response to need mechanically... like a tree or a machine. Man merely carries out natural forces without any freedom whatsoever in all he does, whether he loves or hates, helps or hurts, gives life or takes it." (Monsters from the Id, E. Michael Jones, pp. 5, 7)
In other words, men desired above all to liberate themselves and in particular their libidos from the Holy Trinity, the Book of Genesis, the Fall, fear of Hell, the Ten Commandments, all moral restraints, social taboos, and cultural institutions such as monogamous one-man, one-woman marriage. They wanted to be free to do as they desired, with whom or what they desired, whenever and wherever the impulse struck them. They desired above all to be the helpless victims of evil.
In his commentary, "Guns,Guns,Guns" Daniel Greenfield points out that if you reject the Genesis account and instead embrace evolutionary thinking as the rebels do, then evil is a chicken and egg question and man is its' helpless victim:
"... Violence had no beginning, except perhaps in the Big Bang, it was always here, coded into the DNA. If people are just grown-up animals, more articulate versions of the creatures who eat each other's young, and sometimes their own young, there is as much use in wondering about the nature of evil as there is in trying to understand why a killer whale kills." (Sultanknish BlogSpot, 12/2012)
This ultimate license is purchased at an eternally high price. Secular Progressives (God-haters and fools; Romans 1:30) would have to deny the supernatural Triune God, deny their own tripartite being (body, soul, mind) and pretend to be mechanical aspects of nature--- "trees, machines, plant-people." But it was not enough for only themselves to become machines. No, everyone else must be duped into following the rebellious God-haters into hell.
It was Freud who supplied God-haters and fools with an outwardly plausible psychological explanation. Building off of the Darwinian "man is an evolved ape" idea Freud explained anger, perversion, rage, jealousy, hatred, envy, and other destructive impulses as being caused by chemical and psychological changes in the brain and muscles of machine man. Since machine man lacks free will, he is fated to carry out natural forces without any freedom whatsoever in all he does.
Since chemicals are the cause then more chemicals (i.e., libido-enhancing drugs, brain-altering drugs) as well as abortion (in answer to promiscuity), easy divorce, and the advocacy of idols of the mind such as evolutionary theory (relativism/nihilism) and gender theory---being the only answers---must be forced upon everyone:
"The first of long anticipated resources that Ontario’s bishops assured parents would allow Catholic schools to teach the Liberal government’s controversial sex-ed curriculum through a “Catholic lens” have drawn fire from pro-family critics." (Catholic schools reveal how they’ll teach Wynne’s radical sex ed: it’s ‘pure moral relativism,’ say critics, (Lianne Laurence, Lifesite News, Sep 25, 2015)
The Institute for Catholic Education’s parent and facilitator guides uploaded on its website earlier this month contain passages of “pure moral relativism,” “secular bafflegab,” that are so vague they leave room for even heretical interpretations of Church teaching. This is particularly true when it comes to the hot-button issue of gender identity, which Liberal sex-ed curriculum teaches students by Grade 8 the existence of six genders as opposed to two biological sexes, a theory introduced to children in Grade 3. Moreover,
"....ICE’s parent guide for Grade 7 and 8appears to condone teaching the theory of ‘gender expression’ in Catholic schools, which in laymen terms means that is natural and normal for boys to present themselves as girls.” "Released by the Liberals in February and rolled out in all the province’s publicly funded schools this September, the sex-ed agenda also introduces homosexuality in Grade 3, masturbation in Grade 6 and oral and anal sex in Grade 7."
In the secular neo-pagan view, the brain is a biochemical machine that can react to its environment, perhaps with envy, covetousness, and mindless rage, but is unable to not act upon destructive, even murderous impulses anymore than it is able to resist impulses such as sodomy and rape because it is a conscienceless force of nature void of free will.
Some seculars have finally begun to question secular fatalism. One of these is Thomas Dixon, a young doctoral student who has published a paper explaining how the flawed secular notion had replaced the clinical use of the helpful biblical view of the soul having passions and affections. Dixon had learned of the biblical view from reading Jonathan Edward's book, "The Religious Affections" (1746).
Jonathan Edwards based his teaching on St. Augustine's trinitarian (body, soul, spirit) view of man, which Dixon sees as far more useful for clinical psychology than Darwin's evolutionary explanations contained within his book, "The Expressions of the Emotions in Man and Animals." Most twentieth-century philosophers and psychiatrists, including Freud, had adopted Darwin's evolutionary conception which leads to the flawed idea that man is merely an emergent product of nature, a somewhat more highly evolved ape whose thoughts, emotions and actions are caused by chemicals. (The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization, Vishal Mangalwadi, p. 373)
Darwinism and secular fatalism are utterly contrary to and destructive of Anglo-American law which is based on the assumption that a person who makes free choices is responsible for them. This assumption is grounded in the trinitarian view of man (i.e.,the free moral agent) and to the principles and concepts found in the Bible. William Blackstone, one of the most influential figures in the development of the common law explained:
"The doctrine thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law and they are to be found only in the Holy Scriptures. Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws, that is to say, no human law should be suffered to contradict these." (Back-Fired: A Nation born for Religious Tolerance No Longer Tolerates Religion, William J. Federer p. 256)
Humans differ from animals in that we are capable of subjecting our passions to choices that are either wise and moral or unwise and immoral. And when we choose the latter, punishment comes into play. But when the worst of our kind have no fear of punishment they will freely act upon their disordered passions and compulsions.
This being the case, disrespect, parasitism, bullying, riots, road-rage, car-jackings, beatings, lying, rape, pedophillia, pederasty, sodomy, lesbianism, murder, theft, adultery, and casual cruelty are increasingly the way of life. Meanwhile, education, entertainment, and 'news-media' are mediums for propaganda, degradation and dissolution and America's founding documents mere scraps of paper attached to the West's decaying Anglo-American Law.
What was once obscenity, lying, envy, and rage is now the popular currency. The most popular obscenities are God the Father, the Ten Commandments, monogamous marriage, "He made them man and woman," and decent, morally-ordered, law-abiding people .
In America there is no fear. None of God the Father, none of temporal or eternal punishment. Man has been told that Moral Law does not exist and further that man cannot resist doing evil, as even Christian schools are impressing upon students, so increasingly man gives himself over to the doing of evil. And why not? He can get away with it.