In his 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."http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2012/03/06/james_q_wilson_19312012
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 Moral Law-Giver. And fifth, punishment implies free-will, which means finally, that man is a free moral agent capable of choice.
Man can freely choose to lie or tell the truth. He can choose to respect other people or to disrespect them. No one is "born-gay" or "lesbian" because all human beings without exception can choose to engage in sodomy and lesbianism or not to. Punishment implies all of this.
Our secular intelligentsia reject punishment because they reject all of the above. The totality of 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 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 â€” mechanically... like a tree or a machine. Man merely carries out natural forces â€” without any freedom whatsoever â€” 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 all moral restraints 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. This ultimate freedom came at an eternally high price. They would have to deny the supernatural Triune God, deny their own tripartite being (body, soul, mind) and imagine themselves as mechanical aspects of nature, "trees, machines, plant-people." But it was not enough to imagine only themselves as machines. No, everyone else must be duped into following the rebels into hell.
It was Freud who supplied the rebels 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 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 â€” without any freedom whatsoever â€” in all he does, whether he loves or hates, helps or hurts, gives life or takes it." Since chemicals are the cause then more chemicals (i.e., stress-relieving drugs, libido-enhancing drugs, mind-altering drugs) as well as abortion (in answer to promiscuity) are the only answers.
In this view, humans have no soul or mind and the brain is a biochemical machine. It can react to its environment, perhaps with mindless rage, but is unable to not act out with mindless rage because it has no 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 accident 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. Anglo-American law 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:
â€œThe doctrine thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law and they are to be found only in the Holy Scripturesâ€¦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.â€ ( â€œBack-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, beatings, lying, rage, rape, pedophillia, pederasty, sodomy, lesbianism, murder, theft, promiscuity 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 is now the popular currency. The most popular obscenities are God the Father, the Ten Commandments, monogamous marriage, "He made them man and woman," decent, law-abiding people, and creation science.
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 he cannot resist doing evil, so increasingly he gives himself over to the doing of it. And why not? He can get away with it.