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Should corporal punishment be allowed?
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Corporal punishment legitimises violence

When an authority figure is allowed to administer violence, it normalises and legitimises violence.


When the state or another authority figure is awarded a monopoly over violence, it legitimises violence as an acceptable form of expression. This creates a cycle of violence where because the state is violent, citizens are violent.

The Argument

When authority figures are granted the power to use violence as a punishment, those figures monopolise violence. They set the standard that violence is okay for them to use but not for anyone else. But in doing so, they legitimise violence as an expressive tool. If the authority figure uses violence as an expression of punishment, it sends a message to the rest of society that sometimes it is okay to use violence. This creates a more violent and aggressive society. Eventually, a society becomes locked in a cycle of violence where transgressors are becoming increasingly violent, the state retaliates with violence, which causes another wave of violence. The cycle can be observed in children. Researchers found that children who are hit by their parents are more likely to use violence against other children to get their way. [1]

Counter arguments



[P1] People emulate what they see. [P2] When they see an authority figure administer violence, they emulate violence. [P3] This leads to a normalisation of violence in society. [P4] Violence is bad. [P5] Therefore, corporal punishment should not be permitted.

Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Wednesday, 5 Feb 2020 at 18:22 UTC

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