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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 67130 Find in a Library
Title: ETHICS OF THE USE OF RECENTLY DEVELOPED MIND/BEHAVIOUR CONTROL MECHANISMS BY AND ON CONVICTED CRIMINALS CANADA
Author(s): T R ANDERSON
Corporate Author: 200 Boul Davignon
Church Council on Justice and
Corrections
Canada
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 60
Sponsoring Agency: 200 Boul Davignon
Cowansville, P Q J2K 1N9, Canada
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: ETHICAL ISSUES DERIVED FROM THE EXISTENCE OF MODERN MEANS OF MIND/BEHAVIOR CONTROL AND THEIR USE WITH OFFENDERS ARE DEVELOPED AND DISCUSSED FROM A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE.
Abstract: MODERN MIND/BEHAVIOR CONTROL MECHANISMS CAN BE DIVIDED INTO THREE BROAD CATEGORIES: CHEMICALS WHICH CAN ALTER THOUGHTS, IMAGINATION, PERCEPTION, MOODS, AND EMOTIONS; PHYSICAL MANIPULATION OF THE BRAIN BY SURGERY, ELECTRICAL STIMULATION OF THE BRAIN THROUGH THE IMPLANTING OF ELECTRODES AND ELECTROLYTIC NEEDLES IN ANY PART OF THE BRAIN, AND CHEMICAL STIMULATION BY THE INTRODUCTION OF CHEMICALS DIRECTLY TO BRAIN CELLS AND FIBRES, AS DISTINCT FROM THEIR INTRODUCTION BY INGESTION; AND PSYCHOTHERAPEUTIC TECHNIQUES WHICH USE CONTROL OF ENVIRONMENTAL STIMULI FOR PRODUCING DESIRED REACTIVE RESPONSES. THE PRINCIPAL ETHICAL ISSUE RAISED FROM A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE IS WHETHER INDIVIDUALS AND INSTITUTIONS WITH SOCIAL AND POLITICAL POWER, WHICH ARE NECESSARILY (FROM THE CHRISTIAN THEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE) PLAGUED BY MORAL SHORTSIGHTEDNESS AND TRANSGRESSIONS, SHOULD BE GIVEN THE RIGHT TO CREATE BEHAVIORS DESIRED BY A GIVEN SOCIETY IN A PARTICULAR TIME. WHILE SOCIAL CONTROL IS RECOGNIZED BY CHRISTIANS AS AN ENDEAVOR NECESSARY FOR ORDERING HUMAN ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND STABLE SOCIOECONOMIC RELATIONS, IT IS AT THE SAME TIME PERCEIVED AS AN ENTERPRISE THAT IS AMBIGUOUS, IMPERFECT, AND IN NEED OF CONSTANT REVISION. THIS REALIZATION PRECLUDES OBSESSIVE SOCIAL CONTROL EFFORTS THAT WOULD ATTEMPT TO ABSOLUTIZE CULTURALLY CONDITIONED BEHAVIORS IN A POINT OF TIME. MANY OF THE MODERN TECHNIQUES OF BEHAVIORAL CONTROL CAN BE USED IN SUCH A MANNER. ALTHOUGH SUCH BEHAVIORAL CONTROL TECHNIQUES MAY BE ETHICALLY USED IN A LIMITED WAY WITH DEVIANT BEHAVIOR WHICH OVER GENERATIONS AND ACROSS CULTURES HAS BEEN VIEWED AS PARTICULARLY HEINOUS, TOO MANY UNCERTAINTIES AND DANGERS OF ABUSE PERSIST TO CLAIM MORAL VALIDITY FOR ANY COERCIVE USE OF SUCH TECHNIQUES OF BEHAVIORAL CONTROL NOW OR IN THE NEAR FUTURE. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Behavior modification; Code of ethics; Rehabilitation
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67130

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