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Argument: Corporal punishment does not foster violent tendencies

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David Benatar. "Corporal Punishment Social Theory and Practice". Social Theory and Practice. Summer 1998: "Perhaps it is true that, conceptually, the message that punishment conveys is more sophisticated. Nevertheless, those who are beaten do commit violence against others. It might not be that they got this message from the punishment, but that being subject to the willful infliction of pain causes rage and this gets vented through acts of violence on others. This brings me to my third response. There is insufficient evidence that the properly restricted use of corporal punishment causes increased violence. Although Murray Straus's study suggests that there is a correlation between rare corporal punishment and increased violence, the study has some significant defects, as I noted earlier, and the significance of his findings has been questioned in the light of other studies.(20) Nevertheless, Professor Strauss findings cannot be ignored and they suggest that further research, this time of an experimental sort, should be conducted. Note again, however, that even if it were shown that there is some increase in violence, something more is required in order to make a moral case against the corporal punishment that causes it. On a consequentialist view, for example, one would have to show that this negative effect is not overridden by any benefits there might be to corporal punishment."

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