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View Full Version : Why are "Victimless" Crimes Wrong?


SilentScope001
12-04-2007, 12:51 PM
I'm writing a novel about a vigliante who hunts down criminals (how original).

However, most of the have done "victimless" crimes: illegal drugs, dueling, prositution, etc. There are a few criminals that do in fact do crimes that do victimize, but they do so in order to allow for the "victimless" crimes to continue (say, killing hundreds of police officers in order to ensure that 60,000 people can have a rave).

Now, I need to find a good reason why the vilgante should hunt down these criminals. I could try to argue that the victimless criminals in fact do cause victims, but I need your help in arguing what harms do illegal drugs, dueling, prositution, etc. cause.

Aeroldoth
12-04-2007, 01:32 PM
He'll get some cool armor and a +1 sword.

s/b "Why ARE victimless crimes wrong?"

Corinthian
12-04-2007, 03:25 PM
Dueling is a victimless crime? I was under the impression the guy who loses is the victim.

The purchase of illegal drugs funds criminal organizations which actually commit violent crimes, prostitution spreads deadly diseases, both tend to degenerate their operating areas, eventually resulting in the formation of gangs.

Drugs also tend to be rather expensive, meaning the druggie eventually has to commit worse crimes to fund his habit. Generally theft.

Also, the mass-murdering criminals that slaughter cops would be a good enough nemesis.

John Galt
12-04-2007, 04:31 PM
right, but the only reason that "victimless" crimes _aren't_ under the current arrangement is that they are illegal, and people who specialize in these activities have to go to gangs or the mafia for protection, because they obviously can't go to the police.

Aeroldoth
12-04-2007, 04:35 PM
In all seriousness, the rationale seems fairly straightforward to me. If a person wishes to punish criminals (or those s/he perceives as criminals) by taking matters into their own hands, it's because they have a powerful personal motivator.

They may have been personally wronged/hurt somehow and want revenge on ALL bad guys. They may feel society is going to hell, the authorities aren't doing anything/are corrupt, so it's up to the hero to step up and save the day. Perhaps only the hero knows some secret truth that nobody else would believe even if they told them, so only the hero can work to stop it.

There are lots of ideas for vigilanteism. Many can be found in RPGs and comic books, which tend to feature heros fighting to protect an unknowing/uncaring/unsympathtetic society. If you're writing a story about one, I think it's much more important to work on character development. Once you understand WHO the character is and what makes them tick, everything should fall into place.

The important thing is to present a clear, powerful reason that moves the hero, to the reader. You must establish what injustices/events/situations have occurred that are powerful enough to make the hero drop whatever else they were doing in their life, to abandon friends/famliy/loved ones/comfortable home, to take up this lifestyle. Your character, and indeed much of your story, will rest upon this reason, so make it good. If people cannot understand or relate to your justification then everything else falls apart. If they reject the character, and his/her reaction, they reject the story.

Batman had his parents killed right in front of him as a child. Spiderman's uncle died because he failed to stop a criminal when he could have. Both lost loved ones (a common and overused theme), but their feelings are different. Bruce Wayne hunts for the man who killed his parents, conceivably stopping once he finds him. Peter Parker is torn with guilt over his failure to act, a failure that not only cost him his beloved uncle, but also cost Aunt Mae the man she wanted to grow old and die with. Now she lives, and ages, and will die, alone. It is his own failure that drives Parker, for only he can forgive himself.

The challenge in creating your character will be making someone whose reason(s) will be powerful enough to make the reader open up and connect with them, yet not so trite or banal as to make them turn away...

"Tordek's parents were killed by a marauding band of orcs. He watched his father killed right in front of him. Now, with nothing left except for his father's sword, having sworn eternal vengeance on its blood-soaked blade, he wages war on all orcs everywhere, so five year-old Molly in the village can grow up in peace." Blecch!

DON'T do Mary Sue! DON'T do emo. DON'T try to force the reader to accept the uber coolness of your hero, or drown them in how noble and self-sacrificing your poor misunderstood guy is. Angst works for teens, not adults. The more you try to convey to the reader how cool, leet, super uber duber, the MC is, the more the reader will be disgusted.

It's a fine line, and not many authors can walk it, but practice makes perfect, and you won't learn until you write.

SilentScope001
12-04-2007, 04:47 PM
Mary Suedom is the last thing I want, altough I realize it's a hard trap to avoid. I've written Mary Sue stories before, and I hate reading them with a passion (altough writing them is fun, it's mostly empty).

The problem is, well, I don't really like to sympathize with any of my characters. That because I fear that if I sympathize with them, I'll favor them, and that is the last thing I want to do. I don't have strong opinons, and I'd like to keep it that way. So, it may mean that the weakest part of the story is that I'm not good at causing the people to empathize with my vigliante main character...But I suppose that's a side-tangent from the main topic point. I'm going to have to do deal with that problem sooner or later.

Anyway, thanks for your posts! Finally got a coherent ideology to plaster onto the vigliante.

PoiuyWired
12-05-2007, 04:00 AM
Dueling is a victimless crime? I was under the impression the guy who loses is the victim.

The purchase of illegal drugs funds criminal organizations which actually commit violent crimes, prostitution spreads deadly diseases, both tend to degenerate their operating areas, eventually resulting in the formation of gangs.

Drugs also tend to be rather expensive, meaning the druggie eventually has to commit worse crimes to fund his habit. Generally theft.

Also, the mass-murdering criminals that slaughter cops would be a good enough nemesis.

Dueling does not always mean "to the death" And any wounds one recieve would be an consented action. Plus, both can get hurt.

Illegal drugs themselves would not be THAT expensive and criminal funding if they were to be legalized and regulated.

Prostitution can be easily regulated and periodical medical tests set up decrease the health risk of both the prostitutes and the johns. On top of that this reduces problems of 'hos under control of abusive parties.

There are ****ries that prectises legal prostitution and legal drug use, and the results can be studied. Personally I think it is way better than having to furret out the victimless users and also the gangstas controling such activities. I mean it helps quel criminal organizations by reducing their income, reduces prison needs, and much more.

Corinthian
12-05-2007, 05:19 AM
What the heck is a ****ries?

The price on illegal drugs merely means it'll take longer for a druggie to run out of cash and be too shot to hell to be effective in any real job, so he'll resort to theft. It's only a matter of time. Besides, even if the government legalized all drugs, criminal syndicates would still smuggle it in to get it without paying taxes, and be able to undercut the Feds.

Besides, legalizing drugs is a bad idea. Marijuana I can see. I don't agree with that, but I can at least see the reasoning and agree with some of the points. What I can't see logically, is legalizing the really dangerous stuff like Cocaine or Heroin.

I'm also under the impression this is based around the real world or something like it, not Candy Mountain, where everything is joy and treats, and joyous treats.

Aeroldoth
12-05-2007, 12:19 PM
What the heck is a ****ries?
"Countries" without the 'o'.

PoiuyWired
12-12-2007, 10:31 PM
lulz, that is an interesting cencoring with typos. :)

Tysyacha
12-26-2007, 05:23 PM
I used to want to become a "woman of the town"; this is no joke. Sexual expression, denied to me both because of my fundamentalist upbringing (my parents' choice) and through my disability and lack of boyfriends (chance and choice; I was picky and no guys wanted to date the 'disabled girl' in high school or college), I thought being a hooker would be the most appealing, exciting, and fun occupation on the planet.

Not only would I get to wear clothes that my family would send me to a convent for, but I also would get to make all the love I wanted and get paid for it as well!!!

Now I'm not so sure. I'd probably get a whole host of diseases, and not only that, the partners I had wouldn't stick around unless they became regular clients of mine.

Plus, that's not making love. Love comes with the desire NOT to exploit or hurt the other person in the relationship, wanting to please them and give of one's whole self.

If I were to "do that" 1,000 times, I'd rather have it be with one guy I was in love with, not have 1,000 stranger men "do that" to me only once.

One caveat: I still don't believe in total abstinence before marriage. Why? In the days of prehistory, sex WAS marriage. That was the way that spouses became spouses and showed they were committed to one another, taking each other to "hearth", as Jean M. Auel says in her "Clan of the Cave Bear" series. They didn't have the Church, courts, legal contracts, or $2,000 wedding dresses--only a promise and their passion.

Now we may be "civilized", but sheeeesh...why instill such a guilt complex over sex that I still primarily associate it with lust and sin? I may never get MARRIED, married, but I know I'll fall in love and want to be faithful to my partner and not cheat on him.

SilentScope001
12-26-2007, 05:41 PM
Now that this thing has been bumped:

I like to know why "victimless" crimes are wrong. I don't want people stating, "Oh noes, victimless crimes are not wrong, they are perfectly good! Legalize! Legalize!"

So, for the purpose of this argumet, suppose all 'victimless' crimes are legal. Now why are those deeds wrong?

Tysyacha
12-26-2007, 05:46 PM
Some people claim that victimless crimes such as drug use endanger the lives of the users and other people who are around the users. Therefore, drug use is wrong.

Other victimless crimes, like prostitution, are seen as the disrespect of one's body and passing along venereal disease to others. They are claimed as wrong for this reason.

Web Rider
12-26-2007, 06:50 PM
Some people claim that victimless crimes such as drug use endanger the lives of the users and other people who are around the users. Therefore, drug use is wrong.

Other victimless crimes, like prostitution, are seen as the disrespect of one's body and passing along venereal disease to others. They are claimed as wrong for this reason.

we are aware of why they are wrong, however, is it not my right to screw up my body if I so choose? Is it not my decision to sell myself out if it makes good money?

The terrible situation most prostitues are in is largely brought on by the fact that prostituion is illegal. Is it was legal, it could be checked, regulated, taxed, and the workers protected.

TK-8252
12-27-2007, 05:11 AM
I don't know if this thread is supposed to be a debate, or if you're just asking for one side's argument, but I can't help but mention some stuff.

Dueling is a victimless crime? I was under the impression the guy who loses is the victim.

If he didn't want to die/get hurt, he shouldn't have agreed to duel. He consented, therefore he's not a victim. If I tell someone to hit me in the balls with a hammer, I'm not a "victim." I'm an idiot.

The purchase of illegal drugs funds criminal organizations which actually commit violent crimes, prostitution spreads deadly diseases, both tend to degenerate their operating areas, eventually resulting in the formation of gangs.

Drugs also tend to be rather expensive, meaning the druggie eventually has to commit worse crimes to fund his habit. Generally theft.

Also, the mass-murdering criminals that slaughter cops would be a good enough nemesis.

All of these problems exist simply because these activities are illegal. By banning drugs and prostitution, the government has created every single problem associated with the activities. Countries that are more progressed than the U.S. do not have such problems, or their problems are greatly diminished. They fixed the problems by legalizing/decriminalizing vices and regulating them.