“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”
While there’s truth in Plato’s words, most of us fall somewhere between good and bad. And for people in that spectrum, laws serve as good deterrents.
Really? Then why do people keep committing crimes?
I’d submit a radical idea: deterrent doesn’t work.
Punishment is there so good people know that their victimization will not be ignored and society will put away the offending cretin. But we cannot deter those who are pathological, or so unhinged that crime is going to seem like a brilliant solution.
I’m not talking about drugs, minor crime, mayhem hooliganism, teen sex and other incidentals. I call these incidentals because they’re useful as illegal only because all criminals also seem to indulge in them.
But repeated theft, torture of animals, assault, rape, etc. are indicators of a “broken animal” which means it cannot be deterred, it can only be incarcerated or removed.