Are All Crimes Intended to Be Evil?

Not every crime committed by people are intended to be evil. Sometimes people may commit crimes in order to do goodness. But, even though they didn’t commit crime intending to be evil does this make culprit innocent? Let’s say you committed a crime to feed a hungry child. Does this make you a bad person? Should you be punished? Or are you innocent and should not be punished just because you have good deed?

Firstly, what is crime? Crime is an act of violating the law, which is punishable by an authority.

After agricultural revolution, people left hunter-gatherer way of life and settled down. They built up towns where they lived in larger populations. Thus, they started to live closer than before and interact with each other more. This created a society. As society gets bigger, more people start to live together, society turned into a civilization. Unlike pre-agricultural period, in order to secure harmony between people and avoid chaos, there emerged the need of some rules which are to be carried out by an authority, even by force when necessary. Thus, we came up with a hierarchical society with rules and laws which are implemented by leaders and guards. People were expected and forced to obey the laws, and those who disobeyed were punished by authorities. In this way, individuals were persuaded to depend on authorities in any kind of mistreatment from others. Thus, they were bond to society by means of justice.

But punishment isn’t only for maintaining justice; punishments are also done by authorities to protect their legitimacy. For example, in Middle Ages culprits were either tortured or executed publicly, regardless of victim’s opinion. Main motive of these punishments was to protect the kings’ or rulers’ authority rather than to relief the victims. Even though the victim tended to forgive, the culprit was to be punished just because he had broken the laws which were guaranteed by the ruler. The act of breaking the law meant the denial of the authority of the monarch and if he was forgiven somehow, other people might say “This person didn’t take any punishment even though he broke the laws which are guaranteed by our ruler, so if I commit a crime I won’t be punished either”.

So, does committing a crime in order to do something good makes culprit an evil person? The answer is no. Being a culprit doesn’t always mean being a bad person. Sometimes people can become a culprit without any bad intentions. Being a good or bad person is a moral issue but being a culprit is about obeying the laws or not. Therefore you can become both a good person and a culprit. But even though you are a good person you still have to be punished by authority in order to make authority look strong and prevent other people from committing a crime.

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