Do you think it is possible to create a crime-free society? why or why not. include back up statementsDo you think it is possible to create a crime-free society? why or why not. include back up...

Do you think it is possible to create a crime-free society? why or why not. include back up statements

Do you think it is possible to create a crime-free society? why or why not. include back up statements

Expert Answers
timbrady eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sadly, this does not seem possible.  There seem to be some tendencies that are "hard wired" into our nature (the seven "deadly" sins?) that make us, in general, more concerned about ourselves than each other.  Even a cursory acquaintance with history will provide almost endless examples of this behavior.

But if we look at some of our best attempts at overcoming these tendencies, the Utopian (Socialist) Communities that have been established by men and women of similar noble ideals, we find a dismal record of failure, usually caused by the same deadly sins that plague the rest of us.

A good example of this is found in William Bradford's "Of Plymouth Plantation."  The original colony had been set up as something of a religious/socialist experiment, but even that attempt had to be scraped.  Here it is in Bradford's own words:

All this while no supply was heard of, neither knew they when they might expect any. So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advice of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other thing to go on in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance) and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.

The first triumph of capitalism :)  And perhaps the reason we will never have a crime-free society:  pride, envy, greed, lust, sloth, gluttony and anger --- those seven deadly sins referred to above.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that a crime free society is a goal worthy of all individuals, but the reality is that I think it is difficult, if not impossible, to create a crime free society.  This is because the issue of crime, itself, has many elements that motivate it.  The reasons as to why individuals commit crimes is the reason why it is difficult to eliminate the issue of crime.  Transgressions within the law are committed for multiple reasons.  Some are sociological, while others are psychological.  The reality is that while crime is bad and something that has to be discouraged, the initiatives that seek to eliminate some of these motives might be worse.  For example, if there was an initiative to eliminate the portion of the brain that might be identified to control a "criminal impulse," this might be worse than crime itself.  While we might not be able to eliminate crime in our hopes to create a crime free society, perhaps we can engage in serious reflection and study as to what conditions help to create crime and then analyze why people feel the need to commit crimes.  In focusing our attempts in these realms, we might be able to possess a better understanding about crime.

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

No. Not ever. The only way to create a crime-free society would be to eliminate the entire concept of crime itself. During Prohibition, drinking was a crime. Then it wasn't a crime. So there were no more crimes in the sale or consumption of alcohol, but people never stopped drinking.

A crime is a transgression of law, and laws are created to protect people and their property from other people. Some people want what they want, even though it belongs to someone else. Steal a stereo or take a life, any crime comes down to "My will be done," and this human impulse to exert one's own will is as old as mankind. Some call it pride. In A Separate Peace, Knowles called it "something ignorant in the human heart." Hawthorne wrote of "the dark corners of the human heart." Conrad? Heart of Darkness. Whatever it is, it's in us. When it breaks out in the individual, we call it a crime. When it breaks out among nations, we call it a war.

alohaspirit eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Possibly if you eliminate poverty, racism, unfair advantages when it comes to education, poor healthcare system, and poor leadership.  Crime is a natural consequence when you have all these other factors, and it would take a complete ideological cultural shift from the entire community and leader in order to solve all those other issues.  The countries and/or communities that have the lowest crime rates would be your socialistic societies that offer free higher education, universal healthcare, and a more pure democracy where the citizens actually have an impact on their communities.  Communal societies where everyone helps one another and works together to have a sustainable lifestyle such as village type societies have either no crime or very low crime rates because they are not competitive, they are cooperative!

drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Unfortunately, I don’t believe it is possible to create a 100% crime-free society. Psychological research has demonstrated that a certain percentage of the human population is sociopathic, those who believe that the rules of human society do not apply to them. Additionally, society has to deal with psychopaths, who do not abide by the rules of human society due to mental illness. Garden-variety stupidity factors into some people’s behavior, and others are just downright mean. Absence of crime depends on people’s willingness and ability to abide by the rules of human society; until you can guarantee the absence of sociopaths, psychopaths, the stupid, and the evil, you can never have a totally crime-free society.
dbello eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Unfortunately I do not think a crime free society is possible because of this fundamental human flaw:... good people do good things...bad people do bad things... but sometimes...good people do bad things....

Yes, this is a very simple response, however it was meant to be that simple. Humanity is simply not free of its own shortcomings, history has given us a long record of that.

What I think might be a more plausible question is; Can the human race become more human? Although a very ideological question, my hope is that we can take this ideology and infuse it with a dose of reality to allow progress to grow. After all, ideology is the jump start spark towards reality....

cburr eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with #9, principally because of mental illness.  I also agree with earlier posts that there are some who are simply greedy and will break whatever rules they think they can get away with in order to further their own ends.

That being said, I think it would be possible -- albeit incredibly hard -- to eliminate a tremendous amount of the crime we now experience.  Too many people simply don't have a fair shot at life.  Poverty, lack of education -- including dealing with learning disabilities -- lack of family stability, lack of opportunity, all these create an underclass of people who might well not have engaged in crime if they had been able to find a stable, productive life.

enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Utopia you don't get.  You will always have crime.  How to minimize it is really the question.  Perhaps the first major advancement would be to decriminalize certain activities that are now considered criminal behavior, in other words, to remove bad laws.  As long as one doesn't impede the rights of another, do what you will.

As other posts have alluded to, allowing a culture to evolve where everyone understands the concept of Rights and instills a respect for another's individual rights would be very close to a solution. If everyone were thinking in terms of acting in everyone's best interest, despite human nature, perhaps the problem would be nearly solved.


scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

No, it is not possible to create a crime-free society, because of man's basic nature.  Of course, this answer is based on one's world view and what he/she sees human nature to be.  I believe that man is born with the propensity to do "wrong" or what is often labeled "crime." Laws, morals, beliefs, etc., train man to try to avoid committing criminal deeds, but there are always some who go against that training or did not receive it.

Number 3 presents great logical support for his answer--we cannot point out a society from human history where crime was not present.

epollock | Student

No, it doesn't seem possible. With individuals, there is always the accident or unfortunate circumstance that leads itself to statutes created by the legislatures to deal with crimes of an "accidental nature."

krishna-agrawala | Student

No, I don't think it is possible to create a totally crime-free society. In the recorded history of thousands of years, there is not a single incident of crime free societies. In addition, with progress of civilization, the incidence of crime appears to have increased rather than decreased.

Great people with spiritual enlightenment, and believing in the unlimited goodness and power of God also do not assume that there can be a crime-free society. Every major religion in the World speaks of some form of never ending fight between good and the evil.

I believe two root causes of crime are greed and ignorance. Because of greed people are never satisfied with what they have, and because of ignorance they adopt wrong means to get what they want. It is said that crime never pays. But in our ignorance we pay lip service to this saying, but do not really believe in it.

Crime can be totally eliminated only by eliminating greed and ignorance completely. But greed is part of basic nature of human beings, and complete elimination of ignorance is such gigantic task that event the greatest scientists, thinkers and philosophers have not succeeded in it completely. Complete elimination of ignorance among masses is something we cant even aspire to achieve.