RE: Justice in a stateless society, peaceful parenting and the morality of coercive imprisonment for punishment: a short essay. (Dispute resolution, restitution and peaceful parenting)
We all generally agree that self-defense (particularly amidst an armed society) is the best hedge against immoral action; but what to do when defense fails is a very difficult problem.
First I’d like to acknowledge the fact that moral law - like physical law - is discovered by man, not devised. As such, our understanding in this area evolves with the species. I believe the problem of punishment subsequent to unsuccessful defense is on the leading edge of our understanding at this time (as is the aforementioned issue of abortion), and possibly just a bit out-of-reach.
Ostracization seems prudent and rational, but in practical terms, it will increase feelings of desperation within an already-unscrupulous and troubled individual. Most likely this will lead to another opportunity for defense against the actions of the offender, which is certainly less than optimal.
An understanding of (and commitment to) true moral principles answers for nearly all human sufferings; but as you’ve noted, this requires the earnest participation of the individual. The psychopath, for example, is all but utterly hopeless in this regard, and yet must be dealt with somehow.
If justifiable force could be employed during the offense, is it no longer justified immediately subsequent to the act? And if justified immediately after, why not long after? We can see how a return to the gallows could be deemed appropriate. So punishment becomes a very tricky business indeed.
I do not feel equipped to answer this questiion definitively, as my foundational understanding of morality seems insufficient to provide a responsible course of action in such cases. It may just be that I am not personally up to the task, or it may be that humanity on the whole has yet to evolve to the level of consciousness where the answer resides.
In any case, the conversation must continue until the logic is clear, and you have certainly done your part in encouraging this impotant work to continue. Much obliged, and keep up your resolve. You are an invaluable forerunner to the next stage of humanity’s social evolution.