By Natural Philosopher Mike Prestwood

Ethics Lesson: Should Trump go to jail for his crimes?

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Ethics and Equal Justice

Should Trump go to jail?

I’m not going to answer that here as I’m perfectly happy letting the judge decide this one. However, let’s explore the ethics of it philosophically.

In the American legal system, there is a saying:

“treat like people alike.”

This principle dates back to Aristotle and his “Nicomachean Ethics.” He argued that distributive justice involves allocating goods and privileges fairly among individuals based on their merits, needs, and contributions. He believed that similar individuals should be treated similarly, and unequal treatment should only be given when there are relevant differences. Trump supporters might argue that his presidency is a relevant difference, while others might disagree.

In the context of the American justice system, distributive justice aims to treat individuals equally under the law, regardless of background, race, gender, or social status. This means no one is above the law.

Fear-Based Ethics is an oppressive ethical systems that tends to lose sight of the intrinsic value of moral acts.

How does a lack of remorse play into sentencing? Aristotle argued that remorse is crucial in determining punishment. It indicates a willingness to take responsibility and the potential for moral growth, supporting a more lenient punishment. Conversely, a lack of remorse suggests a potential for repeat offenses, warranting more severe punishment. He saw attacking the justice system as an aggravating factor, demonstrating disrespect for the rule of law.

Bonus FAQ: Did Aristotle believe in a soul?

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