New answers tagged

2

There is some relevant discussion in Robert Caro's The Power Broker – see e.g. Chapter 28 on the power of public authorities. The gist is that certain institutions, like Robert Moses's Triborough Bridge Authority, can effectively wield sovereign power independent of the government that creates them, by basing their power on private contracts: Authoritites ...


0

None. The police have no legal obligation to the public, whether the individual is a minor or not is irrelevant. What the officer has is POLICY and ORDERS, and failure to follow either can lead to unemployment. Policy will be for the officer to contact Child Protection Services, or the local equivalent, and inform them of the situation. Policy may be that ...


5

Whatever the child says, this looks like kidnapping or child trafficking. The child is very much a minor, and might have been abducted long enough ago for brainwashing to set it. So once the cop officially takes notice that the child does not belong into the family, and if no explanation is provided, the cop has to act. As long as the child is well cared for,...


0

If a child is living with a family obviously not his own, but both the family and the child appear to be healthy and happy with the arrangement, and no laws have been broken, a police officer may very well have better things to do than pry into what may very well be a perfectly legal custody or care arrangement... or the kid may just be visiting. Unless ...


5

I believe the laws of New York City in the 90s (our timeline) would work very roughly like this for a normal stray child (who can't use magic and isn't known to be a target murderous magicians) who somehow was unofficially taken in by an unrelated family: The child is not in any obvious danger from the family. The family and neighbors are not in any obvious ...


0

Punishment serves several purposes. Wiping memory doesn't satisfy all of them. Most importantly, vengeance/justice - while our legal system takes vengeance away from the victims (or their family), it is important that they get closure, and punishment to the criminal is one way of doing it. This is why the family of a murder victim participates in trials, why ...


0

First me secular answer, then my theological one. Centuries on, I'm guessing probably since the enlightenment at least, of people having aversion to the idea is in my view, the largest factor. In the the past three or so centuries, monarchy based governments fell more and more out of favor, and a not uncommon feature in those governments was incest. Families ...


3

There are a few religion-based possibilities, but one that I think is interesting is if the society wants to prevent redemption/salvation. In Hamlet, act III, scene 3, Hamlet has an opportunity to kill Claudius (to avenge his father's death), but Claudius seems to be in the middle of prayer, and Hamlet believes that this will send his soul straight to Heaven;...


5

Because it's hard-wired into the brain at some fundamental level. Taboos are like that... they're not things that people think about carefully, and after careful study then they become disgusted. Instead, it is a profound reaction guided by brain structures written into our genetic code. It's possible that evolution would eventually weed out this taboo ...


4

Because avoiding incest is a biological imperative. Humans have evolved over millions of years to avoid incest, and now there's no need to avoid it? Evolution is telling us otherwise, true or not. Growing up with someone, or living with someone who grows up from a young age has evolved to make all those involved see one-another as part of a nuclear family, ...


7

Diversity: Just because a double recessive trait isn't a lethal or results in a grossly dysfunctional disease doesn't mean that having hundreds of people who are essentially identical is a good idea. Inbreeding results in a lack of genetic diversity, setting up a situation where a population can be wiped out by a single disease, or a single way of thinking ...


4

Many relationships have been considered incestuous while equally close relatives have been acceptable marriage partners. For instance, cross cousins vs. parallel cousins in many societies. Or societies in which you can not marry anyone of your patriline (or matriline) no matter how distant. Furthermore, many relationships have been considered incestuous ...


3

Because it fails in the additional purpose given to sexual relationship/marriage: extending or gaining influence. Very often in the past, and in some cases still today, marriage and the underlying sexual relation were used as a mean for certain families to sanction alliances and reinforce common interests. Keeping everything in the family is long term ...


3

Because it's friggin' gross, man! Taboos don't need to have any underlying functional purpose, aside from social identification. Some come about for originally-practical reasons, but not all; and even those that do, like the incest taboo, easily outlast the reason for their creation. There are, for example, cultures in which it is taboo for a son-in-law to ...


13

Because it breaks down the distinction between familial love and romantic love, concepts which many people would rather have separated for many reasons. Wikipedia said it better than I could: In most societies, it is within families that children acquire socialization for life outside the family, and acts as the primary source of attachment, nurturing, and ...


2

Because of how the specific spell works and the laws of magic as they operate in your 'world'. You start by assuming spells were tried which physically erased the memories and/or personalities of subjects but there were inevitably severe side affects i.e. the brains of the victims were traumatized. This was because the effect of the spell was physical ie it ...


1

Two possible reasons. One a downside of the wipe. The other because of the less-than-pleasing motives of the Powerful People. First: A certain type of contract killing could become quite popular. Joe Nastyperson wants somebody dead. He finds Bill Downofluck and offers to pay his family $BigStacks. Bill does the do, admits it, and gets wiped. Joe is then ...


3

If you wipe the memories of an adult to the point they are no longer the same person, you're left with a major problem. You can't just start again with a new person. So you effectively set their mind back to the level of a newborn. However babies and children have amazingly flexible brains which makes them excellent at learning and developing personality ...


0

The simplest answer would be "the wipes aren't perfect" in the vein of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Dissociative Identity Disorder is already a thing (used to be multiple personality disorder) in our world right now, play a bit loose with it and have one of the personalities be a serial killer. If you're in the mood for some light reading then the Split ...


1

The Wipeys, Nulls, or Reseted Because the memory wiped inmate is now a slave of the state or the victim's family and they´re put to work to compensate for the damages caused. The justice system wipes the memory of the inmate and now raises him as a slave to the government, using him to do menial labors or even specialized work after specific training. All ...


5

Memory wiped people killed again. Why did this happen? Genetics? Stigma? Bad luck? Who knows. Regardless, there were several high profile incidents where serial killers were mind wiped, and then went back to their old ways. The general view, accurate or not, is that enough off the old memories survive in emotional memories that the person is still dangerous ...


1

Magic will change memories only. What about habits, mentality, customs, society and many other stimulants which made him a killer in the first place? What about the feeling of revenge in an orphan or a widow? No one is satisfied when he sees that the killer of his dear one is wandering while he is in jeopardy. A killer can become a killer again when he is ...


14

They say the Force can do terrible things to a mind. It can destroy your memories and wipe away your very identity. -- Carth Onasi, Knights of the Old Republic Memory erasure and the death of personality has a long history in fiction and plenty of people faced with it consider it as bad as or even worse than death. Death at least brings closure and finality,...


8

The death penalty is still applied when a personality can be changed so radically as to be another person because personality does not exist alone. Personality is a function of the body. So, no matter how the personality of a murderer, traitor, drug smuggler or other death-penalty criminal may be altered by magical psychosurgery, that person is still a ...


32

Because capital punishment is more efficient and no less moral. Assuming you're reverting them back to the state of infancy, wiping someone's memory and personality is fundamentally the same as killing them anyway. The only difference is that now you have a mind-wiped adult who needs to be raised from scratch. Who's going to do it? Their parents are ...


10

Even though the "death of personality" may erase the propensity to eat one's neighbors or make a lovely dress out of their skins, the families of victims could feel that anything short of the perpetrator actual dying is insufficient punshment. There's also the possibility that overwriting memories and personality may not have prevented the killer ...


6

If the country applies death penalty as a way to enforce the "eye for eye, tooth for tooth", simply wiping the memories of the culprit, or even reducing them to a vegetable, might not fully satisfy the above. Moreover, even in a scenario where the reasoning behind the death penalty is not so extreme, deleting or altering the memories of the culprit ...


3

Mismatched Tech levels: You don't. You are thinking that 20th century tactics and values are going to work for your army, and that skipping ahead to the more 'advanced' approach means your army will be better. It won't. At early 19th century tech levels, shoulder to shoulder is still the way your army controls large numbers of troops with a generally low ...


2

Logistics Looting (aka foraging) goes hand in hand with the absence of a working quartermaster system. When troops have to "ask" peasants for fodder and food, they will "liberate" any bottles of wine they can find, and take liberties with the farmers' daughters. So make the troops expect that there will be food, in decent quantity and ...


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