Is crime a necessity for society to grew and evolve for the better?

Is crime a good thing? I guess our dream world would be a Utopia but when i think about crime I think about things like say Rosa Parks, Rodney King, Mandela. Does that make crime a good thing? Even a lot of modern science and technology especially in the genetics field. So whats your opinion. Are certain crimes a good thing for society?

I’d guess that conflict was necessary for evolution, of which crime is a subset.

Yes, given human nature. Ideally, the authorities would listen to reason or appeals to compassion or morality - but quite often they don’t. Sometimes, illegal measures are required to cause change.

As somebody once said, if no one ever broke the law, we’d all be living under the thumb of the descendants of the first guy with a club who declared himself King.


The way this question is framed seems to assume a static definition of crime and ethics, when the truth is that those concepts are highly dynamic and ever evolving.

The rules of society are always changing, as shown in Roe vs Wade, or in the rampant internet duplication of copyrighted material. What crime itself “is” is a moving target.

Crime is really only a way of demarcating actions that fall unacceptably far from the “norm.” For good laws “crime” is any activity, that if widespread, would be deemed detrimental to society at large.

It’s hard to imagine a society where widespread social variety and deviance were truly acceptable, but in such a society there might not be much that qualifies as “crime,” but, even so, such a society would still change over time, though no crime would be able to take place.

Breaking society’s rules is not necessary for it to evolve, IMO it changes over time as a function of the changing beliefs, values and actions of the individuals in that society… however a large subset of a society being willing to cross the line into criminal behavior certainly can influence the speed and direction of this change. Though not always in the direction that they want.

For example I would argue that the criminal and dangerous actions of leaders like george bush and osama bin laden have pushed the larger communities of both christians and muslims toward the center in rejection of the extreme ideologies.

my 0.02

also… long time lurker, first time poster :slight_smile:

Well, for example, one could consider war crimes to be an oxymoron.

Your argument seems to be partly that criminal activities which shouldn’t be criminal are necessary for us to evolve to the point where we don’t criminalize activities which shouldn’t be criminal, and partly that terrible crimes are necessary for us to evolve to the point where we don’t tolerate those same terrible crimes…

Well civil disobedience is needed in societies that don’t have other better methods for addressing injustices. But even in a more ideal society where both the government and the people were more well informed and rational, there would still be areas of law that were controversial.

One of the biggest ‘problems in the world’, IMHO, is that people tend to emphasize what happens (crimes) over what doesn’t happen (progress).

Even if tommorow, for whatever reason, a single crime were not commited in the United States - it still would not make the US any more just or progressive compared to another nation, or to the rest of the world. Think of all the unemployed that are sitting on the couch on this hypotheical day – they are not commiting any crime but… wouldn’t it be ‘better’ if they all had a job.