Why unreal punishments in response to unreal crimes might actually be a really good thing

Ethics and Information Technology 11 (1):71-79 (2009)
Abstract
In this article I explore ways to argue about punishment of personal representations in virtual reality. I will defend the idea that such punishing might sometimes be morally required. I offer four different lines of argument: one consequentialistic, one appealing to an idea of appropriateness, one using the notion of organic wholes, and one starting from a supposed inability to determine the limits of the extension of the moral agent. I conclude that all four approaches could, in some cases, justify punishing a virtual reality representation; an avatar. As a consequence of my conclusion, I suggest that our institutionalized criminal justice system must be broadened in scope and punitive measures, in order to cover the new and difficult cases arising in virtual reality.
Keywords Avatars  Ethics in virtual reality  Extended agents  Punishment  Retributive justice  Virtual reality
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DOI 10.1007/s10676-009-9182-1
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References found in this work BETA
The Extended Mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
Principia Ethica.G. E. Moore - 1903 - Dover Publications.
Interpretation and Social Criticism.Michael Walzer - 1987 - Harvard University Press.
My Avatar, My Self: Virtual Harm and Attachment. [REVIEW]Jessica Wolfendale - 2007 - Ethics and Information Technology 9 (2):111-119.

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Citations of this work BETA
Defending the Morality of Violent Video Games.Marcus Schulzke - 2010 - Ethics and Information Technology 12 (2):127-138.
Virtual Worlds and Moral Evaluation.Jeff Dunn - 2012 - Ethics and Information Technology 14 (4):255-265.

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