In ancient times, there was this belief that inflicting pain on a person would instill fear into him so that he would not repeat whatever mistakes that he did. This belief led to the so-called ‘corporal punishment’, which included ‘spanking ‘, whipping, flogging,caning etc.
Often these punishments were carried out in public to shame and disgrace the culprits as well as serve as a deterrent to others not to commit the same offence.
Since the 18th century, the concept of inflicting pain on wrongsoers were seen to be ineffective and inefficient since even though pain and physical scars might be inflicted, behavioral change had not be forthcoming from those who were punished.
As society became more open and better educated, reformation of wrongdoers took precedence over retribution, and in the western world, corporal punishments were gradually reduced and abolished.
The milder corporal punishment like spanking by parents on a child is still being practised now and is allowed in both USA and Canada on children below 12 years old. However, corporal punishment of students in schools have been largely been banned in most parts of Europe, Canada, Japan.
Nowadays, corporal pubishments like whipping and flogging as part of judicial judgement are considered babaric, and in most civilised societies that pride themselves on human rights and compassion , these types of corporal punishments are no longer pracitsed.
In certain Asian and African countries, these sort of punishments are still being carried out.
I think it is time that whipping and flogging be discontinued. In the modern and civilised world , there is really no place to mete out this sort of punishment to wrongdoers. What can inflicting pain hope to achieve apart from extracting certain ‘pleasure’ to see a wrong doer suffer in pain? A sort of revenge you may say. But it would not help to reform the wrong doer.
Humanity is about forgiveness and compassion. To err is human , to forgive divine. While we worship divinity, we should learn to be more magnanimous and forgiving. ANd if we are more forgiving, why should be want to whip a fellow human being; why should we want to cause severe pain and a permanent scar on the body of that human being? Where is our empathy?
Whipping has really no place in a civilised society.
P.S. I hope in our discussion on corporal punishment, we can refrain from any personal attacks and attacks on any religion. All religions are great and good; it is the mistake of some wayward and zealous followers that lead to wrong perception ..