Q: Is punishment the imposition of an undesirable or unpleasant outcome upon a group or individual? ¶
A: Yes, and meted out by an authority—in contexts ranging from child discipline to criminal law—as a response and deterrent to a particular action or behaviour that is deemed undesirable or unacceptable.
Q: Are punishments to diminish the perceived need for retaliatory "street justice"? ¶
A: Yes, and blood feud and vigilantism.
Q: Is punishment intended to be sufficient that people would choose not to commit the crime rather than experience the punishment? ¶
Q: Is punishment only determined after the fact by the reduction in behavior? ¶
A: Yes, if the offending behavior of the subject does not decrease, it is not considered punishment.
Q: Is punishment the reduction of a behavior via application of an unpleasant stimulus or removal of a pleasant stimulus? ¶
A: Yes, Extra chores or spanking are examples of positive punishment, while removing an offending student's recess or play privileges are examples of negative punishment.
Q: Are punishments applied for various purposes? ¶
A: Yes, and most generally, to encourage and enforce proper behavior as defined by society or family.
Q: Is punishment simply wrong, of the same design as "two wrongs make a right"? ¶
A: Yes, Critics argue that punishment is simply revenge.
Q: Is punishment that it is a measure to prevent people from committing an offence - deterring previous offenders from re-offending? ¶
A: Yes, and preventing those who may be contemplating an offence they have not committed from actually committing it.
Q: Is punishment being sent by God? ¶
A: Yes, and the highest authority, to an existence in Hell, a place believed to exist in the After-life, typically corresponds to sins committed during their life.
Q: Is punishment present? ¶
A: Yes, and descriptions other than "punishment" may be considered more accurate.
Q: Is punishment sometimes called retaliatory or moralistic aggression? ¶
A: Yes, it has been observed in all species of social animals, leading evolutionary biologists to conclude that it is an evolutionarily stable strategy, selected because it favors cooperative behavior.