Excuse me while I chime in and perhaps end up ranting.

Spanking, when used alone, is a piss-poor method of discipline that can be called child abuse. However, the smart parent will not simply hit the child until they stop misbehaving, the parent will explain why the behaviour is wrong and why child is being punished. I am not simply speaking in theory. My father, raised in the traditional "old school" style of parenting from the 50s, employed coporal punishment on me and my siblings. However, he also would explain to us why our behaviour was unacceptable and, when we were old enough, take us mentally through the steps to a logical conclusion of what would have happened, had he not stopped our misbehaving.

It is true, I hated him at the time for it, resented him and rubbed my sore bottom as I cried. But it taught me two very important things: One was that there are consequences for one's actions beyond the immediate cause and effect. This is essential to understand in a society with laws. Break the law, go to jail. If you murder somebody, you do not just have to deal with the natural consequences of that murder, you also have to deal with the fact that you are breaking a law and that you will be rightfully punished.

The other essential lesson was simply this:

Pain hurts.

I learned from a very early age that pain is something that I wanted to avoid at all costs. I applied this same thinking to other living beings, and quickly developed sympathy, empathy, and understanding for others' plight and pain. In a world where so many seemed blind to the pain they caused others, I understood, and did my best to avoid causing others any sort of pain.

These are still the basic principles I live by today, and one would think this would be very simple and easy to discover in anyone, but even today at age 18, I look around and see so many individuals who cannot see, or simply do not care, about the pain they cause others. My father instilled a very sound basis for my ethical and moral beliefs, a simple tenet("Pain is bad, and unnecessary pain should be avoided if at all possible."). I have yet to find a single person who disagrees with this.