Enforcement through Sanctions

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Sanctions for the breaking of law or other social norms and agreements are found in all human societies.  Some sanctions--such as expulsion, ostracism, self-help, withdrawal of benefits, and corporal punishment--are found among other primates. Supernatural sanctions, however, are either universal or nearly so and are uniquely human. Yet other sanctions are uniquely human but neither universal nor nearly so.

The antiquity of supernatural sanctions is unknown.

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