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Author Topic:   Biology is Destiny?
Parasomnium
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Posts: 2199
Joined: 07-15-2003


(2)
Message 8 of 129 (641421)
11-19-2011 5:23 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Tangle
11-19-2011 2:46 AM


'My brain made me do it'
Tangle writes:

It's interesting to defense lawyers too, if you can say 'my brain made me do it' you can't be culpable.

But who is this 'you', if it isn't the brain? Is there a separate entity that 'owns' the brain? If we have to believe that, we're right back at dualism, which I think modern science has done a good job of getting rid of.

There are of course cases where someone ultimately can't be held responsible for their actions, as in the case of Fred, where medical science was able to show that Fred's actions were due to his tumor. But if I were a judge in a trial against a psychopath, in which medical science could show that the defendant's brain was just wired that way, and the defense would plead "his brain made him do it", then I would answer "Well, I can accept that, but in that case I am left with no other choice than to incarcerate his brain. So it's the defendant's choice whether he wants to accompany his brain in confinement, or whether he would like to be separated from it."

Even if we are all victims of our biology, there are still cases where the interests of society take precedence over those of the individual.


"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Tangle, posted 11-19-2011 2:46 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Tangle, posted 11-19-2011 9:40 AM Parasomnium has responded

  
Parasomnium
Member
Posts: 2199
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 11 of 129 (641493)
11-19-2011 6:04 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Tangle
11-19-2011 9:40 AM


Re: 'My brain made me do it'
Tangle writes:

where is the point when we cross the line from culpable to not culpable?

How about this: if (1) you know that your actions are wrong; (2) you could have done otherwise; and (3) you knowingly and willingly did what you did; then you are culpable, whereas in all other cases you are not. By this I mean that all three conditions must be met for a charge of culpability.


"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Tangle, posted 11-19-2011 9:40 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Tangle, posted 11-20-2011 4:15 AM Parasomnium has not yet responded

  
Parasomnium
Member
Posts: 2199
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 53 of 129 (641913)
11-23-2011 3:50 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Tangle
11-22-2011 10:37 AM


Re: Neurology kills Free Will
Tangle writes:

We must all have different starting positions in dealing with moral problems, for some of us it will be easier than others to behave morally.

Tangle, what do you mean by 'to behave morally'? If we all have different moral compasses, as you suggest, then how can we speak of behaving morally without reference to a specific set of moral concepts? Yet you do it without giving it a second thought.

I think you have unwittingly shown that we all adhere to a certain core of common moral principles. It's not a God-given, absolute set of morals, but it's still more or less universal. And it came from people living together, first in families and bands, then larger communities, then even more sophisticated cultures, and now in a more or less global community.

In other words, morality evolves, isn't absolute and is, at any level, an average of the individual moral concepts of the members of its constituent group.


"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by Tangle, posted 11-22-2011 10:37 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 55 by Tangle, posted 11-23-2011 5:35 PM Parasomnium has responded

  
Parasomnium
Member
Posts: 2199
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 58 of 129 (641926)
11-24-2011 1:57 AM
Reply to: Message 55 by Tangle
11-23-2011 5:35 PM


Re: Neurology kills Free Will
Tangle writes:

Not so much with the unwittingly, already.

Nah, I didn't really think so, I was teasing you a little. Basically we agree, but I am trying to get at the details of the argument.

It's only when the brain is damaged or religions get involved that we vary.

I think the variation is greater than you think. We all vary in height, weight, et cetera, but also in brain structure and thus in mental makeup. You don't have to be brain damaged or religious to differ in morality from the next person.

You'd be hard pressed to find any society on the planet at any point in history that thought rape, murder, theft, lying etc was a good thing to be encouraged amongst its own tribe.

You'd be surprised. There are tribes in the Amazon who have not truck with killing an infant if it suits them. They reason that, since the child does not speak yet, it's not a person yet, but more like a thing. You can simply get rid of the thing if you want to.

And I bet there are even examples closer to home.


"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by Tangle, posted 11-23-2011 5:35 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by Tangle, posted 11-24-2011 2:48 AM Parasomnium has not yet responded

  
Parasomnium
Member
Posts: 2199
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 72 of 129 (642086)
11-25-2011 5:55 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by Tangle
11-25-2011 1:45 PM


Re: What does consciousness do?
Tangle writes:

Well that's essentially the Turin test

No, I believe the Turin test is reserved for things 'shrouded' in mystery.

Joking aside, I think the question of consciousness is hugely important with regard to an explanation of why we do what we do. After all, the very act of being conscious itself is one of the things our brains do. And it enables the brain to do all kinds of other things nonconscious brains can't do, like plan our own future, or predict other people's behaviour and that sort of thing.


"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 70 by Tangle, posted 11-25-2011 1:45 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 77 by Tangle, posted 11-26-2011 4:26 AM Parasomnium has not yet responded

  
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