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Towards a More Reasonable Approach to Free Will in Criminal Law (bone chilling conclusion!)
Social Science Resource Network ^ | November 4, 2009

Posted on 11/16/2009 8:46:10 AM PST by GodGunsGuts

Abstract:

This paper questions criminal law's strong presumption of free will. Part I assesses the ways in which environment, nurture, and society influence human action. Part II briefly surveys studies from the fields of genetics and neuroscience which call into question strong assumptions of free will and suggest explanations for propensities toward criminal activity. Part III discusses other "causes" of criminal activity including addiction, economic deprivation, gender, and culture. In light of Parts I through III, Part IV assesses criminal responsibility and the legitimacy of punishment. Part V considers the the possibility of determining propensity from criminal activity based on assessing causal factors and their effects on certain people. In this context, the concept of dangerous individuals and possible justifications for preventative detention of such individuals in order to protect society is assessed. The concluding section suggests that the law should take a broader view of factors that could have determinant effects on agents' actions.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: banglist; belongsinreligion; bhohealthcare; catholic; christian; communism; creation; criminallaw; democrats; evangelical; evolution; healthcare; intelligentdesign; judaism; law; liberalfascism; moralabsolutes; notasciencetopic; obamacare; propellerbeanie; protestant; science; scotus; socialism; spammer

1 posted on 11/16/2009 8:46:13 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

Then I guess I have no free will when I empty my S&W sigma into a criminal’s face.


2 posted on 11/16/2009 8:47:40 AM PST by domenad (In all things, in all ways, at all times, let honor guide me.)
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To: metmom; DaveLoneRanger; editor-surveyor; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; MrB; GourmetDan; Fichori; ...
This is what predominates when the materialists start getting the upper hand. CS Lewis had it nailed when he said:

"To some it will appear that I am inventing a factitious difficulty for my Conditioners. Other, more simple-minded, critics may ask, `Why should you suppose they will be such bad men?' But I am not supposing them to be bad men. They are, rather, not men (in the old sense) at all. They are, if you like, men who have sacrificed their own share in traditional humanity in order to devote themselves to the task of deciding what `Humanity' shall henceforth mean. `Good' and `bad', applied to them, are words without content: for it is from them that the content of these words is henceforward to be derived."

3 posted on 11/16/2009 8:49:00 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

How many Harvard professors does it take to prove that all white gun owners should be locked up?


4 posted on 11/16/2009 8:49:34 AM PST by samtheman
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To: domenad

In the “conditioners” minds, the mere fact that you believe in the right to keep and bear arms means you are a dangerous criminal who must be prevented from acting on your pre-determined thoughts and emotions.


5 posted on 11/16/2009 8:51:51 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

6 posted on 11/16/2009 8:52:38 AM PST by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: GodGunsGuts
The Left has been pushing this for a long, long time. They've made a lot of progress, and they are clearly going for even more.

The first time I had my eyes opened to this sort of thing was eighth grade (1974). That was the first year they didn't give us a History class, but insteasd presented something called "social studies". It was a lot like history -- but it diverged down certain unexpected pathways.

The lesson that stuck in my mind (I believe it's a classic and well known) is the father with the sick child who cannot afford medicine. Should he break into the pharmacy and steal the medicine? Would that be an immoral act? Or -- conversely -- would it be an extremely moral act? Our teacher laid it out: your intentions are what matters. Stealing may be the right thing to do if there is a good reason why you are doing this.

From such a "lofty" moral position, there is nowhere to go but down.

7 posted on 11/16/2009 8:53:40 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Play the Race Card -- lose the game.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

The Debbul made me do it!


8 posted on 11/16/2009 8:54:45 AM PST by editor-surveyor (The beginning of the O'Bomb-a administration looks a lot like the end of the Nixon administration)
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To: GodGunsGuts

At one point in time a decade ago 40% of Black men had an arrest record. 60% didn’t. Some years prior it was 20-80. And some years prior to that it was 10-90.

Is this explained by genetics/heredity? by environment ... expansion of entitlement programs and government in general? Or maybe our criminal justice system is more anti-Black now than pre-civil rights?

Should the majority that are law abiding be brought down to the lowest common denominator of the law breakers?


9 posted on 11/16/2009 8:55:13 AM PST by spintreebob
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To: GodGunsGuts

Yes, detain them in mental hospitals for “anti-soviet attitudes”.


10 posted on 11/16/2009 9:02:57 AM PST by glorgau
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To: ClearCase_guy

*There is nowhere to go but down.*

It will be like in the days of Noah...just like Jesus said.


11 posted on 11/16/2009 9:04:27 AM PST by TruthConquers (Delendae sunt publicae scholae)
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To: GodGunsGuts

RE: other “causes” of criminal activity including addiction, economic deprivation, gender, and culture.

So, like Whoopi Goldberg done told us, when Roman Polanski was drugging and hosing that thirteen-year-old girl, it wasn’t his fault, and it wasn’t rape-rape?


12 posted on 11/16/2009 9:05:16 AM PST by flowerplough ( Pennsylvania today - New New Jersey meets North West Virginia.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

[[Our teacher laid it out: your intentions are what matters. Stealing may be the right thing to do if there is a good reason why you are doing this.]]

Yep- very slippery slope- their ‘lofty high moral reasoning’ knows no bounds- by their reasoning, it should then be ok for me to rob a bank so that “I don’t ever fall into financial difficulty whereby I’m forced to steal for a living”. My ‘honorable intentions’ are to avoid poverty which would spur me to criminal activity (Of course nothign is deemed ‘criminal’ to these high and l;ofty subjective moralists, because there’s always, always some underlying ‘condition’ that excuses their immoral behavior. Their subjective morality simpyl does not recognize that their is a universal objective morlaity- there are no absolutes i ntheir minds- only ‘interpretations’. Just liek those opposed to the death penalty and approve of abortion- they pick and choose whatever they like, then try to force their subjective morality on the rest of us as htough it were an objective irrefutable truth- They reject objective morality, then turn right aroudn and declare their subjective morality as ‘objective truth’- they are so freakin inconsistant in their warped little minds that they can’t even see how hypocriticle they are- flip flopping is a way of life to these folks- and they are determined to ram their moronic reasoning down hte throats of our kids because kids are the only ones who buy their crap these days


13 posted on 11/16/2009 9:16:03 AM PST by CottShop (Scientific belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Government schools just love filling our children’s heads with false dilemmas. It’s what they do best.


14 posted on 11/16/2009 9:16:29 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

We did a snapshot sampling of folks in our jail. Of 94 inmates that day, 84 had been previously incarcerated. Looking at their records, the 84 accounted for more than 500 incarcerations in the past decade. Of those 84, all had relatives that were also incarcerated.

Given this information, the shear costs of this criminal behavior to the individual, families and community, coupled with the intergenerational nature of the behavior, what would some alternatives be to simple incarceration to stop recidivism and keep other family members from the same culture? The current methods are not working folks and they are bankrupting the state and local governments. Also, these are very often the same families that are involved with CPS.


15 posted on 11/16/2009 9:23:05 AM PST by marsh2
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To: GodGunsGuts

Herrnstein and Murray in “The Bell Curve” predicted that if current trends continue, something like this would happen.

Since single mothers in the underclass are correlated with low cognitive ability and tend to mate with other people of low cognitive ability, and because cognitive ability is to a large degree heritable and negatively correlated with aggression and criminality, as the state continues to subsidize and liberals continue to encourage underclass illegitimacy, something the authors call the “custodial state” may come to pass in which there will be something like a cradle-to-grave supervisory custiodianship administered by society over the growing underclass in order for the rest of society to protect itself from the adverse effects of this population.


16 posted on 11/16/2009 9:24:29 AM PST by SirJohnBarleycorn
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To: glorgau

If Obama and his Islamo-Commie minions get their way, that’s exactly where we are headed. But I don’t think we are there yet...that is, if we get proper conservatives elected, and not only halt, but rollback whatever they have accomplished by the time we take the government back. This means undoing all of his socialist legislation, firing every single person ObamaNation hired into government, and then slowly shrinking the size of government every single year for the next eight years. Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s relocated the UN to Zimbabwe!


17 posted on 11/16/2009 9:28:51 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

The father doesn’t have to do his own stealing. The government already stole the money from the tax payers and all he has to do is go down to the Social Services office and pick it up.


18 posted on 11/16/2009 9:43:06 AM PST by christianhomeschoolmommaof3 (Best thing about Cash for Clunkers is that 90% of the Obama bumper stickers are now off the road.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

This is just part and parcal of criminalizing thought. If we are born thinking that way, then when a person speaks out against those in power (D and R) it instantly brands them as “defective.”

How soon before the obama / DC country club demands a final solution?


19 posted on 11/16/2009 9:55:54 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: GodGunsGuts
Some years ago Ludwig von Mises, of Austrian economics fame wrote his opus, (available on-line) Human Action.
He makes the point that all human actions begin with a decision by the person taking the action whatever their many involved motivations. That may seem a simple idea but if it is simple it is often overlooked.
Anything a person does requires a whole series of decisions hence the absolute need to examine our own motivations for making decisions about our decisions, etc.

I've known too many people who have chosen to change the way they live and act despite terrible backgrounds not to believe we all exercise a independent will. Little wonder the Scriptures say so much about guarding the heart, purifying the heart, self control and so on.

20 posted on 11/16/2009 10:19:37 AM PST by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: domenad

Oh, no, you’re special. Didn’t you get to the “Domenad exception” at the end of the law? You (and all conservatives) are guilty of stuff even before you do anything.


21 posted on 11/16/2009 10:27:54 AM PST by Still Thinking (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: GodGunsGuts
As a blatant materialist, I object. How can you be said to have "ownership" over someone else? Their free will would abnegate any claim you would try and make over their life...

Marxists are not materialists. Their God is the Collective and they are It's priest-class.

22 posted on 11/16/2009 10:41:06 AM PST by Dead Corpse (III)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Thanks for the ping!


23 posted on 11/16/2009 11:30:57 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: count-your-change
"Anything a person does requires a whole series of decisions hence the absolute need to examine our own motivations for making decisions about our decisions, etc."

Doesn't that conflict with Sola Gratia?

24 posted on 11/16/2009 12:51:08 PM PST by Natural Law
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To: GodGunsGuts
Or maybe it comes from the Protestants,

In his controversy with Erasmus, who defended free will, (Martin) Luther frankly stated that free will is a fiction, a name which covers no reality, for it is not in man's power to think well or ill, since all events occur by necessity. In reply to Erasmus's "De Libero Arbitrio", he published his own work, "De Servo Arbitrio", glorying in emphasizing man's helplessness and slavery. The predestination of all future human acts by God is so interpreted as to shut out any possibility of freedom. An inflexible internal necessity turns man's will whithersoever God preordains.

I confess that this summary comes from the Catholics.

25 posted on 11/16/2009 1:02:28 PM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Natural Law

It may but since I don’t accept that the Scriptures support an idea of grace alone but rather salvation extended to those who show their faith by what they do, any conflict is not my concern.


26 posted on 11/16/2009 1:11:14 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: count-your-change
"It may but since I don’t accept that the Scriptures support an idea of grace alone but rather salvation extended to those who show their faith by what they do."

I share your beliefs. I was simply pointing out a irony that some who are supporting the concept of free will with respect to criminal behavior reject it with respect to salvation. I can't see how one would or could separate the two.

27 posted on 11/16/2009 1:50:40 PM PST by Natural Law
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To: GodGunsGuts

The issue of “predestination” was originated by the Greeks.

There is in fact a story about a Greek philosopher who came home unexpectedly and found his slave stealing from him. Enraged, he got his whip and began whipping the slave.

The slave cried, “Master! Master! Wait. Do you not preach predestination?!?! I was destined to steal, so why do you whip me??”

The philosopher paused, then began flogging him again, and said: “You were predestined to steal, and I was predestined to flog you”.


28 posted on 11/16/2009 2:08:59 PM PST by Mack the knife
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To: Natural Law

I keep recalling Joshua’s speech near the end of his life in which he set forth the choices and consequences to be made.

I think you’re quite correct. We want credit for our good choices and proclaim we’re smart so we have have to take the lumps for our bad choices. And if others influence us then we’ll have to make choices about who we allow to do that too.

“I can’t see how one would or could separate the two”

Nor can I but I’m not clever that way mostly.


29 posted on 11/16/2009 4:11:02 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

That’s right, liberals can’t be bothered too much with concepts of good and bad or judgment, so they stomp their feet, hijack the legal system to attack Christianity, God, Christians, conservatism and anyone and anything that threatens their senseless sensibilities.


30 posted on 11/17/2009 2:34:50 PM PST by tpanther (Science was, is and will forever be a small subset of God's creation.)
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To: marsh2

And they vote hypocrat about 1137% of the time. ALong with their dead relatives and pets.


31 posted on 11/17/2009 3:31:01 PM PST by tpanther (Science was, is and will forever be a small subset of God's creation.)
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