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1. Some of the DNA studies are showing that behavior is coded in our genes. If that is so, then do any of us have "Free Will'?
2. Our justice system is predicated on the belief that people have free will and can decide whether or not to be good or bad. If they are bad, say really bad, they are sentenced to prison as punishment for the choices they made. But if they do not have free will then we are punishing them for something that they did, not because of a choice they made, but because of their genetic makeup that they have no control over. Is that just? Should we be jailing their parents, who supplied the "bad" genes instead?
0 · July 24, 2013
Deterrence may sometimes necessary to control human behavior in the interests of society, even if free will is denied. Anyhow, I don't think we should be jailing their parents. The way genes get mixed up during zygote formation ensures that there is variability in behavior beyond that provided by the environment, so there are many instances in which parents and children are strikingly different.
0 · August 2, 2013
Your right that deterrence may be necessary. Furthermore I think that the insanity defense should be eliminated - a bunch of shrink v shrink BS. There are good treatment options in prison (and better than the state hospital at least in Oregon).
Also I don't think that Ron was serious about jailing the parents.
The problem is that our criminal justice system is based on culpability. We're looking at all these factors -- genetics, environment, neurobiology, etc. -- and trying to decide where to point the finger. The truth is that there's no one thing to point at.
So when a man kills someone, our legal system asks, "Was he responsible?" This is the wrong question. The question should be, "What are his chances of doing it again?"
0 · August 3, 2013
Neuroscientist David Eagleman has a very thoughtful talk on this topic: http://www.youtube.co...
No think for a month......bad things may happen..lol enjoy your summer break.!
0 · July 31, 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed myself last night. It's so refreshing to be among people who read and write and...think about life's big and small questions. Very much looking forward to the next meetup.
0 · July 25, 2013
Darn im not gonna be able to make tonight....argggg see you next week. ..
Hey Connie, I think. tonight is it until Sept. Hope to see you then if not before.
Sorry I had to miss ur last night for a while. .. dont get so busy you forget to come back..see you in September. ..:-)
First time going to this meetup. Just moved to Portland. Look forward to meeting all of you.
I attended this very same book club 10 years ago, but it seems as though I'm going to have to do it again.
0 · July 23, 2013
So Santos why aren't you attending, you'll also like my song and dance.
If I'm gonna make it through the meeting, I'm gonna have to bring my little battery powered fan. It's not the kind that sounds like you have a hornet hovering near you. Looking forward to hearing the discussion of TimeQuake.
I REaLLiE WaNnA GoE, BUt I wAz TOLdZz MiE MinDz Iz PoLLUteD...ItZ TrUe...ZoRRiE I'M DaT WaYzZ....HmmM?...MaYbie AfTa I ReCoVa FreM ReALLiTy StRoKe....ShOoT...ItZ HaRd Ta AdMiT DiZ...HmmM?
Just remembered that I had a picture-postcard of Vonnegut above my desk for over 20 years...he is sitting at his typewriter in a cloud of smoke, his face framed in crazy,curly gray hair, glasses perched on the edge of his nose, looking up at the camera. He was really something...
1 · July 20, 2013
I thought I read everything of Vonnegut's back in college but this one is new to me. Hope the book isn't too long since I only have 3 days to read it and less than a day to think about it (smile). Look forward to meeting you.
0 · July 20, 2013
I gotta make the last one of the summer.
0 · July 19, 2013
Next: Invite friends
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