Criminal Brain: Fact or Fiction?

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bindeweede
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Criminal Brain: Fact or Fiction?

Post by bindeweede » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:35 pm

An important question, which sparked fierce ethical debate, is to what extent criminal behavior might indeed be genetically programmed. This is a classic discussion of nature vs nurture. To what extent do our genes make us who we are? We easily accept the fact that some people are born smarter or physically stronger than the rest of us. We know that genes are involved in making these individuals who they are. Genes responsible for stronger muscles or better brain connections allow these people to excel where others may struggle. Nonetheless, the idea that some of us are born with a predisposition for a higher level of aggression or reduced empathy appears very unpalatable to many people. However, this idea makes perfect biological sense. We evolved as hunter-gatherers, and at this stage of our evolutionary history, aggressiveness was crucially important for survival.
An interesting short article.

http://brainblogger.com/2017/11/16/crim ... r-fiction/

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Re: Criminal Brain: Fact or Fiction?

Post by Tony.Williams » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:11 am

The problem with such arguments is where they lead to. As I recall, there have already been court cases in which the accused have tried to excuse their crimes by saying that they couldn't help it, it was in their genes. From the viewpoint of the criminal justice system, a crime is a crime.

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chaggle
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Re: Criminal Brain: Fact or Fiction?

Post by chaggle » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:58 am

Yes - have to be careful.

Some seek to excuse wrongdoers because of upbringing or other circumstances.

Many child molesters were themselves molested as children - does this explain or in any way excuse their behaviour?
Don't blame me - I voted remain :con

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Re: Criminal Brain: Fact or Fiction?

Post by Tony.Williams » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:02 am

chaggle wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:58 am
Many child molesters were themselves molested as children - does this explain or in any way excuse their behaviour?
Explain possibly, excuse not.

The obvious way to deal with predators who just can't help the way they are is to lock them up for good, in the interests of public safety.

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Re: Criminal Brain: Fact or Fiction?

Post by polomint38 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:14 pm

Tony.Williams wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:11 am
As I recall, there have already been court cases in which the accused have tried to excuse their crimes by saying that they couldn't help it, it was in their genes.
chaggle wrote:Yes - have to be careful.

Some seek to excuse wrongdoers because of upbringing or other circumstances.
If it turns out to be true, we can't ignore any findings because we don't like the possible consequences. :devil

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Re: Criminal Brain: Fact or Fiction?

Post by Tony.Williams » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:41 am

polomint38 wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:14 pm
If it turns out to be true, we can't ignore any findings because we don't like the possible consequences. :devil
Be very careful - you would be running straight into the Law of Unintended Consequences. Accepting that people were entitled to different legal treatment because of their genes could have all sorts of ramifications.

Apart, of course, from the issue of the degree to which genetic as opposed to environmental factors applied in each individual case - which would vary. For example, you might be able to find criminals with "criminal genes" - but it is a dead cert you would also find perfectly law-abiding people with the same genetic markers, plus hardened criminals without them. The special pleading from defence lawyers would reach an epic scale of complexity :fp

Knowing that a convicted criminal has (or has not) certain genetic markers associated with criminality might well influence the type of rehabilitation treatment they receive in prison, but that's as far as I'd take it.

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