Free Will and Criminal Responsibility

Is a lack of conscious behavior enough to remove responsibility?

The topic of Free Will is one of the fundamental topics for this site. How do we consciously choose anything when ever thought, every action, every decision will be based on our historical physical and mental experiences. If any of those events are varied we would make a different decision. So therefore how can we ‘choose’ something other than what we would choose? We would have to first change the prior experiences then we would be back to square one.

Free Will Justice

Weighing up the lack of Free Will

Don’t sweat this topic yet, we will be returning in the future. But for now. In a recent article in the Ottawa Citizen it was discussed how the law is starting to come to terms with the changing face of criminal responsibility now that we have the tools to look into people’s neurology. If their brains are damaged are they responsible for their actions, is the basis of the article.

As is mentioned…

Put simply, the argument runs as follows: All behaviour is the product of the brain, of our neurological makeup. While we might believe that we freely choose our actions, neuroscience will eventually demonstrate that those actions are really the product of prior causes, …
…“seems to hold the danger of a world of criminal justice in which there is no blame, but only prior causes.”

I also think people may not be necessarily responsible but…

…that this doesn’t mean people accused of serious crimes should go free; rather, they say, we can lock violent individuals up to protect the public. But the fact remains that responsibility and guilt are anachronisms, antiquated concepts that must vanish alongside our disappearing free will

If you’re interested in this topic take the time to read the article about the law and free will.

How do you deal with responsibility and Free Will?

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