Where’s the Free Will if it’s all biology.

Crime of the Month or just biology out of control?

Emily Hemsworth 1925, killed her three-week-old son but could not remember any details of the murder. She was found not guilty due to insanity. Hemsworth was to be detained in custody until judged fit to return to society - it is unknown if she was ever released. Aged 24.

Emily Hemsworth 1925, killed her three-week-old son but could not remember any details of the murder. She was found not guilty due to insanity. Hemsworth was to be detained in custody until judged fit to return to society – it is unknown if she was ever released. Aged 24.

I couldn’t help myself I was just (insert dysfunctional condition of your choice here…)

Whether it’s anger, sadness or euphoria, brought on by experiences or physiology (what else is there?) we’re all reacting with the chemistry that affects our minds. So how much are we in control of what we say, think and do?

And if anything we do is based on our past and current experiences, then how much control over ourselves do we have? Where is there any free-will in deciding to act on a situation? I would suggest there is no free-will and it’s all biology. Yes, determinism if you wish to name it.

She didn’t do it. It was her hormones!

In this episode of Criminal we have a story of women claiming disability of their actions on PMS and PMDD and what that means for the legal process.

If a woman is not functioning in her normally cognitive manner while suffering from PMS and commits a crime is she really to blame? The same could be said for anyone suffering any extreme mental dysfunction, including the crimes of passion and anger. They’re enveloped in the chemistry of their biology, overwhelming their normal thought processes and causing them to function out of their normal character.

Personal sense of agency in our actions.

Where is the line in the sand dividing us between dysfunction and normal behaviour. Is it simply normal for you to feel a little cranky until you’ve had a morning coffee or a good meal and you’re completely under self-control with absolute free-will?

Every moment of every day we’re reacting to the environment we find ourselves in both externally and internally. Most of which we react to without thought. We’re primarily operating under autopilot and even when we think we’re reacting cognitively we’re still subconsciously referencing to our biases of physiology and psychology.

What we’re left with is compassion for people out of control.

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