Evaluation of Determinism

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  • Evaluating Hard Determinism
    • Disadvantages
      • How can we consider the morality of others if they are not morally responsible for their actions.
      • We cannot be held morally responsible for our actions if they are causally determined and not a result of our own moral choice.
        • Example: Adolf Hitler is no more culpable for this actions that a good-doing, Christian, Church goer.
      • No one would be able to be punished for their actions and there would be no point in varying prison sentences if people had the same amount of morally responsibility although people's crimes differ in terms of severity.
      • Libertarians: Determinists' view of the world as mechanical is incorrect.
    • Advantages
      • We are all a product of our genes for a variety of different reasons.
        • Example
          • Scientists have discovered similarities in brain scans of serial killers (e.g damage in their temporal lobes.)
          • The warrior gene
            • Studied 20,000 young men in 7th-11th grade in America.
            • Blood was taken from the men studied.
              • The ones that displayed violent or angry behaviour often had a similar gene make-up which led scientists to believe that genes could determine behaviour.
            • Could be triggered by:
              • Stress
              • Bad Grades
              • Failing School
              • Low Popularity
            • About 1% of the population have this gene.
              • The gene could be controlled by choice of environment
                • Example: Eating meals as a family was seen to reduce the chances of the warrior gene being triggered.


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