View Poll Results: Does Free Will Include the Mentally Challenged?

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Thread: Do The Mentally Challenged Have Free Will??

  1. #11
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    Re: Do The Mentally Challenged Have Free Will??

    I think that the freedom of the will, like everything, is relative. Relative to physical barriers, everybody's will is free in the absence of them. Relative to other people, our will is free so long as they do not force our hand. Relative to experience, our will is less free and more bound to the events and encounters that shape our worldview. Relative to our mind, our will is, again, less free and more bound to the inclinations and limits that it sets for us.

    In short, I don't think that our will is entirely free or entirely bound to any one thing. I think it's a bit more complex than that. When we're acting, it often feels as if our actions are entirely within our control, but then if will look back on our experiences or examine the mental state we're in, we're often confronted with the reality that we had less control than we thought we did. After all, if I touch a fire and get burned, I'm not going to touch fire again and even though I choose not to touch fire again, that choice was, in great part, determined by my previous experience with fire, by my mind's ability to remember that experience, by my mind's ability to apply that memory to the present reality and so on.

    This is why I have trouble getting angry at the killers. I don't perceive events like this as simply as "he's evil and he chose to do this". There's always more to the story. Choice is not the final story. We choose things for reasons. There are causes for our actions - good and bad. And yes, I know, there are plenty of people with mental disorders and illnesses, with bad childhoods and so on who don't shoot up schools. But those people don't erase the realities that influence the will (or choices) of killers and other violent people I'm talking about.

  2. #12
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    Re: Do The Mentally Challenged Have Free Will??

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    Do they have free will then? If they can't make a rational conscious choice then don't they lack free will?
    Yes, but simply not understanding the consequences of an action, yet having the ability to make yourself do things, is not showing a complete lack of free will. Legally it is not understanding the difference between right and wrong, yet that is shakey at best, as not being able (or willing) to assist in your own defense gets you most of the way there. Some people may "hear voices" or have very strange descriptions of reality, yet if they lack "free will" who (or what) is in control of them?
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

  3. #13
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    Re: Do The Mentally Challenged Have Free Will??

    Their inability to make rational choices has no hold on their abilitiy to make their own choices. Insanity is no excuse. An insane murderer is still a murderer
    "The trust of the innocent is the liar's most useful tool." : Stephen King

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  4. #14
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    Re: Do The Mentally Challenged Have Free Will??

    I always thought that free will in a religious context means that we are not pre-destined in how we act or what happens to us.....
    IOW, our actions have a lot to say in how we get judged in the hereafter.

    That being said, I believe that Adam Lanza was as deranged as they come, but very skilled at hiding it...he was a ticking bomb for a long time.
    something was written about his being goth, and his getting together with like minded friends to play video games.
    Both seem indicative of emotional immaturity and failure to adapt to societal norms.
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  5. #15
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    Re: Do The Mentally Challenged Have Free Will??

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastIndependent View Post
    Their inability to make rational choices has no hold on their abilitiy to make their own choices. Insanity is no excuse. An insane murderer is still a murderer
    Agreed. Insanity is not a valid excuse. I would argue that to murder somebody insanity is a requisite.
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  6. #16
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    Re: Do The Mentally Challenged Have Free Will??

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    Agreed. Insanity is not a valid excuse. I would argue that to murder somebody insanity is a requisite.
    I would have to disagree. A simple difference in brain structure can cause a person to be very hot tempered. Not very many people think when they are mad. Things happen. Still it is no excuse to be mad (by either definition)
    "The trust of the innocent is the liar's most useful tool." : Stephen King

    "Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto." Thomas Jefferson

  7. #17
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    Re: Do The Mentally Challenged Have Free Will??

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastIndependent View Post
    I would have to disagree. A simple difference in brain structure can cause a person to be very hot tempered. Not very many people think when they are mad. Things happen. Still it is no excuse to be mad (by either definition)
    Murder. Intentional killing. Not temporary blindness or a black out seeing red. Two colors one state of mind. Strange.
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  8. #18
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    Re: Do The Mentally Challenged Have Free Will??

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastIndependent View Post
    Their inability to make rational choices has no hold on their abilitiy to make their own choices. Insanity is no excuse. An insane murderer is still a murderer
    Excuse for what? I would say that certain types of "insanity" certainly excuse people from bearing the total responsibility of their behavior - murder or not.

  9. #19
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    Re: Do The Mentally Challenged Have Free Will??

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    Do they have free will then? If they can't make a rational conscious choice then don't they lack free will?
    I think it's clear that "they" do, in the broad sense. That's what I meant when I said that there are most likely plenty of psychopaths who are able to resist acting on the things their sick minds suggest they do.
    The devil whispered in my ear, "You cannot withstand the storm." I whispered back, "I am ​the storm."

  10. #20
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    Re: Do The Mentally Challenged Have Free Will??

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    What about the mentally challenged socio-paths that commit crimes like this. Manson, Bundy, this ****tard who killed the beautiful and innocent little children. Can they have free will? They can't, in my opinion. They are ****ed in the head. They can't make rational decisions AT ALL. They don't understand consequences. Many of them lack morals.



    What say you?
    They have free will, but they lack foresight, sufficient empathy, and self-control, so there is a struggle at play, internally.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
    -C G Jung

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