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

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Thread: Do The Mentally Challenged Have Free Will??

  1. #31
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    Re: Do The Mentally Challenged Have Free Will??

    we are free to do pretty much whatever we want, but not free to escape the consequences of our actions...
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    Re: Do The Mentally Challenged Have Free Will??

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    I claim that it is no excuse because I don't think that there is any valid reason to excuse a person from murder. Literally.
    I agree with this. Maybe "excuse" is the wrong word to use. If one does a psychological profile on many of these monsters, it's often not difficult to understand why and where they went off the rails. But "excuse" implies excusing the behavior. And there's nothing that do that.
    The devil whispered in my ear, "You cannot withstand the storm." I whispered back, "I am ​the storm."

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    Re: Do The Mentally Challenged Have Free Will??

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    I claim that it is no excuse because I don't think that there is any valid reason to excuse a person from murder. Literally.
    But "excuse" in what sense? "Excuse" as in you don't think there is any way a person could not responsible for murdering someone? "Excuse" as in you don't think that a person who murders another should be immune to punishment? I don't know what you mean by "excuse."

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    Re: Do The Mentally Challenged Have Free Will??

    Quote Originally Posted by UtahBill View Post
    we are free to do pretty much whatever we want, but not free to escape the consequences of our actions...
    we aren't free to escape the causes of our actions either which means that we aren't entirely "free" to do pretty much whatever we want.

  5. #35
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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.
    The bolded is a point that I have believed for many years. Sane and rational people don't commit murder, even if it is *temporary* insanity, caused by high levels of emotional stress.
    "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."
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    Re: Do The Mentally Challenged Have Free Will??

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastIndependent View Post
    You did not state this but it needs to be stated. Violence on television is not a factor. I have watched violence for years, I play video games from time to time, I do not go out and shoot people for fun. There is a distinction between reality and fantasy.
    Violence everywhere is a factor in some of the anomalous behavior we see. Movies like Hostel I, II, III -- video games -- some sick **** of a cable show called American Horror Stories (or some such) that I turned off a few days ago when it became apparent we were going to watch women be skinned alive. Combine this pervasive violence with children who are sexually or physically abused, who are denied normal love and affection, who have no outlet for the anger they harbor, and we create a powder keg.

    Young children's minds are not fully cooked. They are forming their morals, learning empathy, and all the rest. No one will ever convince me that watching violence and participating in it via video games at a young age is not a part of the problem of these young men who "go postal."
    The devil whispered in my ear, "You cannot withstand the storm." I whispered back, "I am ​the storm."

  7. #37
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    Re: Do The Mentally Challenged Have Free Will??

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastIndependent View Post
    I stand by it. There is nothing that drives them to make that choice but themselves. There are much better solutions to removing them from society, but that still doesn't change the fact that they chose to do it. There needs to be better and earlier screening to find psychological abnormalities.

    You did not state this but it needs to be stated. Violence on television is not a factor. I have watched violence for years, I play video games from time to time, I do not go out and shoot people for fun. There is a distinction between reality and fantasy.
    I can think of several neighborhood boys that I watched grow up with that seemed to be disturbed. I was sure that they wouldn't make it to adulthood without seriously injuring themselves or someone else. It wouldn't have surprised me to see one of them in prison. But it didn't happen to those kids. But someone I would least expect to steal, do drugs, go to prison, it did happen to him.
    There are a lot of sick people out there displaying no symptoms.....none whatsoever...
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  8. #38
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    Re: Do The Mentally Challenged Have Free Will??

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastIndependent View Post
    I stand by it. There is nothing that drives them to make that choice but themselves. There are much better solutions to removing them from society, but that still doesn't change the fact that they chose to do it. There needs to be better and earlier screening to find psychological abnormalities.
    Your assertion that "there is nothing that drives them to make that choice but themselves" in incorrect for some people for two reasons.

    First, you falsely assume that there is a choice for everyone. That is a false premise. Some mental illnesses, disorders and disabilities remove "choice" in any meaningful sense of the word from certain behaviors.

    Second, even if choice is involved, it is just completely incorrect to conclude that those with certain mental illnesses, disorders and disabilities that "nothing drives them to make the choice but themselves." In fact, the pillar of some mental illnesses, et al. is that things entirely outside the control of the person with the problem are compelling them to make the choices that they do. For example, if you have a mental illness that give you delusions that everyone around you is trying to kill you or is your enemy in some way, then those delusions - delusions that are entirely out of your control - may "drive" you to make a violent choice.

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    Re: Do The Mentally Challenged Have Free Will??

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
    I pretty strongly agree that in the vast majority of cases, insanity is not excuse. Most of us are taught, as young children, a basic set of morals and codes of conduct. Those are some of our earliest learning experiences, and childhood teaching stays with us, even if it is somewhat repressed in the individual. You can repress, but you cannot de-program completely, at least not without extreme circumstances and outside pressure.
    Most mental illnesses, disorders and disabilities are indifferent to what "most of us are taught as young children." Now, the people who have those illnesses, et al. along with violent impulses may be able to use their moral principles as inspiration, for lack of a better word, to stop themselves from acting out. However, some people may not and those are the people I'm talking about.

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    Re: Do The Mentally Challenged Have Free Will??

    For the record, I think that this thread kind of illustrates the stigma that people with mental illness, disorders and disabilities have to deal with - this idea that they're choosing their behavior as much as those without it are, or at least enough to be held responsible for it. I think what a lot of people don't get about mental illnesses, et al. is that it can, oftentimes, have just as significant an impact, if not more, on "choice" as physical illnesses.

    A person with Parkinson's disease cannot stop his body from moving and nobody would dare chastise him for knocking a glass over at dinner. Imagine having that same kind of lack of control in your mind - the one place where you're supposed to be able to have total control - and then being told by others that that lack of control doesn't exist and that your behavior is all your fault. That attitude is a problem. I'm not saying that nobody with a mental illness, disorder or disability can control how they express what their brain is making them feel or think. Many people can control it, but some cannot and even those who can often have significant barriers to doing so - more than those without such problems.

    Moreover, just because we might stop caring about the causes and explanations for murder and similarly violent acts doesn't mean that those causes and explanations actually go away. It just means that we're ignoring something because we feel like it.

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