psychology wank about free will

  • Feb. 21st, 2004 at 9:47 PM
naanima: (eyeballs)
One of my psych lectures last year discussed the issue of whether individuals have free will?

What I remember from the lecture was that there are people who experiences no physiological arousal to highly traumatic events, or experience sympathy to others. The example used was that certain criminals show no reaction (remorse, or any pysiological response) to other people's suffering, this include the victims of their crimes. This lack of response seem to be a result of some form of wrongness in their perception. That is, there's something defective in their physiological make up that do not allow them to perceive events the same way as most, which in turn generate responses such as sympathy, etc.

Mind you, who's to say that they are suffering from some form of defection, for all we know it's just another lovely step in the human evolution.

Anyways, the point is that this lack of response to the pain of others does not mean they don't know what's morally right to what's morally wrong. In fact, they often have a heightened awareness of what's socially acceptable. When these people choose to commit a crime, they are in effect employing their free will to decide. It might be harder (or impossible) for them to care for those they hurt, but they do understand perfectly that they are likely to suffer the consequences of such actions. And it's in their free will to decide whether to commit a crime or not.

All of this boils down to the point that people choose to do and be who they are. There's a whole list of reasons as to why people (and myself) wouldn't agree to this, mainly because circumstances often forces people to act in certain ways. But as my lecturer at the time (the bastard) pointed out to us, doing something or doing nothing, no matter the circumstance is still a matter of free will. Each individual decide their own actions no matter the context, it's just that we might choose do do things for purely selfish reasons, such as our own survival rather than that of a stranger.

And this feels like a semi-existentialistic rant on nothing. *sighs*

optional change

  • May. 27th, 2003 at 6:08 PM
naanima: (Default)
Things change. And sometime the question isn't whether you want the change or not, but rather the consequences of that change. It's always the consequences.


naanima: (Default)
[personal profile] naanima
witty, somehow

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