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Did Your Brain Make You Do It? (NYT 7/29)
Posted: 01 August 2012 11:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Watch it, Write4U: there are still a lot of discussions on mirror neurons. Before ‘building your world view on it’, wait till it is all more established. Also keep in mind that mirror neurons are not special neurons. They just happen to be activated on acting and observing the same action done by somebody else. So it is their position in the neural tissue that makes them mirror neurons. Read at least the Wikipedia entry. And for the freewheeling stuff see Ramachandran on TED.

But yes, it is fascinating stuff.

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Posted: 02 August 2012 12:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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GdB - 01 August 2012 11:48 PM

Watch it, Write4U: there are still a lot of discussions on mirror neurons. Before ‘building your world view on it’, wait till it is all more established. Also keep in mind that mirror neurons are not special neurons. They just happen to be activated on acting and observing the same action done by somebody else. So it is their position in the neural tissue that makes them mirror neurons. Read at least the Wikipedia entry. And for the freewheeling stuff see Ramachandran on TED.

But yes, it is fascinating stuff.

I admit to speculation, however, I intuitively feel that MNs have a great deal to do with societies, their development and expressions.
I can see a clear relationship in such general terms.

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Posted: 02 August 2012 05:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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The problem with the word ‘deserve’ is it implies that it is fair to the person that they suffer. Say, for example we punish someone as a deterrent. It’s not fair to them that they suffer to deter others. They were just unlucky that their brain was in the particular state it was in. 

Stephen

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Posted: 02 August 2012 12:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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FreeInKy - 31 July 2012 11:49 AM

Would you feel the same way if your son or daughter were diagnosed as a sociopath?

Ugh, emotional appeal.  Way to go.  Anyway, probably yes.

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Posted: 02 August 2012 12:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 31 July 2012 05:21 PM

Thevillageatheist and FreeInKy,

Don’t take Dead Monky too serious here… He is not as bad as he seems. It is his way of saying that he doesn’t want to be a philosopher. Stirring up is his business. In other times he would have been a jester. Do not expect that he will give the topic a serious treatment.

Yeah, I know. I was just responding to his over-the-top remark cause there are people out there who actually believe this the way to handle sociopaths. We all wish there was an easy solution to the problem but it’s more complicated than that. Besides, I like it when DM stirs things up. Although I never figured out why he hates hippies??  smile

Cap’t Jack

This has less to do with hyperbole and yanking a reaction out of people than it does with getting people to confront and consider difficult and distasteful, if legitimate and pragmatic, questions and options.  I fail to see why we throw so many of our finite resources at so many people that are either unable or unwilling to function in society in a useful manner.  Why do we spend millions a year keeping brain-damaged cadavers-on-wheels alive?  Or severely mentally impaired that can only shit themselves, scream, and bite people?  Repeat offenders that are constantly cycled in and out of the prison system?  Burned out drug addicts?  Serial rapists?  Socio-/psychopaths?  Pedophiles?  We spend millions of dollars and years of time to achieve, at best, a minimal or even transient integration into society.  Why do we do this when we could simply be done with them and realign our resources toward helping those who are actually able and willing to help and contribute?  Instead, we leave them to jump through hoops for a trite platitude or simply abandon them to slowly drown in debt and treatable medical woes.  For what?  Guilt?  Because we feel sorry for them?

Let the indignant hatestorming BEGIN!!!

EDIT
Added some fancery.

[ Edited: 02 August 2012 12:37 PM by Dead Monky ]
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Posted: 02 August 2012 03:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Dead Monky - 02 August 2012 12:28 PM

This has less to do with hyperbole and yanking a reaction out of people than it does with getting people to confront and consider difficult and distasteful, if legitimate and pragmatic, questions and options.  I fail to see why we throw so many of our finite resources at so many people that are either unable or unwilling to function in society in a useful manner.  Why do we spend millions a year keeping brain-damaged cadavers-on-wheels alive?  Or severely mentally impaired that can only shit themselves, scream, and bite people?  Repeat offenders that are constantly cycled in and out of the prison system?  Burned out drug addicts?  Serial rapists?  Socio-/psychopaths?  Pedophiles?  We spend millions of dollars and years of time to achieve, at best, a minimal or even transient integration into society.  Why do we do this when we could simply be done with them and realign our resources toward helping those who are actually able and willing to help and contribute?  Instead, we leave them to jump through hoops for a trite platitude or simply abandon them to slowly drown in debt and treatable medical woes.  For what?  Guilt?  Because we feel sorry for them?

Let the indignant hatestorming BEGIN!!!

My wife works with the severely disabled.  There are four individuals in a house that need 24 hour care, as they can’t talk or wash/dress themselves or cook or in some cases even eat (fed through a tube directly into their stomach).

I have many questions regarding the quality of life many of them experience; a near-vegetative existence is just that, ‘existence’, not living.  But when my wife and I happen to see one of them on an outing in our town, they are obviously very excited to see my wife, and although most can’t speak except to grunt or scream, they grunt and scream merrily at her. 

Until you experience their excitement and happy times, it’s impossible to make an informed decision on their ‘value’ to society. 

No one would ever punish them under any law for their actions.  If they grab a knife off the table and slash a worker or fellow resident, they would be moved to a house with more supervision and security, no crime would have been commited and no punishment handed out. 

There is a spectrum along which everyone falls.  Your average adult is responsible for his/her actions.  But what about someone with FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrom) who can range from having issues controling strong emotions to being in a home such as the one my wife works in?  At what point are they responsible?  When is it fair to imprison them for something they can’t control? 

There are no right or wrong answers to issues like this one.  It seems like those that can’t control themselves need to be put away permanently while those that can should be rehabilitated. 

I think most here are past the ‘eye for an eye’ knee-jerk reaction to many crimes.  However, if someone raped my daughter (or anyones for that matter), I’d be the last guy who should decide the punishment - it would be death.  Courts exist to make sure emotions like that don’t rule the day.

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Posted: 02 August 2012 07:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Dead Monky - 02 August 2012 12:28 PM
Thevillageatheist - 31 July 2012 05:21 PM

Thevillageatheist and FreeInKy,

Don’t take Dead Monky too serious here… He is not as bad as he seems. It is his way of saying that he doesn’t want to be a philosopher. Stirring up is his business. In other times he would have been a jester. Do not expect that he will give the topic a serious treatment.

Yeah, I know. I was just responding to his over-the-top remark cause there are people out there who actually believe this the way to handle sociopaths. We all wish there was an easy solution to the problem but it’s more complicated than that. Besides, I like it when DM stirs things up. Although I never figured out why he hates hippies??  smile

Cap’t Jack

This has less to do with hyperbole and yanking a reaction out of people than it does with getting people to confront and consider difficult and distasteful, if legitimate and pragmatic, questions and options.  I fail to see why we throw so many of our finite resources at so many people that are either unable or unwilling to function in society in a useful manner.  Why do we spend millions a year keeping brain-damaged cadavers-on-wheels alive?  Or severely mentally impaired that can only shit themselves, scream, and bite people?  Repeat offenders that are constantly cycled in and out of the prison system?  Burned out drug addicts?  Serial rapists?  Socio-/psychopaths?  Pedophiles?  We spend millions of dollars and years of time to achieve, at best, a minimal or even transient integration into society.  Why do we do this when we could simply be done with them and realign our resources toward helping those who are actually able and willing to help and contribute?  Instead, we leave them to jump through hoops for a trite platitude or simply abandon them to slowly drown in debt and treatable medical woes.  For what?  Guilt?  Because we feel sorry for them?

Let the indignant hatestorming BEGIN!!!

EDIT
Added some fancery.

I agree with every point you make sir.

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Posted: 02 August 2012 07:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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3point14rat - 02 August 2012 03:24 PM

I think most here are past the ‘eye for an eye’ knee-jerk reaction to many crimes.  However, if someone raped my daughter (or anyones for that matter), I’d be the last guy who should decide the punishment - it would be death.  Courts exist to make sure emotions like that don’t rule the day.

Why are emotions like that a bad thing?

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Posted: 02 August 2012 10:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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mid atlantic - 02 August 2012 07:28 PM

Why are emotions like that a bad thing?

As I wrote already, unreflected emotions are a bad thing in court. Courts should base their verdicts in the interests of society on the long term. Immediate emotions do not fit in, otherwise we could go back to lynch justice. Of course, that doesn’t cost so many resources…

And yes, why not kill off the mentally impaired? Next we take gays (that is a mental illness too, of course). And then black boys with hoodies. And then those fuckin’ communist democrats. If we give all righteous Americans their guns we can do this fast and cheap, and we live in a better world.

Sorry, but after such stupid rants as that of DM, and your agreement with it, it is difficult not to get very cynical.

PS I assume it are just those ‘righteous’ that have no problem to use the phrase that somebody ‘deserved his punishment’. Of course there is a nice equivalent: ‘he asked for it’.

[ Edited: 03 August 2012 12:01 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 03 August 2012 02:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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GdB - 02 August 2012 10:43 PM
mid atlantic - 02 August 2012 07:28 PM

Why are emotions like that a bad thing?

As I wrote already, unreflected emotions are a bad thing in court. Courts should base their verdicts in the interests of society on the long term. Immediate emotions do not fit in, otherwise we could go back to lynch justice. Of course, that doesn’t cost so many resources…

And yes, why not kill off the mentally impaired? Next we take gays (that is a mental illness too, of course). And then black boys with hoodies. And then those fuckin’ communist democrats. If we give all righteous Americans their guns we can do this fast and cheap, and we live in a better world.

Sorry, but after such stupid rants as that of DM, and your agreement with it, it is difficult not to get very cynical.

PS I assume it are just those ‘righteous’ that have no problem to use the phrase that somebody ‘deserved his punishment’. Of course there is a nice equivalent: ‘he asked for it’.

What a narrow view of life you have.

Maybe getting rid of people who are complete fuck up’s is the best thing for society.  Constant pity for the disabled will only drain the able people.

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Posted: 03 August 2012 02:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Netherlands and several other European countries have legalized euthanasia.  If anything, it should be a private Right to Die, equal to the public Right to Live.

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Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
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Posted: 03 August 2012 02:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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StephenLawrence - 02 August 2012 05:59 AM

The problem with the word ‘deserve’ is it implies that it is fair to the person that they suffer. Say, for example we punish someone as a deterrent. It’s not fair to them that they suffer to deter others. They were just unlucky that their brain was in the particular state it was in. 

Stephen

Would that not depend on the attention it is given. Does a parking ticket deter you from parking overtime if necessary?  But in the case of a Capital punishment, i.e. the Chair, the media makes a big deal about it and the news becomes the deterrent.

Now, in the olden days we had public hangings in the town square. Attendance was mandatory.  I am sure those spectacles had a dual purpose… cheese

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Posted: 03 August 2012 04:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Write4U - 03 August 2012 02:26 AM

Netherlands and several other European countries have legalized euthanasia.  If anything, it should be a private Right to Die, equal to the public Right to Live.

Yep, not the obligation to die because you are different.

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Posted: 03 August 2012 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Dead Monky - 02 August 2012 12:08 PM

Ugh, emotional appeal.  Way to go.  Anyway, probably yes.

Having laws and courts should eliminate the effect of emotions on sentencing.  They are in place to see that everyone gets a fair judgment (ostensibly, anyways) since no two people will have the same opinion of what, if any, punishment should be meted out in all cases.  Killing everyone that is unwilling or unable to follow the rules is brutally even-handed and ‘fair’ in the sense that no one is treated different from anyone else, but is brutally unfair because it condemns those who’ve commited no crime, to death. 

Personally, I think that most penalties are too weak for the crime.  But not in the ‘eye for an eye’ sense, rather to act as a deterrent and in the sense that the criminal should be separated from society for a longer period of time to protect the public.  And I honestly don’t know how what to do with the worst of the worst, because my gut says to fry them and my brain says they are victims of mental issues out of their control and should be isolated but not killed… the more I think about it the more unsure I am.

Found this quote on ThinkExist.com…

“It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”
Hubert H. Humphrey

I quite agree with him.

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Posted: 03 August 2012 11:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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3point14rat - 03 August 2012 10:49 AM

“It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”
Hubert H. Humphrey

Fully agree with this too.

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