The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

Where exactly is the origin of evil?

2022-07-07T10:36:45.580Z

Can biology condition our behavior? Philosophers and scientists have searched for the nature of evil. However, before a crime there will always be a court that decides.



One of the most debated philosophical and theological paradoxes is the problem of evil.

If there is an almighty and good God, why does evil exist?

The empiricist philosopher David Hume is credited with the evidential argument for the problem of evil.

Very simplified, it comes to say that, if it exists, it implies that God is not good or that he is not all-powerful.

A counterargument defended by theistic philosophers is that of free will: God is all-powerful and good, but his best creature, Homo sapiens sapiens, is capable of making his own decisions, and among them is evil, either as sin or as evil. crime.

This theory could serve to explain evil of social origin, inflicted by other human beings, although it does not serve to explain natural evil, which comes from events that have nothing to do with human action.

If we bring these philosophical disquisitions to real life, the problems continue to arise.

Free will does not imply absence of responsibility.

That is, one is free from his acts, but must face the consequences of it, as reflected in any legal text since the origin of history, whether it is the Hammurabi code or the current Penal Code.

In legal philosophy we speak of the actus reus and the mens rea, that is, the guilty act and the guilty mind.

In the Anglo-Saxon legal system, the maxim is established that actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, which translated would be, "the act does not make the person guilty unless the mind is guilty".

Let's take a practical example: two people go hunting and one shoots the other causing death.

The actus reus would be the shot that caused the fatal outcome.

If that shot was an accident, there is no mens rea and we would speak of involuntary manslaughter, but if it was intentional and premeditated, we would have a mens rea and we would speak of murder, which of course criminally carries a much higher sentence.

Here we have an example of how the same objective fact (the death of a person) can have two very different criminal consequences, depending on the intention of the deceased.

And here we have another problem… To what extent are we responsible for our actions?

Can biology condition our behavior?

For a long time there has been speculation about the genetic nature of criminality, too often with arguments that were not very scientific and very much racist or classist.

The Italian Cesare Lombroso developed a theory according to which the existence of various physical aspects could predict whether someone was a criminal or not, a theory that is completely discredited, although from time to time someone tries to revive it under the name of psychomorphology.

In addition to known mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia or psychosis, where aggressive behavior can occur, there are some cases where a neurological problem can condition behavior.

The amygdala is a structure of the limbic system located under the cortex of the brain, in the temporal lobe.

Among its many functions is the control of aggressiveness.

In 1966 Charles Whitman, a happily married engineer with a normal life, murdered his mother and his wife, he went to the tower of the University of Austin in Texas and from there he murdered 16 people.

On the bodies of the two women he left notes declaring his love and that he was unable to understand why he had done it.

And he left a mysterious suicide note requesting an autopsy of his brain and donating all of his assets to a foundation for mental health.

His intuition was actually correct.

The autopsy discovered a glioblastoma (a malignant cell tumor) pressing on his tonsil.

Can that circumstance explain his behavior?

Nobody would dare to assure it and in his biography there was a history of violent behavior, which increases the doubts.

Something similar was suggested with Ulrike Meinhof, founder of the Red Army faction terrorist group, although in this case there are many doubts about the way in which the data was obtained.

Before a crime there will always be someone who can say, it wasn't me, it was my biology, but, luckily for society, there will always be a judge who must decide to what extent it was a guilty act resulting from a guilty mind, or not .

although in this case there are many doubts about the way in which the data was obtained.

Before a crime there will always be someone who can say, it wasn't me, it was my biology, but, luckily for society, there will always be a judge who must decide to what extent it was a guilty act resulting from a guilty mind, or not .

although in this case there are many doubts about the way in which the data was obtained.

Before a crime there will always be someone who can say, it wasn't me, it was my biology, but, luckily for society, there will always be a judge who must decide to what extent it was a guilty act resulting from a guilty mind, or not .

Symptom of neurological pathologies

Character changes can be a symptom of neurological pathologies.

In frontotemporal dementia, patients suffer from obvious personality changes that make it difficult for them to live in society due to the loss of self-control.

The problem comes when that change of character implies crimes.

There is a case in the medical literature of a professor accused of consuming child exploitation material who was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

When this tumor was removed, his paraphilic behavior completely ended, but his urges returned when the tumor reappeared.

JM Mulet is Professor of Biotechnology.

50% off

Exclusive content for subscribers

read without limits

subscribe

I'm already a subscriber

Source: elparis

All news articles on 2022-07-07

You may like

News/Politics 2022-07-07T10:36:45.580Z
Life/Entertain 2022-04-04T16:09:11.612Z

Trends 24h

News/Politics 2022-08-13T16:09:38.179Z

Latest

© Communities 2019 - Privacy