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InvisibleSwami
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Registered: 01/19/00
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Morality & Choice
    #1153210 - 12/18/02 11:24 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

I recently heard of a study (sorry, no source) that shows some 90% of hardcore, violent felons were beaten as children. For the sake of this thread, let's assume the study and correlation to be true, and to be beaten as children was not mere spanking, but sadistic brutalization.

Does this mean that crime, sin, and immorality might not be choices at all, but a reflection of forces outside of our control - at least as it pertains to violence?

I personally believe that we choose, but then again I do not have the negative imprint than an abused child had. Garbage in; garbage out?

OTOH, am I basically a moral person because my parents were moral people and not because I have consciously and deliberately chosen "goodness"? (This rhetorical question is NOT designed to start another Swami analysis, but is generic in nature.)



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OfflineGoBlue!
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Re: Morality & Choice [Re: Swami]
    #1153251 - 12/19/02 12:00 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Ok, let's assume that that most violent felons WERE beaten as children. That doesn't necessarily mean that it was the beating itself that caused the children to become violent. It could be genetics too. A child who was abused by his parents might become a felon because the abusive nature is in his genes.

Either way, BOTH reasons would imply that violence is beyond a person's control. Interesting point...


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:smile:  Just stating my thoughts, not trying to offend  :smile:


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Morality & Choice [Re: GoBlue!]
    #1153255 - 12/19/02 12:05 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

There also appears to be a very strong correlation between high testesterone levels, alpha males and violence.


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Offlineupupup
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Re: Morality & Choice [Re: Swami]
    #1153670 - 12/19/02 05:51 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

I am still thinking about your questions in total....

I have read the posts so far and find myself struck by the emotional weight that we givethe word "violence", which reminds me that we have here a word that's very deffinition is culturally slanted.....which reminded me, in a weird disjoited way (much like this sentence) that nature is instelf EXTREAMLY violent, excuding cultural differences......

again, webster....

vi.o.lent adj [ME, fr. MF, fr. L violentus; akin to L vis strength--more at vim] (14c) 1: marked by extreme force or sudden intense activity 2 a: notably furious or vehement b: extreme, intense <~ pain> <~ colors> 3: caused by force: not natural 4 a: emotionally agitated to the point of loss of self-control b: prone to commit acts of violence <~ prison inmates> --


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Edited by upupup (12/19/02 05:52 AM)


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Anonymous

Re: Morality & Choice [Re: Swami]
    #1153692 - 12/19/02 05:59 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

As in homosexuality genetic predisposition does not negate volition.

Ipso facto biological determinism is a non-causal correlation ad nauseum ad infinitum.

Soup de jure?


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Morality & Choice [Re: Swami]
    #1153702 - 12/19/02 06:05 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

My father used to closed-fist beat me when I was a child.
Eventually he stopped... I think it happened one day when I told him that when he was old and infirmed that I'd beat the living shit out of HIM and there won't be a damn thing he can do about it. From then on out, he was rarely physical with me (with the exception of one instance in high school).

He had a horrible temper. As a teenager, I had a short fuse too. However, I grew up and out of it. I can't even remember the last time I lost it and became violent (though I've had many chances to do so).

It all comes down to a choice. Luckily I was smart enough to realize that.


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Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: Morality & Choice [Re: Swami]
    #1153744 - 12/19/02 06:16 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

When you think about it, it's altogether quite likely that none of our actions are truly self-determined... most likely, having the experiences you've had, and knowing what you know, you'd always do the same thing twice.


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"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
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OfflineGoBlue!
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Re: Morality & Choice [Re: Sclorch]
    #1154001 - 12/19/02 07:48 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

(My father) had a horrible temper. As a teenager, I had a short fuse too. However, I grew up and out of it.

Well, that brings up a good point. Say (just for the sake of argument) that if you were abused as a child, you?d have a 10% chance of being abusive as an adult. Then I would agree with Mr Mushrooms that genetic or environmental predisposition doesn?t negate volition.

On the other hand, say that if you were abused as a child, you?d have a 99% chance of being abusive as an adult. In that case, I think you could argue against volition. If 99% of abused people were still abusive in spite of societal laws, customs, and pressures to behave differently, then to me volition wouldn?t apply.

Which I think was Swami?s original question ? is violence a conscious choice???


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:smile:  Just stating my thoughts, not trying to offend  :smile:


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OfflineGoBlue!
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Re: Morality & Choice [Re: Sclorch]
    #1154003 - 12/19/02 07:48 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

(My father) had a horrible temper. As a teenager, I had a short fuse too. However, I grew up and out of it.

Well, that brings up a good point. Say (just for the sake of argument) that if you were abused as a child, you?d have a 10% chance of being abusive as an adult. Then I would agree with Mr Mushrooms that genetic or environmental predisposition doesn?t negate volition.

On the other hand, say that if you were abused as a child, you?d have a 99% chance of being abusive as an adult. In that case, I think you could argue against volition. If 99% of abused people were still abusive in spite of societal laws, customs, and pressures to behave differently, then to me volition wouldn?t apply.

Which I think brings us back to Swami?s original question ? is violence a conscious choice???


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:smile:  Just stating my thoughts, not trying to offend  :smile:


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InvisibleShroomismM
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Re: Morality & Choice [Re: GoBlue!]
    #1154009 - 12/19/02 07:52 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Violence is a choice. It's called taking responsibility for your actions.


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Morality & Choice [Re: Shroomism]
    #1154062 - 12/19/02 08:10 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

*clap clap clap*


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OfflineToxicManM
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Re: Morality & Choice [Re: Shroomism]
    #1154168 - 12/19/02 08:42 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Bravo! Well put!


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Happy mushrooming!


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InvisibleShroomismM
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Re: Morality & Choice [Re: Sclorch]
    #1154250 - 12/19/02 08:55 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

It's a common thing these days..not taking responsibility. "Oh I can't stop drinking, I can't help it, it's a disease"... "It's not my fault I beat my wife it's my dad's fault for beating me when I was little"

Sure, maybe if you are beat when you are younger you have a higher chance of thinking violently when older, or if you drink all the time it's harder and harder to stop. That doesn't mean you aren't in control. We are in full control of our actions, and we need to learn to be responsible for them instead of blaming them on other things or other people. That is number 1 I think. Humans need to stop blaming their problems on other people and quit being a bunch of whiny pussies and suck it up and take 100% responsibility for everything we do, individually and as a society as a whole. If we see a problem, acknowledge it and take steps to correct it, not ignore it, or justify the problem as out of our hands and there is nothing we can do about it. If we caused it we can reverse it. The control lies with the individual.


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InvisibleRevelation

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Re: Morality & Choice [Re: Swami]
    #1154370 - 12/19/02 09:37 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

A lot of what we do is determined by our genes, our education and our environment. I believe in free will though.


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OfflineDroz
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Re: Morality & Choice [Re: Shroomism]
    #1154536 - 12/19/02 10:21 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

I think in certain situations people don't make concious choices, they just act out. I have done many things that maybe i shouldn't have... and right before it happened i didn't give any second thought to it. I was young and i always picked on this girl that was a little over weight. When i was that young i thought it was fun... people laughed, she cried. Choices... doesn't always mean we see options.

Most people act. Some of us think.  :grin:


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Evolution of Time.


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: Morality & Choice [Re: Swami]
    #1154561 - 12/19/02 10:26 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Assuming this were true, it would be example of inherited karma.


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OfflineGoBlue!
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Re: Morality & Choice [Re: Shroomism]
    #1154661 - 12/19/02 10:52 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Let me throw out this analogy out for thought.  Maybe it?s not a perfect analogy, but give it some thought before shredding it apart:

I believe that I am agnostic because I am a very logical person (at least I am a logical person in my own mind ? no need to debate me on this).  To me, I believe there is no way to know if there is a God or an afterlife (although Mr. Mushrooms has promised he would soon post ?philosophical evidence for the existence of an afterlife?, which we are all eagerly awaiting, I?m sure  :wink: ).

Now, I take the position that if there indeed be a God, I shouldn?t be punished for not believing in his existence.  I was simply doubtful because of my ?logical? mind.  My friends argue that this is absolutely no excuse, and that if I don?t become a devout Christian, God will have no mercy on me and send me straight to hell (and I think this is what most Catholics believe as well).

I say I have no choice, my beliefs are a product of my logical mind.  They insist that I do have a choice.  You know what?  I think technically, they?re right!!!

Still, I am agnostic, and may find myself in hell someday as a result.  Should I change my ways?  I DO have a choice after all!  :confused:


NOTE ? I too believe people should be held 100% accountable for their actions.  So I guess if there is a God, then I have hell to look forward to.


Edit:  Is the analogy clear?  Let me try to explain it some more just in case it isn't:

The majority of people in America think that violence is wrong.  But perhaps people from violent backgrounds see violence as being a natural part of life.  Most probably think they can get away with it, and in most cases they probably can.

In my case, I am told that being agnostic is wrong by Christians (who make up the majority of the population).  But I think it is just a logical position.  Since I don't believe in hell, I assume that I can get away with being agnostic.

Does that help, or did I reinforce the fact that my analogy is no good?


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:smile:  Just stating my thoughts, not trying to offend  :smile:


Edited by GoBlue! (12/19/02 11:23 AM)


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InvisibleZero7a1
Leaving YourWasteland

Registered: 10/23/02
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Re: Morality & Choice [Re: Swami]
    #1155085 - 12/19/02 01:15 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

i see what you mean... a perpetuation of chaos. sadly this is how our world works. 90% of the human population does as shroomism says dont take responsibility for what they do, because of their enviroment and cognition of their own life they rather assume take out what got shit on them to shit on someone else. the 9% after that probably become mentally disturbed and have psychotic problems. and i bet you about 1% come out on top of what was given to them for whatever reason. but this is our world, and i think by what you said it means that people havent taken responsibility so it just keeps getting shoved on down the line to those 1% who take responsibiliy, and so the numbers keep multiplying. and this all this lack of taking responsibility is just one of my contentions for a massive global evolution, people are going to have to wake up to the truth or faced with all that which they so willingly choose to ignore and leave to everyone else to be subject to.


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What?


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InvisibleRebelSteve33
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Re: Morality & Choice [Re: Shroomism]
    #1155127 - 12/19/02 01:34 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

I completely agree with you. I think we all have the free will to choose what we do and say in every aspect of our lives (unless, of course, you suffer from some serious mental illness).

I do, however, think that the choices we make are a result of our genes/hormones and our life experiences. So, in essence, our "free will" is limited in a way to what we have learned and how our genes/hormones affect the way we think.


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Namaste.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Morality & Choice [Re: GoBlue!]
    #1155143 - 12/19/02 01:39 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Being held accountable and being ultimately responsible for one's actions, in my mind are irrelevant when it comes to punishment and may be quite different issues.

When a rabid dog bites me, I will kill it even if it had no choice; it was the nature of a disease. In the same way, when an innocent person is the victim of unprovoked violence, I say burn down the perpetrator, no matter his personal imprinting or genetic predisposition. Remove the danger to society.

Understanding the criminal is fine, but the punishment should be enforced equally to all regradless of excuse.


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The proof is in the pudding.


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General Interest >> Philosophy, Sociology & Psychology

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