Intelligent Design

More coffee!!: Killer’s sentence cut due to supposed aggression genes?

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From New Scientist (and make of that what you wish)

A judge’s decision to reduce a killer’s sentence because he has genetic mutations linked to violence raises a thorny question – can your genes ever absolve you of responsibility for a particular act?

Look, we probably all have “aggression genes” (whatever that means). Like, if someone was threatening my mom or one of my neighbours, what do you think would happen?

Every so often I get shaken down in local stores for money for women’s shelters.

Here is what I always say:

I will give you the donation you ask, but first I want to make a statement, as follows:

“Just beat the ka-shiddle out of the bastard and you won’t need a shelter! HE will!”

The female employees always burst out laughing – not at me, rather with me.

I give the clerk the money, but I sure hope those shelters teach self-defence. Otherwise, I don’t see the point.

Even if there really are aggression genes, why should anyone get time off without good behaviour? What about all the people who have served honourably in the armed forces, police and fire services, paramedic corps, and dealing with difficult animals or working with rescue dogs to find lost people? Don’t they have aggression genes too?

I don’t know who benefits if some perp’s sentence is cut because he supposedly has aggression genes, but I sure doubt it is the law-abiding public. Instead of an incentive to reform, he now has an excuse for his next offense.

Thanks, pop genetics (as opposed to real genetics), no doubt fronted by “evolutionary” psychology.

10 Replies to “More coffee!!: Killer’s sentence cut due to supposed aggression genes?

  1. 1
    Borne says:

    I remember just a couple of years ago when “A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion” – RANDY THORNHILL and CRAIG T. PALMER – came out. I started a thread on a Darwin vs intelligence forum. In the thread I made a prediction that if this crap was taken seriously we would soon be seeing cases of rape and violence being absolved or penalties reduced due to alleged genetic origins of the aggression.

    “It’s not his fault!, yer honor!” Memes and genes did it!
    The biological equivalent of “the devil made me do it”.

    I was laughed at by the Darwinist elements and even some of the Christians there. No one believed it would ever have any such effect in court rooms.

    And this of course brings to mind the old proverb, “he who laughs last, laughs best”.

  2. 2
    chrisdornan says:

    Great find Denyse. Your dissection of the issues clear as always.

  3. 3
    Avonwatches says:

    How ridiculous.

    If he was an aggressive person he should realize that, and taken measures (i.e. responsibility) to counter that. It’s like crashing your car into another person’s, but then saying “well I couldn’t help it since my brake fluid is out. Not my fault”.

    *Of course, if he had another gene at the same time that prevented him from seeking help/taking responsibility, then clearly it is not his fault.

    Maybe his parents should be held to blame for allowing bad genes to propagate?

    Seriously.

  4. 4
    deric davidson says:

    On another thread atheist Provine expressed the view that free will does not exist. He believs all human “actions” and “decisions”, no matter what, are pre-programed in their genes and beyond the control of each individual.
    Besides negating “responsibilty” it seems to me that this also means that there is no such thing as moral absolutes. No immoral actions. There are no such things as evil actions or good actions.
    In every way we are the victims of our inherited genes for good or bad so to speak.
    I assume this fundamental to Darwinistic atheism.

  5. 5
    Mung says:

    He believs all human “actions” and “decisions”, no matter what, are pre-programed in their genes and beyond the control of each individual.

    Given time, science will no doubt be able to predict human behaviour.

    Will people be jailed for the crimes they are going to commit?

  6. 6
    Barb says:

    If there is no free will, as Provine asserts, then we’re all “computers made of meat” and we’re not free to make choices.

    This, of course, is ludicrous. Where is the locus of the gene for a thief? People aren’t born thieves; they choose to steal because of greed and a desire for material wealth. Where in the mapped human genome do we find genes corresponding to rape? Murder?

    Am I posting this response due to my genes or because I have free will?

  7. 7
    O'Leary says:

    Barb at 6,

    I would not deny that there could be a genetic pattern in some humans that results in an active, rather than passive, response to violence. It would explain a lot of many persons’ family history.

    What it does NOT predict is crime. Many people who are quite capable of defending their families and themselves have – understandably – little sympathy for crime or criminals, and no desire to associate with that kind of thing – and certainly not to profit from it.

    You (and I) have free will.

  8. 8
    Mung says:

    I would not deny that there could be a genetic pattern in some humans that results in an active, rather than passive, response to violence.

    What is a “passive response” to violence?

    Do you think Jesus had such a “passive response to violence” encoded in his genes?

  9. 9
    Barb says:

    A “passive response” to violence would be to turn the other cheek, as Jesus suggested. You don’t seek revenge or use deadly force if confronted with violence.

  10. 10
    CannuckianYankee says:

    So Barb, (just in fun)

    The person who has the “turn-the-other-cheek” gene gets accosted by the person with the “aggression-turns-me-on” gene and decides to hit back. What next? Is there a “misdiagnosing-genetic-makeup” gene?

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