PhiloMadrid - Pub Philosophy Meetings in Madrid

Thursday, June 15, 2017

from Lawrence, SATURDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Are bad people responsible for their actions?

Dear Friends,

This Saturday we are discussing: Are bad people responsible for their

An issue we can discuss, which I do not mention in my notes below, is
what kind of actions do bad people do that they might not be responsible

Moral responsibility is an old topic in philosophy. And our question
hints at the issues of moral responsibility and free will. Basically,
how can we be responsible for our actions if we are determined by a wide
range of factors in our life?

Are bad people, bad because they choose to be bad? Or maybe they are bad
because they had a complex upbringing and, therefore, find it difficult
to do good; assuming that is they know what good is.

Some might be bad because they have some mental or behavioural disease
so they cannot help it, literally. Maybe a milder version of this
category of badness is intolerance, or too emotional that can lead to
some unacceptable behaviour. Jealousy might be a case in point and in
some people jealousy could lead them to do some bad things.

But on the other hand we have centuries old culture telling us that we
are responsible for our actions; irrespective of our background
circumstances. Indeed, even today with our understanding of human
diseases and mental disquiet, in extreme cases we do not really question
the validity of personal responsibility, but rather we mitigate what
repercussions the person should suffer. In many cases, courts of law
decide that a person is not in full command of their actions and can be
a danger to themselves or to others. In such cases the courts demand
that such people are held in a safe place under supervision.

The assumption must always be that people are always responsible for
their actions, but when someone might have some mitigating
circumstances, it is the consequences of their actions that we should
concern ourselves. In those cases when people behave in an unacceptable
way because they suffer from some disease; in such cases many mental
diseases can be controlled with proper drugs and therapy.

It seems that the main question is not whether bad people are
responsible for their actions, but rather are their bad actions such
that they can be controlled or managed? And so the natural question that
follows from this is: should bad people be forced to be treated if there
are proven therapies to change their behaviour?

Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813

PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
Metro: Bilbao
Open Tertulia in English every
Thursdays at Triskel in c/San Vicente Ferrer 3.
Time: from 19:30 to 21h

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Are bad people
responsible for their actions?

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