Sign up FAST! Login

Neuroscience and Moral Responsibility - NYTimes.com


Stashed in: Science!, Influence!, Brain, Ethics, Morals, Brain

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

Whatever the merit of such cases, it’s worth stressing an important point: as a general matter, it is always true that our brains “made us do it.” Each of our behaviors is always associated with a brain state. If we view every new scientific finding about brain involvement in human behavior as a sign that the behavior was not under the individual’s control, the very notion of responsibility will be threatened. So it is imperative that we think clearly about when brain science frees someone from blame — and when it doesn’t.

Unfortunately, our research shows that clear thinking on this issue doesn’t come naturally to people. Several years ago, with the psychologist Edward B. Royzman, we published a study in the journal Ethics & Behavior that demonstrated the power of neuroscientific explanations to free people from blame.

It is human to look for a way to not receive blame.

Taking responsibility is not something everyone is capable of.

Even if the brain is responsible, it's still unclear if there is such thing as free will.

that is the crux of the Larger issue

You May Also Like: