Personal Responsibility and the Brain

Essay by fender16University, Bachelor's June 2005

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Personal Responsibility and the Brain

Taking responsibility is an important part of our life. When losing self-conscious on responsible for our behavior, war and various disasters come. Dr. Nancy Murphy describes that "Morality is a function of attraction to the good, combined with rational judgment in reference to what the good truly consists". (Neuroscience and Thomas Aquinas) We are born to follow God's will. However, accidents, diseases, or inherent factors can injure our body system, especially brain, which is the mainframe to our body and mind. We will not be able to function and think as normal people. Therefore, judging personal responsibility should also take individual mental capability into account.

In the textbook, the authors address that "If a person who breaks the law is merely a dysfunctional victim of circumstances, then the remedy id not justice but therapy". (Colson and Pearcey 182) Justice system is meant to regulate our behaviors.

Punishment is given when anyone breaks the law. To people who have not yet reached certain mental states such as infants, imbecile or people suffer from brain damage, should the system punish them without considering their mental ability? For example, the article, "Pedophile lost desire for children after tumor removed", from Vancouver Sun. The 40 year-old man had a tumor pushing his brain and resulted in child molestation. Distinguish right and wrong is our nature; nevertheless, in the example, the man knows his actions were unacceptable and failed to control himself. "The pleasure principle over rode" he described. In such circumstances, provide adequate therapy is perhaps a better option than sentencing him into jail.

The reasons for our brains suffer from brain damage may vary, for example, disease infection, accidents, inherent and heredity. When suffering from brain damage, people are not capable of performing normal behavior and thoughts.