Saturday, May 22, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
(image credit: iangti)Scientists have recently claimed that anti-social behavior, especially amongst youth, is caused by chemical imbalance in the brain. In other words, the research states that youth are not responsible for their behavior. It’s their brains’ fault. The social implications of this research are staggering.
Sociologists and criminologist now claim that we must consider this research when judging youth criminal and anti-social behaviors, and treat them as if they were irresponsible for their acts. However, only a couple of generation ago anti-social behavior was far less common among young people. Have our brain changed that much? Unlikely
After all, the greatness of our mind is that it gives us the ability to shape and control it, but only if we believe we can. Taking away our responsibility to control our own mind makes us incapable of doing so.
Blaming our brain processes, as if they were a disease, for our behavior is a path that we, as a society, must never take. Not only will it open the door to justifiable criminal or anti-social behaviors, it will also justify discrimination based on physiological criteria. After all, if we believe that our physiology takes away our choice and determines our behavior, discrimination based on physiology and background is the right thing.
It’s been a long and painful journey to learn to recognize people for who they are, and not for their background. Do we really want to risk reversing this great achievement? Don’t we want to encourage the human spirit to overcome the limitations of the body, rather than write off the human spirit altogether, and treat people as if they were nothing more than predictably-behaved bag of chemicals? Or is it really all we are?