There are two thought movements spreading in the Western world:
1) There is no personal responsibility because of brain activity which determines how we behave, rendering free will impossible; 2) social forces, such as poverty and oppression, determine how we behave, rendering free will impossible.
Beware of these over-simplifications of humanity. Do you see the implication….no really….do you see it?: If there is no personal responsibility, then there are no moral offenses…..rendering forgiveness impossible. Why? How can you forgive those who just couldn’t help it?
These new thought-movements are not saying that **some people** are incapable of free will. They, instead, are claiming that **all people** are incapable of free will. This is dangerous. Why? If one buys into these simplifications of humanity, then one must conclude (it follows logically) that no one is morally responsible for…….anything. Do as you wish (complete freedom….or is this license?) because your brain or social circumstances make you what you are rather than your own efforts helping to form who you are. How human is this?
Editor’s Note: The graphic above displays the results of a January 2015 survey conducted by Scientific American, the longest continuously published magazine in the U.S. (more than 170 years). Scientific American publishes 14 local language editions, read in more than 30 countries; has 3.5 million print and tablet readers worldwide; 5.5 million global online unique visitors monthly; and a social media reach of 3.5+ million.