23 November 2018

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Being evil and mental disorder

Dear friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: Being evil and mental disorder.

The fact that we are talking about "evil" and the "mental" takes us back
to the issue of duality or the mind body problem. Or rather the mind
side of the equation. Although evil is an emotional word, it is supposed
to belong to the rational phase of human beings.

Evil also pertains to morality and ethics which basically concerns us
with our relationship with other fellow human beings. Morality, we are
told, should go beyond behaviour and into the realm of free will and

But this is where language lets us down. Mental disorders, can only be
brain disorders, this is now a settled issue. So how can we be held to
account for our brain disorders?  In reality we do not have a problem
with this. Simply because we do have some tools and enough knowledge to
distinguish actions caused by a normally functioning human being and
actions caused by a brain "disease". Our problem is more identifying the
border line cases. And of course, the perennial problem of do we know
enough to make value judgements.

So for us, an important question is to distinguish evil actions caused
by a mentally sound person and actions caused by a person with mental
disorders. On the traditional view, we need to establish this
information to either punish or lock up the person. On the other hand,
how ethical would it be to try and identify people in advance who may or
may not be evil? Our objective is to prevent evil and not just fix the
damage of evil. And do we have a duty to try and pre-empt the actions of
another person on the belief that they might cause evil?

Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
MeetUp https://www.meetup.com/PhiloMadrid-philosophy-group/
Gran Clavel (Café-Bar): Gran vía 11, esquina C/ Clavel, 28013—Madrid

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Being evil and
mental disorder

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