Freedom and Determinism

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“Freedom, Determinism, and the Case for Moral Responsibility: A Look Back at the Murder of Jamie Bulger” begins by telling of the heinous crime that is the centerpiece of this paper. On February 12th 1993, British toddler Jamie Bulger abducted at a local shopping mall in Liverpool, England. Evidence that the two year old was beaten, sexually molested, and clubbed to death with bricks and an iron bar before discarding his body on train tracks. The age of his two assailants, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, ten years old. Then they begin to explain the difference of opinions on the responsibility of the murderers. One side labels the boys as savages and criminals, while the other argues that they are “victims of broader social, economic, and cultural processes.” Sparking the question, are we truly responsible for how we act in society? The essay then moves on to the defense of determinism and how it relates to this specific event, stating that, “From a determinist point of view, Jon Venables’s and Robert Thompson’s fate was set even before their birth. Born to ill-educated, working class parents, the details of the boys’ lives constitute a veritable catalogue of social ills.” The paper enlightens us on the rough and negative environments that both Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were raised in. Jon’s parents were “unstable and depressed,” and his dad eventually abandoned his abusive mother, himself and his “developmentally challenged” siblings. Thompson was the second youngest of “seven violent and aggressive boys...one of whom was an arsonist and another who was a master thief.” His parents were drunks and he witnessed his mother being beaten by his father in many alcoholic driven violent outbursts. The question is raised if Venables and Thompson are morally responsible for the actions...
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