There are many questions and answers here about free will and its importance for

There are many questions and answers here about free will and its importance for moral responsibility, and about how free will is consistent with the scientific view of the world. I would like you to consider the idea that even if there is free will, many human actions are anyway caused by circumstances, and we should try to refrain from blaming people. It is known that when economy goes down, crime rates increase. Violent criminals were often victims and spectators of violence in their childhood. Child molesters were often sexually abused when they were children. Religious terrorists were born and brought up among followers of their religion and were often led to terrorism by people around them. Of course, many people experienced more or less the same circumstances and didn't become criminals, but that's easy to say when you're on the right side of statistics, isn't it? And circumstances are never really the same. I know a 5-year old boy at my daughter's pre-school who doesn't seem to be growing properly. He doesn't speak very well, he's a bit agressive, he constantly looks for physical contact (like he's looking for comfort), he reacts angrily to frustration, my (4-year old) daughter says that "he is bad". That boy's circumstances aren't the best, I'm sure. And it won't surprise me if he grows to be "antisocial" in one way or another. If that's how things turn up, should we then say that he is acting freely and that he deserves blame?

Read another response by Stephen Maitzen
Read another response about Freedom