Posted: Oct 01, 2010 5:59 am
by GenesForLife
Ichthus77 wrote:Deliberation, choice-making, planning,

Animals can do this too, point being? There are constraints exercised by both the genetic makeup and the neural/decision making machinery involved.

voluntary vs. involuntary biological systems

Conditioned reflexes and acquired behaviour dependent on training, for instance, you cannot choose not to have a pee but only until a certain period, this again is deterministic, and determined by bladder holding capacity, and the body exercising loss of voluntary control.

holding human animals (but not non-human animals) accountable/responsible for behavior--more so when the behavior is "pre-meditated"...that sort of thing.

Human behaviour too may be predetermined by atleast some factors, try, for instance, a correlation between excessive violence and MAO-1 variations, again determined, which counts against free will.

Look at this case, for instance... you might say choosing to behave well is a matter of free will...

Results There was a main effect of adversity but not of monoamine oxidase A on risk for conduct disorder. Low monoamine oxidase A activity increased risk for conduct disorder only in the presence of an adverse childhood environment. Neither a passive nor an evocative genotype-environment correlation accounted for the interaction.

Conclusion This study replicates a recent report of a genotype-environment interaction that predicts individual variation in risk for antisocial behavior in boys.

and this

The activity of monoamine oxidase (MAO) in blood platelets among criminals undergoing forensic psychiatric examinations was studied. As compulsiveness, disturbed perceptions of reality, etc. are states not known to be related to MAO and yet possibly cause aggressiveness and violence among psychotic patients, we divided the patients into 2 groups, psychotic and nonpsychotic offenders. There was lower MAO activity among violent offenders than among nonviolent offenders. The difference between the violent and nonviolent offenders became greater when the subjects with a history of psychosis were removed. Furthermore, in the group of psychotic offenders, there was no statistical difference between violent and nonviolent individuals in this regard.

In both cases there are extraneous deterministic factors to at least some extent, which rubbishes the notion of free will.

And just to add to the weightage of the MAO research...

Cloning of MAO (monoamine oxidase) A and B has demonstrated unequivocally that these enzymes are made up of different polypeptides, and our understanding of MAO structure, regulation, and function has been significantly advanced by studies using their cDNA. MAO A and B genes are located on the X-chromosome (Xp11.23) and comprise 15 exons with identical intron-exon organization, which suggests that they are derived from the same ancestral gene. MAO A and B knockout mice exhibit distinct differences in neurotransmitter metabolism and behavior. MAO A knock-out mice have elevated brain levels of serotonin, norephinephrine, and dopamine and manifest aggressive behavior similar to human males with a deletion of MAO A. In contrast, MAO B knock-out mice do not exhibit aggression and only levels of phenylethylamine are increased. Mice lacking MAO B are resistant to the Parkinsongenic neurotoxin, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetra-hydropyridine. Both MAO A and B knock-out mice show increased reactivity to stress. These knock-out mice are valuable models for investigating the role of monoamines in psychoses and neurodegenerative and stress-related disorders.

There is definitely evidence towards a genetic predisposition that may manifest in violent/aggressive/antisocial behaviour , which can be exacerbated by environmental factors, which together are deterministic, all your examples of evidence for "Free will" fail.