Monday, July 26, 2010

Criminals, born or made?

I've been thinking about certain characteristics of human behavior and have come to the conclusion that the accepted wisdom on many issues is based upon the premise that if you cannot measure it, then it doesn't exist. I could apply this premise to many varied subjects, all of which would cause a riot of opinion and disagreement so I want to limit myself here to just one issue. The issue of whether criminals are born or made. Do criminals commit crimes because of social circumstances or is there something inherent in their genes that inevitably will result in these people committing crimes?
I think this is one of those issues that would be resolved if there was a means of measuring the "criminal factor" which of course there isn't.
Now the news that convicted murderer Jon Venables, who killed a young boy when he himself was merely a child, now jailed at 27 for possessing child pornography, makes a light bulb go off in my head saying "of course, what else do you expect?"
In the end it's merely my gut instinct telling me something that cannot be substantiated because it cannot be measured...


Patrick said...

I think it's a bit of both to be honest. Some criminals are opportunistic crims, and some are just evil bastards like our mate Venables.

There was no reason, simply none, why the little bastard should have been allowed to continue to live after what he did to that little boy. I can understand that the anger shown to him by people like me, may have since been a contributing factor in his continued criminality, but the fact is he is a bad seed. He will always be a bad seed and I suspect his death will not be one of old age.

Back to the topic you asked about, I think the more disgusting the crime, the more likely we are dealing with a bad seed. Someone born to be bad. Lets face it, some people are born gifted. They can do amazing things at young ages. Have a quick look at these amazing gifts to the world.

They are simply born that way, so why can't people be born evil?

As much as we should be nurturing and assisting those born gifted, so we should be eliminating those born evil. As heartless as it sounds, those maggots are far better off removed from the gene pool.

Jeannie said...

Re: nature or nurture - I think it's very much both. Watching babies together, you can see that some are naturally more inclined to be violent than others. The caregivers and society can modify or support the natural tendency through training and example but the basic personality leanings are already there.

Bleeding hearts want to believe that everyone is basically good but that's not true - it can't be - or it wouldn't require so much effort to train kids to behave themselves. Many kids are naturally cruel to varying degrees. Their home life AND neighborhoods and schools all contribute to re-enforce the cruelty or modify it. Lip service does very little.
Venables was a bad kid. He did bad things then got locked up with other bad kids and gee, big surprise that he's still bad. I think it unlikely that he was ever going to be Mr. Rogers no matter what or where or with who he grew up.

Patrick Carroll said...

Some people are born male, some female. Some are born straight some are born gay. Some are born citizens and some are born criminals. It's as simple as that.