While you are distracted making a living in a politically mismanaged economy and journalists are distracted by one bunch of Arabs with guns called ISIS, some sober scientists are off in a lab, making mischief. They are studying the human brain.
Were many aware of what they are doing, it seems likely that there would be demonstrations or even mobs attacking it. Anyone caught wearing a lab coat might be hung from the nearest lamppost. But no one is looking. What none sees, might well change our entire society into something hard to recognize.
When MRI and PET scanning became available, human brain researchers saw a chance to research that organ. One of them, a Brit named Dr. Adrian Raine, saw brain scans as a n opportunity to discover how our brains work. He wondered whether criminality emanated from the brain, but British science was convinced that crimiality was a social response based upon poverty and poor upbringing, Dr. Raine’s biological issue was unwelcome. He emigrated to the U.S. and began scanning the brains of imprisoned criminals. And he found differences from the brains of his control groups of ‘normal’ citizens.
Today, others have joined Dr. Raine researching human criminality in the brain, though most professionals are still cautious about diagnosing criminality from brain scans. Even more caution arises as this type of evidence begins to be introduced into criminal trials in courts. That strikes us as appropriate, considering what is at stake.
But one thing stands: There is a physical difference between the brain of the psychopathic criminal and normal folk. The difference is visible in scans. And those seem to be facts. That is clouded though, as some with ‘criminal’ brain scans avoid criminal behavior and some convicted criminals lack the telltale brain markers. But most fit the picture, in each case. If these hard, scientific facts cannot indefinitely be ignored, there will be consequences.
Some of the likely issues that occur to us include:
Will a government that is presently reducing the availability of the most expensive medical treatments to the most aged, wish to screen the brains of the unborn in order to eliminate those with a high probability of criminality?
Will those with such brain configurations be left alone by government until they commit a crime? Will brain scan screening become general at birth or later?
Is our current penal system appropriate for criminals driven by their brain configurations? If not, how is society to protect itself from such behavior?
Those are the easy questions, of course. Just beyond those, lingers the signal issue: Is there really such a thing as Free Will? This has been the short version; if you have read to here, you have the general picture. If you have followed the links, you have a much larger understanding. If you have followed the subject on your own, you know what there is to know. in none of those cases will any ideological tinfoil hat be of help, though such may offer refuge. Such refuges though, are usually illusory …
We will leave off with that last one dangling; we are much too ignorant (and cowardly) to tackle that ourselves at this point. But we are reasonably assured that it will nonetheless remain; it will not go away.
Collapsing, misgoverned economies may prove to be the least of our worries …