July 20, 2012
Re "Head case puzzle," Opinion, July 15 Robert M. Sapolsky highlights the paradox between biological causes of abnormal behavior and the issue of assessing moral and legal responsibility. After 40-plus years in psychiatry, I have found that the most useful pathway is to accept the paradox, following John Stuart Mill's advice: While ultimately our will is not free, for the sake of an orderly society, it is necessary to act as if it were. Pragmatically, I interpret this to mean that when the biological causation is extraordinary (major brain damage or an acute cerebral infection)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 1993
While I sympathize with Gloria Romero and her daughter as a result of the tragedy they endured ("Carjacking Robs a Child's Trust, and Much More," Commentary, Sept. 24), I believe her ignorance of the crucial factor behind the criminal behavior--the lack of personal responsibility--skews her proposal for eliminating the criminal threat. By suggesting that society is to blame because of its failure to deliver even more government handouts, Romero and others like her encourage criminal behavior by undermining the sanction society imposes on the criminally and morally culpable.
July 15, 2013 |
As talk of a boycott against the movie of Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game" began to gain traction last week, I found myself thinking about the project not as a story, but rather as a crucible of sorts. The film has come under scrutiny because of Card's views on gay marriage, which are, at best, antediluvian and at worst an expression of prejudice at its most profound. Card is a Mormon, and from 2009 until last year, he served on the board of the National Organization for Marriage, which fought marriage rights for gay couples.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 10, 1985 |
Americans are more concerned about unemployment than they are about inflation, according to the American Council of Life Insurance. The Council's latest nationwide survey found that 58% of those asked believe society should work harder at solving unemployment, while 39% are more concerned about inflation.
March 27, 1995 |
How many flakes in a 24-ounce box of Corn Flakes? About 6,300. How many human-type flakes in American society? Experts have no statistical data, but all agree that people are definitely getting flakier. A flake cannot keep a commitment, no matter what. Your friend promises to help you find an apartment, but never seems to find the time. Your date says he'll call before the weekend, but doesn't quite manage to.
August 21, 1988
We need a society that accepts the aging process and not one which denies the laws of nature. LORRAINE J. ROBERTS Santa Monica
August 22, 1986
Judith L. Poage has been elected president of the North County Chapter of the Society of Real Estate Appraisers.