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Regarding my earlier question about people just doing the best that they can, might the environment play a big part in a person’s bad behavior?  For example, let us suppose a person who grows up in poverty, oppressed, and hated by others.  This fills him with dread and hatred.  When he then acts badly (let us say he murders an innocent person), is he truly responsible for this misbehavior, given how the environment has beaten him down?

Your thinking is too narrow, what philosophers call reductionistic, by looking exclusively at the environment.  I do not disagree that the environment played a part, even a large part, in this person’s rage.  Yet, is there now one and only one response that can be made: murder?  No.  This person has many options including seeking […]

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