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What should be done with the young children of violence-prone criminals if in fact...

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cdeeneedham | Valedictorian

Posted October 18, 2012 at 2:21 PM via web

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What should be done with the young children of violence-prone criminals if in fact research could show that the tendency to commit crime is inherited?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:14 PM (Answer #1)

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The answer to this would depend on at least two factors.

First, it would depend on how completely the genetic factors determine behavior.  In other words, if a child has a parent who is a criminal, are they 10% more likely to commit a crime?  Are they 100% more likely?  Is it absolutely certain that they will themselves turn out to be criminals?  The greater the connection, the more likely it would be that society should take some action.

Second, it would depend on how authoritarian your society is willing to be.  Taking children away from their parents would be one option.  However, this sort of an option would have serious consequences.  Taking children from their parents based on what MIGHT happen in the future, as opposed to what has already happened, is a serious step towards a totalitarian society.  It could be that the “cure” would be worse than the “disease” for our society.

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