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November 28, 2012


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Nicely done.

I'll bet the "thud" of your remarks hit the prosecutor hardest of all. He probably had a vision -- you talking to other jurors and the evolution of new wrinkle in jurisprudence: "not guilty by reason of diminished free will". (Oh, thank God for voir dire).

What a funny person you are. My take on this jury thing is this: you seem to like to pontificate on all sorts of topics so you were just offered another opportunity to do so, and get paid for it. All the same karma, to my mind.

Paule, I didn't know I got paid for pontificating. Oh, you must mean my big mileage check, reimbursement for the 20 mile round trip I made to the county courthouse. That might buy me a couple cups of coffee.

Actually, as I said, my goal wasn't to pontificate. It was to speak honestly about some aspect of the case, as presented by the questioning attorneys, which could help me not be selected as a juror.

If you want to hear REAL pontificating, you should listen to attorneys and judges. They're good at it.

.."retributive punishment is not something which any of them deserves or from which any would benefit."

--So, what do we do? Allow murderers, muggers and thieves run around loose as a matter of policy? It's a practical matter. I don't think we have "free will" either but life is acting as if we have it. I say lock 'em up and/or dispose of the most dangerous who are a constant threat even to prison personel. Those not meant to be locked up or executed won't be and those destined to die by their hand will be.

tucson, retribution is a useless goal for the justice system. Prevention of future crimes is a good goal. Locking people up often is necessary to prevent them from committing another crime, and/or to give them an opportunity to change in a law-abiding direction.

Giving up a false belief in free will doesn't mean giving up prisons. It just changes how we look upon the purpose of imprisonment.

A dog bites someone. It would be stupid to beat the dog because it "deserved to be punished." A dog just does what it does. Training might make the dog into a non-biter. But maybe it is too far gone, and needs to be killed.

Either way, retribution isn't the goal, because we know that dogs don't freely choose to bite. Yet most people wrongly believe that humans DO freely choose what they do. Re-train criminals and protect the public: those should be justice system goals also, not punishment for punishment's sake.

Blogger B, Yes, I see it the same way, but a certain unwanted aspect in me wants to cane the bastards until they pass out.

Sorry for the "P" word; what I really meant was that you seem to need to have an opinion on everything (almost) that comes to your attention. But there is no free will, so I guess you can't help yourself! I have no problem forgiving even the worst criminals on grounds of "The devil(karma, no free will, etc.) made me do it!" but for the sake of consistency you also have to be forgiven for being intelligent!

Paule, what comes to mind is the adage "it takes one to know one."

We all have opinions. We all express our opinions. What matters is the respect we give to other people's expression of opinions.

I write a blog post about expressing my opinion about free will and the justice system. You then write a comment where you express your opinion about this.

Yet I got the impression from your language that you thought my expression was "pontificating" and your expression was... something else.

Why do you think I have an opinion on almost everything that comes to my attention? Are you inside my head 24 hours a day? Do you know how I experience life?

Just pointing out how opinionated your opinions are, like everybody's are.

I have made seemingly outrageous statements during voir dire to get out of jury duty in the past. Something about how aggresive litigation has really hurt the Ob-Gyn profession -- I was dismissed.

I was actually motivated to read David Eagleman's book, Incognito, from one of your earlier blog posts. He has an interesting view of free will, responsibility, guilt and justice. Basically, since we do not actually have free will, it is hard to "blame" someone for their behaviours. Mr. Eagleman rightly focuses on the probability of rehabilitation to measure out "justice." He does not really advocate the idea of punishment.

After all, we can only take actions in the present. Assigning blame, accountability or guilt is just writing a final chapter to a story from the past.

Sometimes rehabilitation is accomplished via punishment. Sometimes not.

Sometimes rehabilitation is accomplished via rehabilitation. Sometimes not.

It is important to consider rehabilitation of the victim. This may involve punishment of the perpetrator. Sometimes not.

Some individuals are beyond rehabilitation. No matter how long they are treated, punished or incarcerated, upon release they perform the same acts. It is impossible to know who is truly rehabilitated.

Therefore, individuals who demonstrate a pattern of habitual criminal behavior must be secured from the public indefinitely even with seeming evidence of their rehabilitation.

A few individuals perform acts so heinous and pose such a continued threat to their incarcerators (let alone the public) that, as a practical matter, they must be disposed of. They are too dangerous to live for as long as they live they are a danger.

There are real-life Hannibal Lecters.

Civilization requires that those who can't conform must be penalized until they can, or detained until they're dead. It's not pretty, but what're ya gonna do?

What I meant to say, was that you really are funny . I picture you a little like the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland.

Paule, ah... I much prefer compliments. Thank you. Yes, I'd love to sit on a throne and be able to scream "Off with their heads!"

The political situation in the United States is so frustrating these days, I can think of lots of people who would serve our nation better if they were headless. Also, mouthless.

Prediction-Someday prisons will be obsolete due to advances in psychosurgery designed to be used against hardcore criminals. In the past various types of lobotomies were tied to adverse effects including death. After the USSR banned lobotomies in 1953, a New York Times article quoted Soviet psychiatrist Dr. Nicolai Oseresky as saying that lobotomies "violate the principles of humanity" and change "an insane person" into "an idiot" Although the lobotomy has been banned in several countries , it's still performed in limited numbers in several countries today. Often it's used to treat epilepsy. Now known as NMD (neurosurgery for mental disorder), lobotomies are performed in two hospitals in Great Britain as a last resort to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder and severe depression. Those who support it still believe it can be beneficial when all other treatments have failed.

Some doctors in the United States are interested in reviving psychosurgery -- or psychiatric surgery, as some prefer to call it. In 1997, a team of neurosurgeons at Harvard published a report about using MRI to guide doctors in performing cingulotomies to treat mental illness. A cingulotomy involves burning small holes in the cingulate gyrus, an area of the brain though to connect the frontal lobes to the limbic region, involved in emotional behavior. Perhaps new types of psychosurgery can be developed with the co-operation of prison voluteers(by drastically reducing their sentences)to eliminate the parts of their brains that produce their criminal behavior without turning them into drooling idiots while allowing them to be rehabilatated back into society.

I believe we do have free will and responsibility. I'd hate to live in a world if it truly was as you see it with a path set and no way off it even when we see it was wrong. Society must demand responsibility for actions and to have the view there should be none would leave us in chaos. I also think when we are asked to serve on a jury, we have to be honest for our beliefs; so did serve on one last year which I did not want to do, hoped I would not not be picked, but accepted as part of being a citizen and wanting others to do it also.

wow, I never thought i would say this but i read the above and for the first time i was disappointed in what i read on this blog. That does not mean i agree or disagree with anything i am disappointed in or not disappointed in. ( hm. gotto think about that one). But the reason i think i enjoy what you write is because it challenges what the norm is. it shows originality. intense thought. and doesn't cow-tow to the masses, the stupid idiotic brainwashed self-congratulatory masses.

But the purpose of jury duty ---not that it works--- is that there should be fairness of sorts. You of all people would be able to bring fairness and an un-coerced thought to the deliberations.

And one day you may have to (let's hope not) rely on a jury.
And since you have the free time and all...

I just like to think you are not like the idiot who once told me he didn't really agree with the rest of the jury but signed off just to get out early.... someone who is one of those fako satsanghis who has a closet full of skeletons but he is there with his lies to himself and the world acting so two-faced. i really needed to know you are completely different to him in all respects.

I am not saying i have stepped up to my jury duty, or that i am better than anyone. but i kind of like the fact that you stand up for what seems right to you, and i didn't think it would seem right to you to not try to help out someone who is left at the mercy of the cow-towing masses.

that said --- i do appreciate your blog very much and the fearless authenticity you embrace. You probably have no choice at all in being who you are.

equinnimity, I did my best to explain why I don't consider myself good juror material. I wouldn't want someone like me in the juror box if I ever had to defend myself.

Like I said, forcing people to do something they don't want to do usually doesn't lead to a quality product. Judges are willing judges. Legislators are willing legislators.

Yet our jury system relies on people "drafted" against their will to make important decisions that, really, they aren't qualified to make. Listening to the attorneys question prospective jurors, this was obvious.

I don't think I would have been a better juror than those who were selected. We all had our biases. Yes, I'm probably better informed than most about the limitations of the human mind. But since I didn't want to be a juror, I wasn't motivated to be a good juror.

At least the people who were selected seemed like they were willing jurors. I kept waiting for one of the attorneys to ask us, "Does anyone wish they weren't selected to be a prospective juror?" Seems like a good question.

Like I said in this post, if I was going to have surgery, I'd want to be sure that the surgeon was ready and willing to perform the operation. Yet somehow our justice system assumes that sullen, unhappy people who didn't want any part of jury duty will make good decisions.

"I believe we do have free will and responsibility."

---Yes, we all should have and take responsibility, as a general statement. Likewise, we do have a freedom to make choices, from a selection of possible choices. However, how much true freedom lies in the willing, found within that particular choice? We may actually have very little, or none. The willing may be governed by various other factors, discussed before in other posts.

"Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thought nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away."

Anonymous, Shoshone Indians

Thank you for these words which express so well a yearning/need/wish I don't have within my life. Beautifully written. I will send on to many.

Ironically, on a Christian blog I read
something about kundalini and visions
I agree with. Here is persons quote.

"I have heard and read of somewhat similar experiences being achieved using DMT and ayahuasca. While DMT is naturally present in our bodies, controlled doses of DMT is said to create intense visual and auditory illusions, altered states of consciousness, and metaphysical experiences.

Supposedly the enzymatic material necessary to produce DMT are found in the spinal cord/fluid, as well as the pineal gland. taking that into account as well as keeping the functions of the pineal gland in mind, I can see how it ties in with the subject matter being described by Santos.

The way I see it, if it is possible for a person to be able to consciously produce or activate the necessary release of certain enzymes or chemicals to achieve this effect, who am I to say they are not experiencing their own ‘heightened ascension’ or ‘christ consciousness’. "

Secretion equals sacred. Cristos
equals (oil) secretion (all from ancient Greek)
that comes down from the middle of the cerebrum and passes
through the spine down to the sacrum.

After passing through the penial gland
and pituitary on its decent.

This oil when preserved, goes back up to
the optical nerves and provides light.
(ojas)goes up the ida and pingala in
Indian lore.

Hence one becomes en light ened. Illumined
at the thalamus. The dormant brain cells come alive.

Hence, one must raise themself from the dead
sacram and find new eternal light and life.

Christ is the word for cristos in ancient
Greek. And, cristos is the holy oil in

Hence, mystical Christianity.

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