This is not a religious blog, although I would never deny my faith or that my world view is strongly influenced by the fact that I’m a Christian. I just believe that the big Truths are pretty evident, even for those without faith. This is the heart of ethics: there are rights and wrongs, “yeses” and “noes,” times when we must say “I will,” or “I won’t.”
However, the Cornell Daily Sun reports that the Bioethics Society of Cornell University hosted a discussion with Professor Willian Provine during which he denied the existence of choice or free will, and says that assigning blame to people for their actions harms them and society.
Yes, as I admit above, we are each a product of both our nature and our nurture. We are biological beings in a material world. On the other hand, people keep surprising us.
As Dr. Robert Spitzer has pointed out in his book, Healing the Culture, humans will sacrifice their lives for an idea, for people and creatures outside their tribe, and we hold unconditional love as our highest virtue.
We could give evolutionary justifications for each of the above. Like the Professor’s denial of free will, all of those explanations would be convuluted.