Moral responsibility in Aurora
Posted on August 7, 2012
Is James Holmes, the man who shot dead 12 people and injured 58 others during the showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, morally responsible for his actions? Or were his actions determined by something other than his free will?
And, practically speaking, do these questions even matter?
That’s the debate bioethicist Jim Walters takes up in a recent op-ed. His conclusion?
Forces beyond James Holmes may have largely determined his path to the Century 16 Theater, however the best research in neuroscience points toward a limited but crucial role for human choice. Regardless of personal moral culpability, society cannot have killers freely roaming the countryside, and Holmes likely will be confined either to a psychiatric ward or prison — for a very long time.