Philosophy - Presuppositions and Blame
Irwin Graulich takes a look at the blame game over at the American Daily.
Whose fault is it that I accidently murdered the liquor store owner in a botched robbery attempt? Judaism and Christianity say, "It's my fault and I should most likely receive capital punishment." George W. Bush says, "If he did it, let him be brought to justice." Ted Kennedy says, "It's George Bush's fault for leaving a child behind." Liberals say, "It's the fault of a bad neighborhood, and has nothing to do with a fatherless household." The left says,"Of course they should be punished. Let them have cable tv, weightlifting, basketball, a great library, free room and board, free medical care, etc. for the next 15 years and then they'll be rehabilitated."It all depends on your presuppositions. If you think that people are merely a product of their environment and not inherently bad and are just matter in motion, then it isn't really their fault, and if you give them a better environment they will obviously become a better person. On the other hand, if you think they are not just a product of their environment and have free will and moral responsibility, then you will think they need to be held accountable.