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Although Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people comprise only about 3 per cent of the Australian population, they make up 28 per cent of the total prison population. This is an imprisonment rate 14 times higher than the non-Indigenous rate. Aboriginal people continue to die in custody – 270 people since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Report (1991). Growing prison populations mean increased costs for taxpayers without breaking the cycle of offending. The system is not working to prevent crime and is not sustainable.The Australian Law Reform Commission Aboriginal Customary Law Report (1986) investigated Aboriginal customary laws and any basis for their recognition in the common law. The ALRC recommended that Aboriginal customary law should be recognized, in appropriate ways, by the Australian legal system, and that the recognition of such laws must occur within the framework of the general law. While both…
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Bertrand Russell famously made the argument for the non-existence of God through lack of evidence on his 90th birthday. At his party in London a woman asked him that being so close to death and an atheist what he would do if after death he found God to exist. She asked: “What will you say?” Russell gleamed at the question and, pointing his finger upwards, answered: “Why, I should say, ‘God you gave us insufficient evidence.’” This argument has the premises and conclusion:
It pragmatically objects to deism on the grounds that only evidence should regulate belief. This essay intends to question this common objection used by atheists because such premise 2 of this argument appears to ignore some of the…
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WHAT IS FREEDOM?
Freedom can be defined as the degree to which I am not interfered with by anyone else. There exists a minimum area in which individuals must not be interfered with, a minimum area of personal freedom that on no account should be violated. Some area of human existence must remain out of the control of others because to invade such privacy would be tyrannical. The freedom of, or from, religion, opinion, expression and the protection of property from arbitrary invasion are areas of freedom that if curtailed impede civilization, prevent truthfulness and the spontaneity of ideas. It appeals to cowardice and duplicity and would, in J.S. Mill’s words, crush society ‘with the collective weight of mediocrity’.
IS IT NECESSARY FOR HUMANS TO BE FREE?
Humans need a minimum area of freedom to develop their natural faculties. This is defined by a boundary between private life…
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John Rawls’ “Theory of Justice” (1972) explains how social cooperation needs a system of justice and gives a basic idea of what justice means to the structure of society. Rawls presents the primary concept of justice as being fairness, an abstract extension of the social contract described by such philosophers as Locke, Rousseau and Kant. In Rawls’ theory, however, the social contract is replaced by a concept of an original position which allows for an original agreement on the principles of justice. Rawls contrasts this with the classical utilitarian view (p.3).
Rawls first considers the role of justice. He states that while society is seen as the cooperation of people for mutual advantage it also produces conflict through competing interests. Although social cooperation is the best way for people to better their lives there is a conflict of interests because people dispute inequalities of distribution of the products of society…
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|Neuroscience is making advances in mapping our brain. In doing so, it questions our fundamental beliefs about our autonomy within the law. However, to date, it still has not been successful in undermining principles of justice that have underpinned Western legal systems and international treaties for the past centuries. This essay provides a study upon what difference neuroscience makes, or not, to the law.|
Neuroscience is an advancement in cognitive studies which has up until a few decades ago relied mostly upon behavioural studies. Presently there are claims made by corporations involved in neuro-technologies that claim to be able to detect deception accurately, and also to assess whether people have tendencies towards criminality. To study the issue of whether neuroscience in this capacity will not make a difference to the law, this essay will study the history of the cognitive sciences in the law, the claims of Greene and…
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The capacity to be able to ascertain and attribute mental states to others, and also ourselves, is called mindreading or theory of mind (ToM). It is an essential ability that is needed for proper social interaction and moral competence. Children have usually developed the basics of mindreading by the age of five. They understand that others have desires, emotions and beliefs, and that these may be different from their own. We also tend to understand another’s behaviour through understanding our own, or through introspective reasoning, for example: I am happy, therefore I smile/ They smile, therefore they are happy. These are assumptions of mental states and are evident in children even before they can reason articulately.
An alternative view to the introspective ToM is Gopnick’s and Wellman’s (1992) argument which suggests that the concepts of mindreading and mental states are the premises of a theory. Knowledge of ours and other…
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