Nice (the degree, that is - not the first day). I hope you didn't have to go through "orientation" and "frosh week" (not sure if it's called that over in Ireland)...in my opinion, it's just something people do because it's something people have always done. Really, I don't think that froshing rituals are a good idea at all, but...that might just be me :P
I gotta agree with you on the nature/nurture debate though - I remember in an epistemology class I took in high school, we were talking about free will. The way I explained it was that I saw freewill as a group of actions that could be taken due to one's specific circumstances/place in life, which in turn had been determined by one's previous choices, which were in turn determined by circumstances prior to that choice, ad infinitum. So, while nature is important, I think (as you do) that the environment can have a very profound effect on someone's future actions (environment shapes actions shapes environment...)
Yeah, immediate environment (sorry if I wasn't clear before) - I think that someone may have personality traits that may, say, predispose them to commit an assault, but unless their immediate environment (such as in a nightclub, where there's loud music, it's warm, and it's crowded) provides enough pressure to overcome any inhibitions/obstacles to committing said act of assault, then the crime won't go ahead.
That's awesome (that you're studying criminology). You probably told me before, but...:S My university only offers a certificate in criminology, but I think I'll take the five or so courses necessary (just for kicks).
I'm guessing you stand fairly on the 'nurture' side of the nature/nurture debate, then?
(sorry, I had to break up my post into two parts) :P
I think that environmental criminology is a pretty interesting area of research, but I don't agree with the theory that crimes are purely a result of environment, and that anyone, given the right circumstances, would be a criminal - I think that the criminal's personality plays a very pronounced part in a crime (and whether or not it goes ahead). On the other hand, the theory that a criminal is a criminal because of his or her personality alone has serious flaws...so I think it's really a little bit of both, to be honest.
By the way, if you don't mind me asking - what are you studying in university?
Waaaaaaittt....I didn't sign up on this forum to be snuggled! :P
Also, no worries about the delay - c'est la vie.
As to how I see criminals...on one hand, I view them as simply being one piece of the crime - crime being a confluence of three main factors: the criminal, the environment of the crime, and the crime itself (there are probably a lot more, but...) On one level, this leads me to view criminals quite impartially - just another step to figuring out the puzzle. On the other hand, I know that criminals are people, so viewing them entirely objectively really doesn't work - these two viewpoints contribute to me seeing criminals as a "human element" to crimes. As to why...I think it's because of a mixture of opportunity, a criminogenic environment, learned behaviours, and a choice (although I don't always agree with the rational choice theory).
gotcha. I think that getting to understand one's self is why psychology in general is so popular (just look at everyone on intpforum discussing the MBTI ). I have a question for you, actually - how do you see criminals? it's intentionally fairly open, so...
hmm, I guess if you're that adamant on me staying... :P
well, I suppose it's understanding it that really intrigues me - to sort of see what factors contributed to the crime, and why. I think I started to get interested in it after reading about it...in both fiction and non-fiction books, and seeing the (mainly fictional) detectives do their work - Poirot, L, Dupin...
so, in short - figuring out the inner machinations of the mind, I guess.
"If we considered factors in the individuals life, such as parents, experiences good and traumatic, and then choose what we felt was a good moral status, (lets say in this case one that is beneficial to others), could we not develop a logical, quantitative means of measuring morals?"
We could try, but what we would be measuring with that method wouldn't be the "goodness" of morals. It would be a quotient of the "goodness"/unlikelihood.
My personal philosophy though would deem the acquirement of the morality negligible (compared to the magnitude of "goodness" the morality has itself), and possibly irrelevant (because moralities can be archived in books and computers, and aren't necessarily attached to any person).
(I have used inverted commas sometimes when referring to "goodness" in these recent messages, because "goodness" is subjective. When I use the term "goodness" in these messages, I mean so with the condition: "If goodness was objective".)
Since "goodness" is subjective (I cannot answer your questions on what determines what is good; it's all relative), no particular stance on what is good is a universal truth, and thus, objectively, one may soundly possess the philosophy that "all moralities are equal in validity". Your additional concern of "the unlikelyness to acquire the morality" doesn't come into play here.
Regardless, the "goodness" of morals is not affected by how they were acquired. If you want to pat people on the back for ending up with morals that were unlikely for them to end up with, go ahead, but my philosophy would be that such an additional praise is trumped by any magnitude of the actual morals them self (e.g: if racism was considered to be objectively bad, and if individual A was completely non-racist while individual B was completely non-racist except that he/she believed that their own race was less than 1% inferior to other races, then I would still consider individual A's morality to be more "good").
So basically, how good an individual's morality is, and how unlikely (and/or difficult) it would be for the individual to have ended up with such a morality, are two separate things.
What you are getting at is similar in essence to the concept of achievement by the method of a task. For example, no one would care if an individual crossed the Pacific Ocean in a motor boat, but if they did the same thing but sailed in a raft instead, then the task's completion may receive awe.
However, in this example, the achievements were different, but the goal for both methods was the same.
"Then this suggests that each and every moral status is unique."
Not necessarily (theoretically, two individuals could have the exact same morals in everything), but if by "moral status" you are referring to "the combination of the morals them self and the acknowledgement of how difficult they were to acquire for the particular person considering their experiences", then maybe your statement is correct ("maybe" because theoretically, two individuals could have the same experiences in alternate universes or something).
when you say "think of the perks," I imagine that I would be able to get hot chocolate any time I wanted...which would be pretty sweet I suppose (but still, too much work!)
my life has been going, uh, somewhere? it's been great so far, though. I'm going to complete my undergraduate degree, and then see where it takes me (although I have a few ideas where I want to head after that).
I define "smartness" as the combination of intelligence and creativity (where "intelligence" is the faculty of understanding, and "creativity" is the originality and fluency of mental composition). I don't believe that one can judge another's level of smartness by the university course they get into. I don't believe we know enough material on each other to be able to validly judge who is smarter. But thanks for the modesty! I appreciate that in a person.
Your parents didn't let you go back to school? Regardless, you don't know, you could have done well.
I did kind of meh overall in my results to be honest. I got into my course because surprisingly the demand for it went down in my particular year.
Physics with Astronomy wasn't my first choice; "Theoretical Physics" was. I didn't get a high enough grade in maths to do Theoretical Physics, plus there are very few places anyway, although apparently there is a vacant place in one university for it at the moment, but again, my maths grade wasn't high enough for me to be eligible for the place (I got a C2; a B2 is required for that university). Ironically though I'm considered a maths nerd to my friends. I guess I'm a non-academic maths nerd (like, for example, when I should have been studying for my exams, I was working on some original maths formulas for a thing).
This one? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1235124/ Oh, I don't know, book adaptations usually suck so hard... and all of the movies of this director got ratings around 5-6, I guess this doesn't help much either.