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Behavioural Science

Are The Roots of Crime Biological?

A New Scientist Best Book of 2013. Winner of The Athenaeum of Philadelphia's Annual Literary Award. Why do some kids from good environments become mass murderers? Is there actually such a thing as a natural born killer?

There are many theories about what makes people behave the way they do, but it comes down to a full belly, a stable family life and peace.

Adrian Raine, a pioneering neurocriminologist introduces the latest biological research into the causes of--and potential cures for--criminal behaviour.
A few successful tests show that this approach can, indeed, work. On the island of Mauritius, for example, Raine and his colleagues provided extra nutrition, exercise and intellectual enrichment to a group of children for two years, beginning at age 3.

When they tested them at age 11, they found the children's brains had matured faster than those of kids from comparable backgrounds who had not been part of this programme - and, a decade later, they showed 35 per cent less criminal behaviour. Check out the book.

Human life is largely dependent on perception and interpretation of perception. The person or group of people who see nature as our means of survival and also a prison but who can bring the active intelligence to bear are best able to have a more pleasant life.

But all the people who suffer various forms of hunger, malnutrition and social injustice, and these people are usually those who don't receive an adequate education feel maligned or outcast. I suggest that it is this injustice that creates deviance within our population.

But over countless generations injustice has been perpetuated and enculturation giving rise to sectors within the civilisation whose ancestors have never known peace and they have little chance of knowing piece or even having a decent life.

All suffering is based on ignorance and the stages of human life or evolution may be considered from the standpoint of the person who is drowning in water.

The people trapped in various forms of social injustice and inequity are like the person drowning, struggling to find breath and cling on to life which ever way they can. But when their head breaks the water and they can breathe freely, they experience a moment of peace.

When they finally haul themselves out of the water and stand on the shore, they know peace and this is the beginning of human life on earth. The next requirement is a full belly and meaningful association with other life which gives rise to contentment and happiness.

But when they become immersed in the wonder of life, no longer drowning, no longer hungry but involved, life becomes joyful. So peace is simply a basic freedom from suffering whereas happiness comes from real freedom which gives rise to the possibility of joy, bliss, and ecstasy.

It is because of social inequity and malnutrition that groups of people have become in cultureated outcasts with a strong desire to live, therefore they would do whatever it takes and yet their societies remain trapped in suffering.

We are supposedly intelligent beings, so how is it that we don't see this? How is it that we don't see the interdependent relationship we have with our planet's and with each other?

Until such time as we awaken this intelligence within all of us, until such time as we address social inequity and make a real peace on a planetary level, there will always be crime and various forms of deviant behaviour that push human reactivity to violent extremes.

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