With our short leash of choice that is pinned down by our random chemical fluctuations, genetic programming, and random situation and resources it is dificult to say how responsible we are for our actions. I would not simply propose that transgressions be excused, but it is too often our reaction to condemn entirely the nature of the accused as if we ourselves had never acted in ways not typical of our behavior or even what would would have chosen to do. How much are we a slave to this machine of ours and the stimuli that prick it onward? Have we ever chosen? Given the same circumstances as the accused, would we not have ended up the same? Is the condemnation of the suposed guilty just an exercise in placating the majority? Do we merely make ourselves feel better? What kind of justice is done with a system of prohibitions and punishments? does this heal the community or amplify the damage? When our tribal natures are poorly managed by a system of hierarchy and when we are forced into such great population density with so few resources, what is anyone to do? Can we really restrain these biological machines we pilot? If a vehicle obeyed as poorly as our bodies we would simply discard it. There's the rub however. Is this just a machine we are forced inside, or are we simply the product of chemicals and nueral firings? I don't pretend to understand bio chemistry very well, as you can see, so I do not know what the self may be. What I do know is that I am not fatalistic at all, though I believe we lack control. There is no force save for chaos that controls what happens. Random happenings that created random shells that react to each other and other stimuli on and on without end or control. How do you wield any power amidst it all?