In reality people are essentially not in control of who they are, what they do, not fundamentally anyway, we are all simply the products of our experiences. No one chooses their genetics, who raises them, their experiences, ultimately we have no real power in a fundamental way.
This is of course a claim, im perfectly open to anyone suggesting otherwise.
Many people find this dissolution of 'free will' (whatever thats supposed to be) to be de-humanizing or somehow absolve us of responsibility, to suggest that we have no 'purpose' or that everything is simply pointless, this seems to me to be a massive confusion.
Life for life's sake, existence for existence's sake.
If a man is born, raised and lives certain experiances that lead to him being a deeply flawed human, what does it even mean to say that he could have done otherwise? further, what on earth could it possibly mean to say that this man 'deserves' to be punished for any wrongdoings?
Of coruse we are perfectly validated by reason to prevent this man from causing harm, if a person shows themselves to be a system of thoughts and beliefs that can likely lead to actions that negatively affect the well-being of others, then tis perfectly reasonable to imprison this person, or to do anything we can to prevent that harm, but how does it make any sense to 'hate' this person? or to seek 'vengeance' upon him?
The simply fact is that if you were born with the brain of a psychopath, and raised with insufficient experiences to prevent you from causeing harm to others, then regardless of how much you think you would fight these tenancies, you simply would be a dangerous person, where does any room for personal responsibility come into it?
A note on what i mean by responsibility: people are not ultimately responsible for their actions, but we must act responsible, and hold each other responsible, for practical reasons. While still recognizing intellectually that we are not the arbiters of who we are, and as such things like hatred, vengance etc, make no sense.
The difference here being that, one should not hate Hitler, one should pity Hitler, hate what he does, and strive to prevent it, but were one to become in possession of Hitler himself, if you could ensure he could do no harm, it would be your moral responsibility to ensure he was comfortable and happy. Regardless of his evil actions, he was still a conscious being and did not 'deserve' to be harmed, for what would it actually achieve?