On Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 9:40 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> On 12 Sep 2010, at 21:43, Stephen P. King wrote:
>> The only
>> explanation that I can think of for this is that the hope of an impersonal
>> determinism that obtains from the block-static reality doctrine allows it
>> adherents to avoid all notions of personal responsibility for their
> On the contrary, it is explained that free-will and responsibility is
> unavoidable from inside. To use the determinacy of the big whole would be
> like to give a name to God, and that is explicitly making any Löbian machine
> inconsistent, and worth: incorrect.
> We are typically partially responsible for our normal futures.
"Whatever may be thought about it as a matter of ultimate metaphysics,
it is quite clear that nobody believes it in practice. Everyone has
always believed that it is possible to train character; everyone has
always known that alcohol or opium will have a certain effect on
behaviour. The apostle of free will maintains that a man can by will
power avoid getting drunk, but he does not maintain that when drunk a
man can say "British Constitution" as clearly as if he were sober. And
everybody who has ever had to do with children knows that a suitable
diet does more to make them virtuous than the most eloquent preaching
in the world. The one effect that the free- will doctrine has in
practice is to prevent people from following out such common-sense
knowledge to its rational conclusion. When a man acts in ways that
annoy us we wish to think him wicked, and we refuse to face the fact
that his annoying behaviour is a result of antecedent causes which, if
you follow them long enough, will take you beyond the moment of his
birth and therefore to events for which he cannot be held responsible
by any stretch of imagination."
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