On Sat, Apr 16, 2011 at 4:41 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi <use...@rudnyi.ru> wrote:
> On 15.04.2011 21:16 Rex Allen said the following:
>> On Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 3:45 AM, Bruno Marchal<marc...@ulb.ac.be>
>>> I think it is a bit dangerous, especially that there is already a
>>> social tendency to dissolve responsibility among those taking
>> Rewarding bad behavior will get you more bad behavior - but this is
>> a consequence of human nature, and has nothing to do with free will.
>> Even if we take a purely deterministic, mechanistic view of human
>> nature, the question remains: "What works best in promoting a
>> well-ordered society?"
>> Society, in that crime is only an issue when you have more than one
>> person involved.
>> Is more criminal behavior due to correctable conditions that can be
>> alleviated through education programs or by a more optimal
>> distribution of the wealth that is generated by society as a whole?
>> In other words, can criminal behavior be minimized proactively?
>> Or is most criminal behavior an unavoidable consequence of human
>> nature, and thus deterrence by threat of punishment is the most
>> effective means of minimizing that behavior? In other words, can
>> criminal behavior only be addressed reactively?
>> The question is: As a practical matter, what works best?
>> What results in the greatest good for the greatest number? Whatever
>> it is, I vote we do that.
> It seems that your question "As a practical matter, what works best?"
> implies that there is still some choice. Could you please comment on how
> such a questions corresponds to your position in respect on free will?
That I don’t believe in free will doesn’t imply that I shouldn't act.
It just means that I don’t believe that I am the ultimate author of my
A welding robot in a car factory has no free will, and yet it goes
about it’s business anyway. Free will is not required for action.
If the robot reacts to sensor input, it’s reactions don't require free
will in order to explain.
And neither do my actions and reactions require free will to explain.
Determinism, randomness, or some mixture of the two are sufficient for
But even without free will, I still have things that I want. And if I
want to do something and I’m able to do it, then I will do it. If I
don’t want to do something, then I won’t. Determinism doesn’t change
this...it just states that I don’t *freely choose* what I want or how
I act on those wants.
What ultimately matters to me is the quality of my experiences. And I
act accordingly. When my head hurts, I take aspirin. But a robot
could be programmed to make that same kind of “choice”: if damage
detected, then activate repair routines. It's not indicative of free
Returning to your original question - I want to live in a well ordered
society, and I act accordingly...by voting that we focus on pragmatic
solutions, and by advising against muddying the water with nonsensical
concepts like "free will" and "moral responsibility" that come with
Why do I want to live in a well ordered society, and why do I feel
that the approach mentioned above is the best way to achieve that
goal? Why does it matter to me?
Well...to the extent that this isn't determined by the causal
structure of reality, it's random.
But it still matters to me, even though I recognize that it doesn't
matter in any other sense. And this subjective meaning is enough.
The libertarians and compatibilists are focused on the wrong thing.
It’s not the choices that matter...it’s the experience.
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