On Thu, Jun 9, 2011 at 10:00 AM, Rex Allen <rexallen31...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm also fine with block-multiverse. And with a block-mindscape.
> Neither of which allow for free will. Since both of which are static,
> unchanging, and unchangeable - making it impossible that anyone "could
> have done otherwise" than they actually did. No one can be free of
> that fact - and therefore no one has free will.
'making it impossible that anyone "could have done otherwise" than they
You say it is impossible that anyone could have done otherwise from what
they did. Well what determined what they did? Their mind? Their biology?
Their chemistry? The physics of the subatomic motions of the particles in
To say the mind is not doing any decision making because its behavior can be
explained at a level where the mind's operation cannot be understood, is
like saying a computer is not computing or a car is not driving, because if
you look at a computer or a car at a low enough level you see only particles
moving in accordance with various forces applied to them. You can render
meaningless almost any subject by describing it at the wrong level. You
might as well say there is no meaningful difference between a cat and a
rock, since they are after all, just electrons and quarks.
If you describe the mind at the correct level, you find it is making
decisions. You say it is impossible that the decision it makes could have
been otherwise. This is good for the mind, it means it is guaranteed that
its will is carried out.
That said, I don't mean to say there are not interesting implications for
some of the concepts discussed on this list, such as the definition of
personal identity or the view that we are all part of one mind/self/soul.
Regarding personal identity, does it make sense to punish the 50 year old
man with a prison sentence if it was a different person who committed the
act 20 years ago? (If you regard the two as different persons). Further,
is there any role of punishment / retribution in the justice system when had
we been born in another persons shoes we would have made the same decisions
and ended up in the same place as that person? If ultimately we are the
same person, we should have much more compassion and understanding for
others and their actions.
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