On 13 May 2012, at 03:48, Pierz wrote:

I remember a kid back in secondary school saying to me that if everything was determined - as seemed inevitable to him from his understanding of physics - then you might as well give up and despair, since that was inevitable anyway! I tried to explain that this was a confusion of levels between the absolute and the relative, the same point that Bruno is making. From an absolute perspective, we may be completely determined (or partially random, it makes no difference essentially), from *inside* that system, our best way of acting is *as if* free will/responsibility etc were real. Obviously, if I act as if determinism was not a cause for despair, my life is going to look a lot better than if I did, and seeing as the absolute determinism of things does not tell me which way to decide the issue, I'm forced to use my relative local wisdom to decide on the former.


John Clarke seems to be saying that the law is an ass, not because of human-level failures of reasoning/justice etc, but because the criminal was predestined to act the way s/he did, or behaved randomly, and in either case no reponsibility can be assigned. But the mistake here is the same as the one made by my high school friend.

Yes. It is the same error, or quite related, to miss the difference between 1-view and 3-view, despite free will and 1-indeterminacy are related to different form of indeterminacy. But in both case Clark abstracts himself from the local situation, like if the local situation did not add and hide some (personal, local) information.

The absolute perspective has nothing useful to say about the local/ relative one.


If we were to follow this philosophy, the courage of heroes such as Nelson Mandela would be no cause for Nobel Peace Prizes,

(BTW, since Obama get the Nobel prize of peace, for no reason, and since he made Guantanamo into US laws), I think the Nobel prize has lost a lot of its possible appeal, imho).

and the acts of villains such as Anders Breivik no cause for censure, because such of their inevitability in the absolute scheme of things.

The problem is that *not* censuring or *not* awarding prizes are also evaluative acts, about which determinism and the absolute perspective have nothing to say. And I believe that no-one, not even JC himself, can escape the human perspective. When he loads derision and sarcasm on other contributors' arguments, he is acting as if they had a choice in what they believed. There can be no fools in the abolute perpective, as there can be no criminals.

Good point.



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