On 6/6/2012 9:08 AM, Brian Tenneson wrote:
Speaking of the legal aspect,
Yes, Hitler exercised his *insert gibberish here* when he issued orders to kill
IF "*gibberish*" does not exist, then how can we hold criminals culpable in that they
had no choice but to commit crime? Seems unfair to punish anyone under those circumstances.
It's that idea of fairness or justice that seems to connect the idea of 'free will' to
social policy. But is it really needed to make the connection? Why not look at as just
rule utilitarianism, e.g. punishment will be a deterrent to others (would we execute
murders to satisfy justice if it were known to increase the incidence of murder?) and a
satisfaction to victims. So justice and fairness are values derived to make a good
society and need not be considered fundamental. The social/legal 'free will', meaning
nobody made him do it, still applies and we even distinguish degrees of coercion as
mitigating factors. Low level Nazis were considered less culpable because to disobey
would have risked their own lives.
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