On 06 Jun 2012, at 18:23, meekerdb wrote:
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 the Jews.
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.
OK, but then they are more victim than guilty, and have to present
themselves as such. A popular jury might help to evaluate the sincerity.
It is difficult to judge responsibility, and more so when it is
diluted in social collective organizations, and even much more so when
fear and intimidation are technic of power.
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