On 6/6/2012 10:56 AM, R AM wrote:
On Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 6:57 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net
On 6/6/2012 9:30 AM, R AM wrote:
On Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 6:18 PM, Brian Tenneson <tenn...@gmail.com
I think people make choices from among available options many times
and that is why the concept in question exists.
I agree that people make choices. I dont't think it is free will.
You said that people would believe that it would unfair to punish anyone if
were no "free will". I agree that people believe that
If there were no "free will" of what kind? contra-causal? compatibilist?
Contral-causal, I guess. What I'm defending is that the belief in free-will is, in part,
a social construct, useful from the social/legal point of view, as you say. We are
educated to believe it.
The social/legal concept is certainly a social construct, and one that has evolved over
time from simple revenge and "an eye for an eye" to all sorts mitigating and exacerbating
factors. I think that belief in contra causal free will is natural and not a social
construct. It arises from that "feeling I could have done otherwise" and then, by the
theory of mind, the other guy "could have done otherwise". We will have be educated to
And even if it's not fair (another social term) it may be a useful thing
I'm pretty convinced it is not fair. "Doing the right thing" is just a skill, like any
other (running fast, jumping, intelligence, ...), and different people posess it to
different degrees. Yet, from a social point of view, we consider everybody to have "the
same amount of free will", excet in extreme cases (madness, drunkenness, etc). It's
definitely not fair, but on the other hand, it is difficult to see what else we could
do. It's useful for society to consider it that way.
We take into account those causative factors we understand and can change, but even if we
realize the brain is strictly deterministic we don't know how to modify it except by crude
methods like punishment and drugs and frontal lobotomies. We don't know how adjust
people's values (or maybe we do, c.f. "A Clockwork Orange") or will.
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