Thread: Free Will
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Unread February 11th, 2006, 10:22 PM
alexandra_k alexandra_k is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 106
Default Re: Free Will

responsibility without the possibility of having done otherwise...

this little example might help:

suppose you have a kid. maybe... age 6. you take the kid into a shop. the kid (accidentally or intentionally it doesn't matter) breaks something.

you are responsible and must pay for damages
(i'm assuming you will grant me that)

and here you are responsible for something you didn't even do!

ah... but you COULD have watched the child more carefully. or you COULD have not taken the child into that shop.

what does the COULD mean?

well... you didn't think to do this...
your environment and your genes were such that that didn't occur to you...
but in being held responsible...
that becomes a new environmental influence
it acts as a punisher
which means that
in the future your environment and your genes are such that... that is more likely to occur to you (and be acted upon) in the future.

hence... justice isn't about retribution, it is about rehabilitation and prevention of future reoffending.

regarding type one and two cases... maybe it has something to do with the liklihood of recurrance... when the guy shot his wife... well... he might go on to shoot other people who do things he doesn't like. so... best lock him up. regarding the person with the gun in their face... how likely is that situation to recurr? not very. so we let them off. regarding the person holding the gun to their face... might recurr. hence... lock them up.

but that is law. legal responsibility.
regarding morality... it is harder...
but then i think ethics should be naturalised (given an evolutionary explanation) too.
that will involve altering our conception of moral responsibility most probably.
but i think thats okay. but i don't have that all worked out...
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