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Unread July 17th, 2006, 07:41 AM
alexandra_k alexandra_k is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 106
Default Re: free will, determinism, and morality

Clarification of points of difference (I do find these useful!)

YOU: It is too counter-intuitive to say that we have discovered that free will requires causation, we are better off saying that we have discovered that there is no such thing as free will.

ME: It does sound a little odd, but it is not really so different from finding out that the sun isn't the centre of the universe after all, and that there are black swans, and that the speed of light in a constant. Theories change over time.

YOU: It doesn't matter so much that we don't have free will because we can have moral responsibility without having free will.

ME: Now how counter-intuitive is that? Now you are asking us to revise our concept of moral responsibility! I would say that that is every bit as counter-intuitive as saying that we should revise our concept of free will! So why do things my way rather than yours? Because it allows us to agree with all the judgments that the folk make about certain acts being free, while certain other acts are not free whereas you want us to make the 'not free' judgement in every single case which is very counter-intuitive indeed.

Our view of the world is the same. We seem to agree on the causal processes in the world. The causal process from genes + environment to inner mental states to other inner mental states to behaviour. We seem to agree that that causal process is determined by microphysical properties of the world and the laws of nature that will come to be unearthed by physics. Our view of the world is the same.

What we are getting hung up on is what term to use to refer to part of it.

I say 'lets call that free will' and you say 'lets not'.

The dispute is solely verbal.
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