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    (Original post by Substantia)
    Their choice was made when balancing their desire to kill with their moral considerations.
    In other words, their choice was made when balancing their desire to kill with their desire to conform to moral considerations. Whichever desire is the greatest will win out, and unless we control what it is we desire, we have no meaningful control over how we will act.
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    (Original post by miser)
    In other words, their choice was made when balancing their desire to kill with their desire to conform to moral considerations. Whichever desire is the greatest will win out, and unless we control what it is we desire, we have no meaningful control over how we will act.
    hmm :erm: you've ruined my day miser! (I was meant to be revising but have spent far too much time revisiting compatibilism and that damn free will argument!) You can't choose what you desire, but maybe that is not necessary for moral accountability. Oh well I can always fall back on Peter Strawsons reactive moral attitudes system to save me from the evil that is incompatibilist determinism!
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    (Original post by Substantia)
    hmm :erm: you've ruined my day miser! (I was meant to be revising but have spent far too much time revisiting compatibilism and that damn free will argument!) You can't choose what you desire, but maybe that is not necessary for moral accountability. Oh well I can always fall back on Peter Strawsons reactive moral attitudes system to save me from the evil that is incompatibilist determinism!
    The compatibilist argument makes great sense to me, except when they call what they're talking about 'free' will. I don't believe in incompatibilist determinism because I want to believe it, but because it is the default in the absence of good reasons to believe otherwise.
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    (Original post by miser)
    The compatibilist argument makes great sense to me, except when they call what they're talking about 'free' will. I don't believe in incompatibilist determinism because I want to believe it, but because it is the default in the absence of good reasons to believe otherwise.
    Tbh I don't have a huge problem with incompatibilist determinism, but what I don't like is that there are many people (not you) who jump to hasty conclusions about fatalism as soon as they read an article like "Scientists find evil gene" or "criminals have different brains". As you have no doubt noticed there are always a fair few fatalists that appear on tsr threads concerning free will.
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    (Original post by Substantia)
    Tbh I don't have a huge problem with incompatibilist determinism, but what I don't like is that there are many people (not you) who jump to hasty conclusions about fatalism as soon as they read an article like "Scientists find evil gene" or "criminals have different brains". As you have no doubt noticed there are always a fair few fatalists that appear on tsr threads concerning free will.
    Just because we don't have free will doesn't mean we shouldn't get out of bed in the morning.
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    (Original post by miser)
    Just because we don't have free will doesn't mean we shouldn't get out of bed in the morning.
    But the lack of free will does mean that we will start to dehumanise people more. When we start treating all people like patients who have committed a crime through no fault of their own we objectify them. Or that the rewards they are receiving are not due to their personal choices but are merely to encourage future performance.

    Now in some instances this objectification may seem more humane, we are no longer punishing people for events out of their control. But we also lose the humanity in human relationships if we take this a step too far. A world without free will (not libertarian free will, compatibilist) is a world where we can still make choices but the reasons that we give for our choices are ignored, and we are dehumanised. I have a place at medical school next year and I'm about to start a career in which humane human relationships are essential, I think it's important to be able to distinguish between illness and immorality.

    Now an increased understanding for why people do things is good, don't get me wrong I love science. But although the deconstruction of the self and agent responsibility may bring a little more justice to the justice system, it ruins our human relationships. When I punch you in the face I don't want to be diagnosed with 'aggressive disorder caused by traumatic childhood in combination with A12C gene expression' I want to be taken seriously as an intentional agent and as a fellow human being. Equally when I achieve something I don't want told sorry mate it's just your 'A*AA gene coupled with good schooling, middle class upbringing, and good established relationship with father'

    Now although this may be the case it still seems to me that there is value in trying to re-define free will. I'm not suggesting the metaphysical libertarian kind, but to draw the line at 'I can't choose my past so I'm not responsible for my future actions'. In some cases we can say tough luck i'm going to punish you anyway, but even better than that we can say tough luck but you really ought to have done differently and I'm entitled to my feeling of resentment.

    This isn't to say that there are never any excuses, physical restraint and mental incapacity are valid. And compatibilism recognises this. But excuses that go beyond the reasons that you can provide and that reach farther back into your history and deeper into your genes and that cannot be causally established excuses are not valid. Compatibilism is a philosophical art of defining when people can reasonably be held responsible and reasonably receive our blame, not just for future preventative measures but in order remain human. Therefore I think that compatibilism is definitely a goal worth aiming for.
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    (Original post by Substantia)
    But the lack of free will does mean that we will start to dehumanise people more. When we start treating all people like patients who have committed a crime through no fault of their own we objectify them. Or that the rewards they are receiving are not due to their personal choices but are merely to encourage future performance.

    Now in some instances this objectification may seem more humane, we are no longer punishing people for events out of their control. But we also lose the humanity in human relationships if we take this a step too far. A world without free will (not libertarian free will, compatibilist) is a world where we can still make choices but the reasons that we give for our choices are ignored, and we are dehumanised. I have a place at medical school next year and I'm about to start a career in which humane human relationships are essential, I think it's important to be able to distinguish between illness and immorality.

    Now an increased understanding for why people do things is good, don't get me wrong I love science. But although the deconstruction of the self and agent responsibility may bring a little more justice to the justice system, it ruins our human relationships. When I punch you in the face I don't want to be diagnosed with 'aggressive disorder caused by traumatic childhood in combination with A12C gene expression' I want to be taken seriously as an intentional agent and as a fellow human being. Equally when I achieve something I don't want told sorry mate it's just your 'A*AA gene coupled with good schooling, middle class upbringing, and good established relationship with father'

    Now although this may be the case it still seems to me that there is value in trying to re-define free will. I'm not suggesting the metaphysical libertarian kind, but to draw the line at 'I can't choose my past so I'm not responsible for my future actions'. In some cases we can say tough luck i'm going to punish you anyway, but even better than that we can say tough luck but you really ought to have done differently and I'm entitled to my feeling of resentment.

    This isn't to say that there are never any excuses, physical restraint and mental incapacity are valid. And compatibilism recognises this. But excuses that go beyond the reasons that you can provide and that reach farther back into your history and deeper into your genes and that cannot be causally established excuses are not valid. Compatibilism is a philosophical art of defining when people can reasonably be held responsible and reasonably receive our blame, not just for future preventative measures but in order remain human. Therefore I think that compatibilism is definitely a goal worth aiming for.
    Morning! :wavey: Actually I would say that a lack of belief in free will has made me more humanistic because I am not anymore of a mind to hold a thing against a person, but to recognise that their behaviour was a product of more complex mechanisms. It has made me more compassionate and empathetic, and I know of others who have said the same. I do not think it leads to the objectification of people, because nothing about determinism requires people to be seen as things to be used or manipulated; people may still be respected as conscious creatures with thoughts and feelings, desires and rights.

    About the punching-in-the-face scenario: determinism does not suggest that you are not an intentional agent - you are - it only says that you do not have free control over your intentions. It will still make sense for us to talk of people having intentions, and to prosecute them as such. We would just be more wary to levy against them meaningless charges like, "you should've known better." And on the A levels - a person who receives those results should just as well be praised because they still worked hard for it. Just because they happened to want to work hard doesn't invalidate the recognition deserved for their success.

    But what you say here isn't really an argument against determinism, but of saying how bad it would be if it were true. Even if I were to grant it that what you say is true and that determinism would lead to objectification and so on, we must nevertheless accept what is true even when we do not want it to be. In this case, my view is that determinism is the most likely scenario in the absence of strong reasons to believe otherwise.
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    (Original post by miser)
    Morning! :wavey:
    But what you say here isn't really an argument against determinism, but of saying how bad it would be if it were true. Even if I were to grant it that what you say is true and that determinism would lead to objectification and so on, we must nevertheless accept what is true even when we do not want it to be. In this case, my view is that determinism is the most likely scenario in the absence of strong reasons to believe otherwise.
    So what part of the compatibilists definition of free will do you not find so free?

    Example definition:

    "a set of capacities for imagining future courses of action, deliberating about one’s reasons for choosing them, planning one’s actions in light of this deliberation and controlling actions in the face of competing desires. We act of our own free will to the extent that we have the opportunity to exercise these capacities, without unreasonable external or internal pressure.”
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    (Original post by Substantia)
    So what part of the compatibilists definition of free will do you not find so free?

    Example definition:

    "a set of capacities for imagining future courses of action, deliberating about one’s reasons for choosing them, planning one’s actions in light of this deliberation and controlling actions in the face of competing desires. We act of our own free will to the extent that we have the opportunity to exercise these capacities, without unreasonable external or internal pressure.”
    That is a fine definition of what we are able to do, but it is misleading to call it freedom. There is no 'choice' when my deliberations consist only of realising what it is I want to do. I neither control my wants, nor am I free to act against them, and so I am wholly constrained.
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    (Original post by JohnPaul_)
    How dangerous, if it would be, to give up the assumption that we don't have Free Will? Neuroscientific studies are more and more pointing towards the direction of us not having free will.

    However I feel as though I have Free Will even if I don't.

    Thoughts?


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    f*** dude, consider your options more often.
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    so conscious thought is meaningless? it's nothing but sub-conscious, unconscious direction driven by circumstances and previous exposure to experience? and will doesn't exist only the illusion of it?
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    (Original post by LovinIt)
    so conscious thought is meaningless? it's nothing but sub-conscious, unconscious direction driven by circumstances and previous exposure to experience?
    Premise: x is determined wholly by prior causes and the influence of randomness.
    Conclusion: x is meaningless.

    I don't understand the connection here.

    (Original post by LovinIt)
    and will doesn't exist only the illusion of it?
    Will exists, it is just not in any meaningful sense 'free'.
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    (Original post by miser)
    That is a fine definition of what we are able to do, but it is misleading to call it freedom. There is no 'choice' when my deliberations consist only of realising what it is I want to do. I neither control my wants, nor am I free to act against them, and so I am wholly constrained.
    Fair enough, I suppose Schopenhauer's phrase sums it up quite nicely:

    Man can indeed do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wants
    (although I think he was referring to a different kind of will)
 
 
 
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