If there is no freewill, should we punish people at all?

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shadowdweller
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If there is no free will, and people's decisions are predetermined, would we really responsible be for our actions? And if not, is it therefore justifiable to punish someone for something they couldn't control?
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philo-jitsu
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I don't think we need a legal system for 'punishment', as punishment is just a form of vengeance/revenge and is therefore illogical. I believe we need a justice system and sentencing/prisons in order to form a safer society. So to answer your question, whether or not a person is responsible for a crime is irrelevant. Its about determining the likelihood of a repeat offence, or simply whether society would be safer/function more optimally without them.

A lion doesn't know its not okay to eat people, but if one is running round central London it needs to be put in a cage/somewhere it cant harm people
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Freddyt58
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If we had the choice to "punish" people then we have a modicum of free will to then administer judgement onto others.

If there was no free will at all then we would merely do what ever we were programmed/designed to do.

Just my thoughts on the matter :
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Seelowe
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>If there is no free will

If there's no free will I suppose not, but none of the arguments for its non-existence convince me.
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Asolare
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Everyone has some level of control over their actions (except for the severely mentally ill) so that level of control is always punishable.
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da_nolo
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Would we have a decision not to punish if we did not have free will?
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ForestShadow
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(Original post by shadowdweller)
If there is no free will, and people's decisions are predetermined, would we really responsible be for our actions?
No we wouldnt be responsible.

Since when have ppl been responsible for stuff they couldnt control?

Are you reposnbile for Katrina 2005, Harambe or Brexit?

ok apart from maybe the last one but you get the idea :lol:

(Original post by shadowdweller)
And if not, is it therefore justifiable to punish someone for something they couldn't control?
As answered before no, its not justifiable but this all assumes we dont have free will.

And we have free will, even if we dont, Id like to think I do :007:
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Farm_Ecology
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(Original post by shadowdweller)
If there is no free will, and people's decisions are predetermined, would we really responsible be for our actions? And if not, is it therefore justifiable to punish someone for something they couldn't control?
Idealy, no. But punishment is useful for deterence and rehabilitation. Of course, punishment for the sake of vengeance is immoral and illogical.
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RagingWhoreMoans
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What bothers me about this question whenever it comes up is how internally inconsistent it is, if there is no such thing as free will, then it makes no sense to criticise the state or any other man-made system given than these things must also not have free will, ergo there is no ''should''.
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Harvey'sLaw
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(Original post by philo-jitsu)
I don't think we need a legal system for 'punishment', as punishment is just a form of vengeance/revenge and is therefore illogical. I believe we need a justice system and sentencing/prisons in order to form a safer society. So to answer your question, whether or not a person is responsible for a crime is irrelevant. Its about determining the likelihood of a repeat offence, or simply whether society would be safer/function more optimally without them.

A lion doesn't know its not okay to eat people, but if one is running round central London it needs to be put in a cage/somewhere it cant harm people
I believe there completely is free will. You can always choose your actions. There is always a choice. Of course there are situations where people may be moe at risk of crime, such as those who have grown up in a criminal household, but you will always have your life experiences of what is right and wrong. You will always know what the law is, and therefore, are aware of the choice you make when breaking the law.


The problem is that we live in a society where our justice system neither punishes nor reforms.
Some criminals are incapable of reform, so should these people not be punished? I mean a serial killer of 50 strangers is unlikely to become safe for release in society. So, because these criminals are unable to contribute in society, due to their own wrongful actions, are the free meals, shelter, entertainment and exercise provided in prisons an ethical thing for them to recieve? Especially when the lower class struggle so much to provide these things whilst working and living as law abiding citizens.

However, for those of petty crimes, I believe the focus should be rehabilitation. The majority of those who go to prison for these crimes re-offend due to their experiences in prison. Criminals who have committed one off crimes, or crimes such as bread stealing are lumped in prisons with murders and rapists. We should do more to teach them valuable life skills, educate them, both on intellectual and manual work, and job skills, and offer them the opportunity to better themselves so they can contribute to society.
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