My response, which was lost when my cat crawled on my lap, and laptop, causing an hour’s work to vanish (the ‘dog ate my homework’ brought up to date), repeated my example of judging a killing using the instance of the pedophile with a tumor: essentially, I said that it would be just and fair to give him a lesser sentence.
Having lost that response, and not having leisure to reproduce it, I thought further, perhaps Stephen was asking after my source or standard for justification and fairness. I cannot point to a holy writ, or idea of good; rather, my source or standard for justification is informed by my upbringing, by what I learned by reading and in conversation, and by my experience in life.
My question to Stephen is: how do you decide whether an act is justified or fair?
I don’t know. I don’t think any one deserves to suffer the consequences of their actions but we all have to.
When we are inflicting the suffering it cannot be justified on their deserving it in the sense that they could have done otherwise. Can it ever be fair on them?
Can we make the golden rule work somehow? I’m pessimistic but I would like to be wrong.
Iran has a choice whether to keep on trying to make a nuculear weapon or not. Given the circumstances they are in, I think form their point of view it will look like the best thing they can do is continue with the program.
they will probably be bombed, sanctions imposed against them and so on.
Will this be justified bacause they had a choice. No. but that reason will be given, how fair we were to give them so many chances but they took none of them.
I have no answers here but I do think that if we stopped believing in ‘should’, ‘ought’ and ‘deserve’ terms and focused on the fact that in a given situation people will behave as they behave, we can all work together to bring about better circumstances. without thinking they shouldn’t have done that so they are the problem.
I watched a program on Iran again (only a coincidence)
It was very distressing, a youmg woman was hanged from a crane in public for having sex before marriage.
this is absolutely abhorrent to us, why not to many Iranians?
the reasons they believed she deserved what she got because she knew the penalty and she had a choice. she could have decided not to but she didn’t.
It is much easier to see how warped this is when looking at another countries attitudes than our own. but the attitude is warped in any case.
Neither pedophile deserves what happens to them. they are both in the same boat. Neither could have done otherwise in the circumstances at the time.
because we can see the cause of one’s actions we accept that for him. when we can’t see the cause we don’t accept it.
My interest in a case like this is not what should we do about it but how would our feelings change if we did not believe in free will.
If our feelings change then our thoughts and behaviour will change.
it is not just our feelings that would change what about the ‘criminals’
Very few people think of themselves as bad, they justify their actions to themselves somehow.
if we didn’t believe in free will they could not justify it in the sense the person deserves it, in the could do otherwise sence. I think many crimes happen as a result of this kind of justification.
This is not just to do with criminal cases, in fact they are a very small part of it.
It is to do with how we feel about ourselves our family our neibours our country and other nations.
We would stop blaming in the deep sense we do and I think be able to cooperate better to find solutions to our problems. I think we would simply be ‘nicer’
Hatred would be reduced look at the two pedophile cases to see that and our ability to forgive, well we could hardly not.
These are just two examples. We would live in a completely different world if we didn’t believe in free will.
Philosophers tend to concentrate on good things that we would lose.
but we lose nothing, we can still have all the choice and freedom we want.
Because they are so focused on keeping the ‘free will’ we want, most miss the point that their is a free will we don’t want.
Our emotional responses are trained along the lines of could do otherwise at the time in the circumstances.
So it is hard to emotionally feel what harm that may be doing and so is not considered important.
I hope more people will start to realise this is important and start to enquire into the damage it may be doing.
p.s if I don’t reply to any responses, it will be because I’ve got lots to do and need to keep of this topic for a while