Back to beans
I wonder if sentiments incompatible with determinism are playing a roll in the way you/we think about this.
The man who chooses the beans suffers as a result of not getting the treatment paid for. What is the justification? Surely it’s that “it’s his own silly fault” so he doesn’t deserve the help.
The justification is that he, as a normal functioning rational person, knew the consequences. Society should be consequent in executing its own made consequences.
The trouble is he had exactly the same chance of not choosing to eat the beans as the retarded person.
Of course not. The mentally healthy person can better oversee the consequences of his actions.
It’s just a matter of degree. The possible world in which the retarded person would have chosen not to eat the beans is further away from the actual world, that’s all. You might argue that the retarded person wouldn’t be the same person in that world but it makes no different. The point is that neither person could have magically lept into the other world.
Sorry Stephen, we are running in the same circles again and again: if a person is able to see the consequences of his deeds, the natural consequences, the moral consequences, and the punitive consequences, then he is responsible. To be able to see consequences, a certain minimum of determinism is needed, because without regularities one cannot know the consequences, as they might greatly differ from a previous time when you did a similar thing.
You are looking for some metaphysical kind of ‘responsibility’, built-in in nature. Because such a thing does not exist, you think that people are not responsible. But you are looking for responsibility at the wrong place.