2 of 21
2
Responsibility without free will
Posted: 21 August 2007 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  672
Joined  2007-06-17

Regardless of societal norms and rules and fears of punishment, I still don’t think we have free will.  We’re chemical entities and determined by physical phenomenology so there is no chance of free will ever happening.  However, I think we should lock up anyone who transgresses to the point of illegality for our own protection and for the simple reason that wrog-doing often self-propagates.  By that I mean that, very often, a damaged individual will go on to damage someone else.  So, here’s a free-will denier saying “I don’t care if the electrochemical devil made you do it; you can serve your time and it’s not like you weren’t adequately warned”.

 Signature 

http://web.mac.com/normsherman/iWeb/Site/Podcast/833F918B-485B-42F4-B18C-4AB1436D9B87.html

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 August 2007 05:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5944
Joined  2006-12-20
narwhol - 21 August 2007 04:56 PM

Regardless of societal norms and rules and fears of punishment, I still don’t think we have free will.  We’re chemical entities and determined by physical phenomenology so there is no chance of free will ever happening.  However, I think we should lock up anyone who transgresses to the point of illegality for our own protection and for the simple reason that wrog-doing often self-propagates.  By that I mean that, very often, a damaged individual will go on to damage someone else.  So, here’s a free-will denier saying “I don’t care if the electrochemical devil made you do it; you can serve your time and it’s not like you weren’t adequately warned”.

The free will meme is so strong you do not realise you are expressing belief in free will with your sentence “it’s not like you weren’t adequately warned.”

The whole point about not having free will, is that given the person was in the circumstances they were in, they were unable to heed the warning!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 August 2007 06:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  672
Joined  2007-06-17

Ooh I know, tell me about it.  However I was being ironic with that last part of the bit in quotation marks.  Btw, note the difference, Occam.  That old sarcasm and it being nothing like irony thing.

 Signature 

http://web.mac.com/normsherman/iWeb/Site/Podcast/833F918B-485B-42F4-B18C-4AB1436D9B87.html

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 August 2007 08:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5508
Joined  2006-10-22

I understand and agree with your categorization of it completely,narwhol.  (Of course, it’s always easier to agree with someone when you have similar views, that is, that our behavior is based on prior causes and we don’t really have free-will. LOL )

Occam

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 August 2007 09:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  672
Joined  2007-06-17

Thank you. Awfully sporting of you.

 Signature 

http://web.mac.com/normsherman/iWeb/Site/Podcast/833F918B-485B-42F4-B18C-4AB1436D9B87.html

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 September 2007 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  252
Joined  2007-07-12
narwhol - 21 August 2007 04:56 PM

Regardless of societal norms and rules and fears of punishment, I still don’t think we have free will.  We’re chemical entities and determined by physical phenomenology so there is no chance of free will ever happening.  However, I think we should lock up anyone who transgresses to the point of illegality for our own protection and for the simple reason that wrog-doing often self-propagates.  By that I mean that, very often, a damaged individual will go on to damage someone else.  So, here’s a free-will denier saying “I don’t care if the electrochemical devil made you do it; you can serve your time and it’s not like you weren’t adequately warned”.


Narwhol, do you think that there is a substantial difference between human beings and inanimate objects?  If the difference is only in the specific combinations of molecules of which they are made, why is it much more wrong morally to kill a person, than to break a chair?  What is it exactly about a human being that makes it wrong to kill it?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 September 2007 09:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  252
Joined  2007-07-12
dougsmith - 06 March 2007 12:56 AM

[quote author=“Metaphor”]Since there is no such thing as free will, the traditional idea of moral responsibility is incoherent.

The arguments that claim to demonstrate the nonexistence of free will depend upon an incoherent notion of free will: the so-called “libertarian” or contra-causal free will. Free actions are necessarily causal, that is deterministic in character. We do have free will. If you want to see some arguments as to why this is so, look through these threads or read Dan Dennett’s books Elbow Room and Freedom Evolves for starters.

So moral responsibility is in no danger. But moral responsibility is one thing, and punishing or rewarding actions is entirely another. One may well accept moral responsibility without accepting certain claims about retribution or punishment.

Doug, where are the threads which explain why responsibility is compatible with free will?  Or, perhaps you could explain that?


Like you said, one might accept the neccessity of societal award\punishment without accepting contra-causal free will. But how is it possible to accept personal resposibility without libertarian free will?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 September 2007 10:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15354
Joined  2006-02-14
wandering - 02 September 2007 09:19 AM

Doug, where are the threads which explain why responsibility is compatible with free will?  Or, perhaps you could explain that?

Like you said, one might accept the neccessity of societal award\punishment without accepting contra-causal free will. But how is it possible to accept personal resposibility without libertarian free will?

Oy, I don’t want to go through all the free will threads in the philosophy forum and find them all ... we’ve discussed this at some length in the past IIRC.

I would flip the question around, however. I don’t see any conflict between compatibilist free will and personal responsibility. An act that I am responsible for is simply one that I undertook freely. Indeed, one might well claim that the very notion of free will exists because of its role in moral theory.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 September 2007 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  672
Joined  2007-06-17

Whilst we are chemical entities whose will is determined by physical and chemical processes, I quite enjoy existing in this way.  It’s an awful lot of fun.  And you quickly come to realise that a lot of that fun is dependent upon other individuals like ourselves who are experiencing the world the way we are.  We are not vastly different, chemically speaking from the tree that the wooden chair was made from and certainly, from any scientific point of view there is not an awful lot of difference between us and any other animate or inanimate object - quarks and leptons is all we are in that regard.  There is no objective morality or ethical code that militates against murder beyond that of humanity (or anything else that is able to reason ethics, if such other things exist in nature), since a morality has to belong to a mind and there is no mind beyond those of ourselves.  That is: if you kill someone else, the universe won’t give a tuppeny damn.

This said, I do enjoy experiencing the universe and could barely give a monkeys that my will is determined by chemical processes or that I’m just C,H,O,N,P,S,Ca, Fe and a bunch of trace elements.  Other people enjoy experiencing the universe too.  And I don’t enjoy murdering them.  Why would I?  They enhance my experience of existing.  The smile on the face of a small child makes me happy too.  The smile on the face of any bunch of chemicals that happens to presently form a human is great.  In short, sociology and ethics make murder wrong - the universe neither condemns nor condones.  A rounded person would take the idea that we’re just a bunch of chemicals to be science and also have a reasoning mind that can also figure the humanities.

Mind you, it takes the right bunch of chemicals and the right neural connections set in the right logic configs plust the right balance of each type of neurotransmitter and correct endocrine function to be that person.

Does this answer your question?

[ Edited: 02 September 2007 12:27 PM by narwhol ]
 Signature 

http://web.mac.com/normsherman/iWeb/Site/Podcast/833F918B-485B-42F4-B18C-4AB1436D9B87.html

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 September 2007 08:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  252
Joined  2007-07-12
narwhol - 02 September 2007 12:25 PM

Whilst we are chemical entities whose will is determined by physical and chemical processes, I quite enjoy existing in this way.  It’s an awful lot of fun.  And you quickly come to realise that a lot of that fun is dependent upon other individuals like ourselves who are experiencing the world the way we are.  We are not vastly different, chemically speaking from the tree that the wooden chair was made from and certainly, from any scientific point of view there is not an awful lot of difference between us and any other animate or inanimate object - quarks and leptons is all we are in that regard.  There is no objective morality or ethical code that militates against murder beyond that of humanity (or anything else that is able to reason ethics, if such other things exist in nature), since a morality has to belong to a mind and there is no mind beyond those of ourselves.  That is: if you kill someone else, the universe won’t give a tuppeny damn.

This said, I do enjoy experiencing the universe and could barely give a monkeys that my will is determined by chemical processes or that I’m just C,H,O,N,P,S,Ca, Fe and a bunch of trace elements.  Other people enjoy experiencing the universe too.  And I don’t enjoy murdering them.  Why would I?  They enhance my experience of existing.  The smile on the face of a small child makes me happy too.  The smile on the face of any bunch of chemicals that happens to presently form a human is great.  In short, sociology and ethics make murder wrong - the universe neither condemns nor condones.  A rounded person would take the idea that we’re just a bunch of chemicals to be science and also have a reasoning mind that can also figure the humanities.

Mind you, it takes the right bunch of chemicals and the right neural connections set in the right logic configs plust the right balance of each type of neurotransmitter and correct endocrine function to be that person.

Does this answer your question?

Uhm..

 

1) If someone would enjoy killing people, or would say that he enjoys killing people, what will you say?  (Though this question has a bad smell - trying to discourage you from thinking something because of it political consequences ).

2) Lets imagine that your job is very boring. If you had been offered an extremely satisfying job in exchange for a murder - it might be that it would be more enojyable to you in the long run to kill someone, and to have the good job.

3) Your reasons for not killing people are emotional.

Many people when being in a situation in which they don’t like to do something, try to assess the harm rationally. If they see no harm in a certain action, they might do it in spite of their emotions.

So why not think:  “Alright, killing other people is not fun. But I see no rational reason to the difference between killing a person, and ruining a chair. So actually, my reasons are not that good. There is no moral obligation to act according to what causes me fun and what does not. someone “. Then you might act according to your reasons and not to your emotions.


=============================

I have an assumption here that from materalism the conclusion is that the harm in killing a person is the same as in ruining a chair.
(The reason : both are combinations of atoms and molecules. Is it that needed to pay more importance to carbon based combinations? )

Do you agree with the assumption?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 September 2007 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15354
Joined  2006-02-14
wandering - 04 September 2007 08:26 AM

I have an assumption here that from materalism the conclusion is that the harm in killing a person is the same as in ruining a chair.
(The reason : both are combinations of atoms and molecules. Is it that needed to pay more importance to carbon based combinations? )

Do you agree with the assumption?

What you have here isn’t an assumption, it’s a short argument. The argument goes: everything is made up of atoms. Chairs are made up of atoms and it’s OK to ruin a chair. Humans are made up of atoms, hence by analogy it’s OK to destroy humans.

But this is a bad argument on many levels. First of all, it’s not OK to ruin a chair. And the more special, beautiful, intricate, historically important the chair is, the less OK it is to ruin it. So there is even something like a heirarchy of chairs.

Secondly, just because A and B are made of the same stuff, it doesn’t follow that if it’s OK to destroy A it’s also OK to destroy B.

The fact that it’s wrong to harm humans isn’t because of the stuff they’re made of. It’s not like the harm comes with the stuff.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 September 2007 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  252
Joined  2007-07-12
dougsmith - 04 September 2007 10:17 AM
wandering - 04 September 2007 08:26 AM

I have an assumption here that from materalism the conclusion is that the harm in killing a person is the same as in ruining a chair.
(The reason : both are combinations of atoms and molecules. Is it that needed to pay more importance to carbon based combinations? )

Do you agree with the assumption?

What you have here isn’t an assumption, it’s a short argument. The argument goes: everything is made up of atoms. Chairs are made up of atoms and it’s OK to ruin a chair. Humans are made up of atoms, hence by analogy it’s OK to destroy humans.

But this is a bad argument on many levels. First of all, it’s not OK to ruin a chair. And the more special, beautiful, intricate, historically important the chair is, the less OK it is to ruin it. So there is even something like a heirarchy of chairs.

Secondly, just because A and B are made of the same stuff, it doesn’t follow that if it’s OK to destroy A it’s also OK to destroy B.

The fact that it’s wrong to harm humans isn’t because of the stuff they’re made of. It’s not like the harm comes with the stuff.


So what is your reason that it is wrong to harm humans?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 September 2007 10:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15354
Joined  2006-02-14
wandering - 04 September 2007 10:26 AM

So what is your reason that it is wrong to harm humans?

I could come up with a whole raft of reasons—that people are generally good, intelligent, complex, unique, that they can help us, that they prefer not being harmed, etc., etc.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 September 2007 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  672
Joined  2007-06-17

1.  I’d say lock that person up so that he can’t continue doing so.  His/her freedom makes our lives worse, we live in a democracy (we gang on up) and we’re not going to put up with someone making our lives worse.  That’s why we have laws.

2.  It might.  Can’t imagine any real situation in which that would be the case.  Even watching someone die badly affects me, even when I’m doing everything I can to make their last moments as nice and comfortable as possible.  And it stays with me and barges its way into my thoughts in my quieter moments.  Can’t imagine a job that’s ever worth killing for.

3.  Yes.  I have emotions.  They’re caused by hormones soaking areas of the brain and acting in a manner similar to their neurotransmitter analogues.  They make certain of your logic gates (neurone-neurone connectivities) fire preferentially to others.  Neurones even trigger their release and neurones such as the ones in my retina, cochlea, etc. even allow my brain to translate external information into a trigger for the release of these chemicals.  This mechanisms is the reason why computers don’t have emotions - throw a cup of serotonin or adrenaline inside the casing of your computer and it short circuits because it’s electrical energy is relatively high voltage and transmitted through metal wires, whereas mine is low voltage and caused by the movements of sodium and potassium ions.

 Signature 

http://web.mac.com/normsherman/iWeb/Site/Podcast/833F918B-485B-42F4-B18C-4AB1436D9B87.html

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 September 2007 03:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7547
Joined  2007-03-02

1.  I would say that person needs to get mental help.  The person who thinks like that obviously needs mental help, IMO.

2.  I would turn it down if it involved murder.  No job satisfaction is worth lowering myself.

3.  I will admit they are emotional.  I feel empathy for the person who is being harmed.  I am not talking sympathy, for I feel their pain.  This is empathy and I feel a revulsion for the one imposing the pain.

Your idea of no difference between ruining a chair and killing a living being is irrational IMHO.  A chair is an inanimate object with no feelings.  It feels nothing and has no nervous system to feel anything and it certainly does not have a brain to feel.  My reasoning is that it is primative to kill.  I am not a primative person with no rational mind.  Even a chimp does not kill it’s own unless it is mentally ill OR the “tribe” is giving corperal punishment for such an act.  In most cases they chase the murder away from the “tribe”, but if it doesn’t leave, then corperal punishment is implimented.  Cats, as a rule do not kill their own unless they are mentally ill or it is an accidental death caused from a fight.  Elephants don’t kill their own unless they are mentally ill/rouge or it is accidental.

IMHO, anyone who kills deliberately and not as a means of self-defense, is acting on primitive instinct, not on rational thinking.  Irrational emotional and/or mental illness is generally the basis of murder.  Rationality prevents that.  Thus why I say it is primative.

 Signature 

Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 21
2
 
‹‹ Cultural Relativism      The Totality ››