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Free Will (Merged)
Posted: 10 September 2010 12:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2791 ]
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Bryan - 08 September 2010 10:18 AM

 

If you think retributive justice requires “magic” free will then maybe you should argue the point.  Or else much of the rest of what you wrote is just irony.

retribution as normally understood requires “magic” free will. Perhaps even retribution can be “naturalised”

but to do so one element would need to be removed. It cannot serve anybody right to suffer. Nobody can deserve more or less happiness than anyone else.

this is because if determinism is true there is only one thing we can do given the way the big bang banged.

It is the luck of the draw for us which way the big bang banged.

 

Stephen

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Posted: 10 September 2010 01:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2792 ]
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StephenLawrence - 10 September 2010 12:10 AM
Bryan - 08 September 2010 10:18 AM

 

If you think retributive justice requires “magic” free will then maybe you should argue the point.  Or else much of the rest of what you wrote is just irony.

retribution as normally understood requires “magic” free will. Perhaps even retribution can be “naturalised”

but to do so one element would need to be removed. It cannot serve anybody right to suffer. Nobody can deserve more or less happiness than anyone else.

The latter is itself a moral judgment and very probably can’t serve as a useful premise for your argument.  And “retribution as normally understood requires ‘magic’ free will” looks like your opinion based on a rejection of personal responsibility based on CFW.

this is because if determinism is true there is only one thing we can do given the way the big bang banged.

It is the luck of the draw for us which way the big bang banged.

So, no personal responsibility either way?  Or do you want to carve out some room for hedging?

 

Stephen

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Posted: 10 September 2010 11:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2793 ]
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Bryan - 10 September 2010 01:43 AM
StephenLawrence - 10 September 2010 12:10 AM
Bryan - 08 September 2010 10:18 AM

 

If you think retributive justice requires “magic” free will then maybe you should argue the point.  Or else much of the rest of what you wrote is just irony.

retribution as normally understood requires “magic” free will. Perhaps even retribution can be “naturalised”

but to do so one element would need to be removed. It cannot serve anybody right to suffer. Nobody can deserve more or less happiness than anyone else.

The latter is itself a moral judgment and very probably can’t serve as a useful premise for your argument.

I don’t think it has to be. I can just say there is no such thing as it serving someone right to suffer. I do accept I find the idea morally repugnant and do think it is the cause of many bad acts. But I think my moral feelings and the idea are two separate things.

I also don’t think it matters, what’s the problem with moral judgement?

 

And “retribution as normally understood requires ‘magic’ free will” looks like your opinion based on a rejection of personal responsibility based on CFW.

It’s a rejection of a version of personal responsibility. And I’m clear about what the version is. cfw can’t give us this version of personal responsibility.

So, no personal responsibility either way?  Or do you want to carve out some room for hedging?

No hedging Bryan, because it’s the luck of the draw, it cannot serve anybody right to suffer for what they have done. It’s simple and true.

That means we don’t have a version of personal responsibility, a mythical mean version we’re better off without b.t.w. Not no responsibility whatsoever.

And why am I even responding you knew all that anyway.

Stephen

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Posted: 11 September 2010 08:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2794 ]
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StephenLawrence - 10 September 2010 11:51 PM
Bryan - 10 September 2010 01:43 AM
StephenLawrence - 10 September 2010 12:10 AM

retribution as normally understood requires “magic” free will. Perhaps even retribution can be “naturalised”

but to do so one element would need to be removed. It cannot serve anybody right to suffer. Nobody can deserve more or less happiness than anyone else.

The latter is itself a moral judgment and very probably can’t serve as a useful premise for your argument.

I don’t think it has to be. I can just say there is no such thing as it serving someone right to suffer. I do accept I find the idea morally repugnant and do think it is the cause of many bad acts. But I think my moral feelings and the idea are two separate things.

I also don’t think it matters, what’s the problem with moral judgement?

It’s about as magical as free will to move from is to ought, and to move from nobody being responsible for anything to the notion that they ought to do one thing rather than another ... that’s incoherent, isn’t it?  Free will (whatever flavor) is the foundation for morally responsible action, so you’ve pulled the rug out from under yourself.

And “retribution as normally understood requires ‘magic’ free will” looks like your opinion based on a rejection of personal responsibility based on CFW.

It’s a rejection of a version of personal responsibility. And I’m clear about what the version is. cfw can’t give us this version of personal responsibility.

Perhaps rejecting personal responsibility is the right thing to do.  And given that it is the right thing to do, the responsible thing is to reject personal responsibility.
Or something like that?

So, no personal responsibility either way?  Or do you want to carve out some room for hedging?

No hedging Bryan, because it’s the luck of the draw, it cannot serve anybody right to suffer for what they have done. It’s simple and true.

OK, I can see your point that nobody can morally deserve suffering if moral responsibility is impossible.  On the other hand, why not inflict suffering or death anyway as a deterrent to others?  Certainly not because it’s morally wrong!

That means we don’t have a version of personal responsibility, a mythical mean version we’re better off without b.t.w. Not no responsibility whatsoever.

Hmm.  That statement looks pregnant with hedging. What type of responsibility do we have?

And why am I even responding you knew all that anyway.

Stephen

Yes, well, you change your mind only slightly less often than you change your socks.

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Posted: 12 September 2010 11:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2795 ]
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Bryan - 11 September 2010 08:11 AM

Yes, well, you change your mind only slightly less often than you change your socks.

you know Bryan, that’s incredibly unreasonable. I do change my mind as the debate goes on, in the light of other peoples ideas such as your own, which challenge mine.

But I’ve been solid about the version of free will I disbelieve in and the version of responsibility I disbelieve in for some time, years I think. The problem is articulating just exactly what one means. But again I’ve been consistent about that for some time too, years again?

Come on, you know what I mean.

1) It’s the luck of the draw.

2) There is a type of deservedness, desert of suffering or happiness that people believe in, which is incompatible with this.

3) the free will I disbelieve in is that which is supposed to give us that desert.


Stephen

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Posted: 12 September 2010 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2796 ]
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Bryan - 09 September 2010 11:33 PM

Meh.  It makes no sense, so far as I can tell, to say out of one side of your mouth that the ultimate responsibility attendant to LFW makes it easy (easier?) to justify the death penalty when the other side of your mouth is poised to sum up the results of LFW as “random chance.”  This makes it appear that you have a wishy-washy view of at least one of the two positions (LFW, CFW) and perhaps both.

If murder is random chance then we ought to execute absolutely everyone simply for the sake of protecting ourselves.  Nobody can be trusted!  grin

 


Sure, unless one accepts a supernatural element involved, LFW and retribution justice doesn’t make logical sense.

I was hoping you’d draw a conclusion related to the CFW view of justice rather than restating the proposition in different words.

 


The CFW view of a justice system is to promote a more positive future welfare.

Looks like we’re talking past each other.  I’m saying that if the judge, jury, etc. are not aware of alternatives then they are more likely to choose execution as the only possible decision they could make?
And where does LFW/CFW even enter into that?

Education of the Judge and jury. They are in the circumstances of choosing to kill another human being. The same idea of introducing an outside influence applies.

And where does LFW/CFW even enter into that?

CFW accepts that education is a causal factor in decision making.

I don’t find that supposed difference significant in the legal context.  I can be convinced if you can provide evidence, but it seems clear that simple moral responsibility is the key issue in traditional Western justice—not “ultimate responsibility.”  And obviously you can’t use the two interchangeably without emptying CFW of its responsibility.  And that was always the point of CFW.

It’s pretty simple, CFW says the person could not have made any other choice then the one the individual made at the time of the crime. The crime was caused by the individual which was caused by their morals which was caused by their character which was caused by their evironment and upbringing, which was caused by their parents and so on. That is just one chain of circumstances which caused the crime.

Now we can’t do anything about all of those past chains of events leading up to the moment of the crime. However we can identify the individual, morals, character responsible for the crime and introduce a cause after that entire chain of events to prevent it’s re-occurrence.

LFW assumes the existence of an immaterial agent which could have caused the individual to have chosen differently and since this immaterial agent didn’t stop the individual from comitting the crime it is ok to make the individual suffer some form of pain/punishment because UR is vested in this immaterial agent.

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Posted: 12 September 2010 11:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2797 ]
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StephenLawrence - 12 September 2010 11:29 AM

you know Bryan, that’s incredibly unreasonable. I do change my mind as the debate goes on, in the light of other peoples ideas such as your own, which challenge mine.

But I’ve been solid about the version of free will I disbelieve in and the version of responsibility I disbelieve in for some time, years I think. The problem is articulating just exactly what one means. But again I’ve been consistent about that for some time too, years again?

Stephen

Part of why I continue in the debate is to refine my understanding. I had no knowledge prior of LFW or CFW however as I became aware I found CFW fit with what I already accepted as true. Still I’m learning to understand the important elements in the debate between the two concepts. Intelligent people from both sides have exausted the debate into more and more abstract nuances.

Wording one’s argument to properly capture the spirit of those nuances takes practice.

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Posted: 12 September 2010 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2798 ]
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Bryan - 11 September 2010 08:11 AM

It’s about as magical as free will to move from is to ought,

Well, if getting from is to ought is magical then we are not morally responsible. I’m supposing we can. And believe I know that whether we can or not has nothing to do with determinsm or indeterminism.

and to move from nobody being responsible for anything to the notion that they ought to do one thing rather than another ... that’s incoherent, isn’t it?

yes.


Free will (whatever flavor) is the foundation for morally responsible action, so you’ve pulled the rug out from under yourself.

Why? 1) I don’t deny compatibilist free will, although I think most compatibilists really aren’t because they believe in a version of moral responsibility incompatible with Cfw.

2) People who don’t believe in free will at all do believe in moral responsibility. These people just don’t say those who are morally responsible have free will. Others use the label free will for that group.

<quote>Perhaps rejecting personal responsibility is the right thing to do.  And given that it is the right thing to do, the responsible thing is to reject personal responsibility.
Or something like that?

Er what?

OK, I can see your point that nobody can morally deserve suffering if moral responsibility is impossible.

That isn’t my point, obviously. nobody can deserve to suffer because it’s the luck of the draw.

On the other hand, why not inflict suffering or death anyway as a deterrent to others?  Certainly not because it’s morally wrong!

Why not? and So what?

Hmm.  That statement looks pregnant with hedging. What type of responsibility do we have?

already given the version many times Bryan, let’s try and get somewhere rather than pointless circling.

1) I dunno how we get from is to ought, do you?

but we are both assuming we can.

2) assuming we can, moral judgment functions to get people to do what they ought to do.

3) It can work with certain groups of people in certain types of situations. these are the people who are morally responsible

It’s way more complex but what ever complexity you bring up it needs to be relevant to whether determinism or indeterminism is true, or it is of no consequence.

stephen

[ Edited: 12 September 2010 01:02 PM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 12 September 2010 02:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2799 ]
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StephenLawrence - 12 September 2010 11:29 AM
Bryan - 11 September 2010 08:11 AM

Yes, well, you change your mind only slightly less often than you change your socks.

you know Bryan, that’s incredibly unreasonable. I do change my mind as the debate goes on, in the light of other peoples ideas such as your own, which challenge mine.

But I’ve been solid about the version of free will I disbelieve in and the version of responsibility I disbelieve in for some time, years I think. The problem is articulating just exactly what one means. But again I’ve been consistent about that for some time too, years again?

Come on, you know what I mean.

1) It’s the luck of the draw.

2) There is a type of deservedness, desert of suffering or happiness that people believe in, which is incompatible with this.

3) the free will I disbelieve in is that which is supposed to give us that desert.


Stephen

I’ll try again:

What type of responsibility do we have?

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Posted: 12 September 2010 02:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2800 ]
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Gnostikosis - 12 September 2010 11:39 AM
Bryan - 09 September 2010 11:33 PM

Meh.  It makes no sense, so far as I can tell, to say out of one side of your mouth that the ultimate responsibility attendant to LFW makes it easy (easier?) to justify the death penalty when the other side of your mouth is poised to sum up the results of LFW as “random chance.”  This makes it appear that you have a wishy-washy view of at least one of the two positions (LFW, CFW) and perhaps both.

If murder is random chance then we ought to execute absolutely everyone simply for the sake of protecting ourselves.  Nobody can be trusted!  grin

 


Sure, unless one accepts a supernatural element involved, LFW and retribution justice doesn’t make logical sense.

I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean by “supernatural.”  Skeptics tend to use it to refer to things that cannot happen (impossible things).  But indeterminism is quite possible if we merely refrain from supposing determinism.  Certainly that does not represent any appeal to the impossible.  And it doesn’t even represent an appeal to god unless you stipulate that indeterminism requires a god by definition (and if you do that then I don’t see why you wouldn’t do the same for determinism).

I was hoping you’d draw a conclusion related to the CFW view of justice rather than restating the proposition in different words.

 


The CFW view of a justice system is to promote a more positive future welfare.

OK, I give up.  Unless you’re going to explain how that follows from your premises.

CFW accepts that education is a causal factor in decision making.

And LFW accepts that education influences decision making.  So how is CFW thus particularly special wrt its philosophy of justice?

I don’t find that supposed difference significant in the legal context.  I can be convinced if you can provide evidence, but it seems clear that simple moral responsibility is the key issue in traditional Western justice—not “ultimate responsibility.”  And obviously you can’t use the two interchangeably without emptying CFW of its responsibility.  And that was always the point of CFW.

It’s pretty simple, CFW says the person could not have made any other choice then the one the individual made at the time of the crime. The crime was caused by the individual which was caused by their morals which was caused by their character which was caused by their e(n)vironment and upbringing, which was caused by their parents and so on. That is just one chain of circumstances which caused the crime.

That explains the difference between CFW and LFW.  It doesn’t explain how the two would be judged differently in court minus a difference in the understanding of moral culpability.  Both CFW and LFW affirm moral culpability.

Now we can’t do anything about all of those past chains of events leading up to the moment of the crime. However we can identify the individual, morals, character responsible for the crime and introduce a cause after that entire chain of events to prevent it’s re-occurrence.

Likewise, you could teach the perpetrator given LFW and influence him not to commit such crimes in the future.

LFW assumes the existence of an immaterial agent which could have caused the individual to have chosen differently and since this immaterial agent didn’t stop the individual from comitting the crime it is ok to make the individual suffer some form of pain/punishment because UR is vested in this immaterial agent.

Some adherents of LFW may assume that, but it isn’t necessary (I think kkwan would quickly support me on this).  The model I have advocated in this forum and in this thread requires nothing more than the same type of epiphenomenalism found in CFW.  The *only* difference is in the chance nature of outcomes (chance does not exist as an entity and thus is not a cause in its turn) and in the description of the causation that results in those outcomes (this is important). 

According to the model I’m using, there is no difference between the agent and the individual, so it makes no sense to speak of the individual’s actions being causes in turn by an immaterial agent.

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Posted: 12 September 2010 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2801 ]
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StephenLawrence - 12 September 2010 11:57 AM
Bryan - 11 September 2010 08:11 AM

It’s about as magical as free will to move from is to ought,

Well, if getting from is to ought is magical then we are not morally responsible. I’m supposing we can. And believe I know that whether we can or not has nothing to do with determinsm or indeterminism.

and to move from nobody being responsible for anything to the notion that they ought to do one thing rather than another ... that’s incoherent, isn’t it?

yes.


Free will (whatever flavor) is the foundation for morally responsible action, so you’ve pulled the rug out from under yourself.

Why?

Because moral judgment without moral responsibility is a Frisbee made of air.  A mirage.

1) I don’t deny compatibilist free will, although I think most compatibilists really aren’t because they believe in a version of moral responsibility incompatible with Cfw.

If you deny moral responsibility then you deny CFW.

Because free will is typically taken to be a necessary condition of moral responsibility, compatibilism is sometimes expressed in terms of a compatibility between moral responsibility and determinism.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/compatibilism/

A view radically different from that expressed at the Stanford site bears careful explanation.  Shall I give up hope right away?

2) People who don’t believe in free will at all do believe in moral responsibility. These people just don’t say those who are morally responsible have free will. Others use the label free will for that group.

If the Stanford site is correct then your statement is incoherent (and I can arrange it in a deductive syllogism for you, if you like).  If the Stanford site is incorrect then you should explain your view clearly, concisely and coherently.

What type of responsibility do we have?

already given the version many times Bryan, let’s try and get somewhere rather than pointless circling.

1) I dunno how we get from is to ought, do you?

but we are both assuming we can.

2) assuming we can, moral judgment functions to get people to do what they ought to do.

(or what they ought not to do—it apparently doesn’t presuppose them one way or another minus moral guilt and moral guilt is traditionally denied by those who deny LFW and CFW)

3) It can work with certain groups of people in certain types of situations. these are the people who are morally responsible

Which are the morally responsible ones?  Those who say X is wrong, or those who say X is right?

It’s way more complex but what ever complexity you bring up it needs to be relevant to whether determinism or indeterminism is true, or it is of no consequence.

stephen

This point bears repeating even if it represents circling.  Your view is apparently unorthodox, I do not remember how you justify it, and your history suggests that your explanation won’t help anybody very much.  Surprise us.

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Posted: 12 September 2010 11:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2802 ]
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Bryan - 12 September 2010 04:15 PM

This point bears repeating even if it represents circling. 

Really you’re asking me to tell you how we get from is to ought.

The answer is I dunno. What I think I do know is that indeterminism has nothing to do with it, which in the context of the free will debate is all that matters.

So it is not a point that bears repeating.

Stephen

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Posted: 12 September 2010 11:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2803 ]
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Bryan - 12 September 2010 04:15 PM

If the Stanford site is correct then your statement is incoherent (and I can arrange it in a deductive syllogism for you, if you like).  If the Stanford site is incorrect then you should explain your view clearly, concisely and coherently.

For those who deny we have free will, free will means libertarian free will.

It’s only a question of whether you think it’s best to drop the label all together or not.

Stephen

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Posted: 13 September 2010 12:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2804 ]
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Bryan - 12 September 2010 04:15 PM
StephenLawrence - 12 September 2010 11:57 AM


2) assuming we can, moral judgment functions to get people to do what they ought to do.

(or what they ought not to do—it apparently doesn’t presuppose them one way or another minus moral guilt and moral guilt is traditionally denied by those who deny LFW and CFW)

I’m using function in evolutionary terms. the function of moral judgement means what the behaviour was selected for.

I don’t think moral judgement could be selected for getting us to do what we ought not to do.

I think it can cause us to do that though.

Stephen

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Posted: 13 September 2010 05:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2805 ]
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StephenLawrence - 12 September 2010 11:40 PM
Bryan - 12 September 2010 04:15 PM

If the Stanford site is correct then your statement is incoherent (and I can arrange it in a deductive syllogism for you, if you like).  If the Stanford site is incorrect then you should explain your view clearly, concisely and coherently.

For those who deny we have free will, free will means libertarian free will.

That’s ridiculous.  Your statement offends the conventions of the vocabulary of the debate (your own personal vocabulary perhaps excepted).  While “free will” in ordinary conversation typically refers to libertarian free will, “compatibilism” is the (controversial) position that free will in its more general sense (moral responsibility) and determinism may both obtain at the same time.

It’s only a question of whether you think it’s best to drop the label all together or not.

Stephen

No, Stephen, this is another case where you’ve carved out a unique and perhaps incoherent position.

You’re ignoring the position of the determinist who denies compatibilism (no LFW, no CFW, no personal responsibility).  You appear to empty CFW of the personal responsibility its advocates stipulate while also claiming that CFW represents some type of significant personal responsibility.  And it isn’t as simple as crossing the is/ought divide, because you’re allowed to stipulate that morality exists in brute form if you wish (it doesn’t solve the epistemic problem, but that’s another issue entirely).

Describe if you will what type of personal responsibility you find in CFW if CFW choices are ultimately luck.

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