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Metaphysical Determinism and Ethics.

reece
Posts: 839
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7/20/2018 4:44:30 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
Metaphysical determinism is a view on free will which holds that determinism is true, and that it is incompatible with free will, and, therefore, that free will does not exist.

Do you think determinists are able to have ethical accountability?
DeBellumSilens
Posts: 100
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7/20/2018 7:34:56 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 7/20/2018 4:44:30 AM, reece wrote:
Metaphysical determinism is a view on free will which holds that determinism is true, and that it is incompatible with free will, and, therefore, that free will does not exist.

Do you think determinists are able to have ethical accountability?

That is the elephant in the room. I think even Harris recommends living as if you have free will, for exactly that reason. Our whole moral and legal culture would fall apart tomorrow if we accept determinism.

I think that if determinists want to stay consistent they need to exonerate everyone of everything they do.

Of course, everybody experiences that they have free will, so I'm not worried about that happening.
reece
Posts: 839
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7/20/2018 7:55:09 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 7/20/2018 7:34:56 AM, DeBellumSilens wrote:
At 7/20/2018 4:44:30 AM, reece wrote:
Metaphysical determinism is a view on free will which holds that determinism is true, and that it is incompatible with free will, and, therefore, that free will does not exist.

Do you think determinists are able to have ethical accountability?

That is the elephant in the room. I think even Harris recommends living as if you have free will, for exactly that reason. Our whole moral and legal culture would fall apart tomorrow if we accept determinism.

I think that if determinists want to stay consistent they need to exonerate everyone of everything they do.

Of course, everybody experiences that they have free will, so I'm not worried about that happening.

Yeah, these are some dangerous ideas. I better not play with fire.
DeBellumSilens
Posts: 100
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7/20/2018 7:58:38 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 7/20/2018 7:55:09 AM, reece wrote:
Yeah, these are some dangerous ideas. I better not play with fire.

I wouldn't worry about it too much: hard determinism is almost definitely false for creatures more complex than bees and ants.
reece
Posts: 839
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7/20/2018 8:19:24 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 7/20/2018 7:58:38 AM, DeBellumSilens wrote:
At 7/20/2018 7:55:09 AM, reece wrote:
Yeah, these are some dangerous ideas. I better not play with fire.

I wouldn't worry about it too much: hard determinism is almost definitely false for creatures more complex than bees and ants.

But yet some people are treated as such. Farming for some sort of confirmation.
amathis
Posts: 2
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7/21/2018 10:43:39 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 7/20/2018 7:34:56 AM, DeBellumSilens wrote:

Of course, everybody experiences that they have free will, so I'm not worried about that happening.

I think what people experience is freedom, not free will. You have freedom if you act without external coercion. You only have free will if you could have acted differently from the way you did. So, for example, if you're driving, and you come to a T-junction, you have freedom if you turn left without being coerced or forced to do it, but you only have free will if you turned left but could have turned right.

Personally I do not believe in free will. Of course you may believe that you could have turned right, but what reasons are there to think that this belief is true? The sort of reasons that might be given are: that you have turned right in the past, that it seemed to you on this occasion that you could turn right, that no-one was stopping you turning right. But these do not seem to me to show that you really could have turned right. I don't see how this could ever be shown. Does anyone else have any suggestions?
keithprosser
Posts: 8,122
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7/22/2018 10:22:16 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 7/20/2018 7:34:56 AM, DeBellumSilens wrote:
At 7/20/2018 4:44:30 AM, reece wrote:
Metaphysical determinism is a view on free will which holds that determinism is true, and that it is incompatible with free will, and, therefore, that free will does not exist.

Do you think determinists are able to have ethical accountability?

That is the elephant in the room. I think even Harris recommends living as if you have free will, for exactly that reason. Our whole moral and legal culture would fall apart tomorrow if we accept determinism.

I think that if determinists want to stay consistent they need to exonerate everyone of everything they do.

Of course, everybody experiences that they have free will, so I'm not worried about that happening.

But suppose we buillt a hammering machine but miswired it so instrea of hammering nails it hit people on the head when they went near it. It would make sense to fix that machine rather htan say 'oh, hitting people on the head is the nature of that machine. We have to exonerate it.'

Punishment and the the theat of punishment (aslo rewards and the promise of rewards) only makes sense under determinism. If free will was 'totally free' then it would be unaffected by anything [allegedly], so it wouldn't be affected by punishment and rewards or what is moral and ethical.