Posted: Aug 04, 2019 8:01 am
by zoon
LucidFlight wrote:
romansh wrote:
felltoearth wrote:
Let’s be clear here. I am not a denier or an asserter for either free will or determinism.

Technically, I try to be agnostic about this too, The problem I can't see a rational argument for asserting.

The bonus is, the world makes so much more sense when we give up the notion of free will.

It can certainly be more relaxing. I can understand why people who believe in free will get so infuriated by the so-called denialists. It's as if people are choosing to be infuriating. Can you imagine such a thing? If you leave free will out of it, though, you simply realise that people are the way they are and they can't help it at some fundamental level of the universe's goings-on.

Addressing felltoearth, romansh and LucidFlight: Without blaming people at a fundamental level, do you think it also makes sense to continue using praise and blame much as before in order to control antisocial behaviour, while we still don’t understand brain mechanisms? This is controlling individuals with the threat of group sanctions.

I’ve been arguing that free will is still a useful concept, because we don’t want to blame or punish someone for an action they were coerced into doing. To blame somebody when they were coerced would not encourage them to change their behaviour, and would sent the wrong message to everyone else?

For this purpose, I’m defining someone with free will in a minimal way, as someone who is uncoerced and mentally capable. I’m also thinking this use of the concept of free will may fade away as brain mechanisms become better understood.