Posted: Aug 04, 2019 3:46 pm
by romansh
zoon wrote:
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?

I think by all means praise someone if you want and think praise will get more of that behaviour. Praise is a reinforcing behaviour, is it not?

So should we blame people and perhaps penalize them for trying addictive drugs and risk becoming addicted? Are they using their free will here? Is, say, succumbing to peer pressure or perhaps curiosity free will by your definition?

zoon wrote: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.

Are you suggesting people with low IQs have less free will here? Or perhaps a summary judgement on mental capability? While my mental capability is not bad (I suspect) in certain situations it might be positively dangerous.

While you may be advocating certain definitions of free will as useful, I am advocating of doing away with the idea all together as being more accurate and less likely to cause mischief.