Posted: Aug 06, 2019 9:48 am
by zoon
romansh wrote:Sorry zoon … too many words and not enough clarity.

You said the people I mentioned [those that succumb to curiosity and peer pressure] are not capable of operating in society? I am lost. Succumbing to peer pressure is surely part of society?

I asked a question those who do not have mental difficulties do they have free will? Because I thought you implied in a earlier post they might not. I am looking for clarification.

My apologies too, I didn’t read the first part of your post #13652 carefully before replying, you were talking about people who haven’t yet become addicted to drugs. Yes, I would call these people free-willed. I would not say that people have free will if they have mental difficulties which prevent them from coping with the complexities of social rules in ordinary life.

I would say that an action was free-willed if the actor was mentally competent and was not being coerced. If that action was in violation of a local social rule, then I think it is appropriate for that society to hold the actor personally responsible for their action, and to punish them.

I don’t feel very strongly about the use of the term “free will”, although I think it’s a useful brief phrase which already covers a concept that’s otherwise somewhat long-winded to spell out. I do feel strongly that while we don’t understand brains, it’s not a good idea to make radical changes to the social and legal practices of holding mentally competent (i.e. “free-willed”) people personally responsible for their actions, and punishing rule-breakers. I think those practices are compatible with our being the kind of causal mechanisms which science suggests.