Free Will & Determinism

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Re: Free Will & Determinism

Postby DukeTwicep » Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:54 pm

DjVortex wrote:
DukeTwicep wrote:Of course free will has something to do with capital punishment. If there is such a thing as free will, then every person is alone responsible for their own actions. If free will doesn't exist (as is) then we can't punish criminals for being evil/bad, instead we punish them to set an example that crime is not acceptable and it will have consequences.

I fail to see the practical difference. It seems to me that you are talking about subjective philosophy rather than practice.

If we teach people that there is no such thing as free will, then we also have to teach them to be responsible to society and to their fellow human.

I still fail to see the connection and relevance.

Alright, you fail to see the connection, so I will give an example that I encountered recently.

There was recently a case here in Sweden where two parents had hit their daughter for years. The daughter was sent to another home when this was discovered and the parents were put on trial.
The court were going to sentence them to jail but instead saw that that would do the parents no good, and instead sentenced them to family couching/therapy.
(My first thoughts were that these parents had received a much too lenient punishment. If you hit your children for years, then you deserve to go to jail for a Very long time, along with a large compensation - in my opinion.)
I thought that this was rather weird, and said to myself, this court is sure not setting a good example for future parents. Indeed, will parents now think that if they hit their children they will go to counselling?
If the court had the intention to Both set an example and help the parents, then they would have sentenced them to both jail and counselling.

If a court has a general rule of setting an example, instead of punishing the criminals (this will of course happen indirectly, and the difference might seem trivial), then they will refrain from giving lenient punishment to criminals that "might deserve it". I believe this "might deserve" comes from the intuitive thought, yet false, that every person is responsible for their actions.
Of course, lenient punishment should still be dealt to more lenient crimes.
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