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What are the benefits of understanding our free will?


dimreepr

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43 minutes ago, studiot said:

that is one example that would satisfy (i expect) most definitions.

Not the one which suggests choices are made at least a few hundred milliseconds before we even become aware of them in the areas of our minds generally considered self, or the one which (based on evidence) shows thay we use the story creation parts of our minds to map a post-dictive narrative (aka: fiction) on to those “choices,” and that this story telling part of our minds tends to falsely imply agency and volition in those narratives. 

35 minutes ago, Bufofrog said:

I agree a clear definition of free will by the OP is vital for the discussion.

It might be easier to define love and good taste. 

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55 minutes ago, iNow said:

It might be easier to define love and good taste. 

While I can't argue with that, the OP said this:

If philosophy can determine just how much free will we actually have (I think it may not be as much as I think (50%ish), and I'm bloody sure it's not as much as you think (90%+)) and can persuade our populous, IOW politicians, of that knowledge; then prison's could become obsolete.

So a definition is in order because how could you have 50% free will?  I don't know what that means relative to a typical definition of free will.  He then goes on to say philosophy can determine if it is a free will issue so we stop prosecuting people who commit crimes that are not their fault because they did not have free will.

I can just imagine a judge explaining to some parents that he is sorry that their daughter was raped and killed by the defendant, but a group of philosophers have determined it is not the defendants fault because he did not have free will to stop it. 

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7 hours ago, dimreepr said:

In this thread the assumption is that we already have an agreed definition, the question here is what next?

 

6 hours ago, studiot said:

 

 

So, OP, what is your definition because I couldn't find one in your opening post.

So somewhere along the line I did agree that it would be a good idea to understand it.

 

5 hours ago, Bufofrog said:

I agree a clear definition of free will by the OP is vital for the discussion.

 

4 hours ago, sethoflagos said:

Good luck in getting one 😉

 

So, two large threads devoted to the discussion about "free will" and there's no agreement even in its definition yet.

Well, we are in the Philosophy forum and in general Philosophy limits itself to present the positions of different philosophers and does not resolve which is right or wrong leaving to the readers the possibility to choose one or even develop yet other one of his own if that would be possible.

I don't expect any agreement in these discussions, endless discussions...

 

Edited by martillo
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9 hours ago, Bufofrog said:

He then goes on to say philosophy can determine if it is a free will issue so we stop prosecuting people who commit crimes that are not their fault because they did not have free will.

I can just imagine a judge explaining to some parents that he is sorry that their daughter was raped and killed by the defendant, but a group of philosophers have determined it is not the defendants fault because he did not have free will to stop it. 

I didn’t agree with all of the conclusions in the OP, but how we treat crime can and probably should change. That’s true regardless of any conclusions we draw on the peripheral and independent topic of free will (though I suppose it depends on which definition).

The goal is to minimize harm to society, to ensure the freedoms of one don’t infringe upon nor hinder the freedoms of another, and that’s better effectuated by rehabilitation than punishment IMO. A patient to be healed is a better framing than an evil devil to be locked away.

Even if our actions are driven by chemicals before we ever become conscious of them, we still have a motivation of improving security and safety of each other in aggregate, and rehab simply provides a new input to adjust that chemistry. 

Much like the air we breathe and the food we eat and the sounds we hear can all change the operations of our minds, so too can our response to unwanted behaviors  

It’s okay not to punish people if, in fact, we find better methods of more effectively addressing behaviors we wish to extinguish, especially since the rapist is indeed acting on their own chemistry too. Several Scandinavian countries have already made great strides in this regard. 

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1 hour ago, iNow said:

The goal is to minimize harm to society, to ensure the freedoms of one don’t infringe upon nor hinder the freedoms of another, and that’s better effectuated by rehabilitation than punishment IMO. A patient to be healed is a better framing than an evil devil to be locked away.

Rubbish. The rehab industry will shout it to the rooftops, but they ignore the fact that punishment is a great incentive to go straight. Since most crime goes undetected, it's not possible to assess the success of rehab. Many criminals learn from getting caught, and are more careful next time. The probation industry will claim them as successes, while they carry on offending but not getting caught. 

I envy and admire the US for their sentencing policy. Or I used to, but behind the scenes, a lot of the headline sentences are abandoned when the criminal " shows that they have reformed " and they end up doing four years of a nominal 20 year stretch. 

I think you would get the same results, or better, by getting rid of all the rehabilitation industry, and just kept people in for the sentence they deserved on the day. 

In this country, people know full well that if they get 8 years they will only do four. Criminals especially know how to play the system. 

The people I really feel sorry for, are innocent people who are found guilty. If you don't admit to something you didn't do, you will do the whole 8 years and more. THAT is criminal. 

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16 minutes ago, mistermack said:

Rubbish. The rehab industry will shout it to the rooftops, but they ignore the fact that punishment is a great incentive to go straight. Since most crime goes undetected, it's not possible to assess the success of rehab. Many criminals learn from getting caught, and are more careful next time. The probation industry will claim them as successes, while they carry on offending but not getting caught. 

I envy and admire the US for their sentencing policy. Or I used to, but behind the scenes, a lot of the headline sentences are abandoned when the criminal " shows that they have reformed " and they end up doing four years of a nominal 20 year stretch. 

I think you would get the same results, or better, by getting rid of all the rehabilitation industry, and just kept people in for the sentence they deserved on the day. 

In this country, people know full well that if they get 8 years they will only do four. Criminals especially know how to play the system. 

The people I really feel sorry for, are innocent people who are found guilty. If you don't admit to something you didn't do, you will do the whole 8 years and more. THAT is criminal. 

Under the influence of an addiction, the law might as well be written in Mandarin. 

Edited by StringJunky
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A desire for revenge and retaliation is understandable, and arguments in favor of it as a method of prevention run contrary to the available evidence.

Kids who are punished learn how not to get caught. They don’t learn how to be a better integrated more productive member of society.

Adults are mostly just kids with larger clothes, bills, and related responsibilities. We’ll always have criminality, but we don’t have to stick to the discredited notion that fear of imprisonment is what stops people from engaging in it. 

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4 hours ago, iNow said:

It’s okay not to punish people if, in fact, we find better methods of more effectively addressing behaviors we wish to extinguish, especially since the rapist is indeed acting on their own chemistry too. Several Scandinavian countries have already made great strides in this regard. 

Where I do not quite agree with your formulation (chemistry?), I do agree with your overall position here. We should do what is best for society. Just to extend: not just Scandinavian countries, but two other countries I know quite well, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Finding the best possible way to integrate criminal offenders, in every individual case, should be our motivation, not the urge for revenge. That may include punishment, but we should always be open for better ways top cope with them. 

3 hours ago, mistermack said:

Rubbish. The rehab industry will shout it to the rooftops, but they ignore the fact that punishment is a great incentive to go straight.

<...>

I envy and admire the US for their sentencing policy.

<...>

I think you would get the same results, or better, by getting rid of all the rehabilitation industry, and just kept people in for the sentence they deserved on the day. 

Envy the US sentencing policy??? The Western country with the highest prisoner percentage compared with the number of inhabitants. Is there less criminality in the US than in Europe? And you know that the 'high school for criminals' is jail, don't you?

2 hours ago, iNow said:

A desire for revenge and retaliation is understandable, and arguments in favor of it as a method of prevention run contrary to the available evidence.

Exactly.

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17 hours ago, Bufofrog said:

I can just imagine a judge explaining to some parents that he is sorry that their daughter was raped and killed by the defendant, but a group of philosophers have determined it is not the defendants fault because he did not have free will to stop it. 

It is not philosophy that decides that. It are lawyers and judges when there was coercion involved, and psychiatrists/psychologists if a defendant turns out to miss the capabilities necessary for evaluating the consequences of his deeds. In the latter case, if the defendant still poses a danger for society, he could be turned in into a psychiatric clinic, in the hope he can be treated.

The role of the philosophers is just to point out, that free will comes in different degrees. At least in Europe that is daily practice in judicial cases.

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1 hour ago, Eise said:

It is not philosophy that decides that. It are lawyers and judges when there was coercion involved, and psychiatrists/psychologists if a defendant turns out to miss the capabilities necessary for evaluating the consequences of his deeds. In the latter case, if the defendant still poses a danger for society, he could be turned in into a psychiatric clinic, in the hope he can be treated.

The role of the philosophers is just to point out, that free will comes in different degrees. At least in Europe that is daily practice in judicial cases.

This why I am wondering what the OPs definition of free will is.  I think I have free will to hit my hand with a hammer.  I can choose to do it or not, it is completely my choice.  Am I going to do that, hell no.  Maybe the OP is saying since I won't choose to smash my hand then I don't have free will to smash my hand.  Dunno...

10 hours ago, iNow said:

I didn’t agree with all of the conclusions in the OP, but how we treat crime can and probably should change. That’s true regardless of any conclusions we draw on the peripheral and independent topic of free will (though I suppose it depends on which definition).

I agree.  Here in the US we have for profit prisons.  This is a horrible idea IMO.  The business model is to keep as many prisoners incarcerated as long as possible.  I mean WTF are our politicians thinking?

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58 minutes ago, Bufofrog said:

I think I have free will to hit my hand with a hammer.  I can choose to do it or not, it is completely my choice.  Am I going to do that, hell no.

I think the correct way to interpret this as free will, is that you could hit your hand with a hammer, if you wanted to. Obviously, you know yourself good enough that you would never want it, so you also can be pretty sure you will never do it.

1 hour ago, Bufofrog said:

I agree.  Here in the US we have for profit prisons.  This is a horrible idea IMO.  The business model is to keep as many prisoners incarcerated as long as possible.  I mean WTF are our politicians thinking?

Full ack!

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On 12/3/2023 at 1:49 PM, studiot said:

So, OP, what is your definition because I couldn't find one in your opening post.

On 12/3/2023 at 3:37 PM, Bufofrog said:

I agree a clear definition of free will by the OP is vital for the discussion.

That's a rather strange request for a hypothetical question, for instance, if I asked "What are the benefits of understanding the universe (TOE)?" you wouldn't, surely, ask me to explain how I would solve the gravity issue.

But if you insist, my definition of free will is, it sounds almost exactly the same as an orange tastes when you look at a red triangle...

 

23 hours ago, Bufofrog said:

This why I am wondering what the OPs definition of free will is.  I think I have free will to hit my hand with a hammer.  I can choose to do it or not, it is completely my choice.  Am I going to do that, hell no.  Maybe the OP is saying since I won't choose to smash my hand then I don't have free will to smash my hand. 

It's kinda like the argument by gun owner's "my guns could never hurt me or mine, bc I keep them locked and I'm responcible in how I teach my children"

But you never know bc "from time to time we all get sad" - Jim Jefferies

 

Geez, another neg (without explaination) to a perfectly reasonable statement; FYI that's like a double plus for me, thanks...

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On 12/2/2023 at 3:31 PM, StringJunky said:

Yes, I agree  that there are strong probabilistic elements as well.  When a sodium atom meets a water molecule is probabilistic, but what happens with them when they collide, it is deterministic.

There is yet another aspect to this.

Coercion has been mentions several times in these thread.

 

A while back I said I preferred the much more general term forcing, of which coercion is a small subset with some additional characteristics.

I'm glad to see you back up your input with examples.

The case of the railway evel crossing forms an admirable example of the difference between forced and non coercive (or not coercive) activity.
I also prefer non coercive to uncoercive, as an expression.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

That's such a cop out; are you sure you're not criminally insane???

57 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Not at all, I just want a reasonable conversation about the question asked... 

27 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

What's the point, it's got nothing to do with the question I've asked..

!

Moderator Note

Perhaps you need to take a break and review? Back off the personal attacks? Answer clarifying questions so a reasonable conversation can happen?

 
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