Are you an atheist who belives in freewill. Or are you long past believing in the concept of freewill? I cannot imagine being a non-theist and still believing in freewill so I am curious how you feel about the concept.

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That is very funny, made me laugh out loud.


But if there is no free will it would mean we need to look at criminal behavior differently among of myriad of things. And living life understanding you have no freewill is as freeing as atheism was to me. Both are quite beautiful.

Does it matter whether a criminal chooses to commit crime, or is impelled to commit crime?  It is the crime that society cannot accept, in either case, the source must be removed from society.

If he has no free will, he is not committing anything. He is being forced by the nature of the universe to do it.


I don't see how punishing people for actions beyond their control makes any sense.

Furthermore, even though the criminal had no freewill as to whether or not they committed  the crime, isn't it also true by this logic that the laws established by society also resulted from lack of freewill and thus we can't do anything but punish the criminal?

Doctor Reality said, "But if there is no free will it would mean we need to look at criminal behavior differently"


Doug Reardon said, "Does it matter whether a criminal chooses to commit crime, or is impelled to commit crime?  It is the crime that society cannot accept, in either case, the source must be removed from society."


Nathan Palo said, "I don't see how punishing people for actions beyond their control makes any sense."

oops! sry :D

It isn't as if we would be punishing them, because it wouldn't be us doing the punishment, it would be the nature of the universe punishing him.


Total lack of freewill removes any sense from motivation or morality, because we are no longer making choices, we are just along for the ride.

We would be punishing them in the same way the cell door does, if even that.


For any action to occur, there must be a decision, otherwise it is just a process beyond any control.


Punishment is an action, so it is one of us deciding to carry out the punishment, or it is 'the universe' or some other force doing it, and we are part of the means of punishment. Or, there is no punishment taking place.


Yes, with or without freewill, experiences have value.  But if you aren't influencing your experience, then there is no reason to attempt one action rather than another. Not that you could even attempt  anything without freewill of some degree.

This is a reply to Kris,  it seems we have run out of space to reply under one comment.


A choice means that there are more than one way for the chooser to act. Determinism and choice are mutually exclusive.


Cell doors and humans are quite different, but doors don't control their actions, and without freewill, neither do we.


I agree, what we think of as punishment is a well-observed phenomenon. But if it isn't actually deliberate, then we have been seeing something that looks a lot like punishment, but isn't actually punishment.


I don't think the universe punishes anyone (except in that we are part of the universe, so you could phrase it that way if you wanted), and I don't think any other force does it. So either we have a choice, meaning it is possible for us not to punish them, meaning we have freewill,  or there is no decision, and therefore no punishment.


And I suppose reasons to try and act a certain way can still exist without freewill, but they are entirely irrelevant and useless because you would not be able to act upon them.


If you were certain that you had no freewill, and you acted on that certainty, you would no longer believe you should try and influence your life. If you did in fact have freewill, and you acted this way, the consequences could be quite bad for you.

Choice must be between multiple possible outcomes, by definition.


And yes, you will do the thing you will do. But that doesn't mean that what you will do tomorrow is determined today. Are there multiple ways that the future can unfold? You have definitely not proved that there aren't. If there are multiple possible futures, can I influence which one actually happens? You have not proven that I can't. You have the burden of proof, I do not, as I have not claimed that we actually do have freewill.

You are saying that when you 'choose' something, it is already determined by forces beyond your mind. Which means there is only one candidate, one consideration, and one outcome. There might be an illusion of choice, but there is no choice.

I do not see what point you are trying to make.


I think we agree that we do not really know whether or not we have freewill, and I am arguing that unless we can conclusively prove that we do not have any freewill whatsoever, we should live as though we have some measure of freewill, because choosing what to do based on a lack of freewill makes no sense whatsoever.


With limited freewill, life is like driving a car. You can turn left or right, accelerate or stop, but you can't necessarily teleport or fly.  And it makes a difference what you do.


A total absence of freewill is like a roller-coaster. no matter what you do, it is going to follow its path. It might be fun, it might not, but you are along for the ride, and can't do anything about it.


If you are on a roller-coaster, and think you are in control, you really aren't going to cause any harm. If you are in a car, and think it is a roller-coaster, you  have a fairly good chance of either not going anywhere at all, or going somewhere you would rather not be.



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