Often, when (most typically) defending criminal youth, their advocates will say something like, "This one mistake shouldn't affect the entire rest of his/her life."
What was the "mistake"? Often, it's something like one of these:
Armed robbery of a convenience store.
Assaulting a homeless person.
Driving way too fast and causing an accident.
Stealing from his employer's inventory.
My problem is that none of these things are actual mistakes. A mistake is, literally, a missed take. A misunderstanding. Understood that way, none of the above crimes are mistakes.
One characteristic of a true mistake is that it involves, in part, a lack of intentionality. Consider some real mistakes:
I go around the house looking for my glasses until I realize to my chagrin that I'm already wearing them.
I ask someone how his father is doing, forgetting that his father had died.
I add 286+37,206 and come up with 37,493.
I show up at Josh's party in street clothes. It turns out to be a costume party.
I am wondering why my key isn't opening my car's door until I realize that it's not my car; it just looks like my car.
Have you ever thought about this? Do you agree with me?
From various online dictionary's:
The ability to choose, think, and act voluntarily.
The apparent human ability to make choices that are not externally determined.
Voluntary choice or decision.
Freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention.
The ability to choose how to act.
The act or power of making one's own choices or decisions.
I fall more into the Compatibilism box.
What does "will" mean in this context?
Note that all of those definitions imply an ability to generate miracles (suspension of physical laws).
Buddy, friend, comrade, free will antagonist, I can smell that crack you be a-smoking from this side of the screen. :D
I think therefore I am. I live in a world of reality, I share this world with 7.5 billions minds that have free will, I hold each of them accountable for their actions.
Do the Trillion or so synapses making 10 Trillion connections/disconnections each day create a consciously aware mind capable of thinking and causing new neural pathways, as it appears to do?
Is the sum greater then the parts?
I will wait for the Science, until then I will continue to live in a world where everyone has free will and is held accountable for their actions.