Criminal Prosecution and Free Will

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Re: Criminal Prosecution and Free Will

Post by psyreporter »

chewybrian wrote: March 8th, 2020, 6:01 am Dogma is a moral belief taken as fact, usually because it comes from a perceived authority, like the church. Your argument would hold weight if it were against many religious beliefs. In that case, the believer arguably must swim against the tide of his actual experience in the world and create the belief on his own at all moments. He can not directly access God for proof of his belief, in the way I could prove to myself that my dog exists, by interacting with her, or the way I could validate my own free will, by making a choice.

So, in the case of free will, dogma more clearly represents the case of the believer in determinism. They must swim against the tide of all their experience. At every moment, they are forced to choose with no chance of avoiding the choice, and they know their choices have consequences, so they will naturally take care to make good choices most of the time (if they are thinking clearly). If they wish to continue believing in determinism, they must deny their experience, even as they live what they claim is a lie at all times. They are choosing the theory over their experience, and arguably just as far in denial as many religious believers.

Why would I need an objective defense against reality? If I choose, as most people do, to accept that my experience of choosing in the world is real, I can access this experience at any moment to validate my belief. It's quite obvious, since we all have this experience, that the burden of proof is on the determinist to show that all human experience is an illusion. Influences or mechanical problems do not suffice. I have the power of sight. Some people are color blind, some are totally blind, sometimes it's dark and I can't see well... Yet, the fact remains that healthy people under the right conditions have the ability to see. Similarly, healthy people under normal conditions can freely choose. To believe this is as rational as any possible belief I might hold. To believe in dogma would be to accept something that was not self-evident; this is.

You seem to be assuming that belief in free will is going to diminish over time to a trickle, as perhaps religious belief might. I disagree. If, in the case of religion, people had direct access to God, one should not expect belief to dry up. In the case of free will, we have this direct access. If you denied God while we were standing right next to God, I would say you were mad. I say we are, in effect, standing right next to free will at this moment, and you are mad if you don't see and acknowledge it. You are using your free will at all waking moments, like it or not. Any attempt to deny this will only diminish your effectiveness at putting it to use.
As it appears, from a philosophical perspective, it cannot be said that Free Will cannot be disputed.
Philosophers have spent millennia debating whether we have free will, without reaching a conclusive answer.

A new research program spanning 17 universities and backed by more than $7 million from two private foundations hopes to break out the impasse by bringing neuroscientists and philosophers together. The collaboration, the researchers say, can help them tackle two important questions: What does it take to have free will? And whatever that is, do we have it?

(2019) https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/03 ... stery-free
A recent neurology study claimed that Free Will is an illusion created by the brain.

Free will may be an illusion, scientists suggest after study shows choice may just be brain tricking itself
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/scie ... 08181.html

I did not intend to suggest that a belief in Free Will will diminish over time similar to religions. I merely intended to evaluate the perspective of a movement that may ultimately intend to replace the criminal justice system. Free Will Skepticism (the ability to claim that it is merely a belief) is central in their perspective.

Like with the concept wisdom, or with valuing that must precede the senses, what it is that makes a human free may reside in a context that precedes that what can be comprehended by empirical science. Evidence that this may be true is the fact that empirical science has been unable to explain consciousness.

An example. Pain is to be considered real (not a phantasy). On a deeper level, there is something that precedes that pain. There is a value element involved. One considers (that what causes) pain as "bad".

It must be implied that an element of valuing is involved for pain to be possible. That what causes pain is considered "bad". But pain also implies something else, that the valuing by an individual, while as such has a subjective element, originates from something that is real. A universal "good".

It can be implied that for valuing to be possible it requires a distinguish ability. By the nature of value, valuing per se appropriates that distinguish ability from that what can be indicated as "good". Because something cannot give rise to itself, "good" per se cannot be valued.

Summarized
  • valuing requires a distinguish ability
    Valuing is making a distinction between good and bad. Bad isn't of substance. Bad is what lessens good. As such, one does not choose but 'value'.

    The first logical implication is that for valuing to be possible, it requires a distinguish ability and by the nature of value it derives that ability from what can be indicated as "good".
  • factual logic (logical truth): something cannot give rise to itself
    The simple logic that something cannot give rise to itself can be considered factual logic or logical truth.
  • indicated "good" cannot be other than "good" per se
    If the indicated "good" could be anything other than that what it is considered to be per se, it would need to have been valued and that is impossible by the factual logic at point 2.
By the same logic, one can pose that since it can be stated that "good" per se cannot be valued, one cannot pose that one is not free to choose with regard to the appropriation of "good". If one would not be able to choose it would imply that the indicated "good" per se has been valued, which is impossible.

My footnote provides further substantiation.

I am certain that the environment and culture can have a big influence on human thoughts and behaviour. It is only when you study philosophy that you can learn to understand it and derive actionable advantage, such as enhanced thinking. It is certainly good to intend to improve the world, and thus to prevent crime.

At question is whether it would be wise to replace the criminal justice system with preventative measures, in which the abolishment of a belief in Free Will is central. I simply intend to discover insights.
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Re: Criminal Prosecution and Free Will

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arjand wrote: March 8th, 2020, 3:55 pm
Terrapin Station wrote: March 6th, 2020, 11:19 amSo, simply put, I don't buy that the physical world (which on my view is identical to "the world," period) is thoroughly deterministic. In connection with this, I'm also not a realist on physical laws. I'm not a realist on any sort of abstracts at all. (Physical laws, if they were to actually exist, rather than simply being ways that we think about the phenomena we observe, would have to exist as real abstracts.)

I use "free will," by the way, to refer to the ability to make a choice, where at least two options were genuinely available--that is, so that it was really possible for one to choose A OR B from an immediately preceding state of affairs. That's all that I use it for--it's a relatively "narrow" sense of free will.
Why would it not be possible that the available choices are limited, and thus that the choices can be considered to have been determined beforehand?
That's not what anyone means by the freedom vs. determinism argument. No one argues that there are unlimited choices for anything. The issue is whether any choices, rather than just one avenue that is determined to occur, are really possible.
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Re: Criminal Prosecution and Free Will

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Terrapin Station wrote: March 8th, 2020, 4:25 pmThat's not what anyone means by the freedom vs. determinism argument. No one argues that there are unlimited choices for anything. The issue is whether any choices, rather than just one avenue that is determined to occur, are really possible.
Why would it not be possible for choices to be merely an illusion, when the human mind, including emotions and rational mind, is to be considered to originate from physical processes in the brain?

1) Would you acknowledge that you merely hold a belief in free will that can be abolished when sufficient evidence in favor of determinism is provided?

2) If so: could sound persuasion in favor of determinism change your faith?

3) If so/if not: why? (what argumentative persuasion would be available to prevent a change of faith?)
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Re: Criminal Prosecution and Free Will

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arjand wrote: March 9th, 2020, 4:48 am
Terrapin Station wrote: March 8th, 2020, 4:25 pmThat's not what anyone means by the freedom vs. determinism argument. No one argues that there are unlimited choices for anything. The issue is whether any choices, rather than just one avenue that is determined to occur, are really possible.
Why would it not be possible for choices to be merely an illusion, when the human mind, including emotions and rational mind, is to be considered to originate from physical processes in the brain?

1) Would you acknowledge that you merely hold a belief in free will that can be abolished when sufficient evidence in favor of determinism is provided?

2) If so: could sound persuasion in favor of determinism change your faith?

3) If so/if not: why? (what argumentative persuasion would be available to prevent a change of faith?)
"Belief" doesn't entail "mere" or "faith." If we know that P, we have a belief that P. Propositional knowledge is justified true belief.

Is it logically possible for determinism to be the case? Sure. But it doesn't appear to be the case. I don't agree that there are good reasons for believing it to be the case.

Again I explained that I don't believe that the physical world is thoroughly strongly deterministic, and I'm not a realist on physical law.
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Re: Criminal Prosecution and Free Will

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arjand wrote: March 8th, 2020, 4:00 pm A recent neurology study claimed that Free Will is an illusion created by the brain.

Free will may be an illusion, scientists suggest after study shows choice may just be brain tricking itself
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/scie ... 08181.html
This is very weak sauce against the burden of proof required for determinism. This is not an argument over influences, but about every choice and action being fully caused, negating all purpose in our existence. One free choice in all of human history knocks down determinism like a house of cards. The fact that a few people might cheat on a test tells me nothing about free will. People don't like to lose or feel stupid, so much so that they will cheat or lie to others or themselves in order to protect their good opinions of themselves. This is not news.

Your casual confidence about the nature of the argument tells me you have not thought about its full implications. This is not a case of telling people they have no intellectual right to believe in an afterlife. You are telling us that we effectively don't exist as casually as one might predict the outcome of a football game. I am no longer 'allowed' to believe that I can make decisions?! This idea that (sane) people should not be held accountable for their misdeeds is just one way this could go wrong. But, the more people begin to believe this nonsense, the more they will simply 'check out' of life, and stop caring about the future or others or anything, based on this sophomoric idea that we can not impact events in any meaningful way. Living a life of virtue is meaningful, but not easy, and many people will welcome an excuse to be lazy. We should not go out of our way to give it to them just so we can feel smart by clinging to our logic over real-world experience.
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."
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Re: Criminal Prosecution and Free Will

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chewybrian wrote: March 9th, 2020, 1:30 pmBut, the more people begin to believe this nonsense, the more they will simply 'check out' of life, and stop caring about the future or others or anything, based on this sophomoric idea that we can not impact events in any meaningful way. Living a life of virtue is meaningful, but not easy, and many people will welcome an excuse to be lazy. We should not go out of our way to give it to them just so we can feel smart by clinging to our logic over real-world experience.
I agree with this, which is actually the motivation to address the subject.

I simply intend to view things from multiple perspectives. I am not politically motivated/engaged and I am not interested to tell people how they should live / how the world should be. This may make it appear as if I support the abolishing of a belief in free will. It is simply intended to discover insights.

My logic did not intend to show that free will does not exist. It would show that it does exist.
By the same logic, one can pose that since it can be stated that "good" per se cannot be valued, one cannot pose that one is not free to choose with regard to the appropriation of "good". If one would not be able to choose it would imply that the indicated "good" per se has been valued, which is impossible.
Therefor I could argue that free will is evident. And based on this, your arguments seem to be correct.

At question is: will people who work in the criminal justice system be able to hold on to a belief in free will? They have a much tougher time. They may not have a philosophical background and may merely be confronted with the reality of crime within the scope of their profession. When you are a judge and are confronted with horrific crimes on a daily basis, at some point in time it may be logical that you wish for a mere chance to be able to prevent the crimes. The abolishing of a belief in free will may then seem worth the chance. A multi-trillion USD science+business is eager to take over responsibility and control. As it appears, a mere plausible philosophical consideration may have a hard time to defend free will at the moment that a hint of a chance of prevention presents itself as a choice.

No one can blame someone who chooses to abolish a belief in free will in favor of a replacement of the criminal justice system with preventative measures. On the contrary, holding on to a belief in free will on the basis of philosophical consideration bears a heavy responsibility.
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Re: Criminal Prosecution and Free Will

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It is clear that for those who are unfortunately in a position of being involved in such court systems that there is no freedom left in Western society when it comes to courts and prosecution.

I am indeed to be concerned about this due to the fact that I'm currently stuck in the court system in United States because I had shoved my brother in the face and he had called the police on me in a spiteful vengeful opportunity to finally see my demise. I had plead insanity because I didn't want to do the 90 days in jail. Now that I look back I probably should've done the jail time instead choosing to plead insanity.

It is in it entirety that you can see clearly that there are many problems in this notion of psychiatrist being connected to such courts is in it's self a extreme radical insertion of corporate state funded pharmacists that in which is the arbitrator to those in such positions to be found mentally insane or partially disruptive in nature by a mental disorder , these leading benefactors are the cause and effect to such formative reactionary objectives to one's criminal stance in these courts.

I hold firmly my conclusion to the matter is that of servitude and compliance are two different things.
I my self have seen the view of the role of the mental health department play in the hands of both Judge and pharmaceutical industry.

These Psychiatrist are indeed evil elements that abuse the civilian population into conformity and forced medication such as tranquilizers.

The systematic division of such a mental health department is to seek deconstructed reactionist notions based entirely on seeking vengeance on those who have committed a crime so in theory the psychiatrist are indeed using their power as a form a punishment towards the criminally insane .
So my conclusion is the psychiatrist have a interest to foremost listen to the pharmaceutical industry and will then take unnecessary approach thus forcing the criminals to take injections.
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Re: Criminal Prosecution and Free Will

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The following item may be of interest:

(2021) The clockwork universe: is free will an illusion?
A growing chorus of scientists and philosophers argue that free will does not exist. Could they be right?

By far the most unsettling implication of the case against free will, for most who encounter it, is what it seems to say about morality: that nobody, ever, truly deserves reward or punishment for what they do, because what they do is the result of blind deterministic forces (plus maybe a little quantum randomness). “For the free will sceptic,” writes Gregg Caruso in his new book Just Deserts (DebatingFreeWill.com), a collection of dialogues with his fellow philosopher Daniel Dennett, “it is never fair to treat anyone as morally responsible.” Were we to accept the full implications of that idea, the way we treat each other – and especially the way we treat criminals – might change beyond recognition.

For Caruso, who teaches philosophy at the State University of New York, what all this means is that retributive punishment – punishing a criminal because he deserves it, rather than to protect the public, or serve as a warning to others – can’t ever be justified.

Retribution is central to all modern systems of criminal justice, yet ultimately, Caruso thinks, “it’s a moral injustice to hold someone responsible for actions that are beyond their control. It’s capricious.” Indeed some psychological research, he points out, suggests that people believe in free will partly because they want to justify their appetite for retribution. “What seems to happen is that people come across an action they disapprove of; they have a high desire to blame or punish; so they attribute to the perpetrator the degree of control [over their own actions] that would be required to justify blaming them.”

Caruso is an advocate of what he calls the “public health-quarantine” model of criminal justice, which would transform the institutions of punishment in a radically humane direction.


https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/a ... n-illusion

If a law maker is provided with the idea that crime can be prevented, and when that idea is substantiated and promoted by a science-field in general, there appears to be little argumentative ability to resist a proposition to replace the criminal justice system with preventative measures.

Despite the financial interests of Big Law, Big Pharma + psychiatry + the idea of the ability to prevent crime may be able to gain the upper hand. There is simply much more money involved for them and they can paint a picture of a better world.

As it appears, it will come down to the ability to defend free will. And if that defense is impossible (for an individual) they will likely simply put their trust in a science-field. It is a non-risk choice versus taking responsibility for defending free will. It may explain why psychiatry has been winning so easily, while from the outlook, Free Will Skepticism may appear questionable.

At question is: Why would one want to defend free will? Will people who work in the criminal justice system be able to hold on to a belief in free will? They have a much tougher time. They may not have a philosophical background and may merely be confronted with the reality of crime within the scope of their profession.

When you are a judge and are confronted with horrific crimes on a daily basis, at some point in time it may be logical that you wish for a mere chance to be able to prevent the crimes. The abolishing of a belief in free will may then seem worth the chance. A multi-trillion USD science+business is eager to take over responsibility and control. As it appears, a mere plausible philosophical consideration may have a hard time to defend free will at the moment that a hint of a chance of prevention presents itself as a choice.

No one can blame someone who chooses to abolish a belief in free will in favor of a replacement of the criminal justice system with preventative measures. On the contrary, holding on to a belief in free will on the basis of philosophical consideration bears a heavy responsibility.

What is your opinion? Does free will exist? Would it be good to replace the retributive criminal justice system with a system based on the idea that criminals are not responsible for their crimes?
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Re: Criminal Prosecution and Free Will

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The main argument by Free Will Sceptics is the following:

To make a choice that wasn’t merely the next link in the unbroken chain of causes, you’d have to be able to stand apart from the whole thing, a ghostly presence separate from the material world yet mysteriously still able to influence it. But of course you can’t actually get to this supposed place that’s external to the universe, separate from all the atoms that comprise it and the laws that govern them. You just are some of the atoms in the universe, governed by the same predictable laws as all the rest.

Thus, one assumes that it is impossible to stand outside the scope of the 'physical reality'. This perspective can easily be questioned, for example by the idea that consciousness precedes reality (a primary role for mind in nature), for which there is mounting scientific evidence.

Sources for "a primary role for mind in nature" are available in the OP of the following topic:

All Particles in the Universe Non-Unique: Evidence for an Infinite Universe
https://onlinephilosophyclub.com/forums ... 12&t=17207
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Re: Criminal Prosecution and Free Will

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Re: Criminal Prosecution and Free Will

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Free Will Skepticism

debatingfreewill.com (2021, by professors Daniel C. Dennet and Gregg D. Caruso).

Free Will Skepticism in Law and Society: Challenging Retributive Justice.
Elizabeth Shaw, Derk Pereboom, and Gregg D. Caruso have compiled a volume that centralizes a question of great philosophical and practical importance -- what is the relationship between skeptical views about free will and criminal punishment? It provides an excellent new resource for anyone who finds some variety of free will skepticism appealing (or troubling), and thus feels a looming threat to retributive justification for our modern criminal justice system.

...

While there are a variety of ways that we might understand the motivation for free will skepticism and its ultimate scope, the majority of contributors here accept something akin to Pereboom's version. For those unfamiliar with the position, it is a relatively cautious variety of skepticism. According to Pereboom, the troubles for traditional success theories of free will and moral responsibility suggest that, at best, we have no good reason to think that we ever have the kind of freedom needed to make us morally responsible and deserving of praise and blame in the basic (non-consequentialist) sense. In other words, the assumption that we sometimes genuinely deserve backward-looking, retributive blame for our actions is unfounded. And, in light of the significant harms associated with this kind of blame and its attendant practices (perhaps foremost among them, punishment) we ought to take seriously the skeptical position that they are in fact never truly deserved.

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
https://ndpr.nd.edu/news/free-will-skep ... e-justice/

Book: Cambridge University Press, 2019
https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/fr ... AF7E270760
(2021) The clockwork universe: is free will an illusion?
A growing chorus of scientists and philosophers argue that free will does not exist. Could they be right?
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/a ... n-illusion

rejecting-retributive.png
rejecting-retributive.png (132.7 KiB) Viewed 628 times
(2021) https://www.amazon.com/Rejecting-Retrib ... ks&sr=1-14
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Re: Criminal Prosecution and Free Will

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Arjand,
Yes. these scientist are right and after watching Dr. Hariss's lecture on this illusion makes me think that maintaining such a stance as free will must have something to do with egocentricity.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=sa ... &FORM=VIRE
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Re: Criminal Prosecution and Free Will

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I personally would not agree that a belief in free will will diminish over time similar to religions.

Like with the concept wisdom, or with valuing that must logically precede the senses, what it is that makes a human free may reside in a context that precedes that what can be comprehended by empirical science. An indication that this may be true is the fact that as of today empirical science has been unable to explain consciousness (the 'Hard Problem' of philosophy).

The following logic would show that free will necessarily exists:

It can be implied that for valuing to be possible, it requires a distinguish ability. By the nature of value, valuing appropriates that distinguish ability from that what can be indicated as "good". Because something cannot originate from itself, "good" per se cannot be valued.

Summarized
  1. valuing requires a distinguish ability
    Valuing makes a distinction between good and bad. Bad isn't of substance. Bad is what lessens good. As such, one does not choose but 'value'.

    The first logical implication is that for valuing to be possible, it requires a distinguish ability and by the nature of value it derives that ability from what can be indicated as "good".
  2. factual logic (logical truth): something cannot be the origin of itself
    The simple logic that something cannot originate from itself can be considered factual logic or logical truth.
  3. indicated "good" cannot be other than "good" per se
    If the indicated "good" could be anything other than that what it is considered to be per se, it would need to have been valued and that is impossible by the factual logic at point 2.
By this logic, one can pose that since it can be stated that "good" per se cannot be valued, one cannot pose that one is not free to choose with regard the appropriation of "good". If one would not be able to choose it would imply that the indicated "good" per se has been valued, which is impossible.

The following logic provides a simplified version of the idea:

"If life were to be good as it was, there would be no reason to exist."

I am certain that the environment and culture can have a big influence on human thoughts and behaviour. It is only when you study philosophy that you can learn to understand it and derive actionable advantage, such as enhanced thinking. It is certainly good to intend to improve the world, and thus to prevent crime.

At question is whether it would be wise to replace the retributive justice system with preventative measures, in which the abolishment of a belief in free will is central.

A case for Free Will

A recent study suggests that all particles in the Universe are entangled by kind, a qualia of which it is assumed that it is non-physical. It would be proof for free will. The study is discussed in topic: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=17207

The main argument by Free Will Sceptics is the following, which is essentially the idea that mind is necessarily 'caused' within the scope of physical reality.

To make a choice that wasn’t merely the next link in the unbroken chain of causes, you’d have to be able to stand apart from the whole thing, a ghostly presence separate from the material world yet mysteriously still able to influence it. But of course you can’t actually get to this supposed place that’s external to the universe, separate from all the atoms that comprise it and the laws that govern them. You just are some of the atoms in the universe, governed by the same predictable laws as all the rest.

(2021) The clockwork universe: is free will an illusion?
A growing chorus of scientists and philosophers argue that free will does not exist. Could they be right?
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/a ... n-illusion

As can be seen from the reasoning by Free Will Sceptics, only the idea that mind has a primary role in nature could prevent a belief in determinism.

Scientific evidence for the idea of “a primary role for the mind in nature” is mounting from several angles. For example, recent quantum physics studies through experiments have shown that the observer precedes reality (the scientific "observer" = consciousness = mind).

(2020) Do Quantum Phenomena Require Conscious Observers?
“Experiments indicate that the everyday world we perceive does not exist until observed,” writes scientist Bernardo Kastrup and colleagues earlier this year on Scientific American, adding that this suggests “a primary role for mind in nature.”
https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/ar ... -observers

How observers create reality
https://arxiv.org/pdf/1506.06774.pdf

(2018) Is the Universe a conscious mind?
https://aeon.co/essays/cosmopsychism-ex ... d-for-life

(2021) Can our brains help prove the universe is conscious?
If it is proven that consciousness plays a causal role in the universe, it would have huge consequences for the scientific view of the world, said Kleiner. "It could lead to a scientific revolution on a par with the one initiated by Galileo Galilei," he said.
https://www.space.com/is-the-universe-conscious

(2019) Quantum physics: objective reality doesn't exist
Clearly these are all deeply philosophical questions about the fundamental nature of reality. Whatever the answer, an interesting future awaits.
https://phys.org/news/2019-11-quantum-p ... oesnt.html
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Re: Criminal Prosecution and Free Will

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Every event is a caused event therefore there is no such thing as FreeWill. There are people, most of us actually, whose sense of personal responsibility is caused by both reason and empathy. Together these faculties stop mature adults committing crimes. If these faculties fail, most mature adults will not break the law because they do not want to feel ashamed when they are found out.

The way to get people to be law abiding is not to blame and punish those who fail, but to remove as far as possible the causes of moral immaturity and social desperation. This not too tender hearted, as what would be removed in some instances is power and wealth from crime, so there is an an element of deterrence.

I suppose there is a place for psychiatrists to judge whether or not a criminal is responsible in law for their crime. But it would be fairer if criminals were not regarded as evil devils some of whom are given the benefit of a psychiatric diagnosis.It would be fairer if every criminal were regarded as in need of care and training .

The downside of 'care and training' however is that criminals might prefer to do two years of prison to two years of care and training.
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Re: Criminal Prosecution and Free Will

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Belindi wrote: June 17th, 2021, 12:54 pm Every event is a caused event therefore there is no such thing as FreeWill. There are people, most of us actually, whose sense of personal responsibility is caused by both reason and empathy. Together these faculties stop mature adults committing crimes. If these faculties fail, most mature adults will not break the law because they do not want to feel ashamed when they are found out.

The way to get people to be law abiding is not to blame and punish those who fail, but to remove as far as possible the causes of moral immaturity and social desperation. This not too tender hearted, as what would be removed in some instances is power and wealth from crime, so there is an an element of deterrence.

I suppose there is a place for psychiatrists to judge whether or not a criminal is responsible in law for their crime. But it would be fairer if criminals were not regarded as evil devils some of whom are given the benefit of a psychiatric diagnosis.It would be fairer if every criminal were regarded as in need of care and training .

The downside of 'care and training' however is that criminals might prefer to do two years of prison to two years of care and training.
Many would disagree that your premise leads to your conclusion.

Free Will proposes that the same antecedent state can lead to different subsequent states (decisions). We all agree that if this was true, those decisions would be the cause of the subsequent state, yet Free Will would be present.

Determinism proposes that the same antecedent state will always lead to the same subsequent state and what superficially appears as decision making is actually the fact that there are subtle differences in the antecedent state, thus explaining the inability to predict the behavior of animals.

As to the impact of this on the justice system, I find it better to not pursue trying to determine "blame" and "responsibility", when viewed philosophically, rather to use outcomes of past behavior to categorize individuals to protect society from the statistical likely future risk from those individuals.
"As usual... it depends."
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