First a number of statements that I believe are true. I give them without motivation. It would take a book to argument in detail but I have discussed some of it earlier in this thread.RickD wrote: ↑Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:19 pmThanks for responding to my question nils. I realize that you are communicating with multiple people here, and it can be difficult responding to everyone.Nils wrote: ↑Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:14 pmRick, I try to answer the posts in the right order and it takes some time, so please, be patient.
I don’t think that I have ever read such a short message that brought so many thoughts!
The first thought is that I hope that you are able to do better guesses / conclusions in other areas
More seriously, it probably shows how big the difference is between on one hand my cultural subgoup and yours including many of the debaters on this site. I guess (hopefully better than you) that your comment relates to the problem of raising children without punishment. I can tell you that among my close relatives and my close friends there is never practiced backwards looking punishment, i.e. punishment because of the child “deserves” it but only actions that were meant to deter from future bad behavior (but of course without any physical or psychical violence). In a wider part of my social subgroup, I don’t know, but I have never heard of anyone having a different attitude. This I put in relation to what I a few years ago read in a discussion on a USA based philosophical professional forum. They were discussing (informally) how to punish disobedient teenagers. I thought it was horrifying.
But to answer your question. I have three children and some grandchildren and my relation to them has always been good (and also, they confirm it )
Actually, I asked if you have children, not because of punishment. I was thinking about how you would teach your children about being responsible for the choices they make, good and bad, if you teach them that they aren't really making choices. As my son has grown up(he's 18), I've tried to show him how to make good choices. I've explained to him, with different levels of understanding as he's growing up, that all of his choices have consequences.
It's such an important part of a child growing up and becoming a productive person, that I just can't understand how you raised children without teaching them there are consequences to their actions.
1. There is no No free will. None truly deserves to be praised or blamed (even if there are good reasons to to do that sometimes).
2. The world may be deterministic or indeterministic but there is no free will anyway. I think it is indeterministic, but that is unimportant in the free will discussion.
3. Below I assume that the world is deterministic (the argument will be clearer then)
4. Can we choose between different alternatives then? There is an external and internal view (Ref T. Nagel)
5. In the external, outside view, it is obvious that an agent will do what she is determined to do, there is no choice.
6. In the internal, inside view we have no possibility to know what we will do before we have done it. We can and ought to deliberate, weighting pros and cons and finding the best answer. Determinism doesn’t matter.
7. We need morality, objective or subjective. Morality is needed in societies.
8. To enforce morality we have to threaten with punishment and in worst cases, punish.
9. Those that are unlucky, depending on heredity and environment, not to obey the moral rules, don’t deserve to be punished but we have to do it because of 7.
10. We inherit the disposition to have reactive feelings to those do bad things to us, feeling hatred and wanting revenge if we are hurt in some way.
That was the background to my view and these are my conclusions:
Persons that are discussing and determining the rules that govern society should be aware of that persons are not truly responsible, don’t deserve to be punished. I am thinking of politicians and philosophers and persons that are interested and may be influential, as you and me. Therefore, among other things, the aim of punishment is to deter others from crime, rehabilitate etc, not to revenge.
In our everyday life we need a moral and so we have to take responsibility. We don’t have to bother about determinism and the issue of free will. We can act according our intuition on how to handle other persons. It is natural to feel hatred and wanting revenge but when we get time analyse the situation to we should try to mitigate those feeling knowing that the person that hurt us isn’t evil in herself, just had bad luck. That the philosophers may have to tell us.
This amounts to a kind of dualism. On one hand the external position you need to build a society and define morality, on the other hand the everyday, less reflective actions, based on the internal view.
When you and I teach our children when they are young we can only have the internal perspective. The external perspective has to wait until they grow up. But we should teach them to avoid hatred and revenge.