Friday, January 13, 2006

Free Will, or let him rot...

Well, its late, I havn't written for a while, so heres my brain fodder for the night. Free will and blame. As I've mentioned before its been said that we are all robots, running around following our little programs never stopping to REALLY think about what we are doing let alone trying to change it, and its from that point that I'll start.
Imagine you are walking down the road and a frail old woman walks past with a wad of cash in her hand, you look around and realise there is noone about, no cctv etc. Now in that position the first thought that would enter my head would be one of concern, concern that the old lady may be inviting some sort of trouble by displaying her money, and I may or may not mention this to her for her own safety, depending on whether by doing so I would frighten her or not. OK, now I expect most of you would do the same. Now imagine a different person is in the same situation and the first thought that pops into his mind is how he can get the money off of the woman as quickly and easily as possible and get away with it. Now, at this point a crime hasn't been committed, but lets just quickly look at what happened, my mind instinctively and AUTOMATICALLY processed my concern for the vunerable lady, whereas the second guy's mind went instinctively and AUTOMATICALLY to that of crime and more importantly victimising the woman. Now I didn't make a choice, neither did he. It would be said that I am the better person, and undoubtably I would be morally, but spare a thought for the other guy, where was his choice? he is what he is, it is in the nature of the beast to be a beast. Put me in those kind of situations all day long and I would automatically do the 'right' thing. Put this guy in and he will automatically do the 'wrong' thing. So where does free will come into this? I'm not saying the guy isn't to blame, or crime shouldn't be punished because poeple can't help what they are, of course they have to be to protect the majority of society that is inherintly good. But can we really blame the bad poeple for being bad? Surely given the chance of reincarnation they would be pleading to have a mind that was naturally good, not automatically bad?? Now whether they are born like it or whether this is due to life circumstances is for a seperate discussion. I'm tired. Night night


Blogger Foxxy said...

Definitely something to make you think. Thanks.
Take care

1:19 PM  
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Blogger forgetful goldfish said...

By the same arguement do we have free will when we judge the persons actions?

7:42 AM  
Blogger Sophia said...

We don't act on our intial automatic thoughts though. My ethics are consequentialist, so it doesn't matter if man can control his actions or not (although we must act as though we can, for the sake of consequences). Free will is a sticky subject. I swing between compatabilism and hard determinism regularily.

But back to the first point, I often automatically think bad things (most worryingly when things go wrong I sometimes automatically think, my socks are wet... this is the jews fault etc) but then another "voice" can step in and say "now wait a second sonny, I think you know as well as I the jews cannot be to blame for your socks being wet and you simply want a psychic universal upon which to vent your anger you silly sausage, now go dry those socks".

I may be as unfree to think that as the initial thing, but intial thoughts are the worst thing to judge. If we judged people and if people were judged upon automatic intial thoughts we'd all be guilty of conspiricy to murder on the most horrendous scale.

8:03 AM  

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