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Free will

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Free will does not exist (confidence: highly likely)

Human minds follow the same physical laws as any other matter, therefore human thought processes are deterministic and theoretically predictable. In practice, the mechanisms are complicated enough that we cannot do so. From the inside, it feels like there is free will, but if you reset a brain to the same state, it would always make the same decision.

Assuming we do not have free well, whence moral responsibility?

I am unsure if there needs to be free-will for someone to be held responsible. Pragmatically, morality is enforced through social pressure, punishment, rewards. We should continue using these, since they do affect people's future behaviour. Assuming a creature who was made unable to learn, it would be pointless to punish it if it does something wrong, but it could still be considered morally responsible for its actions. We should quarantine it to prevent it from causing issues in future.

I think that this view is widely held, and most arguments about free-will come from scemantics.

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Last modified 2019-08-16 Fri 16:28. Contact max@maxjmartin.com