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← Morality without 'Free Will'

phil rimmer's Avatar Jump to comment 1006 by phil rimmer

keith

maybe your using the cop and collared was pure coincidence.

I wanted to associate with what you had written, though I changed the scenario a little for illustrative purposes, mostly by expansion. Sorry for not tagging.

The issue is that the thoughts (and "choices" in the quote was intended to stand for the thoughts of future choices) you are able to think at any given instance are constrained by circumstance, more often by social circumstance and most by people actively seeking to constrain those thoughts of yours.

The poor can dream (think) of banquets as well as the rich, perhaps better. Free will has nothing to do with an ability to carry through an action. But circumstance can alter your ability to carry through a thought. Few or no thoughts with no clear self-mooted choices is a state of not being able to exercise free will.

By collared I meant not to draw attention to a lack of physical ability to carry through an action but rather the effect of duress on the ability to think about things at all. Of course, he is free to think about his lunchtime menu choices, but, unless he is a psychopath he will not when threatened with a stick. Indeed if you wanted to chance your arm at what he actually was thinking about, you'd stand a pretty good chance of mind-reading him at that point.

I apologise if choosing "choice" has misled us into discussing what we can do when I intended to discuss what we can think at any given time.

Tue, 21 Aug 2012 22:06:33 UTC | #951126