⚖️ Retributive Justice and 🦋 Free Will

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theory
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⚖️ Retributive Justice and 🦋 Free Will

Post by theory »

There is a growing movement that believes that human behavior can be reduced to brain chemistry and that there is no free will or guilt. According to this movement, criminal law should ideally be replaced by preventive measures such as psychiatric treatment.

Prominent professors in the Netherlands have proposed to replace the criminal prosecution for young adults (<21 years), stating that young criminals should not be punished, but should instead be transferred to forensic psychiatry. The idea: “The criminals are not yet fully grown mentally and deserve psychiatric help.

Would it be good to replace criminal law with preventive measures?

What would happen when people start to believe that there is no guilt, and that people are not responsible for crime, and that criminals instead should be submitted to psychiatric care?

It will effectuate something in human interaction.

Preventive psychiatric measures are by definition about prosecuting people on the basis of vague suspicions and not on the basis of facts. It will cause people to lose the basic dignity as a human being (the Presumption of innocence) before they have committed a crime, so that they will commit a crime faster.

When vague suspicion based prosecution becomes effective in society it will put some people at risk while they did not commit a crime. In a conflict situation, it is logical that the opposing party can concretize the requirement for preventive psychiatric measures by which the person affected has lost a reason to not commit a crime. The measure for a crime that he did not commit has been determined beforehand. The dignity as a human was already gone. (psychiatric disorders/treatments are highly stigmatizing)

Criminal behavior is a potential, so when people come to believe that it is caused by a brain disease that they themselves cannot be blamed for, they will commit a crime faster.

'belief' in free will

The people who make the decisions (legislators and people working in the criminal justice system) will probably have to make their decisions based on an evaluation of the validity of a belief in free will.

Why would the interest of a criminal weigh higher than for example a desire by victims for retribution, or to set an example for society with regard to good and bad behavior?

It will ultimately come down to abolishing a belief in free will.

Law makers and people who work in the criminal justice system are giving in because they ultimately have only a 'belief' in free will as a foundation for their practice, opposed to a presumed 'objective science'.

It may not matter if Free Will Skepticists can make a strong case against free will. It is more easy to simply question the validity of a belief in free will.

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 retributive 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 retributive 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.

Reference: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/justice-retributive/

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?

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

rejecting-retributive.png
rejecting-retributive.png (133.55 KiB) Viewed 410 times
(2021) https://www.amazon.com/Rejecting-Retrib ... ks&sr=1-14

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 of free will. The study is discussed in topic: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=33092

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

--

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?
Last edited by theory on Sun May 30, 2021 9:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: ⚖️ Retributive Justice and 🦋 Free Will

Post by Immanuel Can »

theory wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 6:54 am There is a growing movement that believes that human behavior can be reduced to brain chemistry and that there is no free will or guilt. According to this movement, criminal law should ideally be replaced by preventive measures such as psychiatric treatment.
Already this "growing movement" is articulating something that makes no sense.

"Preventative measures" are impossible in a Deterministic world. You can't "prevent" what was going to happen inevitably. And the "measures" you employ will be just as fated, certain and inexorable as the brain chemistry they precipitate.

As for "psychiatric treatment," since Determinism has to hold that the mind is only a collocation of "brain chemistry," the mind cannot, by itself be a causal factor in what happens. It can, at best, be what they call and "epiphenomenon," meaning a weird, inexplicable byproduct of another process -- in this case, a mere "feeling" that is, for some reason, associated with "brain chemistry" combinations of a certain kind. But the mind itself cannot change a thing. Only material changes -- chemical changes induced by the prior, environmental, material chain of causes -- can make a change happen. And all these are fated to be as they are.

So trying to alter the mind is merely acting outside the causal chain that produces behaviour. The "mind" can't change anything. Only a change in the prior material-causal chain can produce changes in both action (or even in cognition); but again, Determinism says that changing the causal chain is impossible, because EVERYTHING is fated, predetermined and locked in, all the way back to the beginning.

So if human behaviour can be reduced to material causes like "brain chemistry," then yes, there is no free will, and there is no guilt; but there is also no "prevention," no "mind," no effective "psychiatry," and, in fact, no "change" possible of any kind, either in the brain or in the universe (if by "change" we understand the movement from what "would have been" to what is actualized, and not merely the movement of things from one state to another.)

There is no "would have been" in a Deterministic universe. There is only what DOES happen. And it's all inevitable, and it's all inevitable from the very beginning.
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Re: ⚖️ Retributive Justice and 🦋 Free Will

Post by Skepdick »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 2:55 pm Already this "growing movement" is articulating something that makes no sense.

"Preventative measures" are impossible in a Deterministic world. You can't "prevent" what was going to happen inevitably. And the "measures" you employ will be just as fated, certain and inexorable as the brain chemistry they precipitate.
Horseshit. Nothing that has been determined to happen is impossible in a determined world.

We were determined to implement precisely the preventive measures we implemented towards preventing the outcomes that were determined to happen had we not been determined to prevented them.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: ⚖️ Retributive Justice and 🦋 Free Will

Post by Immanuel Can »

Skepdick wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 3:05 pm Nothing that has been determined to happen is impossible in a determined world.
There's the contradiction, right there. "Nothing that has been determined to happen." :shock:

If X has been fated, destined and predetermined, then nothing but X can happen. Nothing.

So nothing was "prevented." X was fated, and X happened: end of story. X-1 could not be changed, because X-2 was also fated, as was X-3, X-4...and so on, back to infinity.

And sense of deviation from that pattern is strictly another "epiphenomenon," an illusion in the mind. It has no reality. Even our supposed "prevention" was just another X-3 or X-4 that was fated to happen anyway. Nothing was changed from what it otherwise might have been. There is no "might have." Nothing ever has been changed in that way, and nothing ever will.
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Re: ⚖️ Retributive Justice and 🦋 Free Will

Post by Skepdick »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 3:29 pm
Skepdick wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 3:05 pm Nothing that has been determined to happen is impossible in a determined world.
There's the contradiction, right there. "Nothing that has been determined to happen." :shock:

If X has been fated, destined and predetermined, then nothing but X can happen. Nothing.

So nothing was "prevented." X was fated, and X happened: end of story. X-1 could not be changed, because X-2 was also fated, as was X-3, X-4...and so on, back to infinity.

And sense of deviation from that pattern is strictly another "epiphenomenon," an illusion in the mind. It has no reality. Even our supposed "prevention" was just another X-3 or X-4 that was fated to happen anyway. Nothing was changed from what it otherwise might have been. There is no "might have." Nothing ever has been changed in that way, and nothing ever will.
If reality is determined then so are my "contradictions". Your objection too was determined.

What do you want us to do about it? Exist in a different reality?
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Re: ⚖️ Retributive Justice and 🦋 Free Will

Post by Walker »

Skepdick wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 3:05 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 2:55 pm Already this "growing movement" is articulating something that makes no sense.

"Preventative measures" are impossible in a Deterministic world. You can't "prevent" what was going to happen inevitably. And the "measures" you employ will be just as fated, certain and inexorable as the brain chemistry they precipitate.
Horseshit.
Now now. You didn’t have to say horseshit, did you?

On the contrary ... of course you did.

Whatever happens had to have happened, and in the precise moment that it did happen, could not have not happened and in fact, could not have happened in any other way. Whatever happens is a momentary confluence of all causes, which are constantly changing. These happenings which happen all the time include crime, prevention, effective psychiatry, and of course change, since death comes to all temporal things and change is apparent all around.

Speculating on possibilities about what could have happened, or what might happen, are also included in what must happen and if one is unclear about what will happen, choices abound due to all the clever things folks had to invent, since human invention is a mirror of creation.

Increasingly it seems, because of effective political propaganda, choices also abound about what did happen, i.e., two systems of justice, one for the rulers and one for the ruled, a.k.a. slavers and slaves.

The body is responsible for the actions of the body and the body is responsible for its actions. That responsibility does not vary.

What varies are the consequences, the ramifications, the implications, and the sentencing according to the rules of varying societies, such as a society that takes part of the body for stealing a loaf of bread, the hand body part that did the stealing.

Such is life so best to learn the rules to keep all your body parts, even though speculation concerning the way things should be, in order to let the body off the hook for its responsibility, must happen, as evidenced by the fact that it does happen and thus likely will again, perhaps in perpetuity given the aspect of personality that says, the devil made me do it.
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Re: ⚖️ Retributive Justice and 🦋 Free Will

Post by henry quirk »

Does free will exist?

Yes. More accurately, free wills exist: each person is a free will (a causal agent); no one has free will.


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?

If man is a free will then he self-directs and is self-responsible. The consequences (good and bad) of his choices, and the actions extendin' out of those choices, belong to him. Justice, as redress, is never about repairing a person (or reprogramming a robot [which is all we are if we're not free wills]).

The current American justice system is a poor construct (it's overly complex and inconsistent) but its foundation (man is self-directing and self-responsible) is right on target.
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Re: ⚖️ Retributive Justice and 🦋 Free Will

Post by theory »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 2:55 pm
theory wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 6:54 am There is a growing movement that believes that human behavior can be reduced to brain chemistry and that there is no free will or guilt. According to this movement, criminal law should ideally be replaced by preventive measures such as psychiatric treatment.
Already this "growing movement" is articulating something that makes no sense.
The presumed existence of a 'growing movement' is also cited in a recent special on the subject by The Guardian (2021), in which an abolishing of retributive justice is mentioned as a consequence: "A growing chorus of scientists and philosophers argue that free will does not exist. Could they be right?"
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 2:55 pm"Preventative measures" are impossible in a Deterministic world. You can't "prevent" what was going to happen inevitably. And the "measures" you employ will be just as fated, certain and inexorable as the brain chemistry they precipitate.
One could argue that the world exists and that the use of a science to shape the world is evidently possible, so that while one poses that free will does not exist, a science would still be able to modify the environment to prevent bad behavior.

According to the cited article on Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, there are gradations of Free Will Skepticism. It is of course possible to find causal relationships for crime in the environment, such as poverty or mental problems, by which can be stated that at least at some level evidence can be provided for determinism. With such gradually increasing argumentative persuasion put in motion, it will then turn to the question what would make it valid to hold on to a belief in free will. It will be increasingly difficult for individuals to maintain a conviction that a belief in free will is valid.

The denotation of a belief in free will as a problematic 'belief' can be recognized in the article:
The authors appeal to empirical support for thinking that belief in free will has a "dark side," and correlates with other independently problematic beliefs.
When the mind originates from brain processes, that implies that something that is physical determines who someone is (i.e. his/her thoughts and behavior). From such a perspective it does not appear logical to maintain a belief in free will.

Why should one hold a belief in anything if one argues that the physical, something that can be defined, is the origin of the believing itself? It appears that such a conviction should naturally result in the abolishing of any form of believing, which includes the belief in free will.
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 2:55 pm As for "psychiatric treatment," since Determinism has to hold that the mind is only a collocation of "brain chemistry," the mind cannot, by itself be a causal factor in what happens. It can, at best, be what they call and "epiphenomenon," meaning a weird, inexplicable byproduct of another process -- in this case, a mere "feeling" that is, for some reason, associated with "brain chemistry" combinations of a certain kind. But the mind itself cannot change a thing. Only material changes -- chemical changes induced by the prior, environmental, material chain of causes -- can make a change happen. And all these are fated to be as they are.
Free Will Skepticism lays at the basis of the field psychiatry. Essentially, even from the earliest beginning, it has been the vision that one day psychiatry will master the human mind using objective science is what has fueled the growth of its influence.

Medicalization of the human mind is based on an idea. The idea that the human mind can be reduced to chemical processes in the brain.

What is specifically denoted is that psychiatry as a science is taking over control, i.e. that it could replace the retributive justice system, and that they are successfully advancing in that regard because it is easy to denounce a 'belief' in free will.
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Re: ⚖️ Retributive Justice and 🦋 Free Will

Post by simplicity »

theory wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 6:54 amWould 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?
It would be the perfect legal system for the hundreds of millions of adult-children out there who insist, "It's not my fault."
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Re: ⚖️ Retributive Justice and 🦋 Free Will

Post by Skepdick »

simplicity wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 5:21 pm It would be the perfect legal system for the hundreds of millions of adult-children out there who insist, "It's not my fault."
We live in an infinitely complex universe. it's not our fault that we are stupid, ignorant and unable to deal with complexity!

The people who keep looking to blame somebody for the situation we find ourselves in are the same people who used to burn witches.

Methinks you are projecting your childishness onto humanity's best efforts. We can't do better if we don't know any better and we don't know very much. Perhaps you have mistaken the complex for the simple?
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Re: ⚖️ Retributive Justice and 🦋 Free Will

Post by Immanuel Can »

Walker wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 3:51 pm Whatever happens had to have happened, and in the precise moment that it did happen, could not have not happened and in fact, could not have happened in any other way.
That's a tidy summary of the implications of Determinism. Good point.
...change is apparent all around.
This is where we can make a mistake in thinking, and a thinking Determinist will catch it.

"Change" has several definitions, and two are particularly important here. They are:

1) a conversion of one state into a different state.

This, as you note, is evident all around, all the time. Water "changes" into ice, youth "changes" into age, and so on. But a second meaning of "change" is...

2) an alteration in the path of events, from many possible states to one particular state.

Only this second definition is contrary to Determinism.

This second one suggests that other things "could have" happened, but didn't. When we say, "Tom changed his mind," or "We changed our reservation dates," or "I saw the car coming and changed lanes," we're speaking of a different phenomenon...not merely of the change-of-state, but a change produced by the state of will of the agent, a switching among multiple could-have-been-chosens, not merely the fact of an impersonal prior causal factor pushing him inevitably down a single track.

And Determinism insists there is only one state that "could" happen, ever, at any one time, in reference to any one object: and that state is the inexorable product of prior causes and effects. At a given moment, what is, simply is what is: no more can be said, under Determinism.

So we must not equivocate between definition 1) and definition 2). Only the former allows for Determinism. The latter denies it. And when you say, "change is apparent all around," I think you're aiming at definition 1. But that routine observation, admittedly so compelling for 1), will not allow us to say we've demonstrated the truth of 2); and 2) is essential if we are going to deny Determinism.

So when a free willian says he believes in "change," he needs to be standing for and justifying 2), which he cannot do by pointing to an example of 1). That's the essential problem with just saying, "change is apparent all around." We need to show that it's a "change" among possible alternatives for one thing, not merely a change of state in one thing.
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Re: ⚖️ Retributive Justice and 🦋 Free Will

Post by Immanuel Can »

theory wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 4:40 pm ...Could they be right?"
Not on the terms you give. They're bound to be talking differently out of both sides of their mouths.
...the use of a science to shape the world is evidently possible...
Not according to Determinism. There are no free agents to "use" anything in that way, per Determinism. What science maybe does, from a Determinist perspective, is merely catalogue the inevitabilities for us. But science, like everything that exists, was fated to exist in its present form anyway, so we can't credit free agents with having achieved anything there.

This is one of the highly unscientific things about Determinism: it forgets that science is not some impersonal force, but is rather a tool of intelligent users. And since Determinism denies that intelligent users are capable of altering the inevitable causal chain, it has to suppose that science itself can't shape -- or better "reshape" or "alternatively shape" anything: there are no "alternatives," and no "shape" but the "shape" that inevitably exists.
According to the cited article on Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, there are gradations of Free Will Skepticism.
There are indeed. There's no need for a free willian to insist that all decisions a human being makes are totally free, or equally free, or free from influences, factors and considerations. That sort of absolute freedom really doesn't exist anywhere. But one can be a free willian and believe that there are DNA factors, factors of environment, factors of raising and learning, contingent factors, and all kinds of other factors; the only thing that the free willian needs to believe is that human will is one of those many factors, and that it is sometimes capable of arbitrating between those kinds of considerations -- something that is routinely manifest, I would say.

But, in contrast, Determinism has only one degree: absolute. If there is one ounce of free will in the universe, then Determinism is not true. It then is reduced to one or another form of free will skepticism, maybe, a believe that free will exists in a stronger or weaker form -- but it is not any longer Determinism.
When the mind originates from brain processes, that implies that something that is physical determines who someone is (i.e. his/her thoughts and behavior). From such a perspective it does not appear logical to maintain a belief in free will.
Right.

And this raises the "downward causality" problem. Downward causality is this issue: if the mind is nothing but a product of predetermined, prior, physical factors, then the mind cannot itself be said to be among the causes of anything. We can't explain the existence of the mind by saying, "It's physical," if we're going to turn around and explain the disposition of some situation in the physical world by saying, "The mind did it." The mind is either the mere product of physical causes or the causer of physical events: but under Determinism, it cannot be both. In fact, it cannot be the latter at all.
Why should one hold a belief in anything if one argues that the physical, something that can be defined, is the origin of the believing itself? It appears that such a conviction should naturally result in the abolishing of any form of believing, which includes the belief in free will.
Yes; and other beliefs, too...like the belief in unique human individuality, consciousness, rationality, science, choice, morality...and a bunch of other such stuff.

But Determinists say they are willing to pay these prices. (I don't think they really are, and they never do pay them, but they sometimes say they will.) And if a Determinist is willing to accept all these consequences, then the free willian can say nothing more to him....he has had his mind made up by prior forces, according to his own testimony; and it will either change or not change as those material forces conduce.

But this brings up another thing that Determinism denies the possibility of: changing somebody's mind by persuading him/her.
Free Will Skepticism lays at the basis of the field psychiatry.
Actually, the opposite is true.

Psychiatry assumes that if the human mind can be changed, then the patient's life can be changed. It assumes that while he was an alcoholic, for example, he could be sober, if the psychiatrist induces the necessary paradigm shifts in the patient's head.

If Determinism is taken for granted, we might at first think that all psychiatrists would have to be Skinnerian, or some kind of strict Behaviourist. But a little more thought shows that no psychiatrist could even be that: for if the patient is nothing but the result of prior material causal forces, then so is the psychiatrist. And so are all the circumstances the psychiatrist may seem to arrange. Nothing about the entire equation is free of predetermination. :shock:

So there is neither a distinct patient, nor an available variable problem, nor a distinct psychiatrist to "decide" what ought to be done. All of it is set, fated, predetermined.

The truth is, psychiatry cannot work if the patient has no free will, the treatment isn't genuinely variable, and if the cognition of the psychiatrist, rather than being the judgment of a thinking being, is merely the inevitable product of prior material forces predetermining the psychiatrist.
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Re: ⚖️ Retributive Justice and 🦋 Free Will

Post by RCSaunders »

theory wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 6:54 am There is a growing movement that believes that human behavior can be reduced to brain chemistry and that there is no free will or guilt.

...deleted nonsense...

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?
Stupid question! Retributive justice is nothing but vengeance based on the belief that two wrongs make a right. If there is no volition (mistakenly called, "free will," by the ignorant), there is no justice, just meaningless events.
theory
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Re: ⚖️ Retributive Justice and 🦋 Free Will

Post by theory »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 6:16 pm
Free Will Skepticism lays at the basis of the field psychiatry.
Actually, the opposite is true.

Psychiatry assumes that if the human mind can be changed, then the patient's life can be changed. It assumes that while he was an alcoholic, for example, he could be sober, if the psychiatrist induces the necessary paradigm shifts in the patient's head.
Psychiatry is different from psychology in that it presupposes that it is (or will become) an objective science that will master the human mind. Mental care (e.g. psychotherapy) and psychiatry are often confused with each other.

What distinguishes a psychiatrist from a psychotherapist is a medical approach, i.e. psychopathology such as a brain disease model of psychological problems.

Psychopathology is based on causality and thus in a pure form it is grounded in free will skepticism.
If psychiatry is really a branch of medicine, we should see the specific causal hypotheses emerge about mechanisms that cause the symptoms of mental illness. Psychopathology is to be identified as the departure of a psychological system from its proper state.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/psychiatry/
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Immanuel Can
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Re: ⚖️ Retributive Justice and 🦋 Free Will

Post by Immanuel Can »

theory wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 7:09 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 6:16 pm
Free Will Skepticism lays at the basis of the field psychiatry.
Actually, the opposite is true.

Psychiatry assumes that if the human mind can be changed, then the patient's life can be changed. It assumes that while he was an alcoholic, for example, he could be sober, if the psychiatrist induces the necessary paradigm shifts in the patient's head.
Psychiatry is different from psychology in that it presupposes that it is (or will become) an objective science that will master the human mind.
"Presupposes" is just the right term there. To "presuppose" is to "take for granted." It's not to "have proved," or "to demonstrate," but rather to assume as a departing point, without complete evidence, that something is so.

Strict Behaviourism is the psychiatric school that "presupposes" that environmental conditions account for everything. In general, psychiatry does not quite presuppose that, but does assume that biological and chemical variables can be effectively employed to produce some influence on human behaviour. But psychiatry does not deny the real existence or agentive power of the mind; it just focuses on the other side of the equation more than on that.

The medical side is psychiatry, and the cognitive side is clinical psychology. But they are partners, not adversaries -- two rooms in the same "house," not separate "houses." And both work on what human beings "think." Determinism assumes that "thinking" is no real causal phenomenon. It's just an odd epiphenomenon.
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