View Poll Results: Do people ever deserve punishment.???

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  • Yes

    41 95.35%
  • No

    2 4.65%
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Thread: Punishment.

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by P Timmy View Post
    ...if that behavior was beyond their control... and with no free will then everything is beyond our control...
    You have provided no reason to "connect" these 2 different ideas...or should I say, can you connect these 2 differing ideas in a rational manner?

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    ...we are individually responsible for our own actions, and need to accept the consequences of those.
    ...and, personally, I wouldn't have it any other way.

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by P Timmy View Post
    The notion of "free will" seems to be a necessity for the theocracies that believe in an everlasting hell... that way... when someone winds up in hell it's not God's fault... because the person in hell chose to be there of their own free will.
    That's a modern interpretation.
    If it's the god's will that they sin, it's also the god's will that they get punished and the god's will that they go to hell.
    There's no contradiction in that, it's perfectly logical.
    It only becomes contradictory if someone adds a requirement that the god isn't nasty.

    Anyway, you've already said that you understand that a society can't function without punishment, which means you agree that punishing people is necessary.

    If that is so, isn't a discussion about "deserving" just philosophical candyfloss with no actual substance?
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  4. #94
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    Originally Posted by P Timmy
    The notion of "free will" seems to be a necessity for the theocracies that believe in an everlasting hell... that way... when someone winds up in hell it's not God's fault... because the person in hell chose to be there of their own free will.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I don't believe in hell and I am an agnostic leaning toward atheist, and I believe in free will, so I don't see what it has to do with theocracies.
    I don't see any conflict with you believing in free will and leaning toward atheism... with what I said above.

    Sure, there are plenty of circumstances where people have little or no free choice, and we are surrounded by influences.
    Then there's little difference between us... I just think that on closer examination there's zero evidence that free will is anything more than an illusion.

    But ultimately, we are individually responsible for our own actions, and need to accept the consequences of those.
    We can't escape the consequences of our actions whether we're believers in free will or not.

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    Hi Swift, Thank you,Sir.
    Best regards,
    Dan

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by P Timmy View Post
    I think free will (uninfluenced choice) is just an illusion... so with no free choice... punishment can not be deserved.
    From looking at the poll numbers, no one here agrees with that statement.


    How do you account for that?

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by P Timmy View Post
    Originally Posted by Swift
    Sure, there are plenty of circumstances where people have little or no free choice, and we are surrounded by influences.
    Then there's little difference between us... I just think that on closer examination there's zero evidence that free will is anything more than an illusion.
    I think you are incorrect and I think there is a huge difference in our opinions. I said there are plenty of circumstances where people have little or no free choice. A slave, to pick an extreme example, has little or no free choice. But even then, they still have free will, for example, they may choose to rebel against their master, even knowing they will be harmed or killed doing so - there are plenty of examples of this in history. One may have choices, even if the choice is between bad and worse.

    But plenty of circumstances with little choice is far different from all circumstances. There are even more examples where people have plenty of choices.

    I completely disagree that free will is an illusion. But if it is, it is a necessary one, since to believe we are not responsible for our actions is the road to chaos, anarchy, and cruelty of the worst kind.

    Anyway, this is the kind of philosophy discussion I don't enjoy. Please don't expect me to respond further. You all have fun.
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  8. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by P Timmy View Post
    We can't escape the consequences of our actions whether we're believers in free will or not.
    If you understand the need for punishment (as you have just acknowledged), then what in the heck is this thread all about??


    Is it as Henrik posted?...is this all just philosophical candyfloss?
    Last edited by R.A.F.; 2012-Apr-09 at 09:42 PM. Reason: because there is no such word as "inderstand"

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    ...isn't a discussion about "deserving" just philosophical candyfloss with no actual substance?
    That depends on free will being possible or not... and even though most people believe they have at least some "free will"... so far... I haven't seen any convincing evidence that free will is anything more than any other unsubstantiated belief.

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by P Timmy View Post
    I haven't seen any convincing evidence that free will is anything more than any other unsubstantiated belief.
    That is your opinion...which you are entitled to...however, unless you present some kind of convincing "argument"....well, what are we suppose to do??...blindly accept your idea?, even though we VERY STRONGLY disagree with you???


    I Just am having difficulity seeing the "point" of this thread....the poll numbers say it all...

  11. 2012-Apr-09, 09:56 PM
    Reason
    decided I had "exposed" a bit too much. :)

  12. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Anyway, this is the kind of philosophy discussion I don't enjoy. Please don't expect me to respond further. You all have fun.
    Certainly there isn't enough new and well-written for me to bother, either.
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  13. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I completely disagree that free will is an illusion. But if it is, it is a necessary one, since to believe we are not responsible for our actions is the road to chaos, anarchy, and cruelty of the worst kind.
    I've thought free will is an illusion for over forty years and I've never considered myself as not being responsible for my actions... if I had... I probably wouldn't have been married for over forty years... lol... and instead of the other horrible things you mentioned above... its allowed me to be more compassionate... less judgmental... and willing to forgive anybody.

  14. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by P Timmy View Post
    I've thought free will is an illusion for over forty years and I've never considered myself as not being responsible for my actions...
    How is "responsibility" relevant to the "rightness" of your idea? There would seem to be no connection between the 2 ideas.


    if I had... I probably wouldn't have been married for over forty years...
    So who is right most of the time....you or your Wife? I've been married 36+ years, myself, and am curious to hear your answer.

  15. #104
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    P Timmy:

    Along with the three questions that I asked you in post #43, could you please also give us your definition of "deserve"?

    Thank you.
    problems worthy of attack prove their worth by hitting back (Piet Hein)
    I cook with wine, and sometime I even add it to the food. (W.C. Fields)
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  16. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by P Timmy View Post
    I've thought free will is an illusion for over forty years and I've never considered myself as not being responsible for my actions... if I had... I probably wouldn't have been married for over forty years... lol... and instead of the other horrible things you mentioned above... its allowed me to be more compassionate... less judgmental... and willing to forgive anybody.
    Wouldn't the acts of marriage, forgiveness, compassion and judgment of others be acts of free will?
    problems worthy of attack prove their worth by hitting back (Piet Hein)
    I cook with wine, and sometime I even add it to the food. (W.C. Fields)
    I don't ask stupid questions. I just make stupid statements!!!
    Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.
    All truths are simple to understand, once they are found. The challenge is finding them. (attrib. to Galileo)


  17. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by AstroRockHunter View Post
    P Timmy:

    Along with the three questions that I asked you in post #43, could you please also give us your definition of "deserve"?

    Thank you.
    Yes, I'd like to see that as well.

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  18. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Yes, I'd like to see that as well.
    Now, don't be impolite.

  19. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.F. View Post
    So who is right most of the time....you or your Wife?
    Thread started in BaBBling...

  20. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.F. View Post
    Now, don't be impolite.
    I don't see anything impolite in my request, and I certainly didn't intend it to be impolite. Are you joking? If so, I don't get it.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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  21. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by P Timmy View Post
    I've thought free will is an illusion for over forty years and I've never considered myself as not being responsible for my actions...
    Responsibility is all about choice, without free will there's no responsibility either, you're not really making a coherent argument if you claim it's possible to be responsible for your actions AND have no free will at the same time.
    If it's possible to be responsible for your actions without free will, then it's also possible to deserve punishment without free will.
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    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
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  22. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by AstroRockHunter View Post
    Wouldn't the acts of marriage, forgiveness, compassion and judgment of others be acts of free will?
    Not marriage.
    __________________________________________________
    Reductionist and proud of it.

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  23. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by P Timmy View Post
    I've thought free will is an illusion for over forty years
    Because this is a science-based board, I think it might be interesting for you to explore the concept a bit. In Newtonian world, where everything was predetermined, one could easily make the argument that free will is an illusion. In a world based on quantum mechanics, it is a much trickier question I think. You might want to look into it.
    As above, so below

  24. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Because this is a science-based board, I think it might be interesting for you to explore the concept a bit. In Newtonian world, where everything was predetermined, one could easily make the argument that free will is an illusion. In a world based on quantum mechanics, it is a much trickier question I think. You might want to look into it.
    If you know of any quantum mechanics based evidence which supports the idea that free-will really is possible... I would like to see it.

  25. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by P Timmy View Post
    If you know of any quantum mechanics based evidence which supports the idea that free-will really is possible... I would like to see it.
    Quantum mechanics was not developed to answer any questions about "free will." It was found, however, that quantum events are inherently probabilistic, so individually uncertain.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

  26. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar View Post
    It was found, however, that quantum events are inherently probabilistic, so individually uncertain.
    Thanks... but do you see that as somehow equating to free will being possible... like Jens "possibly" hinted at?

  27. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by P Timmy View Post
    Thanks... but do you see that as somehow equating to free will being possible... like Jens "possibly" hinted at?
    I didn't hint at that, and I wouldn't. All I meant to say is that the problem becomes a very thorny one, not one that will easily be answered by a yes or no, as you seem to be asking for. I would suggest taking a look at this SciAm blog.
    As above, so below

  28. #117
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    P Timmy, you seem to be discussing the subject of free will in terms of absolutes; that we either have total free will or none at all. I define free will as the freedom to make choices; not total freedom, but freedom of choice of action within the requirements and confines of societal living as well as other factors. My personal freedom of choice exists but is filled with compromises, at least if I want to coexist with others as well as my non-human environment with any degree of harmony.

    Unless one chooses to live alone in the wilderness with no other human contact, free will must include compromises. Actually, one would still have them when relating to wild animal life on the same turf, or plant life, or the weather, or anything else that interferes with what you want to do at any given time. So yes, in that context, total free will must be considered an impossibility.

    Okay, so there's no absolute free will, but there is limited free will and with that comes the concept of punishment when human choices conflict with what society has established as limits. Punishment can even be self-imposed for behaviour modification when one has failed to adhere to one's own standard.

    So now I ask, does my bolded definition of free will above agree with yours when considering the concept of punishment, and if so, do you still maintain that punishment can not be deserved?

    Mike
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  29. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    If they don't think criminals have the free will to stop committing crime, how do they figure the rest of us have the free will to stop punishing them?
    It may be that people didn't take this very seriously, but it seems to me that if one doesn't believe in free will, then this argument is fairly devastating. Nobody can no longer bear responsibility for anything, including meting out punishment.
    As above, so below

  30. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey View Post
    I think it's fair to say with certainty that there are times that authors (or playwrights) have their characters make statements that represent the views of the author in question, not just the opinions of the character. I would quickly acknowledge that it is not necessarily a simple matter to determine if and when that might be true in any specific case. However, my personal opinion* from reading the text, is that the opinions expressed by Hamlet in these lines were shared by Shakespeare himself. Especially the bit where he says how iimportant it is to stay in the good graces of actors, but also that other bit, too.
    Yes, if I had to bet on it, I would agree with you in this particular case. Fortunately, I don't have to bet on it.

  31. #120
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    What I said:
    As for Deserve, it seems that the question being asked is do humans have free will. If I shove an old woman down and steal her purse, did I do it because it's my fault, or is there some mental defect or compulsion that drove me to it? The answer, here would seem to be simple enough. Do I shove every old woman down, or just the ones near dark alleys, walking alone?

    If it's a compulsive behavior, I wouldn't skip any of them. If I choose which one I mug, I'm demonstrating some control over my actions. Maybe it really is a compulsion and I hold out as long as I can, targeting only those least likely to get me caught, so I can do more later. That's still controlling it to some degree.
    Quote Originally Posted by P Timmy View Post
    You make some good points if favor of free will being an illusion.
    Actually, I was going the other way with it. If free will is an illusion, I wouldn't have a choice to do or not do a certain thing. I'd be functioning 100% on instinct. I had a choice to reply to this thread. I had a choice as to what to write, and how to say it. I actually wrote a good deal more, then edited myself before sending it. If I had no free will, why would I write something, then delete it?

    In some cases, I'll agree, free will is hard to demonstrate. If I burn my finger, my first reaction is pull it away from the heat. That's instinct. But I can override that and hold my hand over the fire.

    When it comes to negative behavior, there may be some people that really don't have a choice. I would see this as something similar to Tourette's syndrome, where the person has no control over their own body or actions. I don't know that such a case exists, but kleptomania would seem to be close.

    In those cases, it's considered a mental defect or ailment that causes them to do what they do. For everyone else out there, it's a choice.

    As a kid, we used to break into the school across the street from my house. We'd sneak around inside and do stupid things like rearrange the desks, or swap sides with the teacher's desk drawer contents. If we got caught, we knew there would be consequences, and we could have chosen not to do it. This is proven by the fact that we never got caught, but stopped doing it all the same.

    The same thing goes with my drive to work. I'm rarely below the speed limit, usually running 5-10 mph over. One night I got caught. the cop asked how fast I thought I was going, and I told him what I honestly thought my speed was. (Well, the lower end of the estimate.) My phrasing was "I was slowing down by the time I got in front of you and my spedometer reads 3 to 5 mph fast, so I'd guess about 75." The right answer was 78. I got a warning rather than a ticket, probably because, I'm one of the few people to not really lie about it when asked.

    That's part of the game. I know the rules, and I know the consequences for breaking them. I accept those consequences the second I choose to break that rule or law.
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

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