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Old 08-06-2019, 06:56 PM
begbert2 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 13,249
Originally Posted by monstro View Post
Really? You've never heard someone argue that a person shouldn't be held responsible for his crimes by reason of insanity or mental impairment? You've never heard of juveniles getting lighter sentences than adults based on the argument that "they don't know better"?

You've never heard someone try to excuse their behavior by saying they were drunk, sleep-waking, or blind with rage at the time?

If you have heard these things, then you've heard "hints".
None of that has anything at all to do with free will. Not even slightly.

I'm really having a hard time even articulating your version of free will. It's like you think that when a person is annoyed, free will shuts off on account of...what? Free will only being possible if you're coldly logical or free of emotion?

Originally Posted by monstro View Post
Exactly. So why should we believe these people when they say they have free will? If they are so wrong so frequently, why should we trust they know what the hell is going on in their own cognition?

Compare these statements:

"I don't know why I killed that person, Your Honor. I was insane at the time. Please spare me."

"I don't know why I killed that person, Your Honor. But because I believe in free will, I guess I performed an act of free will? What do you think?"
Free will has nothing whatsoever do to with people being logical.

Originally Posted by monstro View Post
I think if you say you're committing an act through your own "will", you know good and well why you're committing it. Otherwise you're functionally no different than a puppet on a string. A slave to your subconscious--like someone who has been hypnotized. Do you think a hypnotized person has free will?
Your subconsciousness is not a different person from you.

Look. You have a head. (Or at least I assume you do.) Inside that head is your brain. That brain is you. What your brain decides to do, you decide to do.

Getting drunk doesn't mean that alcohol has gained sentience and taken control of your body. Being a little sleepy doesn't mean you're possessed by a demon. Altered mental states can make you confused (possibly to the point where people see no justice in holding you culpable), but they don't imply that you have had control of your will taken over by an external entity.

Originally Posted by monstro View Post
That may be. But if free will was as simple as the majority of posters seem to think it is, why has it been the subject of debate for so long? Volition is pretty self-evident and thus not worth caring about. But the ability to carry out actions completely independent of external factors and events is a different matter all together. This is what "free will" means to people who spend a lot of time thinking about it.
Free will has been the subject of debate for so long because people disagree about the definitions. You see that stopping?