Free will

John K Clark (
Mon, 2 Mar 1998 12:43:48 -0800 (PST)

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- On Sun, 1 Mar 1998 Wrote;

>In a determinsitic view of reality, deterrence is ineffective
>for people who are not possessed of free will. They cannot be
>'deterred' from committing crimes.

Just the opposite is true. If there are reasons for a person's actions and
then you change those causes, such as passing a law to punish wrongdoers,
then you change his actions. On the other hand, if a person's actions had no
causes then nothing you did could change him because his behavior would be

>Well, are you a determinist, or aren't you?

I am not. Quantum Mechanics has shown that some things can happen for no
reason, that is, they are truly random, I just don't think randomness has
anything to do with free will.

>You say that you believe in free will, and this is not a
>deterministic idea... what's the scoop?

Free Will means being unable to accurately predict what you will do until you
actually do it, this is perfectly consistent with determinism.

>libertarianism tends to deny causality

Never heard the word used that way before.

>I do not believe (as you seem to) that because a decision has a
>causality, that it is then an 'un-free' decision.

I don't believe it either. Freedom means not knowing what I'll do but always
doing what I want. I consider it a compliment not an insult if somebody tells
me there are reasons I want the things that I do.

>What is incompatible with free will is not causation, but compulsion.

I agree, compulsion means having no freedom, and that means having no choice,
and that means doing what you don't want to do.

John K Clark

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