Re: Free Will

John Clark (
Mon, 6 Sep 1999 15:59:11 -0400 <>

>If we had no free will, and we acted on that belief, that all
>actions are programmed in, or are the result of random synapses,
>then there would be no reason to hold people responsible for thier actions.

I can think of reasons.

>No reason to reward the scientist for his unified-field theory,

If someone is in the habit of generating good ideas or good actions or just good vibrations then I want to hang around with them and give them every encouragement I can to produce more. Why they act the way they do is irrelevant, it's their business not mine.

>no reason to punish a murderer.

There is only one legitimate reason for punishing any evil doer, to prevent or at least discourage future evil acts.

>We have to believe we all have free will, even if we don't.

The idea of free will is so bad it's not even wrong. There are only two possibilities, either our actions are programmed by our genes and environment and we're machines OR they are not and we're random. It doesn't matter, I still like kind geniuses and dislike stupid murderers, but that's just my opinion, your mileage may vary.

John K Clark