Talk:Dilemma of determinism

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Revision as of 15:46, 17 October 2013 by imported>John R. Brews (→‎Thought provoking article: Anthony - thanks)
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 Definition A moral quandary posed by a belief that events are determined by outside agency, placing human decisions outside moral responsibility [d] [e]
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Formatting has gone haywire: quotations after the first display one word per line.

"Prisoner at the bar, hav eyou anything to say why sentence should not be passed on you according to law?"

"Yer Honour, it was me upbringing wot made me do it."

"And my upbringing makes me send you to prison for five years."

Peter Jackson 10:50, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

Thought provoking article

John, another one of your interesting and thought-provoking philosophical articles.

It seems to me that if determinism is true, then whether a judge attributes moral responsibility for the actions of another person will also be determined. Also, if determinism is true, whether a miscreant accepts moral responsibility for his actions will also be determined.

So, how can we possibly know whether determinism is true or not? Perhaps it is something impossible to resolve. Anthony.Sebastian 20:31, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Hi Anthony: Thanks for the interest. Frankly, my awareness of these issues reflects an Engineering background. In other words, I am amazed that these things have been around for millennia with very little progress. But as the article I have written here indicates, and as you suggest, the problem is difficult.
Where I have arrived, and I invite your comment, is that, while you can say that some theories (say Newton's laws of mechanics, Maxwell's equations) definitely describe the evolution of some kinds of events, and while scientists and engineers think that eventually everything will be described by some theory with those features, that is an occupational bias. Maybe, maybe not.
In the meantime, I'll carry on as though that is conjecture, and if it happens that science expands to explain everything, maybe the theory that does it will be rather different in character from the ones we know today. At a minimum it will have to predict how cultures evolve and how they interact with minds. John R. Brews 21:46, 17 October 2013 (UTC)