META: The problem of "Good vs. Evil"

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at
Tue Feb 19 20:26:17 PST 2008

On Feb 20, 9:56 am, Andrew Burton <tuglyrai... at> wrote:
> Martin Phipps wrote:
> > "I see and I understand."
> > "Really?"
> > "Yes and, in fact, I can relate to how you feel."
> > "Oh?"
> > "I too have had a bad day.  The mayor gave me a hard time this
> > morning: he told me I hadn't been tough enough on crime."
> > "Oh."
> > "And, before that, I talked to my son about his report card.  He told
> > me that school is a lot harder than it was when I was his age and that
> > I should expect a few Cs and the occasional F."
> > "Okay."
> > "So while your argument may be perfectly valid, it is also
> > unfortunately true that I'm not exactly in the mood to hear it right
> > now.  You see, my own decision in this case is predetermined as a
> > result of a combination of the evidence in this case and the sum total
> > of my own life's experiences.  And given my current state of mind,
> > what do you think my decision is going to be?"
> > "Um... acquital?"
> > "No.  You will be held in state prison until such time as you can be
> > brought to the electric chair to face execution.  That is all.  Do you
> > have a problem with that?"
> "Not at all?  You are, after all, incapable of free will and merely a
> slave and puppet to a higher power."

The lack of free will does not mean you are a slave to a higher power,
not unless you consider the combination of instinct and experience to
be a higher power.  That humans do not have free will should be a
given as we do not think of robots or wild animals as having free
will.  What is the mechanism that provides human beings with the
ability to make unpredictable choices?  You'd pretty much have to
assume that human beings have souls while computers and animals do
not.  Thus the onus of proof is on those who say free will exists,
even though it may seem obvious to us apriori that we do have free


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