META: The problem of "Good vs. Evil"

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at
Wed Feb 20 06:54:50 PST 2008

On Feb 20, 10:43 pm, Tom Russell <milos_par... at> wrote:
> I think one reason why the idea of free will, whatever the scientific
> consensus of it might be, is so widely accepted is because, as Andrew
> points out in his humourous post above, if we do not have the ability
> to make choices then we are not responsible for them.  Taken together
> with the point of view that there is no right or wrong-- that they're
> just human concepts without meaning-- we are left with a world where
> people can do whatever the hell they want... if they had the ability
> to want things.
> Until it's proven, one way or the other, I'm going to hold onto my
> naive attachment to these ideas.  Because I'd rather do that than live
> in a world where they don't exist.  Such a world denies the basic
> dignity of human beings, and that's an idea to which I am passionately
> committed.

It's just arrogant to think that there's something special about human
beings that allows us to make seemingly random decisions whereas
animals and robots rely on instinct and programming, respectively.


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