Another Earth Trailer:
This science fiction looks like a potential classic.
The fundamental view that form the bases of both post (not a radical view at all, its a view share by philosophers in general) is that since success, failure or whatever attainment a person result in is cause by the accumulated interaction between the genes and the environment (good and bad). And that both the genes that conceived and the environment that raised us are the result of chance. Therefore neither success nor failure should form the podium to condescend from or the pit to be condescended to.
Reading Stephen Pinkers’ “How the Mind Works”,
in its first chapter, before starting to explain how mind works he tries to preempt the use of his work to justified immoral behavior by claiming that understanding the physical condition that necessitate an immoral act does not mean the said acts are justified. He wrote “A human being is simultaneously a machine and a sentient free agent…”. He did not stray away from the view that free will is necessary for discussion of morality, law and punishment. in fact it seems that he went out of his way to show that the idea of free will is still intact even if science has proof it is an illusion.
This protection of free will comes from the believe that our justice system cannot function without it. in the sense that free will allow us to punish people who commit crime and reward people for their good deeds. without free will there will be no agent to punish or reward.
I disagree. I do not believe that free will is needed for a functional justice system.
Criminals dont have to be met with punishment because they deserve it, but because our society collectively decide thought democratic process to raise the cost of acts they committed. Punishment become not a form of revenge, but an incurred cost to prevent occurrence of socially undesirable act.
Indeed, it is the rejection of the notion that people are free, and they comment crime because they are evil; and the acceptance of people commit crime because their behaviors system demands it under certain circumstances, can we look beyond punishment as the only preventive tool but a tool among many.
We can look at what causes a criminals’ behaviors system to grown to such a state that will act criminally where others wont and seek to neutralize those causes. Those causes will come in forms of how is build up by the accumulated interaction between genes and the environment (parenting, schooling, memes, culture, society in general). Understanding those cause, will lead to innovative solutions that may involve better parenting education, better education system, legal systems and other current unknown factors.
Acknowledging free will as an illusion, demystify human thought and open up possibility for new crime prevention strategy. Free will, I believe, we are better off without it.
off All persuasion, the conclusion i draw from the debate over free will in that the free will is incoherent and ultimately fallacious is perhaps one of the two most fundamental pillars of my moral philosophy. The other being The Golden Rule.
it is with this in mind, i reject the view that those who possess properties that happens to be preferred by the society are somehow more worthy then other. in fact, i cant help but feel a little disgusted by people with their unapologetically entitled demeanor. These people claim superiority just because they happens to be born in a developed country, with wealthy and nurturing parents, grow up in nice neighborhood and received expensive schooling. These people are ignorant of the fact that their better traits, developed taste, high culture, achievement and sophistication are not the fruit of their own initiative but simply the result of luck.
sure, people are entitle to value themselves as they see fit. and my view on the subject are not some sort of metaphysical truth. I just want to rant how i am disgusted by these people, because these days i seem to meet more of these narcissists with all their barely concealed sense of entitlement.
Update 2010/12/20: when i originally wrote this, it was not intended to be a serious piece, but a quick rant. The part on the golden rule is later added. One more point. I of course dont mean to imply that those who are supposedly success, in spite of their background poor environment can claim their superiority. They cannot. Simply because whatever kinds of success or failure a person end up attaining, it the result of the accumulated interaction between the genes and the environment (good or bad). And that both the genes that conceived and the environment that raised us are the result of chance. Therefore neither success nor failure should form the podium to condescend from or the pit to be condescended to.