Free will and moral responsibility

sovietpropaganda24Yesterday,  I was nerding out with this podcast on free will and found it to be very relevant to our arguments about the disease model.

The podcast argued that most arguments about free will are not really arguments about free will, rather they are arguments about moral responsibility. If we sacrifice the notion of free will, we also sacrifice the right to hold people morally responsible for their behavior.

This struck me as very true for many of the objections to the disease model and terms like powerless or hijacked brain.

The podcast puts forth a compatibilist view where we can moral responsibility can exist with or without free will. (Of course the disease model does not challenge free will in general, just in specific situations for specific people.)

I also found it interesting that AA staked out a compatibilist position with the 1st step asserting powerlessness and the 8th and 9th steps asserting moral responsibility.

If it’s your kind of thing the podcast is interesting food for thought.

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2 responses to “Free will and moral responsibility

  1. It’s just like talking about schizophrenia or sleepwalking, really. We can acknowledge that people don’t have total free will and still hold them accountable for how they use whatever freedom they have.