Morality Implies Volition
While most people have blissfully skimmed right over it, philosophers discovered a labyrinth in the basement underlying all debates on morality: for there to be any moral judgement at all, there has to be volition, and the Mechanistic Model of the Universe doesn't include such a concept. The following essay, written by one of the EBS administrators, addresses this issue.
Note that this isn't just a metaphysical issue — it has implications for ethics as well. The modern revival of determinism has found its way into legal judgements, wherein it has become fashionable to absolve criminals of guilt if it can be demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that environmental factors caused the defendant to commit the crime, meaning that it was an involuntary action, which is treated differently. Whether lawyers, judges, and juries realize it or not, that road leads to the conclusion that all crimes should be prosecuted as involuntary actions, if prosecuted at all. And that would be moral bankruptcy. So we need to reaffirm the freedom, and the responsibility, of all members of our society. Or we need to prosecute criminals the same way we always did, except acknowledging that environmental determinism left them no choice in the matter, and asserting that moral fortitude likewise leaves us no choice but to alter the environmental conditions conducive to crime. In other words, we can trace criminal behavior back to the influences that led to it, and conclude that the criminal was coerced into the crime, but that doesn't mean that we cannot coerce criminal back out of criminal behaviors in the future, by introducing new influences.
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