D World Essay

1289 words - 5 pages

great paper indepthPraise and Blame in World DIn World D, a world in which people recognize that they do not havefree will, it is still possible to maintain a system of praise andblame. The implicit assumption is that praise and blame effect actionssuch that a person praised for an action is more likely to repeat theaction while a person blamed for an action is less likely to commit thesame action again. Such a system, although possible, would lookdifferent from the system which exists in the actual world because theactual system is partially based on the notion that people do have asense of free will. Furthermore, although it is logically possible tohave such a system, establishing one in reality would require knowledgeof the inner workings of human psychology which is difficult to compile.Before we can discuss the notion of praise and blame that would bepossible in World D, it is necessary to describe what such a world wouldlook like and how people in such a world would feel. First, it is usefulto examine the feelings of incompatiblist determinists in the actualworld because it is possible that the feelings held by such people wouldbe similar to those held by the people in World D. Simply put,determinism is the belief that everything has a cause, includingeverything that people ever do, think, or say. People who believe inincompatiblist determinism assert that this definition of determinismmeans that there is no free will. In World D, it is a given that thereis no free will, therefore incompatiblist determinism would be areasonable possibility.Belief in incompatabilist determinism does not require that one knowall of the determining factors. Therefore, it is possible to have allthoughts and actions completely determined and still not be able topredict actions or thoughts. The theory merely requires that determiningfactors exist, not that they be known to the individuals whom they aredetermining. For example, suppose Bob from World D does not likemustard. Because he inhabits World D, Bob knows that he is determinednot to like mustard. He may not have any conscious reasons for hisdislike of mustard, but he is confident that there are determiningfactors which make him find mustard unpleasant.Due to lack of knowledge of determining factors, one way in whichpeople without free will could live is under a system of praise andblame similar to our own. One reason for our system of praise is toencourage a person to repeat an action or thought. Therefore, in WorldD, if people have reason to believe that praise affects the subconsciousmind to change the determining factors then there would be reason forthere to be a system of praise. The argument for blame is parallel. Ifthere is reason to believe that blame for an action will effect thedetermining factors to discourage a person from repeating an action,then there is justification for a system of blame.This argument ignores a crucial piece of our actual system of praiseand blame, however. Implicit in our...

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