Re: [naturalismphilosophyforum] Re: Stephen, Tim
No one disagrees about married
bachelors, or that robbing banks and not robbing banks are both logical possibilities;
that's a discussion for the first day of philosophy 101.
Then we agree that you could be not robbing a bank when you are robbing a bank.
And we agree that could means could *if* you were not robbing the bank in this case.
Could always goes with an and or an if or a but even if it is not written.
When someone says you could have not robbed a bank as I said there are two if's, the second being if you hadn't chosen to or if it hadn't been your will to do so or put another way there is a but that goes along with the if: You could have not robbed the bank but you chose to.
I'm sure any one who believes in free will, will confirm this is what they mean, although I agree they believe in something more too.
The something more is a leaping to a wrong conclusion, heavily reinforced by society. This is the mythological beast that we both realise does so much harm.
We have evolved to feel people are blameworthy or praiseworthy as I suspect other social animals do. Certainly we can see them acting as if they do.
When looking at the appropriatness of apportioning praise and blame we naturally consider what else a person could have done if they'd had a will to do so, as praise and blame function to influence will.
> In your running race example you could have won the race if you hadn't lost the race but won it instead.
>you could have won the race if you hadn't run at that speed but had run faster instead.
I think these two points cover the compatibilist position quite well.
I think they just cover what anybody means when they say something like this.
But, of course, they believe in something more too and that something is not compatible with determinism.