RE: Ethics and free will

From: fudley (
Date: Mon Feb 07 2005 - 22:44:54 MST

On Mon, 7 Feb 2005 "Phil Goetz" Wrote:

> It is possible to develop a decent legal system
> based on your ideas, John - although you might
> not have insanity or youth as a defense.

Thatís not a bug itís a feature. About the only mitigating thing for me
would be if you could prove beyond a reasonable doubt the crime was
committed because of extraordinary circumstances unlikely to be
repeated. That is not an easy thing to do because if youíre a homicidal
maniac today itís likely you will also be one tomorrow and if you enjoy
killing people when you were 13 you probably will at 23 too.

> aren't you saying that the only motivation for
> observing the law is avoiding negative
> consequences to yourself?

I wouldnít start murdering people even if the law said it was legal for
me to do so because killing people would make me very unhappy. On the
other hand, if I thought a law was evil or just stupid then yes, the
only reason for me obeying it is fear that Iíd get caught.

> I didn't mean that John is insane or young.

Well itís true that Iím not young.

John K Clark

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