“We must never make the problem of pain worse than it is by vague talk about the ‘unimaginable sum of human misery.’ Suppose that I have a toothache of intensity x, and suppose that you, who are seated beside me, also begin to have a toothache of intensity x. You may, if you choose, say that the total amount of pain in the room is now 2x. But, you must remember that no one is suffering 2x; search all time and all space and you will not find that composite pain in anyone’s consciousness. There is no such thing as a sum of suffering, for no one suffers it. When we have reached the maximum that a single person can suffer, we have, no doubt, reached something very horrible, but we have reached all the suffering there ever can be in the universe. The addition of a million fellow-sufferers adds no more pain.”
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Friday, July 22, 2016
If any kind of determinism is true, soft or hard, you could not have done otherwise given the actual past. It is possible that you could have done otherwise if antecedent conditions had been different, given the actual past, you could not have done otherwise from what you did.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Notice that the punishment is the criminal’s right. He deserves it. And, we might add, he deserves it and no more. He cannot merely be a means to someone else’s end, as Lewis put it, nor can he be the test-case for societal progress. Punishment must be just.
Monday, July 18, 2016
No, according to Michael Cantrell.
Yes, according to the New York Times
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Suppose we assume a naturalistic or physicalistic world-view. If we do, then the physical world is a causally closed system. And everything else that exists, at least in space and time, is a necessary consequence of the state of the physical. Now it seems as if we don’t choose the state of the physical, since the physical is determined and determined only by other physical states. Nor are we responsible for the necessary consequences of the physical. But if our actions are the necessary consequences of the physical, then we are not responsible for our actions either.