Atheist, do you believe free will is illusory?

If so can the punishment of crimes be ethically justified?

15 Answers

  • Doug
    Lv 6
    5 years ago

    Yes, free will is illusory. Punishment is a stupid idea that runs counter to what we say our prisons are. We say our prisons are "correctional facilities," yet very little if any correction is ever achieved. Correction is a great aim. To correct someone's state of mind that permits a crime would involve really connecting with that person, seeing who he is, what the problems are that set him against a harmonious co-existence with others, and actually addressing that in a constructive, progressive manner. But how often does this really happen?

  • 5 years ago

    What do you mean, if free will is illusory, then the punishment is inevitable, it couldn't have gone any other way :D

    Also, the illusion of free will is exactly as good as the real thing for any non-omniscient beings. Since humans are not omniscient, they cannot calculate all the variables in the universe, so they operate just fine as if they had free will.

  • 5 years ago

    You bring up an important point worthy of discussion; won't happen here though.

    The term Free Will has an unfortunate connection to religious belief, but if separated from that, it's an interesting comment on the nature of life, consciousness, sanity, socializing, chance and other human concepts pertaining to "purpose" and results of behavior or beliefs

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    How can free will be illusory when it is verifiable in all facets of human interaction? For example, even in the despotic regime of the USSR folks exercised free will by protesting -- with death often as the consequence -- the actions of their oppressors.

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  • 5 years ago

    I think so called free will is poorly defined.

    Care to take a shot at defining

    what this hypothetical free will

    is supposedly free of or from?

    Without a clear definition,

    it is pretty pointless to discuss

    the reality of an effect.



    John Popelish

  • 5 years ago

    Yes, cognitive neuroscience has demonstrated that free will actually does not exist and that decisions are made in the brain prior to conscious awareness. As I can provide no contrary evidence, I am stuck with the acceptance of these findings -- belief is not relevant as no amount of belief would change the evidence.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Free will is real.

    It is an emergent property of intelligence.

    Just as morality and ethics are emergent behaviours in social species, which regulate the functioning of society as a mechanism to assist with survival.

  • Corey
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    When people use the term "free will", they're often loading that term with things it doesn't mean.

    I do not believe we are puppets of some other beings.

    If you meant determinism or choice, then use those words instead of presuming your religiously loaded term is relevant to what I think.

  • 5 years ago

    1. Complete free will is an illusion

    2. Nothing can ever be completely and ethically justified because nothing is perfect and no one can completely agree on what exactly is the ultimate code of law across the entire world at once.

  • 5 years ago

    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Atheism is a view on one question.

    Those are not a part of that question. Thus, there is no 'atheist view' on matters other than that no deities exist.

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