Metaphysics Finale (Part 3 of 4)
Over the next day or two I will be discussing the following topics (Update: Obviously its been more than a few days but I didn’t forget):
Formulating and Explaining: Determinism, Hard Determinism, Soft Determinism, Indeterminism, Volitional Indeterminism, The Theory of Agency, Fatalism, Theism, and Atheism.
Presenting, Explaining, and Evaluating: An Argument Against Moral Responsibility, The Kid Patriot Argument Against Soft Determinism, The Ernest Patriot Argument Against Simple Indeterminism, The Vera Patriot Argument Against Volitional Indeterminism, What I take to be the best argument against The Theory of Agency, The Argument for Fatalism, What I take to be the best argument for Theism, and What I take to be the best argument for Atheism.
Bolded parts can be found here. The Bolded AND Italicized parts can be found here.This may be a few days worth of material so I’ll continue to bold things and perhaps color them so its easy to find the parts relevant to visitors. I also realize that some of this has been stated before, but I will try to give new (I know fantastic) responses to them. Keeping in mind any story about Patriots is fabricated by my professors, I’m just trying to re-iterate them here to make sure I remember them :P.
Lets start with a story about Ernest Patriot, the cousin of Kid Patriot. Earnest Patriot wanted to be a secret service agent his whole life, not unlike Kid Patriot. Essentially all things between the stories are the same except no aliens come and screw around with Earnest Patriots brain. While protecting the president Earnest Patriot notices a piece of lint on his outfit. “Holy snipe!” He thinks and he decides he will dust it off. However, for reasons unknown, he pulls his gun and unloads a shell into the president. Immediately he panics unsure of why the hell it had just happened, perhaps a complex seizure…nobody will ever know because the other agents unloaded on the poor Earnest and dropped him within seconds.
The reason for this story has to do with a philosophy known as Simple Indeterminism which anyone who frequents my site has heard of before.
1) There are some undetermined actions.
2) People act freely whenever they perform undetermined actions.
3) People are morally responsible for their own undetermined actions.
I’d clarify this but for those curious you can read here. As for Ernest, his actions were indeed undetermined. In fact there was likely far less than a single percent change that what he did would have happened. However it did happen. But this action that was undetermined does not indeed feel like a free action and it most certainly is not fair to assume that someone should be morally responsible for such a deed. Unless we are to start punishing all seizure victims who are placed in a situation where they harm someone else unintentionally. The best I can come up with is that Earnest is morally responsible for placing himself in a position with the president after a previous family member had killed a president. But we’ll see a recurring theme with the patriots that stretch far beyond this second member.
For those who are interested the argument would look like this:
The Ernest Patriot Argument against Simple Indeterminism
(1) If Simple Indeterminism were true, Ernest patriot would be morally responsible.
(2) Ernest was not responsible.
(3) Simple Indeterminism is False.
The justification for the above argument is outlined in the previous paragraphs (I hate redundancy but am generally caught being redundant).
The next magic word to be conjoined with Indeterminism is known as “Volition”.
Volition: The act of choosing, willing, or deciding to do something.
Pretty straightforward. So lets see how this applies to the idea of Volitional Indeterminism:
(1) There are some undetermined volitions.
(2) People act freely when they act under undetermined volitions or else actions caused by their own undetermined volitions.
(3) People are morally responsible for their own undetermined volitions and actions caused by their own undetermined volitions.
As we always do lets begin with the reasoning behind the lines. Working from the theory of indeterminism not all actions are predetermined. These periods of freedom allow the person to make their own choice, IE an act of volition. That covers line one, moving on to line two it is relatively easy to see that when you are acting of your own choosing that you are acting freely. Finally if you are acting freely than it seems fair that you would be morally responsible for actions done under the realm of freedom. At first glance this does seem pretty obvious, but lets take another dab into the family of the patriots.
The following is the story of the cousin of Kid Patriot AND Daughter of Earnest Patriot, known to all since birth as Vera Patriot. Once again those damn dirty apes are back…er…martians. They’ve come and placed a chip in Vera much like Kid, this particular chip is not unlike Kids and what it does it makes you REALLY want to do something. It’s that kind of urge that causes people to do really stupid things that they regret greatly later. The story pans out much the same and she becomes the presidents secret service agent. The aliens slap the machine to “super-ultra-mega 99.99999999999999999999998%-mega-death-kill.” indeed she gets this nearly overwhelming urge and blasts the president. They turn off the machine and she is mortified but much like her two siblings she is dropped hard. (Again disclaimer these aren’t my stories).
The Vera Patriot Argument against Volitional Indeterminism
(1) If Volitional Indeterminism were true then Vera Patriot would be morally responsible.
(2) Vera Patriot is not Morally Responsible.
(3) Volitional Indeterminism is False
The justification for line one is that it was not a 100% chance and thusly it was an act of volitional indeterminism. The justification for line two is that Vera was a victim of the aliens and not morally responsible. I know…not the worlds most thrilling stuff. But thankfully you only have to see one more argument with a Patriot in it…tomorrow. After that we move on to more interesting stuff. (Lord knows I’ll mix this all up on the exam day since its pretty nonsensical).