Does non-belief in free will makes you a better person ?
#13
This recent blog post by Sam Harris reiterates many of the commonly recognized naturalist positions on free will, as excerpted below:

Things that continue to matter irrespective of the truth or otherwise of free will:

Quote:With or without free will, a psychopath who enjoys killing children is different from a pediatric surgeon who enjoys saving them. Whatever the truth about free will, these distinctions are unmistakable and well worth caring about.

Quote:Recognizing that my conscious mind is always downstream from the underlying causes of my thoughts, intentions, and actions does not change the fact that thoughts, intentions, and actions of all kinds are necessary for living a happy life—or an unhappy one, for that matter.

Quote:Diligence and wisdom still yield better results than sloth and stupidity.

Beneficial attitudes resulting from discarding belief in free will:

Quote:And, in psychologically healthy adults, understanding the illusoriness of free will should make divisive feelings such as pride and hatred a little less compelling.

Quote:The negative effects that people worry about—a lack of motivation, a plunge into nihilism—are simply not evident in my life. And the positive effects have been obvious. Seeing through the illusion of free will has lessened my feelings of hatred for bad people. I’m still capable of feeling hatred, of course, but when I think about the actual causes of a person’s behavior, the feeling falls away. It is a relief to put down this burden, and I think nothing would be lost if we all put it down together. On the contrary, much would be gained. We could forget about retribution and concentrate entirely on mitigating harm.


Acknowledged difficulties in repudiating free will (which detract from neither from the absence of free will, nor the overall benefits of accepting this absence)

Quote:...I would no more think of telling my daughter at this age (three) that free will is an illusion than I would teach her to drive a car or load a pistol.

Quote:While it’s conceivable that someone, somewhere, might be made worse off by dispensing with the illusion of free will, I think that on balance, it could only produce a more compassionate, equitable, and sane society.


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#14
Wow. Too deep Philosophy. Anyone interested in defining what is a better person in some sense?
I mean you really want to define what the mathematicians are called a partial order relation
over persons known as A is *better* than B as a person?
Sorry folks, flash news, does not happen. A person is not a scalar quantity in which case ...
you need to scale him down.

Example, a guy who tells lie with probability 0.1 is a better person than who lies with probability 0.11.
Really? That is a way? Do we have experimental validations for this?

Oh wait -- we have bigger problem now, what is the chance knowing
that the world is a screwed up place would make any idiot stick to morality?
Oh .... no! Now I would want to lie with more vigour! Or may be I would get Nirvana.

Summary:
Philosophy is not important, Game Theory is. And so is partial ordering and Bayes Inference.
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#15
(09-Apr-2013, 12:00 AM)LordPlaguies Wrote: Wow. Too deep Philosophy. Anyone interested in defining what is a better person in some sense?
I mean you really want to define what the mathematicians are called a partial order relation
over persons known as A is *better* than B as a person?
Sorry folks, flash news, does not happen. A person is not a scalar quantity in which case ...
you need to scale him down.

There's a very simple solution for that sort of problems. Don't argue by definitions and settle on agreed upon expanded meanings.

(09-Apr-2013, 12:00 AM)LordPlaguies Wrote: Philosophy is not important, Game Theory is. And so is partial ordering and Bayes Inference.

This is textbook flaming. Quit it. And anymore discussion on "how do you define a better person" is off-topic to this thread. The answer to that question is a given for any participant in this thread who isn't interested in flaming. If you are really serious about the question, start another thread.
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#16
It has been at least a month since I gave up belief in free will, and the positives in my life have been evident. I started to get less upset by circumstances and stopped my savage hatred for people in my family who were ignorant. in fact, I think these issues should be taught in the form of basic self help in colleges as an auxiliary course or something, as it helps mitigate depression and seeking approval by others.
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