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Why the extreme reaction to How Rich…?

Brian Macker
Brian Macker
Total Posts:  37
Joined  28-08-2011
03 September 2011 08:10

I don’t think I have the time to educate you in all the things you are not aware of.  It’s quite clear that you are totally ignorant of a great many things.  This is no crime and I understand why you would come to the conclusions you have given your background and what you’ve been lead to believe.  I would be quite a task to get you to understand what I do.  You have close to zero knowledge in economics other than what is clearly Marxist dogma.

I am willing to help you understand, but you must realize that this would be an altruistic act on my part.  I would be spending time I could be doing something else in helping you to understand other more reasonable theories of how the world works.  Theories that don’t naturally lead to mass starvation and mass murder.  Make no mistake that is what a lot of Marx’s policy prescriptions result in.  I know you would disagree but you don’t understand how things work.

I don’t know if this will be fruitful.  I have gotten many people to change their minds, or at least stop assuming that those disagreeing with them do so out of pure evil or something.

Since you seem to be stuck on free will I will start there.  Unfortunately your position on that does not allow any form of responsibility what-so-ever.  I don’t see how you can even blame the crooks working for Obama given your philosophic position.

First off, a compatibilist doesn’t have to take a position on whether the world is truly deterministic or not.  Nor does the source of indeterminism have to necessarily rest in the power of free will.  Random events might be the source. 

Just clearing that up.  I actually think the world is indeterminate (because of quantum physics) however it is irrelevant to the issue of responsibility.

So let’s pretend the world is determinate, or better yet let’s us an example where free will cannot be the source of responsibility.

So imagine my engine on my rototiller isn’t working right.  I examine and determine that the fuel pin is bent in the carburetor, and that is the cause of the problem.

What is the correct action to take here?  I could say, “Oh it is not the fault of the pin because it was determined in every way”.  Yet that is not what I do.  I fault the pin.  My next action is to try to correct it.  I will bend it straight and put it back in.  If it works then I say “It was the fault of the bent pin. My actions have corrected the pin.”    However, it may be that the pin is made of a metal that is not so easy to straighten. I just cannot straighten it out.  At that point I throw the pin out and get a new one.  That fixes the problem.  In this case the problem was also due to the bent pin.

I don’t look further back in the chain of causation if it isn’t obvious that the pin was bent because of the system as a whole.  If however I noticed some other rod was banging up against the pin, I would correct that problem.  At some point it makes sense not to go further back.

Now my actions in solving this problem may also be completely deterministic.  I might even be following some step-by-step manual.    So there system as a whole can be deterministic.

Yet is was perfectly reasonable in this example to hold the pin responsible for the failure of the engine to run properly.

The corrective action I took was appropriate to the pin because pins don’t learn, and don’t respond to negative or positive feedback.  If pins did then maybe punishing the pin would have been appropriate to get it to straighten out.

So here we have an example of a deterministic system where we can assign responsibility and corrective action is appropriate, and rational.

Lets suppose the rod that was banging up against it was the ultimate source of the problem.  Why can I stop there?  Well maybe I can and maybe I can’t.  It depends.  Did the manufacturer screw up, and put the rod on backwards?  Was it designed in a way that the rod would tend to loosen and bang up against the pin.  Well then maybe the fault isn’t the pin or the rod but some person.

Let’s assume however that that is not the actual situation.  Lets suppose the rod is bend too for no apparent reason.  Perhaps I ran into a big rock in the ground, and avoid hitting rocks.

I do however stop my exploration at some point and do use rational criteria to decide appropriate responsibility.

I do NOT do what a non-compatibilist determinist does.  I do not say that the rock in the ground, the pin and the rod carry no responsibility because they are fully determined.  I also do not attempt to point out all the ways in which the rod in pin were “determined” that are not relevant.   

For example,  I don’t say.  “The pin has no control over it’s shape, that was determined by the manufacturing process.  It could have been manufactured round like a ball bearing, or flat like a plate”.  I don’t say, “Well the rod bent because the engine was running.  If only the engine wasn’t on then it would never have bent in the first place when the rock was hit”.

Following the chain of causation and assigning blame/responsibility has some rational rules.

Are you with me so far?  Any part of the English have you stumped?

[ Edited: 04 September 2011 12:08 by Brian Macker]
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