If you have free will that does nothing to guarantee you have the kind of responsibility society wants you to have. Perhaps you have some. Perhaps you don’t have enough. Perhaps you have none of it.  Perhaps there is no way personally to tell if a particular action was really free enough.  We know that sensing you are free is only a feeling.  You are never less free that when you act under influence of drugs and yet they make you feel free.  Even if you did know and could know, that does not mean anybody else can say they know or are sure enough.

An ought and a moral ought are different.  You can have free will to be a productive member of society without that being a matter of justice or love.  You ought for example to bake pastries though that is a morally neutral thing for your goal is profit.  Oughts have to do with goals.

You cannot work out how much free will, if any, a person has.  And even if they had 100% you still cannot succeed in making them blameworthy for any bad things that happen after they do a bad thing.  It is possible to imagine somebody having free will but only they know if they intended to be moral with it or not. Free will to make uncompelled choices and free will to make choices that are about right and wrong/moral and immoral is not the same thing.  A person with free will does not have free will to hear if their auditory nerves never formed.

Morality is not really based on love or justice or truth.  It is based on guesses and feelings.  It is only luck then if you say what x did was morally wrong subjectively and you turn out to be right.  It is only luck if what you say x did was morally wrong objectively and you turn out to be right. 

Let us talk about moral luck.  That is one form.  There are others.

So far it is all very bleak. 

We have seen how linking what you do to morality is appealing to luck.  Let us concentrate on what happens following a good or bad deed you do. 

Moral luck is an interesting concept. If you drink and drive regularly you get no real condemnation until you accidentally kill someone. You are condemned as if you set up the accident to happen, as if it were not an accident. It is as if you are not really that bad or not that accountable until something out of your control happens. It comes close to saying you are not as much to blame if it is a dog you kill not a person.  What you kill then is supposed to show what kind of person you are.  This makes no sense.

There is more luck involved than all that.

Perhaps you were not lucky enough to have genes that made you drink in moderation.

Perhaps the bad luck was not in driving over the person but the time you turned the key in the car. Another minute earlier and it would not have happened.

Perhaps the person was the one not being careful.

Perhaps when you hit the person they did not die so much because of the blow but because of some freak condition perhaps how they fell? Perhaps they have an underlying condition?

Perhaps an alien or a god influenced the person to go out on the road when you were coming along.

Another thing you cannot control is how people use the dead person and use you as a means for deterring drink drivers.

You do not have complete control.

You can choose not to drive in the first place. But that gives you indirect and partial control. It means little and you are not the only thing in control anyway.

Another reason responsibility is hard to attribute to another is that nobody really is sure how objective morality is real or if it is much practical use if it is.  If justice and respect are only opinions then objective morality is untrue.

People may not admit it, but they try to forge a link between free will and responsibility on the basis of deterrence. In other words, it is in theory possible to put a would-be thief or murderer off by demonising those who do things recklessly or maliciously. Wanting to justify deterrence does not give you the right to do that.  It is not about what is wanted but what is right.

They try to say that morality is real and true for God is the reason it is true.  But is morality moral for God says it is or does he say it is for it is real anyway?  This dilemma starts off assuming that justice and love and respect are as real and valid as 2 and 2 being 4. In other words, there are things that are absolutely wrong morally. The dilemma wants you to decide between moral facts having no further foundation than themselves, ie being irreducible brute facts, and the idea that you need a God to make them true. Morals being objectively true means that they are what we know. How we know is a different issue. Objective does not mean that all people agree with it.  It means rather that it is true no matter if everybody says it is nonsense. You can know something without being able to prove it.  Religion may say that morality is not moral just because God says so but because his nature is good.  But as he tells us what his nature is in practice that makes no difference.  We are still taking his word for it.  And who says God's nature is good!  God?  His self-vindication cannot mean much.  It is like witnessing for yourself that you did not murder x.

Moral luck is a problem anyway.  But it is worsened by the fogginess regarding morality and what it means.  The person who slams you for what happens after the thing you do does not care about the evil in reality.  If you can cure the flu but don't and just think of the symptoms then something is badly wrong. Same principle.


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