I have observed different groups of people, and even the naturalists don't complete understand how a world of no blame can bring about an increase in moral responsibility. So you are not the only ones that have a problem with this, but that in itself doesn't make it invalid. Here is a post that I answered yesterday. I don't know how these people will receive it, or whether it will make one iota of difference, just as I don't know if anything I say will change your point of view. All I can do is show you a proof that is very strong, even though it forces you to change your way of thinking.
> < Janis: We are all fully caused beings, as you and Tom declare, but
> the problem with this model of determinism is that it implies, as
> many people have a problem with, that our choices are somehow
> divorced from our will. It's as though we are determined by
> something outside of our will.>
> People who have that problem do not see that we as individuals are
> completely products of nature right from when the sperm and egg
> (or even before). We come equipped with a brain which includes
> analytical ability for making choices. We come equipped with an
> instinctive drive to survive as best we can, which translates to
> making choices in the direction of greater satisfaction (and pain
> avoidance). So EVEN OUR ABILITY TO WILL is determined by nature.
> And, as Shopenhauer pointed out, we can do what we have the will
> (want) to do, but we cannot will what we want – because our wants
> (what we will) are determined by antecedent and surrounding factors
> involving genes and environment.
> Some people who have that problem think that their ability to
> can overcome genetic and environmental influences. There may be an
> ego problem blocking their understanding, or they just have not
> thought it all through. Others may believe they have a supernatural
> soul by which they can over-ride G&E for decision-making. But the
> evidence supports determinism.
Janis: It's more than evidence; it's fact. You can't say the
evidence points to one plus one equals two. You say it is two, and
anyone who thinks otherwise doesn't understand the proof.
> Speaking for myself, as I came to understand how completely
> integrated we are with the earth, the cosmos, with all life, it was
> accompanied by an increasing feeling of awe, a feeling I would call
> spiritual. Arnell Dowret does a great job of describing what I mean
> at his website:
Janis: Thanks, I'll go look at it.
> < It also appears that because we are free of
> responsibility since we are not to blame for being caused to do what
> we do, we are off the hook of all responsibility, which we are since
> we couldn't have done otherwise. But what stops us from making
> choices that hurt others is the fact that the new set of
> create a new situation that wouldn't allow us to move in this
> direction for satisfaction.>
> We learn very early in life that others have feelings. We learn
> hostility begets hostility, and cooperation and consideration
> the same in return. We learn about compassion and about aggression,
> we learn to interact. We are complex beings in a competitive world.
> Sometimes we fight, Sometimes we help each other. We do the best we
> A world operating under a NFW, no-blame paradigm we have good
> to expect would be more cooperative and harmonious, and happier
> currently exists, but this would be very very unlikely to result in
> the "end of all evil" (pain).
Janis: It is possible, and what you are doing is projecting what you
believe. But if you understood how the removal of all advance blame
and judgment, and the removal of the causes that lead to economic
insecurity, the choices one makes in the direction of greater
satisfaction will be completely different than what exists today. If
you don't believe it's possible, then you won't take the reading
seriously. In fact, you'll treat it like science fiction or a fantasy
novel. It's amazing to me that people think they understand what
they read, but their answers betray them.
> < Yes, it is true that our heredity and
> environment determine our choices, but we cannot say that we were
> responsible for those choices; only meaning that something other
> ourselves made those choices. This is not about blame; this is about
> recognition that if I do something to hurt another, I did it.>
> You are attempting to make a dichotomy between the individual and
> nature here. There is no such split. If something a person does
> causes harm to another, that person's nature (determinants) "did
> it." Even in the current FW world, most people do what they can to
> NOT cause unintentional harm to another.
Janis: Of course most people do. But many don't, and part of the
reason they don't is that they know that if they are caught, they
will be punished. This eases their conscience to do the very thing
they are being threatened not to do. This is a very important
understanding in how the mind works because without a justification
to take advantage of another, a person cannot do it. If he cannot do
it, then we have a better world. Even though his will is not free
and we must excuse him because he couldn't have done otherwise, he
can do otherwise if the determinants *compel* him to move in a
different direction for satisfaction, which is not to take
advantage. For a moment imagine a world where moral responsibility
goes up when judgment, blame, and punishment ceases. Imagine a world
where there are no victims and no perpetrators; no bad guys and no
good guys; just people living out their life without the fear of war,
crime, or hatred. It's an awesome thought, and it's possible.
If a normal person thusly
> harms another, whether that person believes in FW or NFW, regret
> would be felt, and attempts to make amends may follow.
> Janis: Yes they would and that's why many people go to the
confessional or ask to pay for what they did. But when they are
forgiven in advance, their conscience is compelled to go up (part of
the brain mechanism) which prevents the harm done in most if not all
cases. When there is no harm done, there is no regret. All the
amends in the world can't bring back a loved one who was killed by
carelessness, and if this principle of *no blame, judgment, or
punishment* can make someone think a little harder before they get
behind the wheel, I'm all for it. Who wouldn't want a world where we
live without the specter of accidental injuries, war, homicides, and
terrorism on the horizon?
> < We can
> always try to figure out the determinants that got us to the point
> are, but it doesn't change the fact that *I* am doing the choosing.
> This is the big elephant in the living room that is not being
> addressed. The fact is we are fully caused because we are moving in
> the direction of greater satisfaction, but this doesn't mean the
> is taken out of the equation. Maybe that is a big misunderstanding
> in the way naturalism describes *no free will* that gets so many
> people questioning its validity.>
> You are separating both *I* and *will* from a person's determinants
> (and thereby moving into CCFW).
Janis: No, that's what other people are doing when they think of
hard determinism where there is no I, just reactions to events in a
robotic fashion. I said many times that we are able to make choices
(the will), but it's not a free will because we are moving towards
The determinants determine the
> choice. The determinants determine who the person is and what the
> character is like. The determinants determine how much effort one
> puts into avoiding hurting another, and whether remorse is felt or
> not. Genetic determinants determine that one *even has a will*.
Janis: Exactly. Determinants determine, and when the environmental
determinants change, then a person is compelled to change also. But
of course this is not an easy transition from a world that bases it's
actions on the belief in free will, and a world that doesn't blame or
judge. But just as anything that was true and valid took time in our
history to be discovered and accepted, here too it will take time but
the truth will be known now, or a hundred years from now.
> < It needs to be continually
> clarified that what we do of our own volition (of our own desire to
> do it) is not of our own free will which sounds contradictory but
> it's not when we realize that what we do because we want to is in
> direction of greater satisfaction which is why will is not free.>
> Right. As I said before, the PPP is the major determinant for
> humans. And there are countless other determinants that affect what
> we perceive to be movements worth taking toward greater
Janis: That's true, but one thing all humans cannot do regardless of
all of the determinants that make up who this person is. They cannot
justify hurting another with a first blow if they know in advance
that the person to be hurt along with the world will never blame them
in return, especially when every bit of hurt to him has been
removed. As I said, it will take time for this great transition to a
new way of life, to take place, but it's coming because once it's
confirmed valid, we must move in the direction that is better for
ourselves, and a world without blame is better than a world with
> < I know this is what is meant in the naturalistic philosohpy;
> Steve mentioned that we have a choice but it's not free because of
> determinants that lead us to choosing one alternative over another
> based on antecedent events. All I am saying is that if we change the
> determinants that compel us to choose hurting another with a first
> blow to where we cannot justify doing this, then we can change the
> program that allows us to move in this direction.>
> For centuries even under FW we have been making laws and rules
> (determinants) meant to assist us in getting along with each other,
> increase safety, etc. So the principle behind your suggestion is
> nothing new.
Janis: Fred, your comment shows me you couldn't have read the book
and understood it. You keep telling me it's not new but it is very
new. I am not talking about rules and laws that are set to keep
people safe. I'm talking about a world in which there are no laws or
rules; only conscience that will guide us. Rules and laws have
always been broken, but the law of our nature is a higher law that no
one will be able to break.
We agree that a NFW no-blame world would mean generally
> less pain and greater happiness for a variety of reasons.
> But your reasoning of how it would come to be that all harmful and
> even potentially harmful acts would totally cease just does not
Janis: That's only because you don't understand how this can be
accomplished. In other words, you are making an assumption based on
what you believe cannot happen.
You are talking about more than just changing determinants. You
> have said that in a NFW no-blame environment, how could a person
> live with himself if through his carelessness someone was seriously
> injured or killed. Can't you see that you are trying to create a
> determinant that holds the person to blame in his own mind over and
> above his other determinants?
Janis: Noooo, that's where Steve got confused as well. There is no
blame, and because there is no blame, conscience does not allow
actions that would make someone feel guilty. Prevention is worth a
pound of cure. There is no getting away from regret, guilt, remorse,
if someone gets hurt because of one's careless actions. The paradox
is that this prevents the determinant that would *compel* this person
to desire taking chances. If a person's determinant decides not to
take a chance that could get someone killed, because he knows that if
he does this he will never be blamed by anyone, then we won't have to
cry over spilt milk anymore. If someone should hurt someone, he will
still not be blamed for it. We know he couldn't help himself. You
are still not understanding completely. No one is holding anyone to
blame for anything. This entire discovery is about not blaming or
judging anyone at all, ever.
You are counting on FEAR of hurting
> another and associated guilt as the major force for good, and the
> name of *your special determinant* is Contra Causal Free Will !!!
> Can you see that?
Janis: Fred, please stick with me. This is not about holding
anything over someone's head. They are free to do anything they want
to do, but guilt is a normal reaction that anyone feels if they hurt
someone, even in this world. Even if we are punished and pay a price
we often live with terrible guilt. Wouldn't it be a better world if
we could prevent the desire to take chances that could hurt another
before it happens, than afterwards. Afterwards is too late; that's a
fact of life. The only difference is that by not blaming anyone for
anything, people are *prevented* from taking chances. I am not
talking about risk takers who enjoy living on the edge. They will be
free to do whatever they want because no one will be telling anyone
what to do, but the only difference is that he won't involve risks to
others who don't want to be a part of that risk.>
> Your society would be a no-blame except self blame, NFW/free will,
> fear-based society. Non-sensical, ugly, untenable.
Janis: Oh my god, you are so off in your understanding. You do not
understand the book at all. This is not about guilt and shame and
sorrow for doing something that's been done. It's about holding
oneself to a greater accountability for oneself and one's fellow man,
but not because of secretly blaming or threatening behavior to
conform to what is expected. If you keep reading it and asking
questions, you will get an aha moment. You will see that this is the
exact opposite of the world you are imagining. It will be a world
where there is harmony because no child born will be blamed for
anything, and when children grow up in a world such as this, they
won't know what mental illness is because there will be no such
thing. A world without blame will be a world without war, hatred,
mental illness, or crime.