Monday, 28 February 2011

Naive Will

Free Will is one of those conceptions that can come in and out of existence depending on what is meant by it. Libertarian free will, for example, is absurd as decisions are made by purely causal systems. But at the same time, to try and separate one's thoughts and decisions from their brains in an egregious abuse of language. If you didn't make the decision to do something on your behalf, then what are you?

But from the conception of free will stems personal responsibility. How responsible can we all really be? A naive conception of free will dictates ultimate responsibility, which is a level of responsibility that simply isn't realistic. It's evident that relying on such a conception of free will just doesn't work in the real world.

Through education, new possibilities arise. Inform people of choices, of consequences, and give them an empowerment of choices, and this increases the responsibility one has over their behaviour. For those concerned about all those women "choosing" to get abortions, perhaps they would be heartened if they looked at statistics from countries like The Netherlands where comprehensive sex education and empowerment of women means low teen pregnancy rates and low abortion rates. Surely if the desire was to lower abortion rates then this would be the path to follow. But when it's treated like an ultimate choice, that the girl is ultimately responsible for her pregnancy, it justifies punishment. For the girl could have chosen otherwise...

No comments: