last year

DOES MORAL FREE WILL EXIST? Freedomain Debate

Stefan Molyneux
Stefan Molyneux
The follow is a Criticism of the podcast "How I forgave my mother".

5:02 “Now, why did I want to believe that she could make better choices”?

Better choices relative to what? Relative to what you might have perceived of as better. Or relative to what she perceived as better? Can an argument not be made that your mother did deliberate and arrived at a conclusion that she perceived of as better? Thus, leading to the conclusion that she was making better choices.

This standard of “better choices” is something that you criticized Ayn Rand for in her suggestion of a standard of morality being “that which promotes life”. You criticized this due to its subjectivity. What promotes life for George Bush will be radically different from that which promotes life for Afghani citizens. Thus, it would be impossible to universalize this standard. This exact criticism applies to this standard of “better choices”.

5:20 “A puppy can’t make better choices, so you don’t have to forgive the puppy for peeing on the floor. A baby can’t make better choices so you forgive the baby for peeing in your eye.”

Is it reasonable to liken the cognitive capacity of a fully grown adult woman to a baby and a puppy?

6:01 “It would be wrong to be angry at someone who can’t make choices”.

I agree. It would be wrong to get angry at someone who cannot make choices. It would be wrong to get angry at someone in a coma. It would be wrong to get angry at someone with a very severe cognitive impairment. It would be wrong to get angry at a baby. Does a fully grown adult woman fall into any of these categories?

6:22 “In a strange way it is because I wanted to stay close to her that I stayed angry at her because if I can make better choices and my mother can make better choices, then we are similar. We’re in the same category”.
Would it not be more reasonable to suggest that the categories which the two of you inhabit are that of moral and immoral? As opposed to having choice and not having choice? Since by “better” I am assuming that you mean “better” relative to the ideal of virtue.

8:20 “By the time I met her she was post free will”.

Would it not be more reasonable to suggest that by the time you met her she was post morality? That she lost the capacity to opt for the morally virtuous choice.

8:40 “By the time I met her she was a robot. By the time I met her she was post free will”.

You have related a story in which you either hit or shook her for the first time in a situation of self-defence and after this she never laid her hands on you again. Is this not indicative of someone who has the ability to be exposed to new stimuli, inculcate its meaning, deliberate and then adapt her behaviour? Wouldn’t a robot have continued to hit you and not have taken this new stimuli into consideration? By Robot do you mean that which is pre-programmed and will fulfill its programming in all situations. Or by Robot do you mean Artificial intelligence that has the ability to take in new