Russell om fri vilja


Tror du, till skillnad från mig och Lars Bergström, på existensen av fri vilja? Anser du den nödvändig för moral? I så fall kanske du stäms till eftertanke av denna analys av en av mina intellektuella idoler, Lord Russell, formulerad i Religion and Science (Oxford University Press, 1961), s 164:

Believers in free will always, in another mental compartment, believe simultaneously that volitions have causes. They think, for example, that virtue can be inculcated by a good upbringing, and that religious education is very useful to morals. They believe that sermons do good, and that moral exhortation may be beneficial. Now it is obvious that, if virtuous volitions are uncaused, we cannot do anything whatever to promote them. To the extent to which a man believes that it is in his power, or in any man’s power, to promote desirable behaviour in others, to that extent he believes in psychological causation and not in free will. In practice, the whole of our dealings with each other are based upon the assumption that men’s action results from antecedent circumstances. Political propaganda, the criminal law, the writing of books urging this or that line of action, would all lose their raison d’être if they had no effect upon what people do. The implications of the free-will doctrine are not realized by those who hold it.

Ta gärna del av denna snarlika analys.