Fri vilja som nyttig fiktion

Domare Richard Posner ger sitt juridiska perspektiv på innebörden och betydelsen av fri vilja:

The question for the law is not whether a defendant’s crime was the product of an exercise of free will, but whether attaching a penalty to the kind of conduct in which he engaged is likely to reduce the incidence of that conduct by making it more costly. If so, we say that his decision to engage in the conduct was culpable, was ”his fault.” We say he ”could have chosen” not to engage in the conduct. But probably, if we knew everything about his psychology, we would realize that his choice was foreordained. What we mean when we say that he ”had a choice” is that the penalty would have deterred most people from engaging in such behavior.

Jag instämmer helt. Fri vilja är en fiktion, men fiktioner kan vara bra att ha ibland. Vi talar och agerar som om brottslingen kunde ha valt att inte begå sina illdåd, fastän han inte kunde det, om det leder till goda konsekvenser.