Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 5

ANDREW WIXSON

Valor LD DETERMINISM AC

2012-2013

I affirm. The concept of ought is grounded in the notion of the proper function of a system given its placement in the resolution. Wedgwood 06:1
Ought exhibits other sorts of contextual variation as well. For example, on some occasions, ought seems to
be

relative to a particular goal or purpose. Thus, someone might say, pointing to someone who

is fiddling with a safe, He ought to use a Phillips screwdriver to open that safe or even just He ought to use a Phillips screwdriver. Intuitively, this statement is true just in case using a Phillips screwdriver is necessary for opening the safe in the best or most effective way even if, in
many other salient senses of the term, the person ought not to be opening the safe at all.

Punishing those who aren't culpable destroys the credibility of the law and is antithetical to the purpose of criminal justice system. Robinson 97:2
Our central point is this: The

criminal law's power in nurturing and communicating societal norms

and its power to have people defer to it in unanalyzed cases is directly proportional to criminal law's moral credibility. If criminalization or conviction (or decriminalization or refusal to
convict) is

to have an effect in the norm-nurturing process, it will be because the

criminal law has a reputation for criminalizing and punishing only that which deserves moral condemnation, and for decriminalizing and not punishing that which does not. If,
instead, the

criminal law's reputation is one simply of a collection of rules, which do not necessarily

reflect the community's perceptions of moral blameworthiness, then there would be little reason to expect the criminal law to be relevant to the societal debate over what is and is not
condemnable and little reason to

defer to it as a moral authority. What then are the requirements for a criminal the criminal law's moral

law system to gain this credibility? How can this credibility be lost? Enhancing

credibility requires, more than anything, that the criminal law make clear to the public that its overriding concern is doing justice. Therefore, the most important reforms for establishing the criminal law's moral credibility may be those that concern the rules by which

Wedgwood, Ralph. The Meaning of 'Ought' (ed. Russ Shafer -Landau). Oxford Studies in Metaethics. Vol. 1. 2006. Pgs. 127-160. 2 Robinson, Paul H. (Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law) and John M. Darley (Dorman T. Warren Professor of Psychology, Princeton University). The Utility of Desert. Northwestern University Law Review, Vol. 91, No. 2. 1997.

ANDREW WIXSON

Valor LD DETERMINISM AC

2012-2013

criminal liability and punishment are distributed. The criminal law must earn a reputation for (1) punishing those who deserve it under rules perceived as just, (2) protecting from punishment those who do not deserve it, and (3) where punishment is deserved, imposing the amount of punishment deserved, no more, no less. Thus, for example, the criminal
law ought to maintain a viable insanity defense that excuses those who are perceived as not responsible for their offense, ought to avoid the use of strict liability (imposing liability in the absence of a culpable state of mind), and ought to limit the use of nonexculpatory defenses.
n56

In other words, it ought to adopt rules that distribute liability and

punishment according to desert, even if a non-desert distribution appears in the short-run to offer the possibility of reducing crime. The point is that every deviation from a desert distribution can incrementally undercut the criminal law's moral credibility, which in turn can undercut its ability to help in the creation and internalization of norms and its power to gain compliance by its moral authority. Thus, contrary to the apparent assumptions of past utilitarian debates, such deviations from desert are not cost free, and their cost must be included in the calculation when determining which distribution of liability will most effectively reduce crime.

A prerequisite to discussing retribution is the assumption of responsibility and free will. If a crime was not committed voluntarily, retribution is definitionally off the table. Cragg 92:3
An essential element of retributivist accounts of punishment is the view that punishment for wrongdoing is justified only where the person responsible acted voluntarily. Punishing people for actions over which they had no control is morally unacceptable. It is for this reason that retributive systems differentiate between adults and
children,

those who are sane and those who are not, those acting under compulsion, mental and those whose actions spring from voluntary decisions. The concept which

or physical,

captures that requirement in common law jurisdictions is mens rea.

First, the brain crosses the point of no return beyond which it is committed to taking an action, prior to the mind even becoming conscious of the potential action. Newell 09:4

3 4

Cragg, Wesley. The Practice of Punishment: Towards a Theory of Restorative Justice. Psychology Press. 1992. Newell, Brandi Jo. Can Neuroscience Inform the Free Will Debate? Indiana Undergraduate Journal of Cognitive Science: 4 (2009). Pgs 54-64.

ANDREW WIXSON
As discussed earlier, although most of the

Valor LD DETERMINISM AC

2012-2013

scientific community agrees that the world is

deterministic, the consensus is not unanimous, and there is even more contention about the matter outside of the field . Despite decades of research (and, for those of us who have not witnessed miracles, personal experience) all pointing to the conclusion that every event has a cause and operates according to unchanging, physical laws, some are still left unconvinced. This is not entirely surprising considering how distinctly ours the decisions
we make seem. While neuroscience cannot prove that determinism is true anymore than previous research has, it can some pretty convincing supporting

lend

evidence.

I hypothesize that neurosciences specific brand of evidence will be even

more persuasiveespecially to the lay publicthan previous research has been, because it deals not with the theory of relativity or the continued accuracy of the laws of gravity or thermodynamics, but with the very seat of the human mind. For centuries, it has been easy to put the mind up on a pedestal and claim that it operates by fundamentally different rules from the rest of the world. But if the days of acceptance for Descartes proposed animal spirits4 and other similar types of sloppy metaphysics have not yet pass ed, they are now in their final hoorah. With functional neuroimaging

and other emerging

neurotechnologies, we are now capable of opening the black box of the brain and peering in, at
least to a greater extent than ever beforean ability that will shake the brains pedestal, if not knock it down entirely. Although neuroscience cannot revolutionize the free will vs. determinism argument itself, it may revolutionize the way people think about it, as experimental evidence hits closer and closer to home. For example, by

utilizing functional magnetic

resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers are able to observe which areas of the brain are active as participants engage in experimental tasks. In one study by Greene, Nystrom, Engell, Darley, and Cohen (2004),
participants were scanned while

making difficult moral decisions. Greene and his colleagues found that the

neural activation varied systematically depending on whether the dilemma was of a personal or impersonal nature. Additionally,

depending on the relative activation of the brain centers associated with cognitive and emotional processing, one could make relatively accurate predictions as to how the participants would respond to the questions being posed. Another experiment by Huettel, Stowe, Gordon, Warner, and Platt (2006) found that differential levels of activation within the lateral prefrontal cortex during a gambling task could predict participants preferences for risk taking and general behavioral impulsiveness.
Looking at studies like these, it seems evident that

the neural activations researchers are detecting

have a causal relationship with the behavior being observed. It also seems clear that it is not an immaterial soul that is at work during the decision-making processes, but a very material brain. Furthermore, it is hard to imagine a task that would be more under the souls jurisdiction
than solving a moral dilemma. If the brain is at work solving even this most sacred problem, chances points to the conclusion)

are good (and research

that the brain is, in fact, in charge of all of our cognitive functions. As it is becoming harder and 3

these and other studies suggest increasingly mechanistic views of the way the brain works,

ANDREW WIXSON
harder to

Valor LD DETERMINISM AC

2012-2013

deny that it operates according to the same physical laws as the rest of the

universe. As new neuroscientific knowledge pushes conclusions toward the determinism


end of the determinism vs. chaos spectrum, we inevitably think about what this means for the free will vs. constraint spectrum.

Second, causality is an omnipresent factor in our relationships with the world around us that prevents us from making actual choices. Kant 97:5
The concept of causality as natural necessity, as distinguished from the concept of causality as freedom, concerns only the existence of things insofar as it is determinable in time and hence as
appearances, as opposed to their causality as things in themselves. Now,

if one takes the determinations of the

existence of things in time for determinations of things-in-themselves (which is the most usual
way of representing them),

then the necessity in the causal relation can in no way be united

with freedom; instead they are opposed to each other as contradictory. For, from the first it follows that every event, and consequently every action that takes place at a point of time, is necessary under the condition of what was in the preceding time. Now, since time past is no longer within my control, every action that I perform must be necessary by determining grounds that are not within my control, that is, I am never free at the point of time in which I act.

Third, the only possible pre-causation reference to a free will must be the will itself, but this means that there is nothing that separates the person from the action. Chisholm 97:6
The second objection is more difficult, and it concerns the very

concept of "immanent causation,"

or causation by an agent, as this concept is to be interpreted here. The concept is subject to a difficulty which has long been associated with that of the prime mover unmoved. We have said that there must be some event A, presumably some cerebral event, which is caused not by any other event, but by the agent. Since A was not caused by any other event, then the agent himself cannot be said to have undergone any change or produced any other event
(such as "an act of will" or the like)

which brought A about. For if the cerebral event is caused by

some change within the agent, then it is caused by an event and we have lost the solution to our problem. But now: if, when the agent made A happen, there was no

5 6

Kant, Immanuel. Free Will (ed. Derk Pereboom). Hacket Publishing Co. New York: September 1997. Chisholm, Roderick. Free Will (Ed. Derk Pereboom). Hacket Publishing Co. New York: September 1997.

ANDREW WIXSON

Valor LD DETERMINISM AC

2012-2013

event involved other than A itself, no event which could be described as making A happen, what did the agent's causation consist of? What, for example, is the difference between A's just
happening, and the agent's causing A to happen? We

cannot attribute the difference to any event that

took place within the agent. And so far as the event A itself is concerned, there would seem to be no discernible
difference no discernible difference between A just happening and the agent causing A to happen. Thus Aristotle said that the

activity of the prime mover is nothing in addition to the motion that it produces, and
Suarez said that "the Must we

action is in reality nothing but the effect as it flows from the agent." *

conclude, then, that there is no more to the man's action in causing event A

than there is to the event A's happening by itself? Here we would seem to have a distinction without a
difference in which case we

have failed to find avia media between a deterministic and an

indeterministic view of action.

Thus, I affirm. 1197 words