Single Idea 5770

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / g. Moral responsibility]

Full Idea

If there is no free will, then in vain is reward offered to the good and punishment to the bad, because they have not been deserved by any free and willed movement of the mind.

Gist of Idea

Rewards and punishments are not deserved if they don't arise from free movement of the mind


Boethius (The Consolations of Philosophy [c.520], V.III)

Book Reference

Boethius: 'The Consolations of Philosophy', ed/tr. Watts,V.E. [Penguin 1969], p.153

A Reaction

I just don't see why decisions have to come out of nowhere in order to have any merit. People are different from natural forces, because the former can be persuaded by reasons. A moral agent is a mechanism which decides according to reasons.