The reduction of Moral categories to forms of correctness (i.e. Good, Bad, true, False to forms of correct or incorrect behavior) In determinism, there is no such thing as “good” and “Bad”, “truth” and “falsity”-- these moral categories do not exist because man can’t do anything else than what he is determined to. There is no evil or purity—the “good” of “true” man for determinism is only the man determined or compelled to follow the laws of society. a. Only a Difference in Determinism separates one man form another - The man who is determined to be a law abiding citizen and the “bad” or “false” man have only a difference in their determinism . The “good”—law abiding man from the “bad” man only means that the latter, “the bad man” is compelled or determined to break the law of society. 2) The reduction of man’s real judgments of Regret or remorse (to a flimsy sense of regret/ a pessimism about this flawed of the universe)- The Implications of a deterministic World-view destroys genuine Judgments of Regret and replaces it with pessimism and a vague sort of regret that accepts that nothing can be changed. All around determinism produces undue pessimism all man can do is at best regret the structure of the universe as sick or tainted on a whole, because no one can help what they do , everything is the inevitable and necessary result. (Kill a man, it was the necessary result, all we can do is be filled and sickened with pessimism). There are two kinds of regret , genuine regret for things I ought to have done differently and the last vestiges or traces of regret seen in determinism, here is the breakdown: A) FREE WILL REGRET - There is the regret or remorse of free will- that regrets the murder because the situation could or ought to have been different. We regret because we believed we could have freely changed the outcome, we hold ourselves responsible. This is regret that believes we could change the outcome. The determinist first rejects this kind of regret and then… B) DETERMINIST REGRET- then there is the reduction of real regret to its last traces. a. For the determinist, man is unable to regret the murder or regret or our wrong judgments and actions in the world. To really accept determinism for James, we can’t really regret actions that couldn’t have been otherwise, we can only at best, regret or be pessimistic about the whole frame of existence. b. We can only regret that this entire universe as it is flawed and sick throughout its whole mechanical being . Through determinism, man’s ability to regret a situation, an action, a choice and to have remorse is if not destroyed, reduced dramatically. He cannot judge regretfully that murder, or the inability to change some particular situation, rather our judgments or understanding of all things in the world of determinism will lead us, at best, to regret or be pessimistic about the entire universe as an incurable and flawed universe- not the particular actions or crimes within that universe.
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- Fall '19