The free-willer thinks differently about “what determinism may imply”. He naturally focuses on what assuming the assumption of determinism implies, because he is interested in whether it is a good assumption in the sense of what will happen if people decide in favor of it. You see, it is not directly the issue, here that of determinism or ‘free will’, but how the issue is approached in the first place. This is what quite generally makes different camps talk right past each other and misunderstand each other as well as the issue. All sides are wrong as long as they do not transcend onto the ‘next level’ where I explore alien perspectives. Of course, if you see it like me, you agree with me, otherwise you did not really see it like me, and this is why there always is a boundary where we refuse further understanding.
The free-willers naturally think about that ever more people can freely decide to believe in determinism, and then those people lose guilt, but the guilt makes people remember a bad decision and makes them more likely to do better in a similar situation in the future. And so, it would be immoral to advertise for the philosophical position of determinism. Therefore, for the free-willer, it is a “big deal” that determinism may be used for excusing bad behavior.
For the determinist, such does not matter much, and nothing really matters, because even whether something matters to me is determined. In fact, Zen Buddhism is calming partially because of this attitude of not bothering about what you cannot do anything about anyway, and therefore, suchlike Buddhism usually advertises this ‘Ultimate (even if apparent) Determinism’, namely that if I identify with the specious I alone, with my present now, I always just find myself in the just already happened, including the thoughts I hear me calling “my own”. Not that this ‘ultimate determinism’ is not also scary on grounds of that determinism always means that we have no control, that we are trapped to suffer whatever horrors are in store. But here you then see that Zen for example does indeed turn this determinism from a scary thing into a soothing remedy. And some may well complain about that perhaps such uncaring is immoral, and that the Zen Buddhist’s justifications about helping to alleviate suffering more effectively in this way are convenient rationalizations.
The determinist and the free-willer, they do not just disagree on free-will. Moreover and more importantly, they therefore disagree on a whole host of issues, and it is not so that this is just because they have such different characters or because traditionally the main camps polarized like that around almost arbitrarily put together bunches of different propositions. And those who are on the fence, who are not sure, they can be argued to be morally obliged to assume ‘free will’ and reject determinism. How? Well, if everything is determined, your choice will not matter. Only the decision for ‘free will’ is one that can be responsible. Assuming ‘free will’, it can almost be said that once you decide for determinism, you are excused, because you did not care on grounds of your wrong assumption. The other way around, this does not work. If you have the wrong assumption under determinism, you will do the mistake of believing in ‘free will’, but so what? Under determinism, no choice of assumption can change your moral standing like the choice does under ‘free will’. So if you are not sure but want to be good, then you better try understanding ‘free will’ very well in the hope of that this gives you insight into what you should do – clearly, ‘free will’ and what you should do are closely related.
By the way, if you are annoyed and wondering why I always use hyphens for ‘free will’:
Because I cannot say what ‘free will’ is!So if somebody comes and asks me to justify writing about ‘free will’, and to explain myself, to explain what I mean by ‘free will’, then I can only say that ‘free will’ is something that necessitates ‘single or multiple actual future in-determinism’ (S/MAFI), and there can be no model of that nature. Presenting a model presents something that determines all that it can model, and thus it is either a single future determinism (SFD) such as non-quantum, classical physical determinism in chaos theory, or multiple/many actual futures determinism (MAFD) like in Einstein-Everett quantum relativity, which all can be explained in great clarity with help of intuitive models [unpublished].
Zen is caring in its way, is a path that includes acute awareness of the natural feeling of guilt that arises. Methodical separation of this emotion from whatever is or is not ‘I’ can be less suppression of the guilt and shame than more intense guilt and shame may do in the end effectively, and Zen allows a more rational and responsible response. But much of this justification is indeed driven by the desire to no longer be bothered.
The ultimate reality of subjective experience is ‘absolute’ also in that it is indescribable like ‘S/MAFI’ and ‘free will’, and ‘free will’ is in this way very close, suspiciously uncomfortably similar to that which ultimately is. And as said, if in doubt, the investigation of what ‘free will’ may be after all, in order to find out what I should do, perhaps ought to be done, even though ultimately doomed as far as I understand. But this ever nagging doubt may as well be enjoyed.