A common objection to determinism is the notion that if our thoughts and actions

A common objection to determinism is the notion that if our thoughts and actions

A common objection to determinism is the notion that if our thoughts and actions are causally determined by preceding states and events, then the notion of responsibility vanishes in a puff of logic, and there are no longer any valid grounds for enforcing laws. This seems absurd on so many levels I can't begin to even understand how someone might seriously support this opinion. Causality would also determine whether we punish or not, and why should this realization alone be enough to causally force us to stop punishing people? Do we really only punish people because we think they as they were, confronted with the same situations, could have done otherwise? Why should causal determination eliminate responsibility if the person "responsible" is still the most salient source of the events in question? If our choices are not determined by a combination of our own nature, logical considerations and exterior circumstance, than we must be behaving randomly, and how does that justify punishment or law enforcement any better? But at the same time, it is indeed a very common belief. So my question is, could you explain why so many people believe that accepting causal determinism of human behavior leads to loss of the ability or willingness to enforce laws? Where is the logic behind this thought?

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