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ckosarek's picture

The existence of agency is immaterial

 After our class discussion today, I find myself agreeing with mgz24. I don't think it matters whether or not "agency" really exists because we can never know. But what does matter is whether or not we believe in agency. We live in a world in which civil laws presuppose agency and in which we, therefore, must take responsibility for ourselves. Believing in agency makes it easier to live within the boundaries of society without getting exiled or imprisoned - if we believe, then why wouldn't we take responsibility for ourselves and see ourselves as having the opportunity to make good decisions? The fact is that that it doesn't matter whether or not agency exists, but believing in agency will make it easier for us to exist. And, of course, whether we believe or not, we will be held accountable for our "decisions". So you can "disbelieve" in agency all you want, but the fact remains that if you murder someone and get caught, telling the judge that you have no personal control over your own actions (except in insanity cases, I guess) isn't going to fly. 

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