Economist On Determinism and Culpability

Bryan Caplan talks about blame and determinism. Caplan shows that some individuals are not consistent in their beliefs:

…I’ll just point out that blaming Republicans is incompatible with any fundamental rejection of the notion of blame. Blaming Republicans is incompatible with the determinist rejection of blame: If Republicans, like all humans “just can’t help what they do,” how can you blame them for scoffing at the IPCC? Blaming Republicans is incompatible with the utilitarian rejection of blame: If we should always do whatever maximizes social utility, blaming Republicans is just an irrelevant excuse for public policies that fail to take Republicans’ feelings into account. Blaming Republicans is an existence theorem; if blaming Republicans is justified, blaming people is sometimes justified.

A theological parallel would be a determinist claiming that all names were or were not written in the book of life from before the world began, but then blaming individuals for not repenting.

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