Re: Free Will
'it could also be used as an excuse to act badly.'
And what will this 'excuse' buy them? Incentives are there for good reason. There are differences of course. It makes no sense to take comfort in anothers misery, only in the thought that that misery may make them a better person. We shouldn't take pleasure in punishing our children so why would we with anyone else?
One can also take a certain comfort in knowing that an unhelpful member of society is being confined/inhibited from being unhelpful again.
So what positives do we loose in rejecting the notion of free will?
Now, as for what we gain:
Studies consistently show that criminal activity is closely linked to unfair distribution of wealth. As Kevin pointed out, the wealthy feel justified in their wealth and deserving of their good fortune.
Humility lessens the need to show everyone how great you are, so dampens the desire to have more than others.
This more accurate sense of self makes hate as we know it turn into something far more managable.
I don't know enough about psychology to even consider myself a beginner but think of all the ways that people are fucked up. How many of them are so because of this skewed perception of self and what comes with it; greed, shame, hate, many aspects of fear, jealousy, vanity...
...and repurcussions of these things - notably distrust and all of the above.
So what will we gain as these things shrivel like an iced scrotum?
Well truth for one.