The condition of guilt – free will!
It is not clear whether the concept of free will is merely an illusion.
Reinhard Merkel – Denker, Professor of Criminal Law and Philosophy of Law remarks that it is not perfectly clear that we have free will and thus revives a question of criminology.
Can criminals act differently than they do?
Assuming that humans demonstrably do not have free will – then it is unclear whether the decision of a criminal to commit a crime is not a reaction to genetic programming or a neuronal random product?
Our living together and our society is based on the concept of free will. This is already evident from the fact that court proceedings clarify whether a perpetrator was of sound mind at the time of the crime. Imagine if the current research were to prove in a verifiable and clear way that we all have no free will at all! We would not be sane at any time!
The concept of our corporate form
Our society would hardly function without the acceptance of free will. A functioning legal system requires the concept of free will. Otherwise it would be unsustainable.
Without the assumption that decisions are made by people on the basis of free will, there would be no guilt or blame per se
Then the principle of sanctions and punishments would become absurd. For if one were to assume that human beings do not have free will in principle, this would also apply to the will to commit a crime. Criminals could therefore not make a conscious decision to commit a crime.
Our constitutional state would be stripped of its basis with the concept of free will
The result would be a world without the division into right and wrong. Would a functioning society even be conceivable without this division? What would one look like?