I came across a post the other day by an atheist who seems to be a public speaker, and who runs a blog on ChicagoNow. This post was about the “free will” topic and how he holds a belief in free will. To be fair I suspect that the blogger is unfamiliar with much of the nuance of the free will debate from our little chat we had in the comment section, and he seems like a swell guy. I thought it might be good to respond to his post as some of the things in it are those rudimentary mistakes that those new to the debate quite often make, such as the idea that if hard determinism is shown false, that opens the door for free will.
The notion that someone deserves what they have coming to them is a key factor in the justification of retribution.
The main difference between retribution and revenge is that retribution is often referred to in the more legal context that looks to punish a person in way that is “proportional to the crime” they committed. Retribution is also called retributive justice, and it plays a large role in the criminal system of most countries.