[quote="Gorgias, post:19, topic:274148"]
Well, in general, I think that you've left a lot undefined, and that just leads to a discussion that's all heat and no light.
First off, the definition of "atrocity" probably needs work, and definitely needs that "you" statement refined. By your definition, then when I see a child attempting to hit another child, then I'm in the business of stopping an "atrocity" (since I'm thwarting the action of a free moral agent in the commission of free act). I'm pretty sure that's not what you're trying to say.
I thought it was pretty clear what I was talking about, but here I revised it so maybe this should help you out;
An atrocity is any such action by an arbitrary free moral agent A such that, if an arbitrary moral agent B were aware of the intentions of A, B would be morally obligated to stop the actions and effectively defile the freedom of the agent attempting to act.
Here's an attempt to put it into logic;
A(x, y): x is able to see to it that y not obtain
M(x, y): x is morally obligated to see to it that y not obtain
E(x): x's intended actions
∀a ∈ Persons( ∃b ∈ Persons( E(b) is an atrocity ⇔ [A(a, E(b)) → M(a, E(b))]))
And no it's only if you have a moral obligation to interfere. If you have a moral obligation to interfere with any action, then that act is an atrocity.
In addition, your definition doesn't do anything with the notion of morality that's helpful. For example, mass human slaughter would qualify as "atrocity", don't you think? But, by your definition, if an Aztec were the "you" in your definition, he wouldn't feel the slightest compunction to stop a ritual of human sacrifice. So, at the very least, the notion of objective/subjective morality is missing from your definition.
I think it's very obvious I'm speaking about objective morality. My definition does not say anything about whether the moral agent thinks it's obligated, but whether it is obligated.
Once we've gotten over that hurdle, there's a bigger one: from what does this notion of objective morality arise? What are the causes (formal, material) from which this morality takes shape? You'd agree that these questions are critical in the context of the putative dilemma of moral obligation that you're positing, wouldn't you?
I don't really know what you're asking.
Well, again, we've got a definition problem. What does freedom mean here? Does it speak to freedom of action? Freedom of choice / free will? If freedom of action, are all actions considered worthy of the mantle of freedom, or are there any that don't meet the standard? (That is, are there actions which, if thwarted, don't defile 'freedom'?) If so, what are these actions, and on what premise do we exclude them from your list of valid free actions?
Freedom to act sounds most like it. And if we are speaking about the freedom to act then no, there are no actions for which thwarting would not defile the freedom.
I think you're being too cavalier with your terms, here: if you choose to rape someone, your free will is acting unhindered. If, on the other hand, you start attempting to rape someone, and a third party stopped you, that third party would be hindering your action, not your will; your free will would still be unhindered.
Alright, does this matter to the argument though?
Nonetheless, please note that you've shifted into a whole 'nother arena: you've gone from talking "freedom" to talking "free will". Is this a discussion of free will, then?
I suppose free will by your understanding is irrelevant, then. God could thwart all evil and not defile anyone's free will, but merely their freedom to act.