Let me elaborate on three things you brought up: ‘fake trophies’, ‘chaos without free will’, and ‘shortcuts.’

1) Fake trophies:

While I agree with you that perhaps society doesn’t follow mathematics or science with the same scrutiny as some sports (for reasons that we partly discussed in our sport series), I don’t agree with you that there aren’t as many ‘fake trophies’ in math. There are tons! Fields’ Medal, Abel Prize, De Morgan Medal, Wolf Prize etc, the list goes on and on. Most of these even come with monetary rewards. So should these awards check for doping in all candidates? Perhaps the ultimate goal in science is a collective push towards ‘truth’, but in the same way you could argue that sport is a collective push towards ‘human potential’.

2) Chaos without free will

Chaos would only ensue under the most basic reading of what it means to not have free will. Just because ultimately we submit that all of our actions have causal relationships, doesn’t mean that we should just ‘sit on the couch and do nothing since nothing matters anyways.’ In some sense, many people believe in some weird, hybrid version of ‘no free will’ called ‘fate.’ Somehow people can reconcile the fact that they were ‘meant to be with someone’ with the numerous arbitrary decisions they made that lead to that actually happening. In the same way, if we believe that we don’t have free will, it doesn’t mean we should just give up and wait for our metaphorical prince charming. No, life goes on just as it did before. With some important distinctions, however. The most notable of these being how we structure our justice system. Instead of assigning ‘responsibility’ to people (which is meaningless because ultimately no one is responsible for the fabric that makes up their brain and body), we treat people the same way we do wild animals, or broken clocks. Is a bear ‘responsible’ for attacking someone in the woods? On the most fundamental level of the word ‘responsible,’ yes, of course it is, it is the thing that did the attacking. But would we characterize it as murder? I don’t think so. We would take the appropriate action to either prevent similar circumstances in the future, or if the bear is simply too aggressive, we can lock it away somewhere where it can’t do more harm. In the same way, our attitude towards people breaking the law should not be assigning blame and ‘punishing’ behaviour, but instead should focus on finding solutions for fixing the broken parts within the person that caused this to happen.

3) ‘Shortcuts’
One man’s shortcut is another man’s treacherous path. Steroids and other drugs are not magical drugs that give you special powers overnight. Some people cannot get any benefits from them: so should we still reward those that can? What if someone was born with some genetic mutation that made them grow superhuman muscles whenever they eat chickpeas? Would we ban chickpeas in all sporting competition?

When we deal with both positive and negative actions, the lack of free will should affect our attitude towards other people. If someone is misbehaving, we address the problem. If they win at some competition, they get the equivalent of a J.D. Power & Associates ’Top Rated Human’ trophy. I admit, this feels quite, ‘unhuman’. But is it better to live in ignorance, or face the reality or the world?