The standard consequence argument for incompatibilism makes use of the operator Np which abbreviates "p and no one has or has ever had a choice about whether p". Abbreviating the second conjunct as N*p, we have Np equivalent to "p and N*p". The argument then makes use of a transfer principle, like:
- beta-2: If Np and p entails q, then Nq.
- beta-2*: If N*p and p entails q, then N*q.
This may be what Mike Almeida is getting at in this interesting discussion which inspired this post.
Of course, this counterexample to beta-2* is not a counterexample to beta-2, since although we have N*p, we do not have Np, as we do not have p. But if the intuition driving one to beta-2 commits one also to beta-2*, then that undercuts the intuitive justification for beta-2. And that's a problem. One might still say: "Well, yes, we have a counterexample to beta-2*. But beta-2 captures most of the intuitive content of beta-2*, and is not subject to this counterexample." But I think such arguments are not very strong.
This is not, however, a problem if instead of accepting beta-2 on the basis of sheer intuition, one accepts it because it provably follows from a reasonable counterfactual rendering of the N*p operator.