If determinism is true, then we don’t have free will. Discuss. It can be argued that if determinism is true, then we do not have free will. However, this argument really depends on which stream of determinism is being referred to. The argument that supports this idea the most is the fatalism argument - the idea that everything is predetermined before we are born and our actions do not affect this.
Rationality, Sensibility and Ethics Immanuel Kant begins this excerpt from Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals with the claim that nothing can be qualified as good except a good will. He supports this claim by giving examples of things we consider good, such as talents of the mind and qualities of temperament, which are not in and of themselves good because someone of bad will can utilize these qualities for bad things. There are qualities and traits which can be esteemed for their ability to service and facilitate a good will, but this does not allow us to label them as good in themselves. Kant states that, “a good will is good not because of what it performs or effects…but simply by virtue of the volition” (P.1). The conscious decision is good in itself because the decision was not inclined by any desire but the duty to do what is intrinsically good.
However to act morally then we must be capable of exercising freedom or the autonomy of the will .The opposite of this is what Kant did not believe in and this is heteronomy and that is something is right because its satisfies some desire, emotion, goal or obligation. After excising our freedom and good will then duty is left to follow, as duty is what makes the good will good. It is important that duty can be done for its own sake , our motives need to be pure. To act morally is to do one's duty, and one's duty is to obey the moral law. Kant
Soft determinists believe that determinism, witch according to their believe is compatible with free will and responsibility, is true. Finally, hard determinists believe that every decision made, has been prearranged, and that responsibility is caused by the concept of free will. There are various arguments for the problem of free will, yet in this essay we are going to focus on Paul’s Holbach theory, the illusion of free will, in order to support the hard determinist position. In this essay we will try to prove that free will is a fictional illusion of the human’s perception of free will. To begin, I am going to explain the theory of Paul Hollabach.
Moore would say we can see these self evident truths when, in an argument, we are reduced to “it’s just wrong,” they require no further explanation, proof or justification. This seems a fairly logical conclusion, in order to justify what we do we look at it in basic terms, but such a process could not take place indefinitely without coming to a base truth which could not be broken down further. It’s the classic “it just is” situation in an argument, where the statement cannot be further simplified nor justified. The problem however is agreeing on what these basic moral truths are. Moore and WD Ross a fellow intuitionist agreed that pleasure, knowledge and virtue are all intrinsically good, and pain, ignorance and vice are intrinsically bad.
He said morality was innate; a part of us (a priori), and it was our moral duty to carry it out for good, which must lead to God. Accordingly Kant says good actions should be universalisable and free, so basically when making our ethical decisions we should ask ourselves a simple question "What if everybody did that?" if the answer is no, then the categorical imperative tells us that the action is wrong. So if I cheated on my AS-level exam to pass and be successful in the future, this would be my maxim, however I would not want others to do the same and therefore this action would be wrong according to Kant’s Categorical Imperative. My cheating pre-supposes that most people do not cheat even though they have the same reasons to cheat as I have.
A person is not morally responsible for his action if it is “the result of unconscious forces” or “drive” of which the person knows nothing (Hospers, pgs 115,119). Hospers goes on to explain that a “lucky few are sometimes able to overcome” such forces (Hospers, pg. 120). These arguments apply to James Fallon’s circumstances. By his own admission, Fallon credits positive parental involvement for shaping his character therefore inhibiting further development of the “unconscious forces” of heredity from manifesting.
In total opposition to this belief is determinism, the theory that all behaviour is pre-ordained and we cannot chose our destiny so to speak. This idea can be most clearly seen in psychological approaches such as the biological or the behaviourist. Other approaches such as the cognitive approach present the idea of soft determinism, the suggestion that whilst some behaviour is determined we still have some degree of control and choice over what we do. The most firm believers in free will are humanistic psychologists. The humanistic approach has been praised for its great emphasis on autonomy, the idea that we have control over everything we do.
Asserting Thrasymachus’ thesis, what follows is that justice is not a ‘form’ as argued by Socrates but rather a inter-subjective concept. It would also follow that justice does not have a fixed, objective definition. Since the interest of two different sovereigns may conflict, so may different conceptions of justice. Thrasymachus argues this point in various ways; stating that ‘injustice, if it is on a large enough scale, is stronger, freer, and more masterly than justice’ (344c) In this context, Thrasymachus’ thesis is descriptive but on this note, it also project a prescriptive meaning. Thrasymachus’ arguments largely rest on observational
When looking at Kant's definition of free actions: if it does not suffer coercion or constraint, either physical or psychological, for example not being afflicted with the threat of violence or an addiction then the action is free. However, Kant would also argue that our free decisions are still confined within the causal chain, thus it may have been free from a macro sense but the decision is, in many ways, still an aspect of causation. I could not have done otherwise. But, as it has already been established, Kant's notion of freedom is different to that of both the Determinist and Libertarian arguments, in the sense that, his argument follows the claim that: I could have done otherwise if the situation that led to my decision was different. However, Sartre would argue against Kant's understanding of freewill claiming it as