• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Consider the view that humans have no free will.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Consider the view that humans have no free will." (25 marks) The fact is we all act as if we have free will, regardless of what we say we believe about it, there are several factors to consider concerning this question, determinism, science, philosophical and theological ideas, compatibilism, moral nihilism etc. In this essay I shall consider whether humans do or do not in fact have true control of their actions and have "free will" and if not, why not? We need not enter into a philosophical debate between free will and determinism in order to decide how to act. Either we have free will or it is determined that we behave as if we do. In either case we make choices. -Fisher and Ury, "Getting to Yes" page. 53 There's always been a significant relationship between freedom and moral responsibility; it's commonly held that we should be morally responsible for the behaviour we perform. As moral agents we should be ready to accept the blame for the things that we choose to do, we should be ready to accept the blame for the things that we freely do wrong, although if we were to have a situation forced upon us where the circumstances would not allow any other choice other than to carry out an immoral action we would not be blameworthy. ...read more.

Middle

During the 12-hour hearing on the final day, Darrow gave a speech that has been called the finest of his career. The speech included the following: "This terrible crime was inherent in his organism, and it came from some ancestor... Is any blame attached because somebody took Nietzsche's philosophy seriously and fashioned his life upon it?... It is hardly fair to hang a 19-year-old boy for the philosophy that was taught him at the university?" He famously used determinism in the court to defend their case, claiming that they had no choice and it was always going to happen, he did succeed in the end but both defendants were charged with life imprisonment plus another 99 years for the kidnapping. Loeb was murdered in prison at age 30 by a former cellmate, and Leopold died at age 66 from a heart-attack. Determinism is the view that the universe and its future are already pre-determined by past happenings and occurrences, this is due to living in a universe of cause and effect, something can only do something else when another thing acts upon it, much like the domino effect, knocking down one will knock every other one down. The question "Consider the view that humans have no free will" invites candidates to consider the strength of determinism and all the other factors mentioned earlier. ...read more.

Conclusion

While we have a sense of freedom, a sense of deliberating over our options, determinists maintain this is all an illusion of freedom. Although it doesn't explain human action, yet surely our actions are caused by something? Libertarianism attributes our moral judgement to an objective source, unaffected by environment or the culture we were brought up within, but this is debateable. Just as it's difficult to show how one thing causes another, it's difficult to show that there are no causes beyond our control. Libertarianism doesn't seem to account for human motive, which is caused by something. Soft determinism allows one to believe that some aspects of human beings are determined, but we are morally responsible for our actions. They claim that determinism doesn't rule our free will; they believe that determinism and free will are compatible. This midway position suggests that some of our actions are conditioned, while others have so complex a collection of causes that they may properly be described as freely decided or willed. Soft determinists are criticised by hard determinists for failing to realise the extent to which human freedom is limited, and by libertarians for failing to realise the true extent of human freedom. Sadly, compatibilists have to agree on precisely what is and what isn't a determining factor. The complexities of physics, metaphysics, genetics and psychology make such a line difficult for them to draw. ?? ?? ?? ?? Stan Allen 12AH Philosophy - Ethics & Morality ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Practical Questions section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Practical Questions essays

  1. Free essay

    Hard Determinism Negates Free Will, Discuss

    The theory does not give specific guidelines as to which things are determined and which ones aren't. Giving the weaknesses of hard determinism and soft determinism, we should consider a Libertarianism view point. Freedom is the definition of Liberty, and therefore Libertarianism argues that we are free and morally responsible for our actions.

  2. Compare hard determinism and Libertarianism.

    To this determinists reply that no one disputes that people believe they are free and that this belief is supported by the experience of decision-making; but this is not to say that we actually are free, believing things does not mean that they are true.

  1. Should capital punishment be reinstated?

    In America, a prisoner can be on death row for many years awaiting the outcome of numerous appeals, some of which are pointless and filed at the last minute in order to obtain a stay of execution. There may be a brutalising effect upon society by carrying out executions -

  2. Capital Punishment

    On the other hand there is a brief outline of the truth as Jesus is resurrected for a short time and met three women... 'Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him'17.

  1. Modern life-prolonging technologies have sharpened some ancient dilemmas on the value of life.

    Sanctity proponents can make two moves here, each fraught with difficulties. First, they may embrace the consequences, and value bushes, beetles, and Bach equally and ultimately. Second, they may amend their position and say that only human lives (for example)

  2. "It is impossible to reconcile any kind of determinism with the concept of freewill." ...

    Freewill comprises choices not caused by, and independent of antecedent factors. Freewill tries to account for is our introspective conviction that we are in control of many of our choices, and thus our destiny - that we are free to think and decide.

  1. Assess the claim that Free Will and Determinism are compatible

    Both Darrow and Honderich's form of Hard determinism becomes problematic when taking into account that human beings cease having any responsibility for their actions, meaning that nearly anyone can be condoned for any crime. Starkly opposed to Hard Determinism is Libertarianism, with which the idea of free will is wholly advocated.

  2. DNA and capital punishment

    If the victim was white verses any other race the punishment was ten times more likely to be the death penalty.As of 2010, women account for only 1.7% of inmates on death row, with men accounting for the other 98.3%.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work