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

We don't possess any genuine freedom to act ethically. Discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"we don't possess any genuine freedom to act ethically?" When speaking in the subject of ethical freedom, several schools of thought must be considered that of Hard determinism, soft determinism and libertarianism. When talking of genuine freedom, it means that no external force influences our decisions and we are totally autonomous in our decisions. One argument that we don't possess any freedom in choosing ethically is that of hard determinism, hard determinism revolves around the theory that through environmental, social and genetic factors everything we do is already pre-determined by our nature. Hard determinists equate humans to highly complex clocks that preform as created, as in we are organic machines. Hard determinists reject free will. The key to this argument rests on the idea that holding a person morally responsible requires for them to make a choice between two, or more, truly possible alternatives. If choice is indeed impossible, then it would be incorrect to hold anyone morally responsible for his or her actions. ...read more.

Middle

and were identified as the murders, Darrow argued that the boys, whom had lived relatively care free want for nothing child hoods, we're blameless for their crime for it was a result of a determined path as the result of their upbringing which allowed the boys to escape death on mental health grounds. Another argument for limited ethical action is that of compatibilist or soft determinism. Compatibilist (or soft determinism) is the belief that free will and determinism are compatible ideas, and that it is possible to believe both without being logically inconsistent. Compatibilists believe freedom can be present or absent in situations for reasons that have nothing to do with metaphysics. For instance, courts of law make judgments about whether individuals are acting under their own free will under certain circumstances without bringing in metaphysics. Similarly, political liberty is a non-metaphysical concept. Likewise, compatibilists define free will as freedom to act according to one's determined motives without arbitrary hindrance from other individuals or institutions. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thus, determinism (or at least "hard" determinism) is not true and humans have moral responsibility for their actions. An example of this is an idea posed by John Locke, that a man awakes in a room after being unconscious there is a locked door, which the man does not know its locked, and a bed. The man decides to sit on the bed and not try the door, even though no external idea gives him the idea that it would be futile thus he was free to chose even though he had no real choice. This ties in with free will in that we have a choice but it may not necessarily have a choice merely an appearance of one. It is arguable that we do have a degree of freewill as suggested by compatabilism but our choices and decisions are partly influenced by things beyond our control such as genetics or upbringing. This means that we do possess some freedom to act ethically but it is not undetermined by external stimulus. ...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 Buddhism 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 Buddhism essays

  1. Determination of Human Behaviours and The Metamorphosis

    Moral consciousness that guides him throughout his life makes him a unique individual. Realization plays a role in regaining of Siddhartha's self-control and as a solution, he chooses to renounce social interaction by relinquishing city life.

  2. Today is a result of yesterday, tomorrow is a result of today.(TM) To what ...

    monks, the main ethical guidelines are the 227 precepts of a monk. In Mahayana, ethical action must always be motivated by the bodhichitta, the wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of others, in contrast to lay ethics where there is no need to attain enlightenment as there is no time to achieve such state.

  1. Buddhism is one of the biggest religions founded in India in the 6th and ...

    It could be a child playing in the street. It could be you. What if there was more than one Maitreya? Five? Ten? A billion? That certainly raises the odds that you or someone you know is a future Buddha. The goal of Theravada Buddhism is practically unattainable. In order to make Buddhism a more mysterious religion, the Mahayanists invented two grades of Buddhist attainment below becoming a Buddha.

  2. Teachings Now the ...

    backside became like a buffalo's hoof; my backbone, bent or straight, was like corded beads; my jutting and broken rafters of an old house; the gleam of my eyes sunk deep in their sockets was like the gleam of water seen deep down at the bottom of a deep well"

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