freewill vs responsibility-ayer

freewill vs responsibility-ayer - free will they are making...

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Khwaja S. Rahman (JOY) In the paper “Freedom and Necessity”, the writer A. J Ayer uses the argument of determinism and free will to show that we should be held responsible for our actions. Ayer says that there are a lot of other factors that affect our decisions. He terms these other factors that affect the decision as casual laws. According to him, these are feelings, past experiences and other things that make people to behave in the way they do. Ayer believes that determinism and freewill can exist in human behavior at the same time. Determinism is a concept which says that every event, decision and action is casually determined by other prior experiences or actions. According to Ayer, freewill is defined as any action without lack of constraint. Therefore, Ayer argues that, although people are sometimes compelled to act in a particular way due to casual laws, but they are not constrained to make their choices and hence, according to his definition of
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Unformatted text preview: free will, they are making choices under their free will and should be held responsible for their actions. He then says that our choices are based basically on our character, and then asks whether we are responsible for our character or not. According to him, if we made ourselves the way we are without any external effect then why did we make ourselves this way instead of another? He argues that it was either due to an accident or wasn’t, therefore, in the end, we are back to determinism. But as my actions are a result of the type of person I am, therefore it means that we are morally responsible for our actions. Ayer said that it is true that our adult behavior is affected by incidents in our childhood, but as the behavior is affected by something that happened a long time ago, therefore we are not acting under constraint at the moment, and should be responsible for our actions....
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2008 for the course PHIL 108 taught by Professor Mary during the Spring '08 term at Bard College.

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