Without freedom we march along pre determined paths

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morality, for only those who act freely deserve blame or punishment. Without freedom, we march along pre- determined paths, unable to control our destinies. Such a life is not worth living” - Sider (112-3). PARADOX: Freedom must exist (legal considerations, ethical considerations, existential considerations) BUT freedom cannot exist (science) Why can't there be freedom? Reasonable belief: every event has a cause. There are no uncaused events. Better formulation: every event is necessitated by a set of antecedent events and the laws of nature. → determinism have no choice to do otherwise Clarification: Determinism doesn't mean predictability Can be true that every event has a cause without also being true that we can predict every future event Determinism threatens free will If every event has a cause (necessarily caused) then there can be no free events. But if there are no free events, then can there be blame, moral responsibility, praise, true love, or true friendship? Three solutions to the paradox 1. Give up free will ( Hard determinism ) 2. Reject determinism ( Libertarianism ) 3. Hold that determinism is compatible with free will ( Soft determinism or Compatibilism ) 1. Hard determinism No free will No uncaused events all actions are pre-determined No moral responsibility We are automata (well-functioning machines) 2. Libertarianism Determinism is false: not all actions are caused Humans are special: they transcend natural and physical laws. Human actions are free. There is free will. Problems: Libertarianism must provide an account that explains what makes us special Are we special because we are not entirely physical beings? Or are we special because we are not subject to the laws of nature that govern everything else? Ad hoc (something every arbitrary) What is freedom?
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Suppose that libertarianism is true: determinism is false and therefore, some actions are uncaused. But does “uncaused mean “free”? An uncaused event seems to be a random event. Suggestion: an action is free if it is caused by an agent. ( agent causality ) – action caused by you, but not is any mechanistic way Either my action was the product of my beliefs and desires or it was not. (if no, the actions is random; if yes, back to determinism) 3. Soft determinism or Compatibilism Freedom is compatible with determinism We have misunderstood the concept freedom We should not think of free events as uncaused events Events which are caused by prior events can be free Sider, p. 127 Suggestions to the meaning of “free” 1. A free action is one that is caused by the person's beliefs and desires. 2. A free action is one that is caused by the person's beliefs and desires, provided that the person was not compelled by another person to have those beliefs and desires.
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