Critically Assess the Claim That People Are Free to Make Moral Decisions
Libertarians support the view that people have free will and so we are free to make moral decisions. For a Libertarian, the key evidence for this is the act of decision making in our daily lives. Hume states that “experience is what we see to be true”, each human being experiences the feeling of being free to make a decision. If experiencing any other action constitutes it to be true, then why not the same for free will? Libertarians argue that we have awareness of the choices we make; we can choose to do anything that we are capable of. Though we are influenced by our environment and experiences, ultimately we can make our own decisions, nothing is …show more content…
If you were to do a biopsy on a human head, you will be able to see a brain. To say that this may be your brain but that your thoughts are elsewhere and transcendent, invisible in the physical world (the Libertarian idea of the moral self) is to insinuate that there is a ‘ghost in the machine’, something there is no way to prove and so unlikely to exist.
Hard Determinism is the opposing view to Libertarianism, this is the belief that humans have no free choice and all actions and decisions are determined. Determinists look at the Law of Universal Causation, that there are nomological connections between cause and effect. All current and future events are necessitated by past events. To a Determinist nothing could have ever happened differently and choice is simply an illusion. John Locke, a hard determinist tackled the idea of the illusion of choice in an Essay Concerning Human Understanding using his infamous analogy of a locked room. A man wakes up in a room that unbeknownst to him is locked from the outside, the man chooses to remain inside the room, believing that this is his choice. However, in reality he has no option; it is his ignorance of this that gives him the mere illusion of freedom. Ted Honderich argued that all our actions are in a ‘casual chain’. All other events are caused, so why should human decisions be any different?
There are several different types of hard determinism that all slightly differ