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Freewill and Determinism. Morally Responsible? #1. Dave has an undiagnosed brain tumor that suddenly causes muscle spasms in his arm and hand. The spasm causes Dave to involuntarily pull the trigger of his gun and fatally wound his friend Todd while hunting in the woods.

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morally responsible 1
Morally Responsible? #1

Dave has an undiagnosed brain tumor that suddenly causes muscle spasms in his arm and hand. The spasm causes Dave to involuntarily pull the trigger of his gun and fatally wound his friend Todd while hunting in the woods.

morally responsible 2
Morally Responsible? #2

Dave has PTSD after serving two tours in Iraq. After waking up from a blackout, he hallucinates that he is still in the war and that his friend Todd is an enemy. Thinking he is acting in self-defense, Dave shoots Todd.

morally responsible 3
Morally Responsible? #3

Dave is normally quiet and gentle, but he is hypnotized by an evil psychiatrist and ordered to kill Todd, and Dave does so while in a deep hypnotic trance.

morally responsible 4
Morally Responsible? #4

Dave is showing off his gun to Todd but doesn’t realize it is loaded and is handling it carelessly. It accidentally fires and kills Todd.

morally responsible 5
Morally Responsible? #5

Dave has way too much drink at a bar, gets into a heated argument with Todd, who is also drunk and is verbally abusive. Dave goes to his car in a rage, gets his gun, goes back into the bar, and shoots Todd. The next day, Dave has no memory of what happened.

morally responsible 6
Morally Responsible? #6

Dave was raised by a physically abusive, drug-dealing father who abandoned the family when Dave was 8. Dave’s mom had a series of abusive live-in boyfriends for the rest of Dave’s childhood, and Dave never experienced love, only physical and psychological abuse. After being provoked into an argument with a stranger named Todd who reminds Dave of his father, Dave falls into uncontrollable rage and kills Todd.

morally responsible 7
Morally Responsible? #7

Dave is having an affair with Todd’s wife and wants Todd out of the picture. After weeks of planning and stalking Todd, Dave shoots and kills him as Todd is leaving the gym.

freedom
Freedom

What does it mean to choose?

What does it mean to choose “freely?”

What diminishes our ability to choose “freely?”

Are we responsible for all of our choices?

freedom1
Freedom

Circumstantial Freedom

Metaphysical Freedom

The power of the self to choose among genuine alternatives—i.e. freewill.

  • The ability and opportunity to perform an action of our choosing—i.e. freedom from external forces, obstacles, and natural forces that restrict or compel our actions.
the nature of free will
The Nature of Free Will
  • What is “will” and what does it mean “to will” something?
  • What does it mean to say that the will is free?
  • How is will related to personality and sense of self?
did you choose to go to college
Did You Choose to go to College?
  • Did your age, sex, race, and intelligence play a role?
  • Did your family, economic status, education, time/place, and culture play a role?
  • Did your fears, desires, values, and beliefs play a role?
  • What does it mean when you say that you chose? What is this choosing self?
slide13

I’m a man of moderate intelligence, raised by an economically poor single mom who didn’t teach me any marketable job skills.

  • I don’t imagine myself hooking up with a “sugar mama/daddy” because I’m not a handsome man.
  • I desire to live comfortably—i.e. have enough food, shelter, etc.—and be able to attract a spouse who will love me and raise a family with me.
  • I afraid of being alone, of struggling, and of instability.
  • In my state, college is relatively inexpensive, and I qualify for financial aid.
  • With a college education, I’m much more likely to fulfill my desires and avoid the things I fear.
  • Therefore, I will attend college and receive an education.
determinism
Determinism

The claim that all events are the necessary results of previous causes.

The “choices” we make are really just the result of the sum total of our biological, psychological, and environmental circumstances.

“Feeling free” is not the same thing as being free.

what did you have for breakfast
What did you have for Breakfast?
  • What did you have?
  • Why did you have it?
  • What created your want?
  • Why didn’t you want something else?
  • Could you have chosen something other than what you wanted?
who am i and where did i come from
Who Am “I” and Where Did “I” Come From?
  • What does it mean to say you have a personality—a “me-ness”?
  • Where did your beliefs come from?
  • Did you choose your values? Why did you choose what you did?
  • Desires/fears?
  • When you chose, could you have chosen differently?
  • “Could have” chosen differently vs. “would have” chosen differently if the sum total of circumstances had been different.