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Libertarianism
· We are free and morally responsible for our actions
· Humans believe that they have self-determination or freedom to act
· Moral actions are not chance or random events but result from the
values and character of the moral agent
· Humans have a sense of moral decision-making, or deliberation, and
some give in to temptation, while others hold out
· Libertarianism rejects cause and effect as a reason for human action
but does not offer an alternative explanation for human action. It does
not account for a human motive, which has cause of some sort.
· David Hume 18th century
· Thomas Aquinas 13th century Freeeedom!…read more

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""By liberty, then, we can only mean
a power of acting or not acting,
according to the determinations of
the will; that is, if we choose to
remain at rest, we may; if we
choose to move, we also may"
David Hume An Enquiry Concerning
Human Understanding, 1748
"Man chooses not of necessity, but
freely"
Aquinas, Summa Theologica, 1273…read more

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Hard Determinism
· HD maintains that we are not free and cannot be held morally responsible
for our actions
· All our actions have a prior cause. This challenges the notion of moral
responsibility as people do not have freedom to deliberate or make a free
choice
· The sense of moral deliberation is an illusion. (Spinoza- 17 th century)
· Traditional and modern (e.g.-genetics) understandings of the scientific
world suggest causal relationships and strong influences between one
action and another
· Praising for `good' and blaming for `bad' is pointless
· Determinist arguments successfully used in criminal cases to question
attributed blame (e.g. Loeb and Leopold/Darrow case)
· Nature and nurture affect ability to make moral decisions
· Predestination is a Christian view held by some Protestants that God has
already decided who will be saved and who will not, suggesting that
humans are not free to secure salvation. John Calvin (16 th century)
· Augustine (4-5th century)implied that God has some role in our formation
as good or bad people
· Determinism undermines moral responsibility and the use of words like
`moral' or `immoral' (*ref meta-ethics)…read more

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Hard Determinism in Law
Determinist arguments have been successfully used in criminal cases to
question attributed blame (e.g. Loeb and Leopold/ Darrow case)
Diminished Responsibility ­ the law considers people who have been
affected in their decisions/actions by their emotions/psychology to be
less responsible. E.g the beaten wife who turns the tables on her
husband, kills him while he sleeps and, in a panic feeds him to her
dogs.
She/He is emotionally and psychologically in turmoil and so cannot
beheld responsible!?
It isn't his fault...he was brought
up to behave like that!…read more

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Mr Crowe (Prosecution) ­ States Summation
"Heredity, finally Mr. Darrow says; the family, or some ancestor away
back, planted the seed here. Hereditary influence. Well, let's see what
their doctor's say, on page 139: "There is nothing about the patient's
condition to show any evidence of a hereditary nature, and there is not
the slightest reason to suppose that a condition of this kind will be
transmitted to future generations by any of his siblings or relatives.
This condition is acquired within the life history of the individual, and
dies out when he dies." It is something of his own construction, and his
ancestors are in no degree responsible for it. It will die out when he
dies out".
Darrow (Defence) - Summation
"What is this case?
This is a senseless, useless, purposeless, motiveless act of two boys.
Now, let me see if I can prove it. There was not a particle of hate,
there was not a grain of malice, there was no opportunity to be cruel
except as death is cruel,--and death is cruel.
There was absolutely no purpose in it all, no reason in it all, and no
motive in it all."…read more

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