Liberation, Free will and determinism

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What does libertarian mean?
those who maintain that we are free to act and are morally responsible for those actions
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What are hard determinists?
All human actions are effected and caused by prior influences. These individuals may not be morally to blame because their actions were determined
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What are soft determinists?
They maintain that some human actions are determined, but they still believe that they have moral responsibility
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What are ways that we aren't in control of our actions?
Alcohol/ drugs, mental illness, dictatorship, genetics, upbringing and psychological upbringing
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Which scholars support hard determinism?
Ted Honderich, John Locke, Khayam, Benedict Sponzoa, Voltaire and John Hospers
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Who defined hard determinism as 'all of our choices, decisions, inventions'?
Ted Honderich- humans aren't free to act
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What is John Locke's quote?
That 'freedom of choice is an illusion'
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Who said that 'and the first morning of creation wrote what the last dawn of reckoning shall read'? What does it mean?
Khayam- we are not free and cannot be held morally responsible for our actions
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What did Benedict Sponzoa argue?
Our lives are the result of various causes going back in a chain of infinite regress
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Finish the quotation 'pear trees ..
cannot bear bananas'
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What is another Voltaire quote?
'Everything is planned, connected, limited'
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What did Hospers argue? Give an example of a supporting quotation
Argues that there is always something which completes us: 'it is all a matter of luck'
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What are the three types of internal factors?
Theological, biological and family
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What are the two types of theological influences?
Pre-destination and pre-election
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What does pre-destination mean?
God has determined what happens in this life
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What does pre-election mean?
God will choose salvation, 'irreversible grace'
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Why is biology an internal factor?
Few scientists believe in a gay gene
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What is an example of how upbringing affects us?
The Clarence Darrow's case- Leopold and Loeb. He defended two rich elite boys who kidnapped and murdered a 14 year old boy
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What are the two types of external actions which influence our actions?
Influence of authority and influence of reinforcement
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Give an example of the influence of authority
Milgram's experiment 1963- based on Hitler. Supports the principle of hard determinism because freedom can be manipulated by external environmental factors
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Give an example of the influence of reinforcement
B.F.Skinner 1938- he coined the term 'operant conditioning'
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What are the two types of Libertarian ism?
Philosophy of the mind and political philosophy
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What is philosophy of the mind?
The idea that we are free and morally responsible for our actions
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What is political philosophy?
The idea that explores the relationship between the individual and the community
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Which scholars support libertarinism?
David Hume, Plato, C.A. Campbell and John Stuart Mill
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What did Hume say?
Actions are a result of the values and character of the individual
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What is a quote by Hume?
'by liberty... we can only mean a power of acting or not acting according to the determinism of the will'
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What did Plato argue?
We are free to act and therefore are morally responsible for them
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Finish the quotation from Plato 'your destiny shall not be allotted to you...
but you shall choose it for yourself'
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What was Campbell's argument?
Humans are sometimes torn between two options. Human has to decide between the two choices which action to go for
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What was Campbell's quotation to support this?
'it is to be found an act which is free in the sense required of moral responsibility; an act which the self is the sole author'
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Who are the two types of people Mill said there was?
Tyranny of the majority and the government
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What was his book called and when was it published?
'On Liberty' 1859
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Finish the quotation from Mill 'the liberty of the individual must be far limited...
he must not make himself a nuisance to other people'
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What are the two types of actions Mill stated?
Self- regarding and other-regarding
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What is the difference between the two of them?
Self-regarding directly affect the individual performing it, whereas other actions affect other people
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What is the 'experiment of living'?
The cultivation of an individual is important to Mill because it is driven social and individual experiences
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What are supportive examples of Soft determinism?
'Gandhi's desire to free India caused him to fast'- the distinction between internal and external actions explain why freedom and moral responsibility aren't only compatible with determinism
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Which scholars support soft determinism?
Immanuel Kant and John Searle
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What does Searle teach?
That it is a 'gap between having reason to do something and actually doing it'- implies that because there is a gap we switch from being determined to acting freely
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What does Kant teach? Who are the two types of reasons?
Pure reason and practical reason
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What is pure reason?
Knowledge about the scientific world- it is external
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What is practical reason?
Actions of the individuals will. Kant state that practical reason isn't determined and allows us to act freely
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What is 'casually undermined choice'?
When a moral choice is made and there is no overriding power making the person chose one or another
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What religious beliefs support Lib?
Traditional Jewish and Christian teachings: humans are free to act, in Genesis Adam and Eve had free will in choosing to eat the forbidden fruit
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What is another example of a religious belief which supports Lib?
Aquinas in 'Summa Theologica' wrote how - 'man chooses not of necessity but freely'
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What is an example of a religious belief that supports determinism?
St Paul: 'we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.'
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What is another example of a religious belief which supports determinism?
39 articles of faith of the CofE- 'Pre- destination of life is the everlasting purpose of God'
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What may curtail our freedom?
Genetics/ The environment, self-restraint and will power, living in society and conflicts of free will
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How does genetics curtail our freedom?
Genetics may prevent someone from doing certain things- e.g. being born with a disability
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How does willpower curtail our freedom?
B. F.Skinner in his book 'Beyond freedom and dignity' argued that we don't take into account what science tells us
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How does living in society affect us?
Social contracts can curtail our freedom- Nazi Germany
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How does conflicts of free will curtail our freedom?
Social expectations constrict our freedom through clothing, education and those around us
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What is the conscience?
Is an aptitude, facility, intuition or judgement that assists in distinguishing right from wrong.
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What does Jonathan Gorsky say about the conscience?
That there is no words for it in Hebrew- conscience can be seen in the Bible such as Genesis 39:8
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Who teaches that there is a sense of individual awareness of a conscience as the soul must be held ready for the grace of the heart?
Sufi tradition
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What does Ron Geaves 1990 say?
That it is the inner workings of the conscience that cannot be relied upon, Islam means surrendering to the will of Allah
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What does St. Paul teach about the conscience?
Describes it as an awareness of what is good AND bad- observes that it can be weak
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What does St. Augustine of Hippo teach?
He considered the conscience to be a 'tool' for observing the laws of God
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What does St. Jerome teach?
Saw the conscience as the power to distinguish good from evil
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What does Rabbinic literature teach?
That good inclinations are supported by the Torah and reason because of Adam and Eve
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What happens in 2 Samuel 24:10?
Sinful acts left the sinners with a profound sense of sin in the heart
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What did Sigmund Freud believe the human psyche was inspired by?
Powerful desires that need to be satisfied, the ego takes account of the relatives
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What is the second part of the ego?
Super ego which can limit our freedom
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What are the two types of conscience?
Mature and immature
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What is the mature conscience?
Dynamic response to the world and focused on doing acts for the future
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What is the immature conscience?
It is identified with the feeling of guilt, a reflection of human social nature and can hold control over our desires
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What did Joseph Butler see the conscience as?
The final moral decision maker- it gave absolute authority
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Finish the quotation from Butler 'there is a principle of reflection in which me by which they distinguish between approval and disapproval...
of their actions this principle is the moral conscience'
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What are the two basic principles?
Self-love and benevolence
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What did Aquinas believe the conscience was?
A device for distinguishing between right and wrong
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What is the synderis rule?
That people tended towards the good and away from the evil
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What is the conscientia?
Aspects of the conscience which distinguishes between right and wrong
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Finish the quotation from Aquinas 'if a mistakes reason bids a man to sleep with another man's wife...
to do this will be evil based on ignorance of divine law he ought to know'
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What are strengths of hard determinism?
John Locke, Spinzoa, Voltaire, Behaviourism: suggests things like genetics are prior causes, Steven Pinker: influence from Darwins work- natural selection determines what we are like
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What are weaknesses of hard determinism?
Pessimistic view of the world, responsibility taken away from criminals, blame is rendered as a positive
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What are strengths of soft determinism?
John Searle, Immanuel Kant, fair and logical case for separating internal AND external causes
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What are weaknesses of soft determinism?
Michael Palmer: no differentiation between internal AND external causes, hard determinism and how do we have total freedom of choice if our desires are determined?
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What are strengths of lib?
Universal, Hume (our interpretation that things are caused), Robert Kane: some aspects in our life may be determined BUT can overcome this and Heisenberg: personal responsibility underpins our main principle
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What are weaknesses of lib?
John Locke, Honderich, what criteria can we use to make a decision
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What are factors that influence the formation of someone's conscience?
Genes, religion, friends, ethical theories, role models, media and culture
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What is a quotation from Mill?
'the liberty of the individuals must be far limited; he must NOT make himself a nuisance to other people'
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What are hard determinists?

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All human actions are effected and caused by prior influences. These individuals may not be morally to blame because their actions were determined

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What are soft determinists?

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What are ways that we aren't in control of our actions?

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Which scholars support hard determinism?

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