Are I Responsible For My Own Actions? Essay

Are I Responsible For My Own Actions? Essay

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Are you free?

When we discuss the free will, I always come up some questions like Are we totally “free,” or is our behavior determined by external factors out of our control? Could I have chosen a different way to do something? Am I responsible for my own actions?

Some people may believe that every physical event is caused by previous physicals event, according to the laws of nature. Our beliefs about causality seem inconsistent with our belief that we could have chosen otherwise.

Some incompatibilism supporters like Holbach accept the determinism but denies the existence of free will and regards it as an illusion. He maintains that people might have no control over the circumstance of their birth, ideas and habits. To be free, an action must be independent of determining physical causes. However, all changes made by humans are determined by immutable laws ,hence, no human action is, in essence ,free. Free will of man are nothing more than natural phenomena controlled by the forces of nature itself. Holbach raises the thirst issue to further exemplify his argument. One may argue that people are free to choose not to drink water he knows is poisoned, however, truth is that the thirsty person is disposed by natural laws to drink water he knows is clean and decline to drink the water is poisoned. The reason some people believe that human behavior is not determined is because of the complexity of causes which makes it difficult for us to explain our own behavior under some circumstances. We cannot perceive all of the complex and interrelated causes of human behavior, and therefore do not believe that human behavior is necessarily determined by natural law. The failure to identify the causes of our actions encourages the illusion ...


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...ld prevent himself from stealing. He is morally responsible for what he had done and regarded as a thief in this case because he could have acted otherwise.

On the other hand, A person is free of constraint when they would have acted otherwise if they had decided otherwise, which alone makes one morally responsible. Ayer sees this as the key to the problem of free will and determinism.

To sum up, I am more impressed by the Ayer’s opinion towards the essence of free will. Rousseau said in the social contract that “Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains.” We can reconcile determinism with freedom of the will. humans are determined, yet still morally free.
What matters to one’s freedom is whether you would have acted otherwise based on my own decision without constraint, not causality, and moral responsibility only possible if you could have acted otherwise.

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