Essay on The Dilemma Of Determinism Are Not Responsible For Our Choices

Essay on The Dilemma Of Determinism Are Not Responsible For Our Choices

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The dilemma of determinism is an issue that has led to widespread debate over whether or not people have free will. The dilemma of determinism follows as such; (A) if determinism is true, we are not responsible, since our choices are determined by factors we can’t control, (B) Indeterminism is true, we are not responsible, since every choice happens by chance, (C) But either determinism or indeterminism is true, (D) Therefore, we are not morally responsible for what we do. Simply, the dilemma states that we cannot be free and therefore are not responsible for our choices. This dilemma has been approached by some people called compatibilists who believe that we can be responsible for our choices even though the choice was determined in advance. One such compatibilist was Harry Frankfurt. In this paper, I will argue that Frankfurt’s approach to this dilemma is the most affective in proving that we have free will even if our choices are predetermined.
Harry Frankfurt rejects premise (A) of the dilemma of determinism and this leads to his discussion of the principle of alternate possibilities and moral responsibility. The principle of alternate possibilities is the idea that a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise. The main purpose of Frankfurt’s argument is to prove that this principle of alternate possibility is false by finding a counter example that proves a person can be morally responsible even if they can’t change the predetermined outcome. To do this, Frankfurt uses a set of thought arguments that approach different scenarios in which a person is placed in a situation where there are a set of conditions for a certain choice to be made, so that it is impossible for the person t...


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...immediate decision before it was altered.
In conclusion, it is my opinion that Frankfurt is able to give an example of casual determinism that shows proof of moral responsibility. Frankfurt is able to take a strong approach by giving thought arguments about Jones’s cases 1-3 and then finding the objections in these arguments. However, the Jones 4 case is a seemingly solid argument with an objection that I find to be only relative to indeterminism. Proving that this moral responsibility exists is essential in providing a basis for his entire argument. Frankfurt even goes as far as revising the first premise of the dilemma of determinism to help show what he believes to be a more accurate assessment of freewill. Frankfurt’s ability to self-evaluate his own ideas and edit the dilemma are the factors that make this a well-supported response to the dilemma of determinism.

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