A Critical Analysis Of The Dilemma Of Indeterminism

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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.…show more content…
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 to choose to do different. However, these conditions do not in any way affect the choice that the person…show more content…
In this argument, there is a man named Black who wants Jones 4 to perform a certain action. If Jones 4 decides for himself to perform the action, then Black will do nothing; but if Jones 4 chooses not to perform the action, then Black will take measures to ensure that Jones 4 does complete the action. Frankfurt leaves the “measures” up to imagination for anyone with theory’s concerning what “could have done otherwise” means. Frankfurt states that no matter how “could have done otherwise” is defined, this example of Jones 4 is a successful counterexample to the principle of alternate possibilities. Therefore, even if casual determinism is true, there is no reason to believe that people cannot still be morally responsible for their behavior. Frankfurt even goes on to say that he believes that premise (A) should instead be phrased as such: a person is not morally responsible for what he has done if he did it only because he could not have done otherwise. This revision takes into account the invalid assumption that coercion makes moral responsibility
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