Compatibilism Essay

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1. What is the ‘indigestible common core of compatibilism’, and what according to Fried, is indigestible about it?
Compatabilists are the people who consider free will is compatible with determinism. They believe that if certain minimal conditions of voluntariness are met, actions of a person are freely chosen, notwithstanding that they are predetermined. They argue that even if the actions are predetermined, people are free in other ways that are enough to consider them blameworthy for their actions. Whatever the forces that determine an action (biology, social conditions, upbringing, god whatever) does not cripple our ability to act according to our free will. The compatibilist attitude is in vogue since a long time the forces that determine the action (role of determinism) have been evolving since then but the basic idea, the fact that we do a particular thing even though we don’t really choose what we want to do, we do only as we choose to do. This is put in a better way by T.M Scanlon ‘ Even If our attitudes and actions are fully explained by genetic and environmental factors, it is till true that we have these attitudes and that our actions express them.’ According to Fried this is the ‘indigestible common core of compatibilism’ that we are blameworthy for doing what we could not help but do. Fried argues that blaming a person for doing something which one cannot help his action is indigestible. Fried argues this by a hypothetical situation in which the driving force of an action is replaced by a result (which still is determinism, but of a different type). For this she gives an example of a bus driver who did his job with care and prudence but on one particular day when he is going on accustomed route. A child dar...

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... Fried’s attitude, they should control their anger and learn to forgive a lot. For example if someone steals your money which you have saved for some important purpose and police have caught the criminal and returned those money to you after the money become useless for the intended purpose, then any human being in the world who is in the victim’s situation would be willing to punish the robber. But if you adopt Fried’s attitude, you should try to forgive the robber and leave him without any punishment. This does not do any good to the victim instead the robber may rob from more persons.
On the whole, by adopting Fried’s attitude, in my view, society would receive a more negative effect than positive effect. Instead we can try to change the criminals by improving their moral perspective towards society which makes the society a better place to live.
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