Question

There is a clear connection between free will and moral responsibility. The common sense view -- and one shared by many philosophers -- is that without the capacity to choose to act otherwise than we in fact do, we cannot be held morally responsible for our actions. To put it another way, if you couldn't have done any differently, then how can we hold you responsible? But is that the case? Even if a person does what they did because of past circumstances and deterministic laws, shouldn't we still hold that person morally responsible for their actions?

"I would argue that determinism is compatible with free will. Determinism is human beings choices and decisions that have sufficient causes and natural laws. While free will is the choice and is not simply determined by physical or divine forces? They appear to be compatible on two separate levels. One being that you are able to make a decision without the forcible effect of other person or influence of outside parties. Next, they are compatible because of the free will and natural laws a decision can be made with the option of there being a alternate decision that could have been made instead of the other. Those are just two examples of how I feel that determinism is compatible with free will. What do you think? Are they incompatible or compatible why or why not?"

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The connection between free will and moral responsibility seems to be that when we have the capacity (e.g., the freedom) to choose otherwise we should be held morally responsible. While I think this condition holds for ninety-nine percent of most acts people carry out, there are still a few troubling cases that question this logic. As I said, most of the time we can think of cases where the person could have acted otherwise. For example, the company I work for pays me one hundred dollars more than what I actually worked. I could inform the supervisor of the issue and have my pay deducted, or I can choose otherwise...

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