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Posts Tagged ‘Counterfactuals’

Moral Responsibility vs. Moral Judgment

March 6, 2011 3 comments

This post can also be found here at the Florida Student Philosophy Blog. In what follows I would like to first address why I do not believe human beings are morally responsible for their behavior in the manner commonly thought necessary, and second posit that the moral responsibility of human beings is not necessary for possessing judgments as to what actions are right or wrong. For ease of conversation, and to keep the topic centered on morality instead of determinism vs. agency, I would like to presuppose the truth of determinism. This is not to make my stance de facto correct, rather to guide any critiques to be against determinist moral theory instead of determinism in general. I understand there are few who accept determinism, but I do see the conversation of agency and determinism as being separate to considerations of what morality and moral responsibility would look like if determinism is true. One need not affirm determinism to argue for the consistency of a view within that framework.

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Determinism and the Meaning of Life

February 27, 2011 4 comments

Perhaps the toughest pill to swallow attendant to accepting hard determinism is the resulting lack of free will. The next largest, by my estimation, is the loss of moral responsibility. Finally, and not to be forgotten, is the oft-cited loss of any meaning life might hold, presumably due to the loss of these first two, freedom and moral responsibility. In Living Without Free Will, Derk Pereboom concludes his book defending  hard incompatibilism against criticisms that it requires too much of a sacrifice, and he argues that we do not lose as much as we might think in accepting an incompatibilist view. First to be salvaged is the meaning life could have if we accept such a position. While I generally agree with Pereboom, I do think his defense necessarily suffers from the nature of the position he advocates. Read more…