Essay on Critically Assess the View That We Are Not Responsible for Our Evil Actions

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Critically assess the view that we are not responsible for our evil actions

Many Philosophers, such as Hoderich and John Calvin, believe that humans do not have free will to act in moral situations and that all moral actions have uncontrollable prior causes. Hard determinists, therefore, follow the belief that humans can not be morally blameworthy for their actions, evil or not, because their actions are predetermined. However, this is a ridiculous stance to take as humans are free to make moral choices, meaning they are entirely responsible for their evil actions.

Many argue that hard determinism is the best approach to take when assessing this hypothesis as once you abandon the outdated notion of freedom; you can create a much
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Hume believed that events are determined because of a casual link between objects. Take for example, in 2012, when the travellers were prevented from flying as a result of ash from a volcanic eruption in Iceland. For Hume, this casual link is called the constant union of objects. For instance, the volcano’s eruption prevents you from flying; that is outside of the control of the individual. But the response to that situation produces free will. In relation to murder, one could argue that your upbringing is determined, but the way you respond is a result of free will. This is a differing view to that of Take for instance the case of Mary Bell in 1968 who was convicted of the murder of two toddles. She was subject to an awful upbringing; her mother was a prostitute who specialised in sado- masochism- Mary was forced to listen to her mother perform these acts. A soft- determinist could argue that although Mary was subject to an abusive upbringing, she must hold some moral responsibility for her actions. Although this view seems highly logical, soft determinists have not agreed on precisely what is and what is not a determining factor in human action. This means that contradictions between followers of soft determinists are highly likely.

Many disagree that Libertarianism is the best approach to apply to questions surrounding moral responsibility. They believe that cause and affect is too apparent in the world for us to simply