Free Will and Moral Responsibility

2021-05-18 22:50:07
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The scenarios associated with decisions to choose to act or not to act for or against a particular incidence the daily encounters. The capacities to make such decisions are always related to the moral inclinations. To some extent, the blame may be internal or emanating from the external environment. However, the greatest concern is whether free will is required for moral responsibility. This excerpt highlights the concept of free will and moral responsibility briefly.

The ancient work of scholars trying to unravel the applicability of the free will in the decision-making process when facing a challenge or specific scenario has shown the need to segregate the notion from moral responsibility. Starting from the 1962 argument tabled by Peter Strawson, the understanding of the role of humans being responsible for their decisions became apparent. According to Strawson, the free will fall under three categories: good will, indifferent, and ill will, which are all determined by the attitudes and perception of individuals. The reaction to attitudes may later lead to positive or negative reactions to decisions made (Linden, 2015). Although resistance has met his sentiments, Strawson sparked a metal thrill for scholars to unravel.

However, it is clear to point out that free will cannot be considered as the control condition associated with moral responsibility. The freedom that comes with the individual capacity when making a decision is negated whenever free will is seen as the driving force for moral responsibility. The actions undertaken by a person will draw reactions whether it was good, bad, or indifferent since the perception and the reactive attitudes of humans are diverse depending on personal relationships and attachments. The results range from resentments, hurts, indignations, and anger to compassion, gratitude, and forgiveness. To some extent, the reaction of others may implant guilt and mental responsibility for decisions previously made at free will.

Moreover, the best position for free will in moral responsibility is to consider the former as a prerequisite of the later. The obligation of the existence of free will is to assist in making decisions based on informed individual convictions. The choices made after that could be considered as moral, but such diversities will solely depend on the reactive attitudes as well as our personal understanding of the concepts of morality. The extent to which one can be considered morally responsible for their actions is when several sets of factors have been presented to ascertain the element and capacity of responsibility. Such sets of objectives and characteristics are referred to as metaphysical or efficacy conditions. Nevertheless, separating the two philosophies generates a complicated analogy that eliminates the origin of freedom in decision-making. Therefore, it is essential to consider free will as a prerequisite to moral responsibility but not as the control condition.

In conclusion, there is no clear consensus regarding the concepts and relationship between free will and moral responsibility. However, it is clear that individual attitudes and perception plays a significant role in the diversity of the reactions emanating from decisions made. Considering the free will as a control condition to moral responsibility will mean that choice will be based on personal inclinations as the standard measure. Nevertheless, regarding it, as a prerequisite will enable individuals to make decisions based on their conviction but consider the immediate and long-term consequences.

ReferencesLinden, D. E. J., 2015. Moral psychology, vol 4: Free will and moral responsibility. Cognitive Neuropsychiatr, 20(5): 469 472. Doi: 10.1080/13546805.2015.107370

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