Relationship between freedom and moral responsibility

problem of moral responsibility | Definition, Theories, & Facts |

relationship between freedom and moral responsibility

In the first case, we mean to identify a causal connection between the earlier Philosophical reflection on moral responsibility has a long history. .. In his landmark essay, 'Freedom and Resentment,' P. F. Strawson (). The question of free will leads to issues of moral responsibility. of the “ compatibilist” position, held the view that freedom and moral responsibility will debate: a lesson about the relationship between time and determinism. As an advocate of freedom of the will, I don't believe that we perform all of our actions freely. Some of them may be determined by forces.

Consequently such God has no dominant over human freedom and moral responsibility. In the later religions, humans play role in forming the nature of gods, and their quantity and activity are based on humans' needing and wishes.

So, humans can define, reinterpret and change their freedom and moral responsibility by themselves. Since, such ideas of gods are depended on myths and humans' understandings of them, and their interpretations of natural and supra natural factors, and don't have effective role in limitation of humans' freewill.

In viewpoints of some modern philosophers of the west, also as was mentioned, is defined a defective God whose virtues are based on modern humanistic understanding. Therefore, such God cannot introduce some laws and rules regarding human freewill and moral responsibility.

In theistic approach, however, human is meted to infinite, ruler and sovereign God over the world and humans that there is no escape from His realm of sovereignty, since He has power to everything. Here, human's free will and moral responsibility has a very different meaning from two mentioned views.

The Role of Believing in Quality of God's Attributes The other very important problem is about how human understand and interpret the nature and attributes of God. Since the way of interpretation of God's attributes clarifies more their relations with human's action. In this case there are clear differences among divine and non-divine religions and philosophies, meanwhile within some divine traditions, like Islam and Christianity, are not common theological interpretations among believers. In theistic religions, like Islam and Christianity, God is considered as infinite, absolute perfect, omniscience, omnipotence, eternal, living, primordial, the dispenser, clear-sighted and creator of all things including the world and human.

In this case, first, is emphasized on theoretical and practical divine unity and monotheism, then is tried to explain their aspects.

relationship between freedom and moral responsibility

Theoretical unity is divided into Human Freedom and Moral Responsibility Essential unity explains that God has no component essence, and that there is no other than god beside Him.

This kind of unity negates any kind of materiality and composition and corporeality of God, and all forms of idolatry Saeidi Mehr,Vol. Attributive unity describes plurality of God conceptually and demonstrates their objectivity with the essence of God. In the other word, the essence of God with His several attributes, like knowledge and power, is subjectively different from them, but there is no separation and gap between the essence of God and His attributes objectively.

Unity in divine actions is also of the most determiners of human and God relations. It clarifies this belief that the only and real agent and doer in the world is God and there is no actions save by Him.

In fact, unity in divine actions not only refers all acts to God, but negates any kind of independency of acts other than Him.

Moral Responsibility (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Therefore, all acts like being creator, dispenser, divinity and sovereignty are of God and that all worldly agencies are God agency truly Saeidi Mehr,Vol. In order to answer this question, it is necessary to point out that there is a kind of agency in length between God and human acts, in which although all human acts are ascribed to them but in fact they really are acts of God, that is, God has willed that humans do some of their acts freely and without any compulsion whereas God has provided backgrounds of their actualization which is in compatibility with human freedom and moral responsibility.

In fact if there are no backgrounds and possibilities of free acts for humans, it is meaningless to speak of their freedom and moral responsibility. So, since God is the only real agent in the world, He has willed human act freely and chose good or bad things by their freewill in the light of divine justice and wisdom that this can make sense their freedom and moral responsibility.

This divine monotheistic approach, consequently, can define the meaning of our freedom and moral responsibility. It says that there is a determined relation between God and humans in which their practical and theoretical boundaries are 98 Proceedings: But if human has a defect understanding of divine unity, it maybe is concluded to unpleasant results.

This religious tendency, although introduces human freedom and freewill extremely and tries to infinitely extend it. So, it is concluded that human absolute freedom is incompatible with objective facts, and rationally is impossible. Therefore, if we take this approach there are plural interpretations of humans freedom and moral responsibility as many as they exist, and that, the result of such thinking is involving in relativism and having no determined definition of freedom and moral responsibility.

Another aspect of monotheistic thinking is related to practical unity which determines our relation to God. Practical unity explains the nature of our deeds and acts towards God and can be divided into some parts like worshiping, seeking help, obeying, loving and trusting on God. Worshiping unity means to completely devote ourselves to God and consider only Him as competent to worshiping.

Seeking help unity is to asking help of God alone. Since human thinks there is only omnipotent God who is the true creator and lord of the world. Unity in loving is meant that we consider God as the only real beloved and friend. Unity in trusting means that God is the only confidence and fulcrum and is reliable base. Unity in obeying says that human should obey only real God and disobey beside Him Gulpayegani,Vol.

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  • Free Will Related to Freedom of Action & Moral Responsibility
  • Moral responsibility

It seems such practical unity determines a kind of special place and duties for humans in which their freedom and moral responsibility finds proper meanings. Since in this outline, human should do most Human Freedom and Moral Responsibility So, there is no absolute freedom and moral irresponsibility in this thought, because humans are servant and creatures of God who has defined their freedom and moral responsibility based on their monotheistic thought.

Moral Responsibility

Therefore, it is impossible to determine boundaries of freedom and moral responsibilities of these people save through social obligations which are relative and subjected to altering. In addition to mentioned cases, there is a close relation between divine attributes and human ones which effects our understanding of freedom and moral responsibility. In this case in non-revealed religions and some viewpoints of modern philosophers of the west, is considered some of God's attributes as finite and defect ones, and they don't ascribe some absolute attributes like creator, infinity, dispenser, omniscience and omnipotence to God.

This thought is led to defect God who in effect is not God. According to theistic religions, like Islam and Christianity, God has many positive and negative attributes which positive ones are divided in two parts of essential and active ones.

Essential attributes, such as unity, eternity, living and simplicity, indicate God's attributes without His relations to other existents, but, His active attributes, like creator, omniscience, will, dispenser, sovereignty and omnipotence, have more meaning in relation to the world and human. For example, some religions consider God's attributes as finite or some religions as infinite, and some religions negate some attributes of God, like creation of the world or human, power to do everything, or knowledge about everything.

Such approaches to God's attributes can change the place of human towards God. In this case, there are some attributes of God which Proceedings: Attributes like omniscience, omnipotence, divine will and creation have more relations to human acts.

If these attributes, namely omniscience, omnipotence and divine will, is considered as finite attributes of God, the result is that God has no sufficient knowledge, power and will on the world and human, then there are some realms out of His control.

Consequently from Moa'tazellite point of view, the reason for human's absolute freedom and dependency of moral laws, such as goodness and badness of moral dealings, is absolutely based on human's intellect not religious teachings. On the contrary, if divine attributes like knowledge, power and will, is considered absolutely infinite, the result is that God knows everything about the world and human acts, and He has power to all things in any circumstances, and if He will everything can do it.

In this case, some of Muslim and Christian theologians and philosophers maintain that God knows universals not particulars, and some other philosophers reject God's knowledge about the events of the world and human acts before their creation, that is, there is a kind of qualitative and temporal limitations for God's knowledge.

Such interpretations of God's attributes do not permit humans for playing complete role by their knowledge, power and will. Consequently it is lead to absolute determinism which is supported by some theistic theologians, like Ash'arite, in Islam, and by some other philosophers Sheykholeslami,P In fact in this viewpoint divine agency is absolutely considered and there is no space for human agency.

Human Freedom and Moral Responsibility Therefore, human's free will is according to God's will. According to this point of view, also, it can be said although God has eternal knowledge of all things, in the past, present and future, His infinite knowledge is nothing against actualization of human free acts, and also, although God has power to everything, His power is only chargeable to possibilities and is not against human's power Helli,P Most of Shia Muslim philosophers and theologians have supported this viewpoint.

They believe that humans are not absolutely free and not absolutely compelled, but their freedom and compulsion is relative and limited Kashefi,P There are, in addition, some important points of view about attributes like creation, dispenser and sovereignty.

If God is supposed as the creator, dispenser and absolute ruler of the world and human, the result is that human is His creature and servant, and under His divine dominion. Most of adherents of Islam, Christianity and Judaism believe in such viewpoint. On the contrary, if God is not considered as creator, dispenser and ruler of the world and human, this view can define human place towards God.

In some ancient religions, for example Greek ones, God not only is not supposed as the creator of the world and human, but is not as their ruler, dispenser and preserver.

relationship between freedom and moral responsibility

He did not surround himself with governesses and wealth. He did not make himself. And yet he is to be compelled to pay. Joshua Greene and Jonathan Cohen, researchers in the emerging field of neuroethicsargue, on the basis of such cases, that our current notion of moral responsibility is founded on libertarian and dualist intuitions.

For example, damage to the frontal lobe reduces the ability to weigh uncertain risks and make prudent decisions, and therefore leads to an increased likelihood that someone will commit a violent crime. David Eagleman explains that nature and nurture cause all criminal behavior.

relationship between freedom and moral responsibility

He likewise believes that science demands that change and improvement, rather than guilt, must become the focus of the legal justice system. Rather, they suggest that only retributive notions of justicein which the goal of the legal system is to punish people for misdeeds, require the libertarian intuition. Many forms of ethically realistic and consequentialist approaches to justice, which are aimed at promoting future welfare rather than retribution, can survive even a hard determinist interpretation of free will.

Accordingly, the legal system and notions of justice can thus be maintained even in the face of emerging neuroscientific evidence undermining libertarian intuitions of free will.

Problem of moral responsibility

Neuroscientist David Eagleman maintains similar ideas. Eagleman says that the legal justice system ought to become more forward looking. He says it is wrong to ask questions of narrow culpability, rather than focusing on what is important: Eagleman is not saying that no one is responsible for their crimes, but rather that the "sentencing phase" should correspond with modern neuroscientific evidence.

To Eagleman, it is damaging to entertain the illusion that a person can make a single decision that is somehow, suddenly, independent of their physiology and history.

He describes what scientists have learned from brain damaged patients, and offers the case of a school teacher who exhibited escalating pedophilic tendencies on two occasions—each time as results of growing tumors.

In his view, we cannot have free will if our actions are causally determined by factors beyond our control, or if our actions are indeterministic events—if they happen by chance. Pereboom conceives of free will as the control in action required for moral responsibility in the sense involving deserved blame and praise, punishment and reward. Without libertarian agent causation, Pereboom thinks the free will required for moral responsibility in the desert-involving sense is not in the offing.

For instance, causally determined agents who act badly might justifiably be blamed with the aim of forming faulty character, reconciling impaired relationships, and protecting others from harm they are apt to cause.

His view rules out retributivist justifications for punishment, but it allows for incapacitation of dangerous criminals on the analogy with quarantine of carriers of dangerous diseases.

Isolation of carriers of the Ebola virus can be justified on the ground of the right to defend against threat, a justification that does not reference desert. Pereboom contends that the analogy holds for incapacitation of dangerous criminals. He also argues that the less serious the threat, the more moderate the justifiable method of incapacitation; for certain crimes only monitoring may be needed. In addition, just as we should do what we can, within reasonable bounds, to cure the carriers of the Ebola virus we quarantine, so we should aim to rehabilitate and reintegrate the criminals we incapacitate.

Pereboom also proposes that given hard incompatibilism, punishment justified as general deterrence may be legitimate when the penalties don't involve undermining an agent's capacity to live a meaningful, flourishing life, since justifying such moderate penalties need not invoke desert.

Compatibilism Some forms of compatibilism suggest the term free will should only be used to mean something more like liberty. Compatibilists contend that even if determinism were true, it would still be possible for us to have free will.

The Hindu text The Bhagavad Gita offers one very early compatibilist account. Facing the prospect of going to battle against kinsmen to whom he has bonds, Arjuna despairs.

Krishna attempts to assuage Arjuna's anxieties. He argues that forces of nature come together to produce actions, and it is only vanity that causes us to regard ourselves as the agent in charge of these actions. However, Krishna adds this caveat: Krishna's admonition is intended to get Arjuna to perform his duty i. Obeying the ego leads to bondage; obeying the soul brings liberation. Of what use is restraint? He argues that it was absent in the successful civilization of the Iroquois.