'Without freedom it is impossible to make moral choice’ Discuss.

Topics: Free will, Determinism, David Hume Pages: 3 (928 words) Published: January 13, 2014
Kant, a soft determinist, said that in order to make a moral decision we must have freedom. Kant believed that the ability to make moral decisions lay within the existence of freedom; stating that if we are not free to make our own decisions those decisions could not be moral as we were never free to make that decision in the first place. Kant thought that a person could be blamed for an action if they could have acted differently; for example if a person’s family is held at gunpoint and they are forced to open a safe they cannot be blamed as they did not have a choice. If we are to have free will we must have the ability to make a decision that is unhindered; Kant believed that we must have free will if we are to be help morally responsible for our actions, if God did not give us free will then our decisions cannot be considered immoral or moral as we would have had to act in the way we did. Thus we cannot be held responsible; a good moral action cannot be praised as you had no other option, whilst an immoral action cannot be punished as once again there was no free choice. John Locke who was also a soft determinist as he believed that morality and the ability to make moral decisions developed throughout your lives. Locke believed that the mind was a tabula rosa, a blank slate that is shaped and filled by the person’s life experience and that ultimately creates a person’s morality. However the sensory data that creates this moral framework within the mind is already determined; therefore using Locke’s idea freedom is not required in order to make a moral decision it is the determined experiences you live through that create your morality and result in you making immoral or moral decisions. Another soft determinist was David Hume who believed in a limited form of free will, he ultimately believed that nature was in control of human destiny. That freedom was also subject-based, meaning that you are free to make a moral decision and free to follow through with...
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