Is it right to say that our actions are determined, or are they free? Hard determinists argue that when we make a moral decision, we have no free will. This is significant because if we do not choose our actions we cannot be held morally responsible. Given our experience of decision making this determinist position is hard to accept and perhaps the compatabilist approach of soft determinism is more valid. Soft Determinists recognise that we can make a decision freely that is coerced but the choices in themselves may be determined themselves. This contrasts with libertarianism, which states that we freely choose our actions and rejects determinism.
To fully examine whether we are in fact free or not to make moral decisions, we must first analyse what particular factors affect our decision making. When we debate over a decision we consider/ weigh up our options, we know that we have a choice and only we can make that choice, this is known as a libertarian view. Libertarians believe that we have full responsibility of our actions and nothing else affects our decision, however genes, environment, lifestyle and our upbringing affect or sometimes might determine our choices. Determinism objects libertarianism and believes that our choices are influenced by factors other than the will of the individual, events and actions are predetermined by other events therefore freedom of choice is an illusion.
Free will is the term made up of ‘autos’ meaning self and ‘nomos’ meaning rule. Many philosophers such as Kant say that you can only be responsible for actions that you undertake of your own will, this is opposed to Determinism.
Libertarianism is the belief that humans are free to make moral choices and therefore morally responsible. “By liberty we can only mean a power of acting of not acting according to the determinations of the will”. David Hume. In the definition of libertarianism a distinction between the