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date: 27 October 2021

p. 735. Morality without freedom?locked

p. 735. Morality without freedom?locked

  • Thomas Pink


‘Morality without freedom?’ asks whether we can be morally responsible if we are not free. Ordinary moral theory holds people responsible only for actions they can control. Freedom requires both the possibility of committing and refraining from an action. Voluntariness only requires the desire to commit an act. Self-determination can be explained in terms of both freedom and voluntariness. John Calvin believed that even if we lacked freedom, we still sinned voluntarily. The freedom to act otherwise was irrelevant. However, since decisions cannot be taken voluntarily, the self-determination that governs moral responsibility cannot be voluntariness.

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