Asses the claim that it is immoral to punish people, as we are not free to make moral decisions
When it comes to moral responsibility there has to be an essence of freedom involved if anyone is to be held moral blameworthy or praiseworthy for their actions, if people are not truly free ( as hard determinists claim) then does that mean it is immoral to punish people for their actions ? But then on the other hand I should be held responsible for actions I freely perform, and then therefore be punished for what I do wrong.
Some philosophers hold the view that all actions we take whether or not we think are free are all in fact determined, that is all actions are caused by prior causes that have happened in the past, when humans make free decisions they make think it was freewill, however every event that has happened in their life has led up to this apparent free choice. Ted Honedrich describes hard determinism as ‘all choices decisions intentions and other mental events are no more than effects of other equally necessitated events’ If we are not free then how can we punish people for something like murder?
Leopold and Loeb were two American teenagers who believed that they were superior to society, to demonstrate this they decided to perform what they thought was, ‘the perfect murder’ they performed the murder but were caught. Their lawyer the famous Clarence Darrow claimed that they were products of their upbringing, being from a rich household they were always told to look down on others, and this was further demonstrated by their murder, Darrow (being a hard determinist) didn’t think that they should be punished for their actions as it was all pre determined, Darrow was successful and the boys avoided the death sentence, but were put in prison to protect society.
Cases like this would mean we would have to look at certain deterministic factors like genetics, if Leopold and Lope were not born smart do you think they would then need to prove their...