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Free Will and Modern Science$
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Richard Swinburne

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264898

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264898.001.0001

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The impossibility of ultimate responsibility?

The impossibility of ultimate responsibility?

(p.126) 8 The impossibility of ultimate responsibility?
Free Will and Modern Science


British Academy

This chapter argues that the mere fact that a decision has not been fully caused by previous events suggests that these are simply random events for which a person cannot be properly held morally responsible. Whatever the laws governing the formations of our decisions, it is simply not possible that a person can be morally responsible for their actions. For either they are caused to do what they do by events outside their control, or their actions are the result of random processes.

Keywords:   decision, random events, moral responsibility

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