Critically Assess the Claim That People Are Free to Make Moral Decisions

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3) Critically assess the claim that people are free to make moral decisions (35) Libertarians support the view that people have free will and so we are free to make moral decisions. For a Libertarian, the key evidence for this is the act of decision making in our daily lives. Hume states that “experience is what we see to be true”, each human being experiences the feeling of being free to make a decision. If experiencing any other action constitutes it to be true, then why not the same for free will? Libertarians argue that we have awareness of the choices we make; we can choose to do anything that we are capable of. Though we are influenced by our environment and experiences, ultimately we can make our own decisions, nothing is…show more content…
Humans do not have an essence, our existence precedes our essence. The fact that we have no essence gives us our free will. Sartre wrote in his work Being and Nothingness that “Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.” For Sartre, every man is defined by what he does. Mozart was not born a genius composer, it is Mozart’s symphonies and concertos that are his genius, we create ourselves through what we do. Sartre also put forward his theory of a delusion he called ‘mauvaise foi’ or ‘bad faith’. Mauvaise foi is believing and pretending to be determined and have an essence, when in reality you are absolutely free. Sartre’s own examples of bad faith are put forward in his short story, Intimacy, from the series, The Wall. A woman is on a first date and decides to ignore the obvious sexual implications of her suitor’s compliments to her appearance, but instead just accepts them as words. When the man goes for her hand she lets her hand rest indifferently on his, she delays the decision of whether to succumb or reject his advances, instead telling herself that her hand is only a thing in the world, a physical part of her body separate from her thoughts. Sartre describes this woman as acting in bad faith- denying her freedom in order to avoid any blame for making a decision that is potentially wrong. For Sartre, the very act of denying our freedom shows our free will through our

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