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Are we Free or Determined. In This Chapter we will analyze the human person and attempt to understand why and how it is that human beings act?

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Presentation on theme: "Are we Free or Determined. In This Chapter we will analyze the human person and attempt to understand why and how it is that human beings act?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Are we Free or Determined

2 In This Chapter we will analyze the human person and attempt to understand why and how it is that human beings act?

3  Agent: A person who acts freely and knowingly and is self-directed.  At the heart of ethics is the belief that Humans are free to choose…in this chapter we will examine those who believe this and those who believe we might to some extent be determined by different Biological and/or Social Forces.

4  Analytic Philosophy: For anything to have value it must be empirically verifiable.  He argues against Analytic Philosophy stating that Human Intention/Free Will is not necessarily something that is measurable but is real.  “When I raise my arm, my arm goes up”

5  Wittgenstein believes that human intention is left over when analyzing his statement. L.W. contends that not everything that has value about the human person is empirically verifiable.

6  As Catholics we believe that we are Free.  St. Augustine states “We will when we will, but it is God that allows us the power to act”  God influences but does not control us. We call this Providence.  Augustine wrote on Freedom during the time of the Pelagians who believed Humanity was fully free and the Manicheans who denied any type of freedom whatsoever.

7  We attempt to define Freedom in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)  CCC 1744: Freedom is the power to act or not to act we are most fully free when our actions are directed toward the Good (God)  CCC1745: Freedom as a result makes us responsible and accountable for what we do.  CCC1761: One may not do evil so that good may result from it.  CCC1754: Circumstances contribute to making an immoral act more severe (Aggravate) or Less Severe (Mitigate)


9  We can organize Determinists into three categories: Scientific/Social/Religious.

10 G.E Moore

11  G.E Moore in his work “Principia Ethica” discusses his theory of Naturalism.  Naturalism sees the universe as a unified system operating according to the Laws of cause and effect.  Naturalism attempts to reduce human behavior to Biological\Physical causes.  The Human Being is a complex series of cause and effect.

12  An example of naturalism is “The Human Genome Project”.  If Naturalism is true then Ethics would belong in the study of Biology.  If Naturalism is true then according to Ted Peters “Human culture would be on a leash, a short leash controlled by a Genetic Agenda”

13  If Human Behaviour is reducible then surely we can replicate it. (A.I)  Turing was the first to conceive of intelligent Machines.  McCarthy coined the term A.I  Deep Blue the IBM supercomputer was the first example of A.I when it defeated reigning world Chess Champion Gary Kasparov (Watson is IBM’S Latest Version of a Supercomputer)

14  Others who believed this would be Huxley who stated “The Brain is a Machine Like everything else”  Concepts such as teleportation would illustrate the fact that humans can be reduced and then re-configured.  Philosophers such as Descartes, Aristotle and Plato would believe that there is a distinction between the mind and the brain.

15 Freud, Adler, Jung and Rank Make up the Vienna Psychological Society. So, did you get along vith your muzzer?

16  Social Determinism believes that Human Behaviour is a result of a multitude of Social Causes.  Freud's “Theory of the Unconscious”  Freud believed that we are ruled by 2 instincts. 1. Eros: Life instinct (pleasure seeking) 2. Thanatos: Death Instinct (pain avoiding)

17 John Calvin and The Puritan Tradition

18  John Calvin believed that Human Beings do not “earn” their Salvation. Calvin believed that God had already chosen those who would be saved. He called this Doctrine “Pre- Destination”  The Puritan tradition believed that humanity was so depraved that we all deserved Hell. And that if we are saved it is all because of God’s Grace.

19  Obviously we are moving forward with the belief that we are free and therefore accountable for what we do. (If we didn’t believe in freedom the course would end now)  Also we do understand that we definitely are influenced by genetic/social factors but that we do possess “Free Will”

20  Using 5 examples from the movie as your evidence compose an essay which proves the position that Gattaca either accepts or rejects the theory of “Naturalism”. (you must choose one position not both)  Using 5 examples from your own worldview do you accept or reject the theory of “Naturalism”?

21  Our Conscience is what we use to make the decisions we make  Let’s examine some factors that shape and form our conscience (The Church is one of those factors and the remainder of the course will focus on how the Church shaped and formed its Conscience as an institution through a historical context, then we will examine how we apply that teaching)

22 1.The Importance of Others  “Am I my brothers Keeper?” Genesis  In the West we see others as obstacle  Sartre saw others as “My Hell”  Martin Niemoeller in his work “First they came for the Communists” Sees all of us linked.

23  Our Direction affects our decisions.  Charles Taylor believes there is a link between identity and moral stance.  Fr. Ron Rolheiser “Meaning and Happiness…”

24  Our language impacts how we see the world since we decode our experience using language.  Charles Taylor believes; to answer the question Who am I you must examine 3 Things:  1. Community in which you were born  2. The Language you Speak  3. By Whom you were raised

25  Character means how our actions over time become fixed in our nature  “Plant an action…….  Moral Fibre: Is like muscle fibre the more you exercise it the stronger it becomes

26  All of the previous affect conscience and your conscience according to our faith is summed up in CCC 1776/1777/1778  Thomas More is an important example of how our Conscience impacts our person!  “The Kings servant but Gods first”

27  Your Conscience develops as you mature  Your Conscience develops as you follow norms  Your Conscience helps you deal with your moral failure  Your Conscience develops as you participate in the life of the Church  Your Conscience develops as you grow in humility (I don’t know everything)

28  Rationalization  Trivialization  Misinformation  Means to an End  Ends justify the immoral means  Difficult to reason

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