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Freewill vs. Determinism

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Erika Quinones

on 17 April 2014

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Transcript of Freewill vs. Determinism

Our conclusion:

Dave is to be held morally responsible for murder.
Freewill vs. Determinism
Claims in favor of Defendant
Rebuttals against Defendant
Exhibit A: gun belonging to defendant found at crime scene
Surveillance footage showing the defendant leaving car with gun in his hand going back to the bar
Scene of the crime: Mt. Scott Pub
Dave, the defendant grew up in a terrible place for a child and suffer innumerable traumas along the way. He had an abusive father who was not only a drug dealer, but also extremely violent. When Dave was eight, his father left his family and as far as we know, they have not been in contact since. After that his mother had “an unending succession of live-in boyfriends”. This of course made for a very stressful and inconsistent home life, that no one could come out unscathed. The lack of love and the terror he experienced resulted in the Dave we know today. Then, the other night, Dave let all of this darkness surface in a blind drunken rage when he brutally murdered our victim Todd. They were both drinking at a bar and when Todd started to become verbally abusive, Dave lost it and ended his life then and there. Dave then left the bar and went to his car. He returned with a loaded gun and the intent to kill Todd. Even after leaving the source of his provocation, he came back and in doing so, we as the prosecutors believe that this is proof of his moral responsibility to these actions. We do not claim that Dave is a cold blooded killer, but he did make a terrible decision that ended someones life and due to his lack of treatment beforehand he has no excuse.

1. Determinism: “Dave’s actions were a result of the events around him. Everything in his current life had led up to this moment of killing Todd. No matter what he did, Todd’s death still would have been the end result. He has no control over the ultimate fate of his actions, therefore he cannot be held responsible."

2. Compatibilism: “Dave was drunk at the time of the shooting. His intoxication disconnected his mind from his actions at the moment in time. Therefore he was unaware of his actions and cannot be held responsible.”

3. Libertarianism: "Even though Dave was aware of his actions, he was agitated and verbally assaulted by Todd. This factor contributed to Dave going farther into the argument to gain the upper hand between him and Todd. Todd’s actions pushed him to figuratively ‘break’ to the point where he felt it was necessary to kill him. Under these conditions, he cannot be held responsible.”
1. Dave can still be held responsible because he allowed himself to have a gun in his car, knowing it could only lead to some sort of violent altercation down the road. Knowing his family’s past drunken aggression, he should have been more cautious as to what environments he put himself in. This ultimately makes it Dave’s fault for Todd dying.

2. As mentioned in the previous rebuttal, he was aware of how he could potentially react based on heredity under the influence of alcohol. With that knowledge in his head, he still continued to drink and put himself into a situation that could end up being harmful to himself or someone else. This decision was already made upon entering the bar and choosing to engage in drinking publicly. This puts the blame on Dave for Todd’s death.

3. Dave was aware of his limitations with alcohol as well as with his aggression. He put himself in a situation where these two things could easily be compromised and did nothing to stop that. In addition, the presence of a gun in his car eludes to the possible premeditation of inflicting harm in the future. It cannot be determined if his initial reasoning was to inflict harm upon himself or another, but the bottom line is that the intention was there, so therefore, Dave is responsible.
Dave's father

Free will seems to be like a natural phenomenon, something that arose with nature, among us beings who all have their own kind of minds. Minds that can think and be aware of the thought.

Similarly, Dave should have been aware of what he was doing.
“Ought implies can,” comes from the philosopher Immanuel Kant. It means that only if we are able to choose to do something then that is the way it can be done. Otherwise, nothing could have ever been done. Therefore, free will exists. It existed in every part of Dave’s life.
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