Free Will and Moral Accountability

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Imagine that tomorrow’s newspaper comes with a surprising headline: ‘Scientists Discover that Human Behavior is Entirely Determined.’ Reading through the article, you learn more about precisely what this determinism entails. It turns out that everything you do – every behavior, thought and decision – is completely caused by prior events, which are in turn caused by earlier events… and so forth, stretching back in a long chain all the way to the beginning of the universe.

via OUPblog » Blog Archive » Is free will required for moral accountability?.

Thought this might be interesting, giving recent discussions in the blogosphere.

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Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

3 thoughts on “Free Will and Moral Accountability”

  1. Sounds like classic determinism. I kicked my daughter cuz an elephant stepped on a flower three thousand years ago. I think that knowledge (Rom 1) is a sufficient basis to establish responsibility.

  2. Finally, we may have gotten away from the old religious excuse of, “the devil made me do it.” Thanks to science I will be able to give the new excuse of, “unknown previous events made me to it.”

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