Coming home from a Bible study class on New Year’s Eve, Sober Sam sneezes violently, hits a patch of ice, and unavoidably plows into a family of four out for a stroll, killing them all. On the following morning Drunk Dirk, inebriated after a night of partying, loses control of his vehicle and plows into a different family of four, killing them all.
Was Sober Sam free to do otherwise? Is he morally responsible for the deaths?
Was Drunk Dirk free to do otherwise? Is he morally responsible for the deaths?
Briefly explain hard determinism, soft determinism, and libertarianism, and show how proponents of each approach would answer all the above questions. Along the way, youll want to be sure to explain the difference between compatibilism and incompatibilism.
In the end, which of the three approaches seems stronger to you here? Why? Develop your answer at length.
This question is not about aligning one approach with Sam’s case, and another with Dirk’s, but about determining which approach is true. Try to avoid quoting other sources — either from within the course or from without — back to me. Put matters in your own words. That said, any evidence that work has been appropriated directly from elsewhere without sufficient acknowledgement will result in a zero on the assignment, and in some cases a failing grade in the class. Know, too, that while I am interested in your views here, they should be views informed by the reading.
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