When thinking about the topic of free will and moral responsibility, it’s critically important that you keep your concepts straight and not allow yourself to jump from one idea to another too quickly. So here are three distinct issues–phrased as three yes/no questions. (Note that this is slightly different from but closely related to the version in W07 Slide #22 because the post was originally written for a different cohort.)
- Is the universe causally deterministic?
- Is free will compatible with determinism?
- Does moral responsibility require free will?
In principle, you can answer either “yes” or “no” to each without reference to the others.