DISCUSSION ASSIGNMENT Lesson 3

Suppose that you find out that a distant cousin of yours, Jones, is accused of having robbed an elderly couple at gunpoint. You remember Jones. He had a sad childhood. His father was an abusive alcoholic, and he grew up in a poor neighborhood full of crime and few opportunities for advancement. Jones was always a rebellious, impatient kid. He began to run with a bad crowd at an early age, eventually dropped out of school, and was in and out of jail for petty crimes like shoplifting and fights from a fairly young age. Considering this, you would not be surprised if Jones did rob that couple. It seems almost like a natural trajectory for Jones.

Putting aside the issue of legal responsibility for a second, the question before you now is, if Jones did in fact rob that couple, should he be held morally responsible (blameworthy) for what he did considering his upbringing and background?

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Is Jones to blame for his crime according to:

1.(Consequences) The hard determinist? Why or why not?

2.(Consequences) The metaphysical libertarian? Why or why not?

3.(Consequences) The soft determinist? Why or why not?

4.(Conclusion/Consequences) What is the conclusion of the excuser regarding moral responsibility? Which position(s) is/are most likely to side with the “excuser”? Explain.

5. (Opinion) Which of the three positions (if any) do you agree with? Do you think Jones should be blameworthy for his crime? Is he any less blameworthy than someone who grew up with loving parents, in a good neighborhood, etc.? Explain.

For your response to the question, 1) responding to all parts of the prompt (each of the numbered questions), 2) whether your response is correct (for questions about the theory ONLY; not on opinion questions), 3) the length of your response (about 70 words /one paragraph minimum), 4) excessive grammar and mechanics errors ( proofread )

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