Free Will : The Consciousness Of Necessity Essay

809 Words Dec 8th, 2015 4 Pages
Free will as defined by Alfred Jules Ayer is the consciousness of necessity. In being free, or acting based upon your freedom implies that you had the ability to act otherwise, but willingly chose not to do so. As humans, we are all held morally responsible for any action that we carried out; unless according to Ayer we did not have the power to avoid it. He goes on to describe three unique cases in which the actions we carry out, even though we are cognitively aware of what we are doing does not count as free will.
The first component of his argument is the case of someone who is being threatened or someone who is hypnotized “It is enough that he should induce me to do what he wants by making it clear to me that, if I do not, he will bring about some situation that I regard as even more undesirable than the consequences of the action that he wishes me to do” (Freedom and Necessity, p.404). In terms of being hypnotized, one is only as “hypnotized” as they allow themselves to be. You are still conscious, and aware of your surroundings and what is going on. Anything that you do while under hypnosis is a choice that you made, and you should be held morally responsible for it. You have the ability to choose, your ability to decide for yourself has not been taken from you. If someone is threatened with physical force, and they find the consequences of not following orders to be more catastrophic than carrying out the wrong action they are said to be constrained and not acting…

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