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Freedom, Autonomy, and Self-Respect • Metaphysical freedom —Freedom of the will, the capacity of a person to act freely • Causal determinism —The theory that everything in the universe is entirely determined by causal laws, so that whatever happens at any given moment is the effect of some antecedent cause • Political or social freedom —The unfettered exercise of personal liberty in political or social systems Freedom, Autonomy, and Self-Respect From causal determinism, many argue that we do not have metaphysical freedom (that is, free will). Libertarians assert that we do have free will, that there are some actions in which the individual is the sole (or decisive ) cause. Compatibilists, or soft determinists, hold that although everything is determined, we can still be free as long as we act voluntarily. Freedom, Autonomy, and Self-Respect I Have a Dream —Martin Luther King, Jr.: A call for justice, freedom, and brotherhood Graduation—Maya Angelou: A story about human dignity and moral sensitivity Freedom, Autonomy, and Self-Respect Autonomy—A person’s rational capacity for selfgovernance or self-determination—the ability to direct one’s own life and choose for oneself. In all major ethical systems, autonomy is revered. Many assert that autonomous persons have intrinsic worth precisely because they have the power to make rational decisions and moral choices. Autonomous persons must be treated with respect, which means not violating their autonomy by ignoring or thwarting their ability to choose their own paths and make their own judgments. Freedom, Autonomy, and Self-Respect Existentialism Is a Humanism—Jean-Paul Sartre • What existentialists have in common is that they believe existence precedes essence. • There is at least one being in whom existence precedes essence, and this being is man. • The first principle of existentialism is that man is nothing else but what he makes of himself. Freedom, Autonomy, and Self-Respect Existentialism Is a Humanism—Jean-Paul Sartre • If God does not exist, everything is permissible. • Man is condemned to be free. • Forlornness comes from the realization that God does not exist, and we must face all the consequences of this. Freedom, Autonomy, and Self-Respect Servility and Self-Respect —Thomas E. Hill, Jr. • The servile person is morally defective because he or she fails sufficiently to respect the moral law, which demands respect for all persons, including oneself. • Servility is a vice. • Self-sacrifice is always a sign of servility.