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The Reuirements of Moral Repsonsibility

             Ayer makes the claim that one cannot be morally responsible if placed under constraint, or given a cause that makes him/her do certain actions involuntarily. On the other hand, Harry G. Frankfurt comes to the conclusion that to be morally responsible, one must have no other option or intention to do otherwise in Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility. They may sound similar, but the clear difference will be pointed out. Putting a different twist on things, Thomas Nagel states that there are other factors in play that we cannot control that can possibly place us in situations in which we would have to make questionable decisions. In such circumstances, Nagel contends that those that could be considered responsible by law are no more morally responsible than the other. In this paper I will analyze the argument of whether moral responsibility requires the ability to do otherwise, and argue that although the ability to choose is not always available, we still are not always free from moral responsibility as it is one's intention that matters.
             A. J. Ayer believes that as long as you made the choice, you are morally responsible. To prove his point, Ayer uses the example of a man (A) being threatened by another man (B) with a gun. In such a scenario, A does not have any choice but to do as B wills, as "no reasonable person would be expected to choose the other alternative " (Ayer, 478). To Ayer, person A is cannot be held responsible (or in the least, a minimal amount) for what he was coerced to do by gunman B, his actions differ from his intentions and it is was something he was forced to do. Therefore, it can be said that Ayer believes that moral responsibility requires the ability to do otherwise.
             Harry G. Frankfurt's first Principle of Alternate Possibilities (PAP) which states that "A person is morally responsible for what he was done only if he could have done otherwise. " (Frankfurt, 407), which shows that Frankfurt initially believes that to be responsible, one must choose to perform the action to be held responsible for.

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