Freedom, and in particular, the freedom of human beings, is a hot topic within the field of metaphysics. In this paper, instead of arguing for the truth of a particular position on freedom, I explore whether a particular position, compatibilism, might be consistent with the existence of moral responsibility and retributive justice. To alleviate ambiguity, I construct a model by which the four primary positions on freedom might be clearly understood. I then distinguish between what I call ‘common-sense’ views of moral responsibility, and ‘complex’ views of moral responsibility. I select a particular complex view, which I term the ‘virtue’ theory of moral responsibility, offer some justification for the sensibility of such a theory, and demonstrate how the virtue theory is consistent with compatibilism. Finally, I propose that retributive justice is consistent with the virtue theory of moral responsibility, and consequently, that retributive justice is consistent with compatibilism.
"Moral Responsibility, Justice, and Freedom,"
Quaerens Deum: The Liberty Undergraduate Journal for Philosophy of Religion: Vol. 5
, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/lujpr/vol5/iss1/6