There are also two other doctrines which affect freedom. The first one is the freedom of will. According to Free will, every person can decide what to do freely. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re free from what others will do to them. The opposite of free will is Determinism, which is the idea that every action has a definite reaction to a past event, and all actions are causally connected, and all human action is caused entirely by preceding events. Therefore, if someone knows everything about a person, they could predict exactly what that person would do, so that person won’t be able to make decisions freely anymore as his decisions are already worked out. Free will doesn’t restrict freedom, but Determinism limits it in some ways. Determinism says that we’re not free to decide for ourselves. We can still have our own thoughts, but at the end our thoughts will always come to the same conclusion. Determinism also makes moral condemnation or punishment seem inappropriate, as the sinners were not able to control their decisions, thus they couldn’t prevent committing the sin.
There are different stances on the argument of Determinism versus Free Will as well. As an example, Libertarians believe that determinism is wrong, and free will exists. Some philosophers think that these two ideas can be compatible with each other, and free will even requires determinism. People like David Hume, who is the founder of this idea, are called compatibilists. According to Compatibilism, freedom is compatible with determinism in such a way that freedom of will exists, even in Determinism and even when moral responsibility seems inappropriate. Incompatibilist Determinists, on the other hand, tend to think that determinism is at odds with moral responsibility, and therefore free will is a wrong concept.
According to morality and moral rules, we are not free to do anything that violates other people’s rights. What is the meaning of right? What are the human rights, and who or what defines them? A right is a value which can be established strictly by observations on the human condition. According to dictionary, human rights are “fundamental rights which humans have by the fact of being human, and which are neither created nor can be abrogated by any government”. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, formulated by the United Nations, is the international list of rights every human being has. Local governments and native rulers of each country might have their own special rights too. Other than the law, there is this idea of moral responsibility which means that people are responsible for their actions. Some might think that people must have freedom of will in order to become morally responsible. As humans are rational creatures, moral sense is a necessary product of their minds. Therefore, humans should not do any action that violates the rights of other humans, or limits their freedom.
To summarize, according to free will, humans are free to do anything they are capable of doing, under certain circumstances depending on what doctrines they believe in. A Utilitarian can do anything, as long as it doesn’t deny other people’s happiness. A deontologist can do anything, as long as the action is not self-defeating. A Libertarian can do anything, as long as he has made a volitional choice violate to do it, and accepts the responsibilities. A Compatibilist Determinist can do anything he wills, but he cannot will what he wills and therefore is not morally responsible. An Incompatibilist Determinist does not have free will, and therefore cannot make his own decisions, although he’s free to do anything he wants corresponding to his decisions. There are many other points of view as well, each limiting freedom in a way and broadening the boundaries in another way. Overall, in this world, laws limit freedom. The laws are here to protect people’s rights, prevent violation, and keep the peace going by fixing equality. These laws are made using morality and rules of conduct, and religions more or less try to convince people to obey the same rules of conduct. Nevertheless, the argument continues as people try to find the exact boundaries of freedom.