Do We Have Moral Responsibility?

“We cannot be held morally responsible for our actions” Discuss
In order to successfully consider this statement, we must attempt to answer two fundamental questions. Firstly, whether humanity is able to possess true free will, and secondly whether without freewill, we are ever able to take complete responsibility for our actions. The latter question is relatively easy to answer. If we accept that we have absolutely no free will, we must accept that we can never be held truly responsible for our moral behaviour. Without free will, humans lose the ability to control their own actions and therefore cannot be held responsible for them. If we reject determinism, at least in its purist sense, it is then necessary to judge the extent to which are actions have been influenced by outside stimuli. These questions call into question the very notions of human morality.
Firstly we much attempt to explore whether people are truly free at all. This forms a philosophical topic that has been debated on for hundreds of years. Do humans act the way they do freely, out of moral obligation or other motivation, or are in fact our actions predetermined by our environment and our experiences? The case for determinism, the belief that humans conduct is dictated to them through outside stimuli has been forcibly put by many of the leading philosophers and religious thinkers throughout History. Martin Luther’s “On the bondage of will” coupled with John Calvin’s, beliefs in religious “predestination” which hoped to remove power from the Catholic Church in Rome, signalled the beginning of theological determinism. This school of theological thought argued that God had already determined fate of humanity, having chosen the few who are destined for heaven and the many condemned to damnation. These ideas were later manifested themselves in “antinomianism”, a theory which believed God had chosen a few Christians which would have the ability to exert their own form of freewill over those who do...