There is an important link between freedom and moral blame that has existed since the creation of man. It is generally understood that someone is only morally responsible for an action if they have freely chosen to do it. Meaning that if someone has been forced to do a bad action then they are not blameworthy, but if they have been forced into doing good then they similarly are not praiseworthy. For instance, if a man was forced at gunpoint to rob an old persons home he would not be blameworthy, for his life was at stake. However, if that same man was forced at gunpoint to give money to charity, he would not be praiseworthy because he did not act freely and probably would not have given them money had his life not been dependant on it. Certain theories attest to the fact that seeing as God is all loving, all knowing and all powerful, He has foreseen all possible outcomes and invariably knows which one a person will take, meaning that He is well aware of what a person is going to do before they actually do it. If this was true, then one could argue that humankind is not free at all, as everything is predetermined by Gods' master plan. The common Christian idea is that humans are free, autonomous beings that are freely able to choose their own course of action. St Thomas Aquinas wrote â€˜man chooses not out of necessity but freely.' In the Bible Adam and Eve freely chose to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit from the Garden of Eden, and were consequently punished by God for their free choice of disobeying him. However, there is an alternate view that has arisen from Christian writings, that God has already decided who will be saved and who will not. This idea originates from Paul's letter in Romans and is called Predestination. â€œAnd we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified, those he justified, he also glorified.â€ The fact that God decides the righteous and sinful at creation contradicts the idea that humans are free, autonomous being and essentially states that â€˜God knows our actions, therefore we are not free.' Ethically, that statement raises a number of moral questions. If one isn't free, how can they be held responsible for their actions? You cannot praise someone for doing a good act if it was done against their will, and cannot punish a murderer if they have not freely chosen to murder. Another theory, which has some ethical similarity to predestination, is hard determinism. Ted Honderich states â€˜all our choices, decisions, intentions, other mental events, and our actions are no more than effects of other equally necessitated events.' This would of course mean that every event must have a prior cause; otherwise it cannot happen. Determinism sometimes draws on the Newtonian view that all physical objects, living or inanimate, must exist in accordance with natural laws. While few scientists would argue that genes alone cause our actions, many scientists believe that genes combined with environmental upbringing has a profound effect on our lives, and in many ways determines the person we become. A real life example of this case was that of Leopold and Loeb, two young men who had murdered a fourteen-year-old boy named Bobby Franks. These two men were very rich and very intelligent and if found guilty, were faced with the death penalty. However their lawyer, a famous and well respected man named Clarence Darrow, successfully argued that their death sentence be commuted to life imprisonment because their actions were merely a product of their environment and even though their crime was horrific, they were not entirely morally responsible and could not fully be held accounted for what they had done. There a number of criticisms of hard determinism. For one, it puts into doubt our hopes for the future and how we consider the morality of others. Determinism would mean we are mistaken in praising some people for being good or punishing others for being bad. Furthermore, it would also mean that we decide our own course of action is illusory and we could not deliberate rationality. Also, our whole notion of moral responsibility is called into question. Murderers murder because they have the wrong genes or a poor upbringing. How could one punish another for something if they aren't responsible for their actions? Some people reject determinism because it rules out the whole concept of moral responsibility. This view is called libertarianism and details that we are free and responsible for our actions. This is supported by the fact we have an idea that when we act, we're choosing our actions. We perceive ourselves as free agents, capable of making moral choices and responsible for those choices. Humans have a sense of decision-making, Sometimes we're torn between two options, both of which we feel equally uncertain about and deliberate before making a decision. Even if one is raised in such a way that they are predisposed to emulate those around them, they could still refuse to and live differently. For instance, if one is raised amongst thieves and is predisposed to believe stealing is acceptable, they would still be susceptible to realise that if they live like a thief they will be punished like one, therefore they could choose to live a good life in society. Libertarianism attributes our moral judgment to an objective source, unaffected by environment or upbringing, but this is questionable. Just as its difficult to show how one thing causes another, its difficult to show that there are no causes beyond our control. Libertarianism doesn't account for human motive, which is predetermined by something. Soft determinism is the notion that determinism doesn't rule out free will. They believe that determinism and free will are compatible. For them, freedom to act is acting voluntarily and not out of coercion. Soft determinism takes a midway position, suggesting that some of our actions are conditioned, while others have so complex a collection of causes that they can be described as freely decided. It is possible to be constrained by external circumstances to certain forms of behaviour. If I have no food, I can't eat. If I have food but want to lose weight, I eat less. If I have food but it's a religious fast day, I choose not to eat even though I may want to. If I have a diet set by my doctor, I eat specific food that is beneficial for my heath. In each case the relationship is different and cannot be narrowed down in general to either determinism or libertarianism. Also, if one were to look at the issue from a religious perspective: Iraneous' theodicy states that the fundamental law of human kind is free will, because it is only with free will that man can grow into Gods likeness, despite being made in his image. It would give God no satisfaction if He forced man into following Him, just like it would give a king no satisfaction in forcing her to marry him. However, if man followed God out of his own free will, then God would be immensely happy, just like a King who had fallen for a peasant girl who married him because she loved him out of her own free will. Therefore, it is arguably more plausible for one to assume the stance of a soft determinist, as it is this theory, which is most flexible and takes the most factors into consideration.