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Discussion Questions

by Foundation for Economic Education

1. What does Professor Otteson say it means to respect a person as a moral agent?

2. How are respect for human dignity and allowing people freedom of choice related to one another?

3. Do you think people should be allowed to exercise their freedom of choice? Are there constraints that should be placed on freedom of choice? (What if they might harm others? What if they might make a choice they will regret later?)

EoE: 7.3.A - Free Will and Human Dignity

What is the value of free will and the ability to make your own choices? Prof. James Otteson recalls a parable his teacher taught him in high school. If you had the ability to make a woman fall in love with you, would you like it? Would you prefer to force someone to love you or to have someone offer to give their love to you freely? Love freely given is so much more valuable. This story illustrates an important moral insight: Respecting people means allowing them to make their own choices, even if you believe the choices they will make are poor. Without the ability to choose for ourselves, we lose a bit of what makes us human. Do you find it frustrating when you are not allowed to make your own decisions? What would you do differently if people or government were not preventing your actions? Do you think you're better or worse when your choices are limited or taken from you? This video is included as part of a 40-lesson course on the Economics of Entrepreneurship available now for teachers and students at no charge at

from Libertarian Philosophy-Free Will and Human Dignity (2016)
Creator: Learn Liberty
Posted by Foundation for Economic Education