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Suppose that you believe in determinism, how could you live with that? Sometimes everything seems clearly determined by circumstances (science...), but it's hard to believe that someone who has murdered someone is not really guilty - 'it's the just the circumstances that influenced him to do such an act'. Or is there some kind of determinism where it is possible to be guilty? I hope you can help me out here.

It is an open (and contentious) philosophical question whether determinism entails that we are not morally responsible for what we do. Many philosophers (the majority, I would guess) actually believe that moral responsibility is perfectly compatible with determinism. For such philosophers (often called compatibilists ), whether you are blameworthy does not depend on whether the causal chain leading up to your action can be traced back to events that seem to have nothing to do with choices you've made. (After all, if determinism is true, all of your actions have such external causal origins.) Instead, according to compatibilists, whether you are blameworthy is a function of the particular shape that the causal chain leading up to your action takes. Of course, different compatibilists identify different features of the causal chain as the relevant ones, but they all agree that my action's being determined by antecendent events does not settle the question of whether I am morally responsible for...

Believing that once all factors have weighed in the construction of any individual (genetic disposition, cultural programming, the expectations of family and friends, the influences of the magazines on your coffee table...) that free will and freedom of choice are nothing but a comforting delusion, could anyone point me to a philosopher I might study who shares this thought?

The view you're expressing--that everything about us is caused byexternal factors, and that this rules out the possibility of free willand moral responsibility--is often referred to as hard determinism . One classic defense of this view can be found in The System of Nature by Baron d'Holbach, a leading figure of the French Enlightenment. For amore contemporary and scientific defense of the view that free will isan illusion (albeit one written by a psychologist rather than aphilosopher), try Daniel Wegner's The Illusion of Conscious Will . Hopefullyyou're also interested in reading the views of philosophers whotake a different approach to this vexing problem. If that is indeed thecase, you might want to investigate one of the many wonderfulcollections of essays on the subject. My favorite is Free Will , edited by Gary Watson for the Oxford Readings in Philosophy series. The similarly named volume edited by Robert Kane for the Blackwell Readings in Philosophy series is also...