Moral Responsibility of Actions Essay

1830 words - 7 pages ✓ Expert Reviewed
VIEW DOCUMENT
Preview

In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics Book III Chapter 1, moral responsibility of actions is the main topic addressed. More specifically, Aristotle claims that all acts are either voluntary or non-voluntary. A voluntary act is when the agent is responsible for the act. A non-voluntary act takes place under compulsion or from ignorance. However, there are many variations of the two including involuntary acts, acts done from ignorance or in ignorance, acts done under compulsion, mixed acts, and chosen acts. Each variation has its own distinct aspects and significance within the realm of moral responsibility.
A non-voluntary act is defined as acts that take place under compulsion or from ignorance. The term “under compulsion” refers to an external circumstance and not the agent that causes the action. The term “from ignorance” refers to an individual lacking knowledge of particulars, such as important facts. Everything caused by reason of ignorance is non-voluntary. Another key component of a non-voluntary act is that the person performing the action does not feel any regret. An example of a non-voluntary act is a person stepping on a box that their cat was sleeping under and injuring the cat. Although they may have intentionally stepped on the box, he was unaware that his cat was sleeping under it. However, if he never found out about the cat being under the box and getting injured, then the act was non-voluntary. He lacked the knowledge of the particular fact that the cat was under the box, which makes the action from ignorance. Also, he never realized that the cat got injured from him stepping on the box so he does not feel any regret from performing the action. Therefore, his action is non-voluntary.

In addition to non-voluntary acts, there are involuntary acts. Involuntary acts are somewhat similar to non-voluntary acts. They are unintentional and caused by force or ignorance. For an action to be involuntary by force, there must be some external principle causing the action. Also, the person must not contribute anything to the action. For an action to be involuntary by ignorance, the action may be from ignorance or in ignorance. However, the person who performs an involuntary action does feel regret. An example of an involuntary act can also be created from the cat under the box anecdote used previously. If the person stepped on the box that the cat was sleeping under and injured the cat, the action was once again caused by ignorance. However, if the person gains knowledge that they accidentally injured the cat when stepping on the cat and feels regret or remorse for doing so, the action was an involuntary act. The act was unintentional, caused by ignorance, and resulted in the person feeling regret, which makes the act involuntary.
The distinction of non-voluntary and involuntary acts is significant to moral responsibility because typically people are not held responsible for these actions because they are performed unintentionally. ...

Find Another Essay On Moral Responsibility of Actions

Alternate Possibilities And Moral Responsibility By Harry Frankfurt

782 words - 3 pages In “Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility”, Harry Frankfurt attempts to falsify the Principle of Alternate Possibilities. The Principle of Alternate Possibilities is the principle where a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise. A person would be morally responsible for their own actions if done by themselves. If someone else had forced that person to do the action, then the person doing...

Saving Morality: The Implications Of Complex Determinism

1230 words - 5 pages for his actions. This logically absolves the hard determinist of moral responsibility. It is nonsensical to speak of moral responsibility in a world in which every action derives from a series of antecedent physical causes that only allow for the illusion of free choice. With the absence of moral responsibility, serious implications are raised for moral obligation, moral rightness and wrongness, and praiseworthiness and blameworthiness...

Personal Responsibility

874 words - 3 pages excellence; (2) Cultivating personal and academic integrity; (3) Contributing to a larger community; (4) Taking seriously the perspectives of others; and (5) Developing competence in ethical and moral reasoning (Antonaros, Barnhardt, Holsapple, Moronski, Vergoth, 2008). In every dimension, they found that when people that take responsibility for their actions and generally exhibit these traits they are more likely to succeed in college...

Describes Exactly How Social Responsibility Extends From The Degree Of The Specific Individual To The Wider Community.

894 words - 4 pages If one person does something good, will it influence others? People see charity workers all the time, but how many of these people will go and follow in that worker's footsteps? Does Social and Moral Responsibility really extend from the level of the individual to the wider community? There are many individuals that are socially aware, and whilst they...

An Inward Corruption of an Outward Justification

946 words - 4 pages Circumstances are perhaps one of the most powerful tools one could use in the art of persuasion. The “what if’s” that define such circumstances could go on endlessly into the night, as far as one’s imagination can creatively escort them. When considering circumstances of war (which can essentially be described as murder), it is important to note that one’s moral compass will be indefinitely intertwined with one’s actions, as well as one’s...

Moral Disengagement In The Perpetration Of Inhumanities

1437 words - 6 pages expresses the will not to behave inhumanely whilst the proactive factor conveys the will to behave in a humane manner. People do not ordinarily engage in harmful conduct unless they somehow justify their actions to themselves. In this case, the only was immoral conduct becomes morally acceptable is through the process of moral justification. An example of this could be the many decent people in history who have perpetrated...

The Problem Of Evil

1607 words - 6 pages of agency in the face of suffering caused by evil, it is important to clarify what Swinburne means by freedom and responsibility, especially the distinction between their trivial and significant forms. Trivial freedom is freedom to perform non-moral actions of one’s own choosing – what restaurant to dine in or what clothes to buy. On the other hand, significant freedom is the ability to choose to benefit or harm ourselves, other humans, animals...

Views On Corporate Social Responsibility

1187 words - 5 pages individuals. Which if something went wrong they would probably attempt to justify their actions and blame corporate regulations instead. The “Broader view” is based on the idea that private or corporate interests cannot be separated from social ones (Hopkins, 2004). All participants’ actions are interdependent. For example, industrial activity causes the pollution of the environment that harms individuals and entire society. Social responsibility of...

The Outcome of Outcome Based Luck

1477 words - 6 pages person will survive (while the pedestrian has the aid of the bystander, he was also deeply wounded). How does one define the driver’s moral worth if the driver has driven away, unaware of the outcome of their actions? How things turn out moral luck is flawed as it assumes that there will always be a knowledge of one’s own actions. In the cases that there is an awareness, however, it bring another issue of the concept to light. This form of luck is...

Of Necessity And Liberty

1698 words - 7 pages to its support” (Hume 529). Actions themselves may be “blameable,” but a person is not “answerable” for them unless they proceed from something “in him that is durable and constant” (Hume 530). In other words, Hume thinks that it is a necessary condition of moral responsibility for anything that has been done that the actions should be attributable to “some cause in the character and disposition of the person who performed them” (Hume 530). Hume...

Democracy And Political Obligation

4040 words - 16 pages any other crime, or if a statesman with a sense of responsibility knew himself to be obliged to commit such actions, these actions could not be considered in any sense immoral. If the concept of political necessity can have a legitimation function for actions that seem to be morally reprehensible, this concept must be linked to a concept of political responsibility and obligation. Such renowned moral philosophers as Michael Walzer and, though...

Other Moral Responsibility of Actions Essays

Exploring The Theme Of Moral Responsibility In Daniel Quinn's Ishmael

1047 words - 4 pages We are destroying the earth in order to survive. What is our Moral Responsibility? Daniel Quinn has written a book about how things have come to be the way they are. He looks at the meaning of the world and the fate of humans. Ishmael the main character is a teacher of vast wisdom, as well as being a Gorilla. Being no ordinary Gorilla, Ishmael recognises the failing of human kind in relation to their moral responsibilities. He ultimately...

Lady Macbeth's Responsibility Are You Aware That Actions Of Her Spouse.

2639 words - 11 pages Lady Macbeth's Responsibility as for the Actions of Her Husband. Lady Macbeth's responsibility lay in persuading Macbeth to carry out her plans, whilst Macbeth's responsibility was in his actions (the murders). They were both equal in the responsibility of the murders, but they both showed this in different ways. In this essay I will explain the key points showing each of their actions, and I will explain my opinion, of...

"Lack Of Moral Responsibility In The Great Gatsby" (THEME)Good Examples & Quotes. Could Use More Big Words,Or Add Another Paragraph For In Conclusion.

603 words - 2 pages . Throughout the novel, Daisy, Tom, and Jordan proved this idea. The major theme of The Great Gatsby is that immoral people take no responsibility for there actions, and don't worry about how they affect other people. This is proved by Nick and Jordan's conversation about cars, the motif of cars, Myrtle's puppy, and Tom and Daisy.When Nick...

Aristotle's Theories Of Responsibility And Choice

757 words - 3 pages responsibility for actions coincide with the responsibility for virtue, it can be said that they are responsible for their moral character as well. When one is blamed for their moral character, they are said to be responsible for both their actions and the type of moral character that they have.Aristotle claims that this failure of moral responsibility is due to the lack...