Thomas Nagel Essay

662 words - 3 pages

In “Mortal Questions," Thomas Nagel attempts to show that some human experiences are completely beyond understanding. Nagel attempts to justify that even though your life has ends, the choices one makes will not influence the end result. Nagel first clarifies his position by defining a few terms. Agent, as Nagel describes it, is defined as being in control of one’s life. Nagel states that end results are influenced by a combination of factors and that it is not in the agent’s control. In this paper, I will describe Nagels reasoning for believing that one cannot control their ends and fates. Fate is the event beyond a person’s control. Then, I will provide two reasons to object that the idea that one’s actions do not influence the end results is false.
Nagel proposes that ends, or final outcomes, though they might not be under one’s control, should not be our responsibility. He supports his argument by stating that ...view middle of the document...

For example, if there are two people racing down a street and one accidentally strikes a child then people will scrutinize him for running over the child. Instead of people saying the driver tried his best to avoid the child they will say that he is a murderer. Nagel believes that moral judgement, or moral luck, is not what happens to the person but who that person is. Lastly, he states in his paper that we should not judge a person based on their life, or what they have done, but rather on their existence and personality. Nagel’s argument, however, is unpersuasive, after reviewing Nagels’ view I will prose two reason’s for resisting what Nagel would want us to believe.
In my view, all their life people work to build some sort of reputation. People build up credit so that they have credibility so that whenever they want to buy something they need they can do so without having the money for it. Having an established credit allows borrowers to trust them with their money. This is the reason I oppose Nagel’s argument that you should not be judged based on your moral luck. If something were to occur I believe that wrong doing already occurred which altered the change in the final result. For example, using the same scenario as before, the people racing the cars were already doing something wrong. That wrongdoing led to the child being ran over. If they were not racing than the child would have never been ran over.
Ultimately, we are still inquired about the outcome when it still is out of our responsibility.
Although Thomas Nagel’s argument was well structured, I found it to be inconsistent. A second objection is that most things happen for a reason and I believe that people do have control over most things in your life. For example, if one eat’s unhealthy food then that leads to numerous health problems and issues. Resulting from the choice the individual took to eat unhealthy cause them to have a fatal heart attack, therefore I believe that final results are controlled by the agent. For these two reasons we should be hesitant to accept Nagel’s views.

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