Moral Responsibility Excusability: we are not morally responsible if: the consequences of actions are unexpected actions are constrained by external threats or uncontrollable internal forces consequences of acts are beyond our control we do not have the ability or opportunity to do otherwise
Moral Responsibility (continued) Determinism/Libertarianism/Compatibilism Determinism: we are not morally responsible because our actions are not really free Libertarianism: we are morally responsible because our actions are based on reasons (not causes) over which we have control Compatibilism: we are morally responsible when our actions are caused by our choices; if caused by other forces, we are not responsible
Principles of a Moral Code A set of values becomes a person’s moral code only as a result of personal reflection Ethical behavior is based on wanting to do the right thing, not simply acting because we were raised a certain way or people expect it Considering the consequences of our actions helps us determine the moral value of actions
Social Philosophy Social philosophy is not ethics, because it is not concerned with identifying a norm of good conduct; nor is it politics, because it is not concerned with describing how power is expressed in institutions. Instead, it evaluates institutional power in terms of moral principles Issues: how are individuals related to society? •how is State authority justified? what is the role of government and law? •what are justice, civil rights, freedom?