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Against Moral Responsibility$
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Bruce N. Waller

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262016599

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262016599.001.0001

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A World without Moral Responsibility

A World without Moral Responsibility

(p.277) 15 A World without Moral Responsibility
Against Moral Responsibility

Bruce N. Waller

The MIT Press

This chapter concentrates on the fear of the unknown as the main deterrent to contemplating the abolition of moral responsibility. For a very long time, man has been invariably attached to the system of moral responsibility that they have developed a fear of a world existing without the practices and institutions of moral responsibility. In discussing these fears, this chapter hopes to alleviate them and show that it is possible to conceive of a world without moral responsibility. In many respects, such a world would not be so different; certainly not as disastrously different as many have supposed. It is still possible to make free choices, moral judgments, and sincere apologies; also, self-respect and sense of individual worth could still be retained in such a world. Smilansky, on the other hand, argues otherwise, claiming that man could not be worthy of self-respect if they were not the center of the universe or if they ceased to be special beings.

Keywords:   fear of the unknown, abolition of moral responsibility, system of moral responsibility, free choices, moral judgments, sincere apologies, self-respect, individual worth, Smilansky

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