What is Moral Luck?


“Moral luck describes circumstances whereby a moral agent is assigned moral blame or praise for an action or its consequences even if it is clear that said agent did not have full control over either the action or its consequences. This term, introduced by Bernard Williams, has been developed, along with its significance to a coherent moral theory, by Williams and Thomas Nagel in their respective essays on the subject.

Responsibility and voluntarism

Broadly speaking, human beings tend to correlate, at least intuitively, responsibility and voluntary action. Thus, the most blame is assigned to persons for their actions and the consequences they entail when we have good cause to believe that both:

    the action was performed voluntarily and without outside coercion,

  • the agent understood the full range of the consequences of their decisions and actions, as could have reasonably been foreseen either at or prior to the time that the action was performed.

Conversely, there is a tendency to be much more sympathetic to those who satisfy any of the following conditions:

  • the agent was coerced to perform the action
  • the agent performed the action through accident and without any fault or negligence of their own
  • at the time of their actions, the agent did not know and had no way of knowing, the consequences that their actions would bring

Parenthetically, the above criteria do not correlate exactly with moral praise – while it may be true that one can and should assign a good deal of moral praise to those who had performed a good action, or an action entailing good consequences, completely on their own volition and uncoerced, it is debatable that the same distinction holds for involuntary actions that happened to turn out well or happened to produce good outcomes.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_luck


Do you think it is OK to discriminate? Do you do it? Is it always wrong or are there cases where it can be acceptable? Today we’re talking through several tricky cases and different philosophical perspectives on this issue. Discrimination has been a problem in human society for as long as we can remember it, but what is it?

Discrimination is the action of a human being to treat others thinking they are less than them. Discrimination can happen because the other person has less money than the other, skin color, religious beliefs etc..

“In human social affairs, discrimination is treatment or consideration of or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person based on the group, class, or category to which the person is perceived to belong rather than on individual attributes. This includes treatment of an individual or group, based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or social category, “in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated”. It involves the group’s initial reaction or interaction going on to influence the individual’s actual behavior towards the group leader or the group, restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges that are available to another group, leading to the exclusion of the individual or entities based on logical or irrational decision making.

Discriminatory traditions, policies, ideas, practices, and laws exist in many countries and institutions in every part of the world, including in territories where discrimination is generally looked down upon. In some places, controversial attempts such as quotas have been used to benefit those believed to be current or past victims of discrimination—but have sometimes been called reverse discrimination. In the US, a government policy known as affirmative action was instituted to encourage employers and universities to seek out and accept groups such as African Americans and women, who have been subject to discrimination for a long time.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination