What are the differences between role responsibillity and moral responsibility?  Which account of free will do you find most plausible?  Why?What are the differences between role responsibillity...

What are the differences between role responsibillity and moral responsibility?  Which account of free will do you find most plausible?  Why?

What are the differences between role responsibillity and moral responsibility?  Which account of free will do you find most plausible?  Why?

Asked on by amypreiss

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Moral responsibility is self-determined. It means you chose to believe a certain way and act a certain way. It's not because of a job or a role. You are responsible to yourself first. Role responsibility means you do something because you're a father or mother, or teacher. It's your responsibility because it's your role.
crmhaske's profile pic

crmhaske | College Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted on

The main difference between role responsibility and moral responsibility is who you are accountable to.  With role responsibility a person is concretely accountable to others: superiors, coworker, team mates, family etc., where as in moral responsibility you are abstractly responsible to yourself, and society as a whole.

Role responsibility is concrete.  There are a defined set of expectations to be fulfilled depending on the role you fill.  At work you have a specific job description, at school you have specific class requirements, in your family you have specific familial expectations.  The consequences of failing to meet your responsibilities are also concrete: you can lose your job, you can fail your class, you can lose your child.

Moral responsibility on the other hand is quite abstract.  Who is to say what is ethical?  It depends a great deal on a person's individual worldview, their culture, their circumstances, their own personal sense of integrity.  Agreed upon moral standards are extrinsic, i.e. we give them value, they do not inherently contain value on their own.  The consequences of failing to be moral responsible are also quite abstract, and depend a great deal on the circumstances: case and point it is illegal to take the life or someone else, but in some places it is not illegal to the take the life of a person who committed what are to society atrocities.

As far as free will goes it is my personal belief that the concept of choice and control is an illusion, and that existence is deterministic (but not predetermined).  Everything that happens is the result of everything that happened before it.  Every choice you have made is the only choice you could have made given the culmination of your nature and nurture - none of which you have control over.

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