How should we judge people for their past moral failings?


Source: The Conversation

The recent allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have further divided the nation. Among the questions the case raises are some important ethical ones.

Not least among them is the question of moral responsibility for actions long since passed. Particularly in light of the #MeToo movement, which has frequently involved the unearthing of decades old wrongdoing, this question has become a pressing one.

As a philosopher, I believe this ethical conundrum involves two issues: one, the question of moral responsibility for an action at the time it occurred. And two, moral responsibility in the present time, for actions of the past. Most philosophers seem to think that the two cannot be separated. In other words, moral responsibility for an action, once committed, is set in stone.

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1 reply

  1. Well, I thought of applying for a leadership position, however, as we have engaged some illegal aliens in the past as domestic workersI suppose I will not qualify …

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