Moral Luck, Nagel

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Moral Luck

Through Moral Luck, Nagel discusses the problem of moral luck and the conflict that arises between the common practice and intuition that most of society believes in regarding morality. Throughout his essay, Nagel defines intuition and the phenomenon of moral luck and claims that, despite having this intuition, people often make moral judgments about people based on factors that are beyond their control (for example, a drunk driver who kills a child). Nagel claims that the problem of moral luck is due to the tension between a person’s intuitions and their moral standing. He also believes that one’s moral standing cannot be impacted by luck and the possibility that luck plays an important role in determining one’s moral standing. Nagel also suggests that the intuition is correct and resides at the very center of morality, but he also supports the argument that luck will inevitably effect a person’s moral standing. This conclusion leads him to believe that morality is a paradox and enigma.

After reading Nagel’s article, I am curious about how luck seems to play a role in determining a person’s moral standing, or if something beyond their control influences one’s moral standing? I believe that the answer is both. I believe that one can witness a sunset and be lucky to do so, yet have no control over that sunset whatsoever. I believe moral standing and elements beyond one’s control are combined in regards to luck. Even if one had no control over the occurrence of the sunset or whatever event they are lucky to witness, the chance of that event occurring was very fortunate. I agree/believe that the problem of moral luck is due to the thought that luck can make a moral difference sometimes, yet there are more than one ways in which luck might be able to make a moral difference. It is hard to believe that the idea of luck might have an impact on one’s morals and moral difference. Yet, people let luck influence their moral judgments all the time....
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