Many people believe that autistic people in order to make moral decisions these human beings have to be able to have compassion, or condolence, for one another. In order to have compassion you have to have the ability to empathize that is that you have to understand and share the feelings of another. However, Jeannette Kennett a philosophy professor at the National University explains in her essay “Autism, Empathy and Moral Agency” that it is possible for autistic people to make moral decisions without the ability to empathize while hearing to a logical moral code. Kennett in her essay compares psychopaths to autistic people in order to explore the question Do autistic people have the capacity to distinguish right from wrong? She believes that autistic people can distinguish right from wrong by hearing to a strict moral-rational code. In the book, “The curious incident of the dog in the night-time” by Mark Haddon, shares the story of the character who is autistic. Christopher is frequently put in the position where he has to make moral decisions and be morally precautious. Because he is able to hear to his rational moral code I believe that Christopher is able to make moral decisions.
Christopher is able to show his moral concern when he sees his rat “Toby” in danger. Kennett insists that autistic people can still have moral agency because, they are able to conform to a rational moral code (357). Christopher is able to show his moral agency, his ability to make judgments, throughout his relationship with his rat. For example in one scene, “Toby” runs out in the subway tracks and Christopher runs to rescue his rat even though his putting in risk his own life. Everyone sitting around him recognizes that Christopher is acting kind of crazy because he is putting his life at risk for an insignificant a rat that he just rescued (182). Who does that? Christopher didn’t care about anything else other than he was worried that “Toby”, his rat would not have enough food...
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