I am not asking what the arguments are for immoralism, but what arguments there are for not doing the valuable thing, when there is clearly an opportunity to right wrongs or be virtuous or impede disaster, etc.. Does Heidegger talk about this in context of 'inauthenticity'? Just a guess.

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    Responsibility is the obverse side of freewill. If the universe is 100% predetermined there's no such of either. [ Do note 100% ≠ 99% not even 99.99%]
    – Rushi
    Jul 26, 2023 at 1:26
  • i might well agree with that, even-though i was being futural about it @Rushi
    – user66760
    Jul 26, 2023 at 1:29
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    Are you asking what arguments there are to not do the moral thing in a given moral framework? I'm afraid it's not a question that makes sense. If a moral framework gives you arguments to ignore its own conclusion, it's a self contradictory moral framework ("A is the most moral action in your situation, but here is the argument why you should prefer not-A, and therefore not-A is the most moral action")
    – armand
    Jul 26, 2023 at 7:55
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    It suggests something that might come out of Pandora's box, but what a tragedy!
    – Hudjefa
    Jul 26, 2023 at 18:29
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    pandora's box earlier @AgentSmith
    – user66760
    Jul 26, 2023 at 18:43

1 Answer 1


Your question delves into the core of ethical and moral philosophy. It seems you're asking about arguments that might justify or explain a lack of action or responsibility in the face of clear opportunities to do good or prevent harm. While there are many ways to approach this question, I'll focus on a few philosophical concepts and theories that might be relevant.

  1. Moral Relativism: This is the belief that moral judgments and values are culture-specific and personal. In this perspective, what may seem like a clear opportunity to do good or prevent harm may not be perceived as such by everyone, because their cultural or personal values differ.

  2. Nihilism: This philosophical belief asserts that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. In extreme forms of nihilism, moral principles are viewed as arbitrary, and so there may be no inherent value or obligation in doing good or preventing harm.

  3. Psychological Egoism: This is the view that individuals are always motivated by self-interest, even in what seem to be acts of altruism. A person subscribing to this view might argue that they are not obligated to act unless there is a clear benefit to themselves.

  4. Determinism: This is the philosophical concept that all events, including moral choices, are determined completely by previously existing causes. In a deterministic view, the concept of responsibility is fundamentally flawed because people don't truly have free will to make different choices.

  5. Existentialism/Heidegger's Inauthenticity: In Heidegger's existential philosophy, 'inauthenticity' refers to living unreflectively or conforming to societal norms without questioning. An 'inauthentic' individual might not take responsibility because they are not fully engaged with their own existence or the consequences of their actions.

Remember, these are not necessarily "arguments against responsibility," but rather perspectives that might lead someone to avoid action in situations where others might see a clear moral imperative. These views are widely debated in philosophical and ethical discussions, and they don't represent the only ways to approach the question of moral responsibility.

  • Your view of determinism would be fundamentally flawed for personal responsibility, because it's impossible to account for determinism when any attempt to make to do so would itself be subject to determinism, and this doesn't change the fact that your actions have consequences regardless of whether they're subject to determinism or not.
    – NotThatGuy
    Jul 26, 2023 at 11:42
  • Determinism does not, as you suggest, absolve us of responsibility for our actions. On the contrary, it offers a framework for better understanding the complex web of factors that lead individuals to act in certain ways. You argue that the concept of determinism itself is subject to determinism, and you're absolutely correct. But this doesn't invalidate the concept; rather, it strengthens it. It shows the extent to which all things, including our own thoughts and understandings, are interconnected and shaped by a multitude of factors beyond our control.
    – user66933
    Jul 26, 2023 at 11:50
  • As for the consequences of our actions, determinism doesn't dispute this. Each action, whether determined or not, results in a consequence, which then becomes a causative factor for subsequent events. This unbroken chain of cause and effect is a fundamental premise of determinism. In essence, determinism doesn't undermine the concept of personal responsibility; rather, it compels us to view it through a broader lens. It encourages us to seek a deeper understanding of the myriad factors that shape human behavior, instead of resorting to simplistic notions of blame and punishment
    – user66933
    Jul 26, 2023 at 11:51
  • "Determinism does not, as you suggest, absolve us of responsibility for our actions" - I mean, I was trying to say the exact opposite (because it seemed like you were trying to make that point when you said "the concept of responsibility is fundamentally flawed"), but okay.
    – NotThatGuy
    Jul 26, 2023 at 11:55

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