Understanding Moral Responsibility and Autonomy in Human Actions

Classified in Philosophy and ethics

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Moral Responsibility

Moral responsibility is derived from the commitment that an individual acquires moral obligations. Etymologically, it means the need to respond. The individual is left alone to be responsible and deal with everything that comes in life. There is a human need to respond to people and the environment. This need involves a unity linked to the freedom to do the right thing. The moral subject is more or less responsible. Coercion, if legitimate, is another defense to liability. Moral responsibility indicates moral progress in individuals and groups. Autonomy and Moral Heteronomy are related to everything said here. On the one hand, humans regulate some of their behaviors. Furthermore, they are free, rational, and conscientious in their actions towards themselves and the environment. Regarding social primacy, it is argued that the individual is part of a whole where their actions make sense. They concede that human society develops. They argue that instincts are beyond the rational. Autonomy and heteronomy refer to actions that conform or do not conform to norms, values, obligations, etc. Autonomy refers to the ability of the subject agent to do what they want or take responsibility for their actions. The individual is responsible and obliged to address the consequences that their actions can have. Achieving autonomy requires preparation and maturation, both rational and emotional. Heteronomy dependence refers to the subject of norms and values that is alien to those who submit or merely observe. The subject is forced to be responsible. Autonomy and heteronomy are needed to explain human actions from the individual and social dimensions of humans. Kant defends the autonomy of the individual, who is free to run their own will. J. Piaget and L. Kohlberg support moral autonomy as the most important features of morality, which can be achieved through learning that ranges from heteronomous to autonomous. This learning involves personal growth and emotional soundness, which depends on material conditions, experience, and acquired knowledge. Educational processes are important for the development of moral autonomy.

The Moral Consciousness

The moral consciousness: first, it is considered the defense of values that regulate moral norms; on the other hand, contemptuously, it is regarded as the "Jiminy Cricket." That "little voice" that says what is right or wrong. In Psychology, it is understood as "the human mental process realizing itself as the subject of an activity." For it, the human realizes that they act completely unified. For it, the individual makes their actions and plans must anticipate the consequences that will result from such actions. Psychological and moral consciousness are related. Moral consciousness indicates that one knows and recognizes stock valuations. Its functions include: ascertaining argumentative procedures or intuitive as absolute and valid criteria to guide humans on how to carry out their moral actions. The moral consciousness is "value judgments" about the legality or moral wrongfulness of an action. Through moral consciousness, the individual is able to "judge" and examine activities, issuing evaluative judgments about their morality. There are different positions regarding the acceptance of moral consciousness.

Some say it has a divine origin. Others see it as something learned. Some argue that social relations of life produce a certain kind of moral consciousness. Social moral consciousness is educated and emotional. The individual can make mistakes when trying to act morally right. Resorting to the individual conscience as a judge for arbitrary or selfish reasons is not acceptable. But neither the general opinion nor the powers actually validate moral judgments. Society, its powers, and agents of socialization must strive to be the moral conscience of a citizen in order to be able to issue and enforce moral judgments that give rise to moral actions critically.

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