Litkicks Message Board Archive

Q: If...

Posted to Poetry and Politics




If you push a pram down a hill, off a cliff, you are a murderer (assuming a baby is on board of course)

Now if you see a pram rolling down a hill towards a cliff and you do nothing - in essence you are still murderer or at least morally in the wrong. You have a moral responsibility to act in this situation.

Therefore moral duty affects both 'action' and 'in-action', i.e. through inaction you can still be partly morally responsible for something if there is a conceived possibility on your part that you can help/save/do good to some one etc.

So then following this line of reasoning:

Why are we not partially responsible for the people working in terrible conditions in the world (i.e. sweat labour), famine and the spread of HIV in the poorer African nations, I mean we could all do more, I can certainly conceive of the possibility that I could (we all could) make a difference to peoples lives in other parts of the world if we wanted to.

This is a strong moral argument and I just can't seem to break it down, any one any ideas? Any one know the plausable antithesis to this argument? How can we aliviate the responcibility of the west?