Moral Judgment

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A Moral Judgment is a value judgement that ascribes a moral value to morally-judgeable events (intentions, decisions, acts) involving morally-judgeable agents.





  • Stuart A. Burns. (2004). “Moral Judgments."
    • QUOTE: What are moral judgments? Moral judgments are evaluations or opinions formed as to whether some action or inaction, intention, motive, character trait, or a person as a whole is (more or less) Good or Bad as measured against some standard of Good. The moral judgments of actions (or inaction) are usually the primary focus of any discussion of Moral Judgments in particular, and Ethical analysis in general. This is because the judgments of intentions, character traits, and persons are generally based on the judgment of actions that the intention, motive, character trait, or person might potentially do or not do. So limiting the discussion to the moral judgments of actions (or inactions) will also, with suitable obvious modifications, address the moral judgment of intentions, motives, character traits and people.

      moral judgments are judgments about what one "ought" to do (or not do), or have done (or not done). … We can group moral judgments into two broad classes. There are "before-the-fact" moral judgments, and there are "after-the-fact" moral judgments. Before-the-fact judgments are those made before the action (or inaction) takes place. They are made based on the best information available at the time as to what the moral landscape holds and what its future shape will be. These are judgments about what you "ought to do (or not do)", and whether what you are planning to do (or not do) is Good or Bad. After-the-fact moral judgments are made after the action (or inaction) has taken place, and are based on 20/20 hindsight view of the actual consequences. These are judgments about what you "ought to have done (or not done)", and whether your actual actions were Good or Bad. … A second major distinction of moral judgments is that they can only be made of an agent with the freedom or will to choose. Moral judgments are judgments of certain choices, or potential choices, where the one who chooses is aware that there is a choice, and has the capability to choose. A person who cannot do other than what was done, is not subject to moral judgment. … The third important distinction is knowledge. In order to be able to make a choice, you have to be aware that there are alternatives. … Consider a moral judgment "P is Good", where "P" is some proposition statement. Can such a judgment be True or False? ...