Resultant Moral Luck and Criminal Law

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Resultant Moral Luck and Criminal Law

Abstract: Moral luck, which is a new concept in moral philosophy, challenges our ordinary moral evaluation.  According  to  human’s moral  intuition, people  are  only  evaluated  for  their  controllable  behaviors.  However, while people have no control over results of their behaviors, results are effective in  our  moral  judgments.  This  issue,  in  its  turn,  raises  an essential  question  in  criminal  law:  are  people  responsible  for  their behaviors  in  cases  they  have  no  control  over  the  results  of  their behaviors?  While theorists who  agree  with  moral  resultant  luck  are trying to theorize the existing and prominent practices in penal codes, others who oppose this idea attempt to neutralize the role of results in criminal  responsibility.  As  a  result,  they  believe  that  criminal  legal systems should impose equal punishment on offenders who commit the same conducts regardless of different results as far as they simply stem from  moral luck. Consequently, if the proponents’ arguments in favor of  moral  resultant  luck  are  persuasive,  the  prominent  approach  in criminal law would be established. On the other hand, if the opponents’ opinions  against  moral  resultant  luck  are  stronger,  then  significant changes would happen in penal code and criminal titles. 

Keywords: Moral Luck, Criminal Responsibility, Punishment, Desert, Deserve.

A full Persian version of this article is published in:  The Journal of Comparative Law, semi annual, Vol.14, No.1, Spring-Summer 2019, Issue 111, pp, 3-36.


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