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What is the meaning of "moral responsibility?"

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Quick Answer

The term "moral responsibility" refers to the duty that individuals and groups have to act in accordance with the moral principles that are important to their social communities and to humanity at large. When morality is allowed to lapse or to take on areas that are beyond its scope, the outcome is sometimes tragic.

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What is the meaning of "moral responsibility?"
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One of the more egregious lapses in moral authority by a society in all of history took place during World War II, as Germany established an entire network of work camps and death camps designed to exterminate the Jewish race as well as gypsies, homosexuals and anyone else whom Adolf Hitler deemed unsuitable. Under the gaze of the rest of the German population, Jews were slowly robbed of all of their rights, beginning with business restrictions but then extending to their ability to attend school, retain German citizenship and ultimately live anywhere other than one of these camps.

The recent movie "The Wolf of Wall Street" details some of the excesses that stockbrokers indulged in during the greedy phases of the history of financial markets. While not all companies engaged in fraud, many of them pushed the boundaries of what was legal, talking their clients into making unnecessary and often unprofitable trades in order to boost commissions. This greed that came at the cost of the money of many individuals who did not have much cash to lose in the first place was highly immoral.

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Related Questions

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    What are some examples of moral behavior?

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    Moral behavior is extremely subjective, but it is generally represented by an individual's knowledge of social and cultural norms and the capacity to perform good works through selfless actions. Some moral behaviors may include honesty, giving to charity and avoiding negative situations.

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  • Q:

    What is the importance of moral values?

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    Moral values help in improving behavior, instilling respect and enhancing relationships with others. Knowing what is right or wrong is an important element in life that shapes the character on an individual. Good moral values allows a person to make the right decisions and improve their interactions with other people.

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    What is meant by moral reconciliation?

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    In its application to law and sentencing, moral reconciliation is a form of restorative justice in which wrongdoers attempt to repair the relationship between themselves and their victims and, by doing so, achieve a moral transformation. In contrast to punishment which is solely retributive or compensatory, moral reconciliation attempts to restructure the wrongdoer-and-victim relationship to one based on a workable degree of moral equality. Moral reconciliation, forgiveness and wrongdoer rehabilitation are also viewed as ideals to strive for, which may only be achieved in varying degrees depending on the parties involved.

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  • Q:

    What are some common moral issues?

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    Attitudes toward moral issues change as time progresses, but in 2014 a poll found Americans were most concerned about extramarital affairs, cloning of humans, polygamy and suicide. The Gallup poll reveals growing, but still limited, acceptance of abortion and doctor-assisted suicide.

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