A Right to do Wrong by Jeremy Waldron

Powerful Essays
A society that is ruled by liberty contains morals, morals that come with rights that must be respected in order to preserve integrity. In his article “A Right to do Wrong”, Ethics, vol. 92 (1981), pp. 21-39, Jeremy Waldron argues that if people in a society take moral rights seriously they must accept an individuals “right to do wrong” from a moral perspective. Having a choice to do wrong from a moral point of view creates diversity in a society which lead’s to development in the society as a whole. Waldron offers a paradox to explain his position on individuals having a moral right to act in ways that might be seen as wrong from a moral point of view. I will explain and outline Jeremy Waldron’s position on the idea of individuals having the moral right to do wrong, and I will also evaluate Jeremy Waldron’s position and demonstrate if there is really such a moral right using my views that will be enhanced by John Stewart Mill views.

Jeremy Waldron begins with the clarification that if we take moral rights seriously than we must accept the possibility that an individual may do something that is wrong from a moral point of view. I will begin to illustrate what Waldron means by such a right. Before we even look at the meaning of “a right to do wrong”, Waldron clarifies that he is looking at “wrongs” from a moral view not a legal view. “A right to do wrong” means that an action is morally wrong but it is an action that an individual has the moral right to do. It is suggested that an individual should not act in an immoral way but has the choice to do so. Waldron wishes to answer the inconsistencies in the paradox of the moral right to do wrong. One way Waldron says we misunderstand the moral right to do wrong is ...

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...ose misunderstandings and addresses why we have that moral right to do wrong. I agree with Waldron’s views since they connect to the enhancement of a diverse society. we know now that Waldron is looking at “wrongs” from a moral view not a legal view. An objection can be that his conception is limited because it only deals with morals and leaves the legal point of view aside. But does that really matter? Waldron is talking only about morality, and since legal positivism suggest that law and morality should be separated so they can be analyzed in greater details, shouldn't it not matter if he was not focusing on the legal matter but enhancing the idea of morality that will later on serve and enhance legality? an overall look at Waldron’s ideas can conclude that his ideas are logical and hard to rebut because he speaks the truth about having a moral right to do wrong.
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