I argue for a risk averse approach to morality, or what I call Risk Averse Morality (RAM). That is, I claim, morality essentially demands risk aversion and challenge avoidance. When it comes to my interpersonal conduct, I ought not to take, or allow, avoidable and unnecessary chances or risks of my doing wrong. Therefore, whenever likely to be faced with a morally precarious and testing situation - when confronted with what I term a moral challenge, something one finds morally challenging - the initial praiseworthy course is not to try to resist the temptation, or try to courageously overcome the challenge, but rather, as much as reasonable, to seek to avoid it in the first place. Wherever possible, flight, not fight, is the appropriate response to a morally challenging situation.
As such, I’m interested in researching the following relevant areas:
- Moral culpability and the point at which an agent begins to be culpable for later wrongdoing.
- Moral autonomy, compulsion and Ulysses Pacts - moral self-binding.
- Various precautionary interventions intended to avoid likely future wrongdoing. Including (voluntary) biomedical interventions, psychological ‘nudges’, surveillance and legislating for morality.
- Morally permissible and impermissible risk imposition and the ‘problem of paralysis’ (nearly everything we do carries some risk).
- Moral growth and development, moral effort, moral worth and praiseworthiness.