n Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research - Who will bear moral responsibility?

Volume 28, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0250-0167



One One of the most disturbing paradoxes of modern times is that an acute sense of expanding moral responsibility goes hand in hand with a growing inability to bear such responsibility. This article demonstrates how modern technology, in particular information technology, has contributed to both the expansion of moral responsibility and the development of the responsibility gap. In order to deal adequately with the challenges modern technology poses in respect of moral responsibility, it has become necessary to supplement the classical notion of retro spective moral responsibility with the new notion of prospective moral responsibility. In the case of retrospective responsibility some or other negative outcome of the past is ascribed to a particular person or persons. In the case of prospective responsibility, the responsibility of preventing humans and nature from being actively harmed or to realise desirable future conditions by taking the necessary measures in the present, is ascribed to a particular person or persons, or, more likely, to a particular institution or institutions.

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