An "agent" in this sense is someone who does things. It derives from the Latin word "ago" which means " I do.
E-mail With His gift of moral agency, our Heavenly Father has graciously provided us help to exercise that agency in a way that will yield precious, positive fruit in our life here and hereafter.
In years past we generally used the term free agency. That is not incorrect. More recently we have taken note that free agency does not appear in the scriptures. But the word agency appears either by itself or with the modifier moral: When we use the term moral agency, we are appropriately emphasizing the accountability that is an essential part of the divine gift of agency.
We are moral beings and agents unto ourselves, free to choose but also responsible for our choices. The Elements of Moral Agency What, then, are the elements of moral agency? To me there are three. First, there must be alternatives among which to choose. He further explained that for these opposites or alternatives to exist, there must be law.
Law provides us the options. It is by the operation of laws that things happen.
By using or obeying a law, one can bring about a particular result—and by disobedience, the opposite result. Without law, neither He nor we would be able to predict or choose a particular outcome by a given action.
Second, for us to have agency, we must not only have alternatives, but we must also know what they are. If we are unaware of the choices available, the existence of those choices is meaningless to us.
Moral Agent. A moral agent is a person who has the ability to discern right from wrong and to be held accountable for his or her own actions. Moral agents have a moral responsibility not to cause unjustified harm. Traditionally, moral agency is assigned only to those who can be held responsible for their actions. But the word agency appears either by itself or with the modifier moral: “That every man may act in doctrine and principle according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment” (D&C ; emphasis added). Normal adult humans are widely considered to be paradigms of moral agents. To be a moral agent means to be responsible for one’s moral actions. It means to be a being capable of acting with reference to right and wrong, and rationality is often associated with this capability.
But with the Fall, both they and we gain sufficient knowledge and understanding to be enticed by good and evil—we attain a state of accountability and can recognize the alternatives before us.
The beauty of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that it pours knowledge into our souls and shows things in their true light.
With that enhanced perspective, we can discern more clearly the choices before us and their consequences. We can, therefore, make more intelligent use of our agency. They are unaware of their options or are confused about the outcomes of their choices.
Ignorance effectively limits their agency. Third is the next element of agency: This freedom to act for ourselves in choosing among alternatives is often referred to in the scriptures as agency itself. For this freedom we are indebted to God. It is His gift to us see Moses 4: Freedom of choice is the freedom to obey or disobey existing laws—not the freedom to alter their consequences.
Law, as mentioned earlier, exists as a foundational element of moral agency with fixed outcomes that do not vary according to our opinions or preferences. It will not do to pretend that our agency has been taken away when we are not free to exercise it without unwelcome consequences.
The Lord revealed to Moses: Yielding to his temptations leads to a narrower and narrower range of choices until none remains and to addictions that leave us powerless to resist. While Satan cannot actually destroy law and truth, he accomplishes the same result in the lives of those who heed him by convincing them that whatever they think is right is right and that there is no ultimate truth—every man is his own god, and there is no sin.
Remember, though, that we retain the right and power of independent action. Like Jesus, we can gain all we need in the way of a mortal experience without yielding.
The Central Role of Jesus Christ We have reviewed the elements of moral agency and its divine origins, but we need to always remember that agency would have no meaning without the vital contribution of Jesus Christ. The plan required a setting for its implementation, and Jesus was instrumental in the creation of this planet for that purpose.
Most important, while the Fall of Adam was a critical element of the plan of salvation, the Fall would also have frustrated the plan if certain of its consequences were not mitigated by the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. For that to happen, we needed an experience apart from Him where our choices would determine our destiny.
The Fall of Adam provided the spiritual death needed to separate us from God and place us in this mortal condition, as well as the physical death needed to provide an end to the mortal experience.1. Some Historical Background. What follows in this section is a brief outline of the origins and trajectory of reflection on moral responsibility in the Western philosophical tradition.
But the word agency appears either by itself or with the modifier moral: “That every man may act in doctrine and principle according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment” (D&C ; emphasis added).
Distinction between moral agency and eligibility for moral consideration Many philosophers, such as Kant, view morality as a transaction among rational parties, i.e., among moral agents.
For this reason, they would . Moral agency is the capacity to act as an agent. It's something that every moral agent has by virtue of being one.
Once you get the definitions sorted out, I don't think there's anything puzzling there. Moral agent, subject of moral worth, and moral community are not static categories.
In some situations, a person is a moral agent and is a subject of moral worth in others.
Non-human subjects of moral worth generally require a human steward, someone to protect them from . Moral Agent. A moral agent is a person who has the ability to discern right from wrong and to be held accountable for his or her own actions.
Moral agents have a moral responsibility not to cause unjustified harm. Traditionally, moral agency is assigned only to those who can be held responsible for their actions.