Is There a Duty-Generating Special Relationship of Creator to Creature?

Sophia:1-13 (forthcoming)
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Mark Murphy has argued that the relationship between a creator and their creatures is not a special relationship that generates new moral obligations for the creator. Murphy’s position is grounded, in part, on his claim that there are no good arguments to the contrary and that the creator-creature relationship is not a relationship between equals. I argue that there are good reasons to think that a creator and creature being equals is not required for such an obligation. I offer an argument for such an obligation based on the moral significance of thrusting upon sentient or rational beings significant, unsought, and wholly new circumstances. More specifically, I argue that it is reasonable to conclude that a creator enters into a duty-generating special relationship with their creatures to promote their creatures’ well-being, when the creator is the voluntary source of the creatures’ wholly new and unconsented to circumstances from which to flourish or languish and it would cost the creator virtually nothing to promote the creatures’ welfare.
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Archival date: 2020-11-21
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