The objective character of the world determines the operations that must be performed, though only if the goals that are to be accomplished are also posited. The goal-what is to be accomplished, in general or in detail-also serves as the measure of adequacy of the operation. Moreover, all these and many other actions are performed with a proper instrument, one that is suitable for the proper performance of the operation in question (Weingartner, p 30)
Some social philosophers are noted for having concluded that since the bulk of our behavior is not deliberate, it is, instead, unintended, spontaneous. They reach this assessment by observing that many of the consequences of human action have not been thought of and anticipated when the action was taken. Thus, they think, the action must not have been intentional. These philosophers invoke this point to stress that since we reach most of our ends-especially those that amount to various institutional arrangements, such as language, a system of money, and the marketplace-without deliberation, these ends must not have been intended in any sense at all. Philosophers see human action more as human behavior, as driven rather than intended. The conflation of deliberation and intention leads to the claim that much of what we do is in some sense not up to us, not a result of human initiative. It just happens. To put it another way, such an understanding of human action suggests that what we do without deliberation comes about spontaneously, with no one being responsible for it. It may, indeed, amount to something totally arational, even instinctual. The order in much of human social life appears to have come about spontaneously, without anyone having planned it. But, of course, there is planning and there is planning. Intentional action is planned, even if the planning is not elaborate, involved, and self-conscious. As Austin sees it, even though the person acts on impulse, this may mean simply that he gave little thought to what he set out to do, not that he did not set out to do it, did not plan to push him and for him to fall. Premeditated planning isn't the only kind (Austin, pp 150).
Deliberative action, involving self-conscious planning and monitoring of what we set out to do, is somehow unnatural; that it is not really part of the normal proceedings people embarks upon in life or that the deliberative behavior of human beings may be artificial.
It seems that this attempt to deal with different types of human action without recourse to the normative sphere is misguided. It leaves us at sea when we face evil, when we consider such matters as the Holocaust, rape, serial murder and child molestation, leading many to turn to social and natural science, such as evolutionary psychology and biology, and avoid the waxing problems of morality. Yet those problems nevertheless reappear if only because even to say that one ought to look at human affairs in one light rather than another carries with it a moral tinge. Such a claim is usually followed by charges of stubbornness or intransigence, both of which are clearly morally pregnant.
It is, thus, crucial that we address here one of the most troublesome areas of moral philosophy, the problem of human evil. But this will take a bit of preparation.
Human evil is the evil that is either committed by