Wednesday, 2 February 2022

obligation and ought.

  Difference between obligation and ought. 

Obligation can be understood as commitment to a person or a group of persons to do or or refuse to do an action which one could justifiably be coerced into doing or punished for failing to do so. Obligations are relational concepts and  are although supported by, but however not derived from, the fear and  threat of coercion.There are three major forces of obligation: interpersonal commitment, legal rule, and moral rules or principles.

Ought can be understood as  an indication to what is expected of you, no coercion of any kind can be detected here, however if one fails to fulfil their ought, they could be subject to some degree of criticism although not as serious or binding as obligation. 

For instance, a citizen of India residing within the nation is obligated to uphold the constitution and refrain from violating any fundamental rights, however this citizen ought to follow the directive principles of state policy, these directive principles aren’t legally binding to the citizen but it is still expected that these duties are dutifully followed by. 

Ought is prescriptive and advisory whereas obligation demands compulsion and necessitation to be fulfilled. Another instance could be drawn when  Ram, a well established business man  is asked by his close friend who suffered great financial losses due to the pandemic, from the village to lend him some to pay for his daughter’s school textbooks, in this situation since Ram and Sham are close friends, it is somehow expected of Ram to be helpful to his close friend. In this case Ram is ought to lend him money and even if de decides not to no one can force him into lending money. However if in another situation, had Ram had  refused to pay back money he had earlier borrowed  from Sham. The terms of the contract states that Ram needs  to pay it back exactly in a years time as stipulated, then Ram is under obligation to pay back the money to Sham or else he would face legal consequences . Previous committing action is important to understand obligation. This emerges out of the way we speak our obligation, we assume and undertake on one hand and meet and discharge on the other. the moment we undertake to pay, it assumes a prior committing action. Commit to do or forbear from doing something. Obligation is always between two parties (individuals, groups). It is a relational concept. Contracts, marriages, etc. Ought claims are based on the content of the statement. Jones ought to pay Smith, there is no previous committing action. Jones hasn't borrowed the money that he is obliged to pay. X ought to honest is morally prudent but honest towards whom is an open ended situation. One ought to eat healthy food is ethical and not compulsory to eat healthy food. X has not undertaken to be honest to everyone similarly one hasn't undertaken to healthy food. In contrast to obligation, ought has no previous committing action. 

Therefore as a citizen one ought to know the laws and regulations of the country however we are obligated to obey the law irregardless of whether we know the laws or not. 


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