I make many dumbsh*t decisions, by which I mean decisions that are made without taking obviously important and relevant information or moral considerations into account. And I’m not alone: we are all guilty of this. I believe we are morally responsible for these decisions, and blameworthy for them. But I also believe that many or most of them should be forgiven.
So, for example, when I make the dumbsh*t decision not to offer you a ride home (when it’s obvious that you need one) I should be able to say to you, “I’m sorry I didn’t offer you a ride home; I can’t even explain why I didn’t, other than it was just a dumbsh*t decision on my part,” and you should probably reply, “That’s okay, but please try to be kinder next time.”
But they should not always be forgiven. If a doctor told me, “I’m sorry I didn’t try to save your leg; I can’t even explain why I didn’t, other than it was just a dumbsh*t decision on my part,” I wouldn’t forgive her, and don’t believe she should be forgiven.
So my question: what are the conditions for a dumbsh*t decision to be worthy of forgiveness?
Here are some that come to mind: (a) the consequences must be fairly trivial, (b) the person shouldn’t repeat the dumbsh*t decision more than a very few times, (c) all the other conditions that should apply to making a bad decision forgivable — like, the person’s apology must be genuine, etc.
Can anyone think of other conditions, or exceptions to these? Or can anyone come up with a general explanation for why we find some but not all dumbsh*t decisions forgivable? (Or just call them “dumb” decisions, if you prefer, and forgive my choice of terminology!)