It’s Saturday night and you’re at a party. You drink too much and foolishly decide to drive home. On the way, you lose control of your car. Then one of two things happens:
There is no traffic around. Your out-of-control car careens across the left lane and into a ditch. It hits a fence post. The car is damaged, but you are unhurt. The police come and arrest you for driving under the influence.
A car is approaching. Your out-of-control car careens across the left lane and clips the oncoming car, which crashes into a tree. The driver and her two young children are killed. The police come and arrest you. You are charged with manslaughter.
The crucial difference between the two scenarios is sheer luck. In scenario A, you were simply lucky that no traffic was around. In scenario B, your luck wasn’t as good, and three people ended up dead.
You made the same irresponsible decision — to drink and drive — in both scenarios. Is your moral culpability greater in scenario B than in scenario A? If so, why?