Originally posted by Palynka
Are you excluding compatibilism from the outset?
My first thought would be that determinism doesn't imply you would do the same thing in different worlds. If moral responsibility entails any consequences, then the world with or without it would be a different world. So the assignment or not of moral responsibility does affect the outcome.
I don't think compatibilism actually adds anything to the question. Let's say I feed a hungry child and my actions are compatible with my desires. So what? Both my act and my desires are no less pre-determined than an apple falling to the ground and making a soft "thud". Why ascribe moral status to one and not the other? What makes one event "good" but not the other? Isn't the line between events ascribed a moral status and those that aren't arbitrary?
EDIT: A utilitarian could get around this by describing events that increase net happiness (say) of beings capable of happiness as "good"; in which case an apple falling could in fact be "good" and have a moral status. I'd have to think about such a response more but I think the question of a special status for beings capable of happiness such that events that affect them have a morality comes up.
(A meta-philosophical question would be the point of the discipline of ethics in itself.)
If we live in a deterministic universe, then all events within this universe are completely specified by the initial conditions of the universe. There simply cannot
be another universe (even conceptually) that is identical to ours up to a point T-deltaT before the "moral" event - so there's no question of "possible worlds" where event E doesn't occur.