Download PDF by T. A. Cavanaugh: Double-Effect Reasoning: Doing Good and Avoiding Evil

By T. A. Cavanaugh

ISBN-10: 0199272190

ISBN-13: 9780199272198

T. A. Cavanaugh defends double-effect reasoning (DER), often referred to as the primary of double impression. DER performs a task in anti-consequentialist ethics (such as deontology), in difficult circumstances within which one can't discover an excellent with out additionally inflicting a foreseen, yet no longer meant, undesirable impression (for instance, killing non-combatants while bombing an army target). This research is the 1st book-length account of the historical past and concerns surrounding this arguable method of demanding situations. it is going to be critical in theoretical ethics, utilized ethics (especially scientific and military), and ethical theology. it is going to additionally curiosity felony and public coverage scholars.

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Thus, the full import of the second condition is that the agent intends the good and does not intend the evil, neither as his means nor as his end. In the case of justified tactical bombing, the bomber intends the good of victory as his end. If the bomber were not to intend victory, but fame, then dropping the bombs would be an act of vanity, and not justifiable. Moreover, the bomber may not intend the deaths and harm done to the non-combatants as an end nor as a means to victory. The second condition appropriately comes second.

Imagine foreseeably but not intentionally killing non-combatants while tactically bombing an artillery installation. Stipulate that the act satisfies the other criteria. The evils at issue (the terrorizing and killing of non-combatants) do not outweigh the goods (ending the lethal threat of the artillery, victory over the unjust enemy, self-preservation, self-determination). Thus interpreted, the fourth criterion permits such an act. Yet, what if there were some other, less harmful, way of bombing that would mitigate or entirely remove the evil?

Second, one might initially think that condition 1 (proportionately serious good effect) equates to 4 (one cannot omit the good effect without grave inconvenience). However, condition 1 compares the good to the evil of this act while 4 compares the good of this act to what obtains when one forgoes the act. Thinking of condition 4, we imagine not acting. Of course, meeting the demand of 4 partially depends upon 11 Here I follow Mangan (1949), 56–7. The history of double-effect reasoning 23 how good the good at issue is.

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Double-Effect Reasoning: Doing Good and Avoiding Evil by T. A. Cavanaugh


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