Wednesday October 21, 2009
Transplant case-the only way that you can save 5 peoples lives is by killing one person and
giving his organs for transplants. If you kill the 1, there is one bad consequence in that one
person dies, and 5 people are saved. If you don’t kill then 5 people die. If you just look at the
consequences like utilitarianism does, then it seems like you should kill the one. If people think
its wrong, its because they think that the first option has a bad consequence, and it is worse
because of the way it brings about this consequence.
1)There is a moral distinction between doing evil and allowing evil by not preventing it.
Consequentialism denies that is important, Hare says that it is not important. Williams both say
that this distinction is important. The claim is that it is only morally more permissible to allow evil
than doing it.
Foot-There is a duty not to allow bad consequences come about but it is not as strong as the
duty not to act in a way that brings about bad consequences.
Absolutist version-it is never morally permissible to do evil to bring about good consequences.
Non-Absolutist version-might be the duty to do harm to one if there is a lot more that can be
saved. The duty to save the many outweighs the duty not to kill. Ex. Kill 1 to save 2 billion
2) Double Effect Distinction-intending/foreseeing.
Based on the distinction of what a person foresees and what he intends.
Everything that is intended is foreseen. But not everything foreseen is intended.
Forsee something but don’t intend it as an end or a means.
-go out driving in the car on a summer evening. In the course of your drive you know that you
are going to kill some mosquitos. You are not going out in order to kill mosquitos, you don’t
intend the death as a means to your end.
Train example-you are the driver or a runaway train that is going down a track, you can’t stop it.
There are 5 people sitting on the track and if you do nothing the train is going to run them over
and kill them. There is one person on the other track, if you switch the track you can kill the one
person instead of the 5. If you switch to the other track, you don’t intend to kill the person. If he
wasn’t there you would have still saved the 5 people. It was an unfortunate side effect that there
was one person was killed. The death of the one was not the means to saving the one. You
saved the 5 by turning the train, would have done so even if the person wasn’t on the other
track. Two Cases in the Morality of War:
It strongly prohibits bombing civilians in order to terrorize the enemy population and weaken the
will of the enemy. It is not as stric