Ethics of Collateral Damage | Philosophy Tube | Summary and Q&A

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April 15, 2016
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Ethics of Collateral Damage | Philosophy Tube

TL;DR

The doctrine of double effect (DDE) argues that intended harms are usually worse than foreseen harms, but this raises questions about how and whether this distinction should be applied.

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Key Insights

  • ๐Ÿคจ The DDE raises questions about the moral distinction between intended and foreseen harms.
  • ๐Ÿ’ก Exceptions to the DDE, such as organ donation scenarios, challenge the idea that all foreseen harms are morally acceptable.
  • ๐Ÿคณ Self-defense and sacrificing oneself for others present further challenges to the DDE's applicability.
  • โšพ The DDE clashes with consequentialism, which evaluates actions solely based on their consequences.
  • ๐Ÿ˜ˆ The nature and justification of avoiding evil should be explored further in the context of the DDE.
  • ๐Ÿˆธ The application of the DDE in public policy decisions, healthcare budgets, and ethical dilemmas may have significant consequences.
  • ๐Ÿ˜€ The debate surrounding the DDE requires addressing the challenges it faces and ensuring a consistent and logical framework for its application.

Transcript

it's widely thought that there's a moral difference between intended homes and foreseen homes an intended harm is a harm that you do where the fact that it is a harm is at least one of your reasons for doing it like premeditated murder one of the reasons for doing that is that it harms the victim a foreseen harm is a harm that you do deliberately c... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does the DDE differentiate between intended harms and foreseen harms?

The DDE distinguishes intended harms as actions where causing harm is one of the reasons for doing so, while foreseen harms are caused without the intention of harm but are known to occur as a consequence of another action.

Q: Are all foreseen harms morally acceptable?

While foreseen harms are generally considered morally acceptable, there are exceptions, such as situations where the foreseen harm greatly outweighs any potential benefits of the action.

Q: Can the DDE address challenges in self-defense scenarios?

The DDE appears to make self-defense impermissible, as it involves intentionally harming the attacker. However, many people intuitively believe self-defense is morally acceptable, highlighting a potential flaw in the DDE.

Q: How does the DDE align with consequentialism?

The DDE contradicts consequentialism by suggesting that actions with the same consequences can have different moral evaluations. Consequentialism evaluates actions solely based on their consequences, making this distinction problematic.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The DDE posits that intended harms, which are harms done with the knowledge and reason of causing harm, are morally worse than foreseen harms, which are harms caused as an unintended consequence of a different action.

  • However, the DDE formulation becomes problematic when applied to scenarios such as organ donation, self-defense, and sacrificing oneself to save others.

  • The DDE also clashes with consequentialism, as it suggests that actions with the same consequences can have different moral evaluations.

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