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To Defend a Killer - Essay Example

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To Defend a Killer

When this generalization is applied to the current circumstances, it becomes clear that the solicitor’s actions could not have been following utilitarianism as he did not know the outcome of his actions. It could have been possible that his forged signature would enabled Jane’s freedom but it was also possible that his forgery would have been caught leaving him in peril. Thus, when the solicitor was taking the action of forging Jane’s signatures, he was exposing both Jane and himself to risk which does not conform to utilitarianism as it requires the greatest happiness for all involved. However, when the consequences of the solicitor’s actions are considered, it becomes clear that his action was utilitarian in nature as it ensured Jane’s freedom and did not put the solicitor in danger either. In this sense, the solicitor’s action is utilitarian in nature.
Ethical egoism contends that moral agents ought to act in order to preserve their self-interest (Sanders, July, 1988). However, this does not mean that ethical egoism is beyond ethical measure because it is extremely self-centered. Instead, the ethical egoist perspective delineates that a moral agent can only act in self-interest if the interest of another person are not endangered (Smith, 2006). When the current case is reviewed it becomes clear that one person, Jane was already in danger and that the solicitor acted to minimize the danger present to her. However, in doing so the solicitor exposed himself to danger knowingly because if the forged signatures were detected, the solicitor would be punished under law.
This behavior on the part of the solicitor puts him in direct conflict with the ethical egoist perspective as ethical egoism would advocate protecting personal interests. Under the ethical egoism domain, the solicitor should have left the case as is because his ...Show more


When a person is taking an action, it is often not possible to determine if the consequences and thus the resulting happiness of that action. Therefore, for most given purposes…
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