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Is it morally permissible to kill one innocent person as a means to saving some larger number of innocent people's lives Why - Essay Example

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Is it morally permissible to kill one innocent person as a means to saving some larger number of innocent people's lives Why

However, according to Kantian principle, our duty is to do certain things irrespective of the motive, at least not from a sense of duty. Sometimes one may do something he or she thinks is the right thing to do but in the end the act is wrong. For example, killing one person to save more others may seem right but killing is a crime and as such it is wrong no matter what reason it was intended. So what makes right acts right? Is morality relative or absolute? These are questions that we need to ask ourselves in order to standard ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ actions. The specific ethical issue to be tackled by this paper is whether it is permissible to kill one innocent person as a means to saving some larger number of innocent people’s lives. I will argue that it is morally permissible to kill one innocent person as it leads to the greatest good of all at least based on Professor Moore’s moral theory. There is no question that society aims at ensuring the happiness of all and this would be achieved if many lives are saved. The argument in this case, is the means to achieve this goal. Is it by sacrificing an innocent person or allowing others to die? In order to answer this question, we need to understand what it means to be morally permissible. ...
In this paper thus it will be taken for granted that morality is relative. As such, it depends on the circumstances at the time of the event. It may not be the act one ‘ought to’ has done thus a duty to do as expressed by Kant but the right action given the circumstances. For example, if one man threatens the life of others it is only right to kill that person to preserve the rights of those others. However, everyone has a duty to protect life and as such killing is wrong. One ought not to take another person’s life irrespective of the situation. The subject of morality is thus very confusing and always leads to ethical dilemmas. According to normative ethical theory such as utilitarianism it is assumed that the right act is always the one that results to greatest possible happiness (PHL 275 Week Six p.1) or according to Professor Moore’s ideal utilitarianism “actions productive of more good than could have been produced by any other action open to the agent” (Ross 16). This means that we often do not know what is right or wrong because we cannot tell what the outcomes of doing a certain action will be. Every member of society has an inalienable right to liberty, property and pursuit of happiness and as such, promoting the good of the community is the ultimate aim. Now consider killing an innocent person for the sake of other innocent people. For example, a driver may opt to knock down a pedestrian to avoid colliding with an oncoming vehicle thus saving the lives of many innocent people. Is this morally permissible? According to consequentialist utilitarianism, the act is right only if it leads to producing more good or happiness. I would like to assume that many people would ...Show more


Name: Course: Date: Introduction Moral ethics is a very contradictory subject that requires careful consideration and evaluation. Throughout history the society has been struggling to understand what is the right thing to do or what is wrong given the circumstances and according to moral standards of the society…
Author : ibreitenberg
Is it morally permissible to kill one innocent person as a means to saving some larger number of innocent peoples lives Why
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