The requirement for an act of killing to be justified under the doctrine of double effect

November 26, by Alec Julien The so-called trolley problems form a set of ethical thought experiments meant to delve into our intuitions about killing, letting die, rights, and obligations.

The requirement for an act of killing to be justified under the doctrine of double effect

Are purely military forms of "humanitarian intervention" sometimes morally required? Can such military missions be reconciled with the widely held belief in the moral distinction between killing and letting die? In exploring these questions, the two dominant paradigms in writing about war are considered: The moral centrality of intentions emerges through an explanation of the distinction often made between natural and man-made catastrophe.

Ultimately, the alleged permissibility of the "collateral damage" to which military intervention gives rise implies the permissibility of pacifism, thus invalidating the claim that the resort to deadly force is sometimes morally obligatory.

Exceptions to the prohibition against killing must be justified. Most people regard self-defense as permissible, but other forms of killing are far more controversial.

Abortion and euthanasia are fiercely debated moral issues because it is unclear whether fetuses are persons and whether human beings have the right to terminate their own lives. Capital punishment is opposed by many on the grounds that the "self-defense" rationale fails, for a convict has already been incapacitated in the relevant way.

Nor does there appear to be empirical evidence for any deterrent effect, which some maintain would permit an interpretation of the practice as a form of community "self-defense".

War, the socially coordinated use of deadly force by groups against other groups, prematurely terminates human lives. Because wars involve many different people, moral judgments regarding war and the various actions carried out by military personnel during wartime are highly complex.

The diffusion of moral responsibility, characteristic of wartime activity, arises because a variety of agents are contributing in one way or another to what amounts, taken as a whole, to a war.

Although leaders wage wars, rarely do modern leaders themselves wield deadly weapons. Rather, leaders order their troops to kill, and, far more often than not, the troops obey Calhoun, c.

In the standard public justification of war, an enemy nation has acted so as to mandate military retaliation by the victimized nation. The rhetoric of "just retribution" continues to be wielded by leaders, but the United Nations now officially condones the use of deadly force only in the name of defense.

Allegedly "just retribution" metamorphoses all too quickly to vindictive revenge. While the analogy to personal self-defense is frequently invoked and persuasive to many, the notion of "national self-defense" is fraught with difficulties.

Because a nation is not a biological organism, the idea that a nation ought to protect its "life" does not apply. Furthermore, while persons are sentient, rational, conscious beings who were born innocent, no nation shares the first three of these properties, and some would insist that the establishment of most nations in existence has involved the victimization of indigenous peoples.

In addition, analogies of nations to persons commit the fallacy of composition Calhoun, Nonetheless, in spite of what appear to be intractable conceptual difficulties with "national self-defense", rhetorically persuasive leaders nearly always garner support for their wars through appeal to precisely this notion.

Not all theorists regard war and the military activities within the context of war as susceptible of moral judgment. Two distinct forms of realism about war are sometimes conflated.

One version of "realism" is simply moral relativism applied to the case of war. However, some soi-disant "realists" about war uphold the absolutism of morality when it comes to the conduct of individual agents, whether such a stance is consistent is unclear, given that wars are waged and executed by individual agents.

Leaders themselves invariably justify wars to their populace by appeal to moral frameworks. In public discourse regarding war, the dominant frameworks have been the idealist perspectives of just war theory and utilitarianism. Standard Normative Approaches to War: Just War Theory and Utilitarianism Writers in the just war tradition have always insisted that a set of conditions must be met in order for a military campaign to be morally permitted.

The just war tradition presumes what is widely accepted in modern societies, that civilians may never kill other civilians, except in self-defense, and even then only as a last resort. By articulating requirements upon a just war, ancient and medieval thinkers affirmed as the default position that it is wrong to kill, and that exceptions to this rule must be justified.

Specifically, the jus ad bellum conditions require that war be publicly declared by a legitimate authority with right intention as a last resort with a reasonable chance for success and for a just cause sufficiently grave to warrant recourse to deadly force.

Once justly waged, a war remains just jus in bello only so long as non-combatants including prisoners of war and soldiers who surrender are treated as immune from attack, and the means deployed are not disproportionate to the moral end to be achieved.

Self-defense is often regarded as a cause weighty enough to bear within it the other requirements of just war theory, and literal self-defense may be the only cause sufficiently weighty to justify killing, since any lesser cause would seem to violate the rational constraint of proportionality.

Douglas Lackey applies the proportionality constraint in his analysis of the Gulf War as follows: Since the damage to Iraq was nearly total, and Iraq is considerably larger than Kuwait, the restoration of Kuwait cannot counterbalance the destruction of Iraq.

If Saddam is evil because he has brought so much death and destruction into the world, the moral remedy can hardly be to cause even more destruction and deathp.Need writing the act of killing essay?

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The requirement for an act of killing to be justified under the doctrine of double effect

2d , (CA7 ) (noting "the alternatives of the place of the last act or omission having a causal effect, or the place of the act or omission having the most significant causal effect," but finding that both rules would lead to the same place); Raflo v.

Start studying Ethics Final. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. not morally required to stay connected to the violinist/ takes away the rights of your own body/ focuses on the person's rights rather than violinist The doctrine that the government is justified in curbing people's freedom in.

Which of the following is not a condition that must be met in order for an act to be morally justified under the rule of double effect? a. The act must be good, or at . MPC limits requirement: The MPC limits the overt act requirement to non-serious crimes.

Under the MPC, a conspiracy to commit a felony of the first or second degree may be proved even without an overt act.

The requirement for an act of killing to be justified under the doctrine of double effect
Criminal Law (Emanuel)