CLA Hale Lecture Series
Rochester Institute of Technology
Department of Philosophy
Thursday, April 20th
4:00 – 5:30 pm
Eastman Hall, Room 01-2000
“Miguel’s Choice: Killing Innocent Persons for the Greater Good”
If one must take reasonable precautions to not harm people, and if the intentional use of violence against a person requires justification, and if self-defense can be such a justification, then even in one’s act of self-defense, one must take reasonable precautions to not harm innocent persons. Even unintentionally and mistakenly harming innocent persons can sometimes be grounds for moral criticism. But what of unintentionally and knowingly harming innocent persons in one’s pursuit of a significant “higher good” (such as freeing one’s society from the yoke of an oppressive tyranny)? Can the goal of a “higher good” relax the reasonable precautions rule?
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