Download 10 Moral Paradoxes by Saul Smilansky PDF

By Saul Smilansky

Proposing ten assorted and unique ethical paradoxes, this innovative paintings of philosophical ethics makes a centred, concrete case for the centrality of paradoxes inside of morality.

* Explores what those paradoxes can educate us approximately morality and the human situation
* Considers a huge variety of topics, from commonly used issues to infrequently posed questions, between them "Fortunate Misfortune", "Beneficial Retirement" and "Preferring to not were Born"
* Asks no matter if the lifestyles of ethical paradox is an efficient or a foul factor
* provides analytic ethical philosophy in a provocative, enticing and pleasing approach; posing new questions, offering attainable suggestions, and tough the reader to strive against with the paradoxes themselves

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Example text

Or, differently, attitudes such as remorse or forgiveness may well be transformed if one person’s efforts to harm another actually proved to be a Fortunate Misfortune for the second person. But I shall not take up such matters here. We all know that it is often very difficult to evaluate the significance of events either as they occur or afterwards, and in particular to evaluate their significance for a whole life. Occurrences of apparently Fortunate Misfortune are particularly extreme instances of this general theme, for in Fortunate Misfortune something has occurred that is in itself a clear and grim misfortune but it has resulted in good fortune.

Those from privileged backgrounds who do commit crimes and are convicted will be punished with an “unnecessary” severity only because the proportionality of desert requires that the severity of punishment of those from such backgrounds is to be more than the relevant level for those from underprivileged backgrounds. Note that the paradoxes follow within “ideal theory,” from our doing what we ought to do, and not from error, or from non-compliance with moral requirements. Given commonsense empirical and normative assumptions and, of course, people who commit crimes, then, it is precisely when we aim to do what we should (such as mitigate the punishment of those deserving mitigation) that we fall into paradox.

Michael Clark (1994) has countered that the request for money in “ordinary blackmail” is backed up by a threat, that this combination brings forth something new, and that that new thing is what’s problematic about blackmail. Thus there is nothing paradoxical about the fact that, in themselves, the elements that make up the practice of blackmail are permissible. And indeed there are other similar practices (bigamy or prostitution come to mind) that are morally problematic although their components are not.

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