Single Idea 4651

[catalogued under 25. Social Practice / F. Life Issues / 1. Causing Death]

Full Idea

Utilitarians have two direct objections to killing (the fear and pain, and the loss of future happiness), and two concerns about side-effects (the loss to friends and community, and the bad precedent and public anxiety caused).

Gist of Idea

Utilitarians object to killing directly (pain, and lost happiness), and to side-effects (loss to others, and precedents)


Jonathan Glover (Causing Death and Saving Lives [1977], 4.4)

Book Reference

Glover,Jonathan: 'Causing Death and Saving Lives' [Penguin 1982], p.71

A Reaction

This invites obvious counterexamples, of somewhat unhappy, lonely people, who can be quietly killed with no qualms. Who will be callous enough to do this deed for us?