Single Idea 4655

[catalogued under 24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 6. Liberalism / g. Liberalism critique]

Full Idea

If you found a whole community who did not mind dying (because it is no more to regret than going to sleep), then according to the autonomy principle there would be no objection to killing the whole community.

Gist of Idea

If a whole community did not mind death, respect for autonomy suggests that you could kill them all


Jonathan Glover (Causing Death and Saving Lives [1977], 5.3)

Book Reference

Glover,Jonathan: 'Causing Death and Saving Lives' [Penguin 1982], p.79

A Reaction

I presume you would at least ask them if they desired death! They might regret being put to sleep. And respect for autonomy need not be the only value.