Single Idea 6698

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / g. Consequentialism]

Full Idea

Negative consequences make the extension of the consequences of our actions indefinite, and this means that it is difficult to assess them; it may make it impossible, since there is now no clear sense to the idea of THE consequences of an action at all.

Clarification

'Negative consequences' are what does not happen, because of the action

Gist of Idea

Negative consequences are very hard (and possibly impossible) to assess

Source

Gordon Graham (Eight Theories of Ethics [2004], Ch.7)

Book Reference

Graham,Gordon: 'Eight Theories of Ethics' [Routledge 2004], p.139


A Reaction

The general slogan of 'Do your best' covers most objections to the calculation of consequences. It is no excuse for stealing a wallet that 'at least I wasn't committing genocide'. How easy were the alternative actions to do?