more from Jonathan Glover

Single Idea 4661

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / A. Value / 2. Values / b. Valuing life]

Full Idea

It is not wrong to kill because of the intrinsic value of life or consciousness, or because people have a right to life, but because we shouldn't reduce worthwhile life, or thwart someone's desire to live, or inflict fear or pain.

Gist of Idea

What matters is not intrinsic value of life or rights, but worthwhile and desired life, and avoidance of pain


Jonathan Glover (Causing Death and Saving Lives [1977], 8.1)

Book Reference

Glover,Jonathan: 'Causing Death and Saving Lives' [Penguin 1982], p.113

A Reaction

This is a utilitarian view. It is not clear how we decide 'worthwhile' without a notion of intrinsic value. It is unclear why this desire is respected if many other desires are not.