more from Jonathan Glover

Single Idea 4671

[catalogued under 24. Applied Ethics / C. Death Issues / 2. Causing Death]

Full Idea

If the only objection to killing (or not conceiving) is the impersonal one of not reducing the amount of worthwhile life, there seems nothing wrong with eliminating one worthwhile life if another is substituted.

Gist of Idea

What is wrong with killing someone, if another equally worthwhile life is substituted?


Jonathan Glover (Causing Death and Saving Lives [1977], 11.1)

Book Reference

Glover,Jonathan: 'Causing Death and Saving Lives' [Penguin 1982], p.139

A Reaction

This invites us to value a life in itself, rather than for what it makes possible (e.g. 'worthwhile' activity). It doesn't follow that the life is 'sacred' - only that it has some intrinsic value. And why not?