more from Rowland Stout

Single Idea 20068

[catalogued under 20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 5. Action Dilemmas / b. Double Effect]

Full Idea

The real signficance of the doctrine of double effect can be public relations. You can put a better spin on an action by describing a death as an unfortunate collateral consequence, rather than as a goal of the action

Gist of Idea

Describing a death as a side-effect rather than a goal may just be good public relations


Rowland Stout (Action [2005], 7 'Doctrine')

Book Reference

Stout,Rowland: 'Action' [Acumen 2005], p.108

A Reaction

The problem is that it the principle is usually invoked in situations where it is not clear where some bad effect is intended, and it is very easy to lie in such situations. In football, we can never quite decide whether a dangerous tackle was intended.