Single Idea 20572

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / b. Rational ethics]

Full Idea

De Sade trumpeted far and wide the impossibility of deriving from reason any fundamental argument against murder.

Gist of Idea

De Sade said it was impossible to rationally argue against murder

Source

T Adorno / M Horkheimer (Dialectic of Enlightenment [1944], p.118)

Book Reference

Adorno/Horkheimer: 'Dialectic of Enlightenment' [Verso 1997], p.118


A Reaction

[They focus on 'Juliette'] This is a big problem for utilitarians, because murdering an unhappy person may maximise happiness. Presumably a maniac could will universal carnage, and thus thwart Kant.