Differences Between Weak Impermissibility And The Bystander Cases

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In the aforementioned studies, an asymmetry is found between the footbridge and the bystander cases which suggests that there is an independent reason to remove any asymmetry in the personal bystander and footbridge cases. The results showed that participants were aware of the difference between weak impermissibility and all-in impermissibility. In the first experiment, about 70% stated that is was not acceptable to violate a moral rule and all things considered both in the personal footbridge case. We can see a recognisable distinction in personal and moral cases, but this was not addressed in these experiments. In addition, a philosophical understanding tells us that when a rule is broken, it is wrong to go ahead with that action (e.g. Fried, 1978). It is clear then from both experiments that a difference between weak and all-in permissibility is not evident (Nichols & Mallon, 2005). The results show that some people think that it is acceptable to breach a moral rule, even one that allows killing innocent people. This reinforces the idea that people are not absolute deontologists, and this is similar to the issues observed in the catastrophe case. What is notable about the results is that people appreciate the recognisable difference between weak and all-in impermissibility. Moreover, the results show an independent mechanism for two underlying ideas relating to moral judgement. One shows that people are able to minimise bad outcomes and the other shows people have a set
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