Justifying Murder Through Non-consequentialist Means

886 WordsJul 7, 20184 Pages
Killing one person to save the lives of millions seems easily justified from a utilitarian standpoint. However, I reject consequentialism and thus consider the highly desirable outcome insufficient to morally legitimate the murder, and thus hope to align myself more with a Kantian framework. It is right for the doctor to kill the president because the president has chosen to be responsible for the slaughter of millions, which separates him from the category of innocent people, demonstrates moral reasoning that justifies his death, and his willingness to lead people astray justifies some form of retribution. Briefly, utilitarianism holds that the consequences of an action determine its moral worth and that the relative balance of happiness…show more content…
The reader may, having noted the primary importance I place upon the designation of a person as innocent or not regarding whether it could ever be permissible to take that person’s life, now justly find himself particularly inquisitive about why I designate the president as not innocent. After all, the president has not killed anyone yet. To address this concern, I would emphasize that the conceptual vacuum-like space of the scenario offers a luxury rarely afforded in real life, that of assurance. It is inevitable that he will carry out his choice unless prevented, and this assurance doubtlessly affects my judgment by circumventing many reasons for tenuousness in my speculation. The president fully intends to order the slaughter of millions and, even without the foreknowledge of what is going to happen, it would seem quite fair to state that he has made the decision already, he just has not had the opportunity to carry out his plans. A similar example of a decision that far precedes action could include someone deciding to murder their relative to collect insurance money, but waiting months until the right opportunity was presented. It is quite common to make a choice and not be able to carry it out immediately, but this does not diminish that it was a significant and heartfelt decision. A person, who genuinely intends, is prepared to, and

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