Life-prolonging killings and their relevance to ethics

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 2 (2):135-147 (1999)
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What makes killing morally wrong? And what makes killing morally worse than letting die? Standard answers to these two questions presuppose that killing someone involves shortening that person's life. Yet, as I argue in the first two sections of this article, this presupposition is false: Life-prolonging killings are conceivable. In the last two sections of the article, I explore the significance of the conceivability of such killings for various discussions of the two questions just mentioned. In particular, I show why the conceivability of life-prolonging killings renders Frances M. Kamm's attempt to provide an answer to the second question problematic.



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Climate Change, War, and the Non-Identity Problem.Jeff McMahan - forthcoming - Journal of Moral Philosophy:1-28.

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References found in this work

The Cement of the Universe: A Study of Causation.John Leslie Mackie - 1974 - Oxford, England: Oxford, Clarendon Press.
The Cement of the Universe.John Earman & J. L. Mackie - 1976 - Philosophical Review 85 (3):390.

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