Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (3):291-301 (2009)
AbstractIt is commonly believed that people become selfish and turn to looting, price gouging, and other immoral behaviour in emergencies. This has been the basis for an argument justifying extraordinary measures in emergencies. It states that if emergencies are not curtailed, breakdown of moral norms threaten (‘the moral black hole’). Using the example of natural disasters, we argue that the validity of this argument in non-antagonistic situations, i.e. situations other than war and armed conflict, is highly questionable. Available evidence suggests that people in such emergencies typically do not display panic reactions or exaggerated selfishness, and that phenomena such as looting and price gouging are rare. Furthermore, a version of the moral-black-hole argument based on the mere possibility of a moral black hole occurring runs into problems similar to those of Pascal’s Wager. We conclude that we should be wary against applying the moral-black-hole argument to non-antagonistic cases.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
References found in this work
Dignity and Practical Reason in Kant's Moral Theory.Thomas E. Hill - 1992 - Cornell University Press.
The Right to Lie: Kant on Dealing with Evil.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1986 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 15 (4):325-349.
Formulating the Precautionary Principle.Neil A. Manson - 2002 - Environmental Ethics 24 (3):263-274.
Crisis.Reinhart Koselleck & Michaela Richter - 2006 - Journal of the History of Ideas 67 (2):357-400.
Just War and the Supreme Emergency Exemption.Christopher Toner - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (221):545-561.
Citations of this work
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
The Limits of Information.D. J. - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (4):511-524.
Hiding Information in Theories Beyond Quantum Mechanics, and It’s Application to the Black Hole Information Problem.Markus P. Müller, Jonathan Oppenheim & Oscar C. O. Dahlsten - 2014 - Foundations of Physics 44 (8):829-842.
The Black Hole Information Paradox and the Collapse of the Wave Function.Elias Okon & Daniel Sudarsky - 2015 - Foundations of Physics 45 (4):461-470.
Remarks on Black Hole Instabilities and Closed String Tachyons.J. L. F. Barbón & E. Rabinovici - 2003 - Foundations of Physics 33 (1):145-165.
Interpretation of Singularities in General Relativity and the Information Loss Paradox.Cristi Stoica - manuscript
Interpretation of Singularities in General Relativity and the Information Loss Paradox (Version 2).Cristi Stoica - manuscript
Interactions and the Consistency of Black Hole Complementarity.Peter Bokulich - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (4):371-386.
Cosmic Intelligence and Black Holes.Vladimir A. Lefebvre & Yuri N. Efremov - 2008 - World Futures 64 (8):563 – 576.
Black Hole Thermodynamics and Lorentz Symmetry.Ted Jacobson & Aron C. Wall - 2010 - Foundations of Physics 40 (8):1076-1080.
What Can the Quantum Liquid Say on the Brane Black Hole, the Entropy of an Extremal Black Hole, and the Vacuum Energy?G. E. Volovik - 2003 - Foundations of Physics 33 (2):349-368.
An Outline of Scientific Research Programme Connecting Dlack-Hole Evaporation With More Familiar Effects.Rinat M. Nugayev - 1985 - Acta Physica Polonica (4):251-269.