Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Truth, life and deontology

Absolutists who think that lying is wrong even to save a life are sometimes accused of thinking truth to be more valuable than life. Whether or not absolutism about lying is true (I think it is), the accusation is a misunderstanding of the structure of deontological prohibitions. For it would be silly to suppose that a deontologist who thinks it’s wrong to kill one innocent in order to save ten thinks that one life is more valuable than ten! If there is a mistake in deontology, it is not the mistake of thinking 1 > 10.

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