Killing People or Animals to Benefit Others

Eric Rakowski

in Equal Justice

Published in print July 1993 | ISBN: 9780198240792
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680274 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Killing People or Animals to Benefit Others

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This chapter focuses on the permissibility of killing innocents in peacetime who, at the time of their deaths, do not willingly offer their lives to benefit others. Beginning with the question whether it is morally permissible in a just society to kill innocent people to advance others' welfare, the chapter defends a variant of a maximizing policy in the context of public law enforcement, but argues against its extension to most other domains. The justifiability of killing persons belonging to alien groups to help members of one's own society is then considered. This discussion includes a moral assessment of the slaughter of nonhuman mammals for therapeutic, educational, and nutritional purposes, as well as remarks on the exploitation of foreign peoples.

Keywords: killing; moral assessment; maximizing policy; exploitation; animals; peacetime

Chapter.  18181 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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