Killing and Letting Die James Rachels by liaoqinmei

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									Killing and Letting Die
Two ways of being involved in
someone’s death:
•killing
•letting die
Is one worse than the other?
Most people assume that
killing is worse than letting
die--and most philosophers
agree.

However, some philosophers
think that, from a moral point
of view, they are the same.
What difference does it make?

•Duty to give aid (e.g. famine
   relief)
•Euthanasia
The Equivalence Thesis:
There is no moral difference
between killing and letting die.
The bare fact that one act is an act
of killing, while another act is an
act of letting die, is not a reason
for judging one to be better or
worse than the other.
Three Arguments in Favor of the
Equivalence Thesis:

•It makes no difference to the
     person who dies.

•The Argument from The Black Box
The Argument from Parallel Cases:
A pair of cases is described, and then
the argument goes:
If there was an important moral
difference between killing and letting
die, then what X did would be worse
than what Y did.
But what X and Y did were equally bad.
Therefore, there is no important moral
difference between killing and letting
die.
Four attempts to explain why
killing is worse than letting die:

•Cause of Death
•Dischargeability
•Optionality
•Intentions

								
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