10 Moral Paradoxes by Saul Smilansky

By Saul Smilansky

Offering ten varied and unique ethical paradoxes, this innovative paintings of philosophical ethics makes a centred, concrete case for the centrality of paradoxes inside morality.

* Explores what those paradoxes can train us approximately morality and the human situation
* Considers a wide diversity of matters, from established issues to infrequently posed questions, between them "Fortunate Misfortune", "Beneficial Retirement" and "Preferring to not were Born"
* Asks no matter if the lifestyles of ethical paradox is an effective or a nasty factor
* offers analytic ethical philosophy in a provocative, enticing and enjoyable method; posing new questions, featuring attainable options, and not easy the reader to combat with the paradoxes themselves

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Several attempts to solve the Substantive Paradox have appeared in the literature. First, we can explain common attitudes cynically. One such explanation is that being blackmailed in the ordinary ways is frightening only to the rich and powerful, while threats from employers or politicians would rarely concern them. That people with money and power take “ordinary blackmail” but not the Other Social Practices seriously is therefore hardly surprising. But the cynical sort of explanation does not seem to explain the strength of the common attitude toward “ordinary blackmail,” let alone justify it.

However, the underprivileged will usually require the prospect of more severe punishment in order to be deterred, other things being equal. The first formulation of the paradox, then, is this: Justice will, by and large, require that we hand out less severe punishment to those who can be deterred only by more severe punishment. And, broadly, the factors that necessitate more severe punishment of the underprivileged (the experiences that have hardened them to deterrence) are the very factors that make them less deserving of the punishment.

The second assumption involves the idea, roughly, that people from a lower socioeconomic background and position (the “underprivileged”) will be more tempted by crime than are others (the “privileged”), and will be less apprehensive about being punished at a given level. Factors, such as their being poorer or knowing people who have crossed the line into the criminal life, may make it tempting and psychologically easier for the underprivileged to turn to crime. Hence, other things being equal, deterring the underprivileged will require a worse prospect in terms of the severity of punishment than deterring the privileged.

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