Principle of double effect

Formulations of the principle of double effect Thomas Aquinas is credited with introducing the principle of double effect in his discussion of the permissibility of self-defense in the Summa Theologica II-II, Qu. Wherefore, if a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful, whereas, if he repel force with moderation, his defense will be lawful.

Principle of double effect

Principle of double effect

The Principle of Double Effect and our responsibility regarding the environment Suppose that you know that an action has two consequences, or effects, one good and one bad. Is it morally permissible to perform that action? The standard of "we" in "we understand" is normally thought to be an adult of normal intelligence.

Willful or irresponsible ignorance does not excuse you. Does the fact that we foresee the harm make our action immoral? Normally, it is considered morally wrong to do something where there are foreseen harmful consequences.

If the harm is foreseen, we cannot excuse ourselves on the grounds that it's an "accident," nor on the grounds of excusable ignorance.

The principle of double Principle of double effect i. Is it always wrong to kill another person, or is it only wrong to intentionally do so?

If it is always wrong to kill another person, then it is wrong to build highways, because we know that these highways will cause the deaths of some people in traffic accidents. Or are we excusing these deaths because they are "accidents"? But they are not accidents, because they are foreseen! The principle says that a person can morally do an action with foreseen harmful consequences, as a side-effect, provided four conditions are met: Any intention to bring about evil corrupts any action.

You can't be using the good outcome as your excuse for causing the harm. Isolated from the two consequences, the action itself must be good, or at least it must be morally neutral. Donating money to charity is good; using mint toothpaste instead of another flavor is morally neutral.

Both 1 and 4 suggest that the agent must take steps that will minimize the resulting evil or harm. The strategic bomber aims at military targets while foreseeing that bombing such targets will cause civilian deaths. When his bombs kill civilians this is a foreseen but unintended consequence of his actions.

Even if it is equally certain that the two bombers will cause the same number of civilian deaths, terror bombing is impermissible while strategic bombing is permissible. If death is worse than living with pain, then it is wrong to administer a dosage of a pain killer that is likely to kill a suffering patient.

The intended good does not outweigh the likely harm.Supporters of the principle argue that, in situations of "double effect" where all these conditions are met, the action under consideration is morally permissible despite the bad result.

Each of these conditions has, however, been a matter of considerable controversy. The principle of double effect—also known as the rule of double effect; the doctrine of double effect, often abbreviated as DDE or PDE, double-effect reasoning; or simply double effect—is a set of ethical criteria which Christian philosophers, and some others, have advocated for evaluating the permissibility of acting when one's otherwise.

The Principle of Double Effect is used to determine when an action which has two effects, one good and one evil, may still be chosen without sin. This principle is attributed to St.

Thomas Aquinas, who used it to show that killing in self-defense is justified (Summa Theologiae I-II q64 art. 7).

The Doctrine of Double Effect

With. Things to consider for the principle of double effect Consideration in Double Effect in which the benefit is equal t Consideration in Double Effect in which the benefits must come. Jan 08,  · Doctrine of double effect.

This doctrine says that if doing something morally good has a morally bad side-effect, it's ethically OK to do it providing the bad side-effect wasn't intended. The principle of double effect permits the loss of the unborn as an indirect result of the direct act of saving the mother's life.

A Life Snuffed Outout In the law of bioethics, intention has often been discussed in the context of the principle of double effect.

EWTN - Catholic Voter's Guide - The Principle of Double Effect