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Consequences of Compassion: An Interpretation and Defense of by Charles Goodman

By Charles Goodman

To many Westerners, the main attractive teachings of the Buddhist culture pertain to ethics. Many readers have drawn concept from Buddhism's emphasis on compassion, nonviolence, and tolerance, its difficulty for animals, and its versions of advantage and self-cultivation. there was, even though, controversy and confusion approximately which Western moral theories resemble Buddhist perspectives and in what respects. during this e-book, Charles Goodman illuminates the kin among Buddhist innovations and Western moral theories. each model of Buddhist ethics, says Goodman, takes the welfare of sentient beings to be the single resource of ethical tasks. Buddhist ethics can therefore be acknowledged to be in accordance with compassion within the feel of a motivation to pursue the welfare of others. in this interpretation, the basic foundation of a few of the different types of Buddhist ethics is equal to that of the welfarist family members of moral theories that analytic philosophers name 'consequentialism.' Goodman makes use of this speculation to light up quite a few questions. He examines the 3 forms of compassion practiced in Buddhism and argues for his or her implications for very important matters in utilized ethics, specifically the justification of punishment and the query of equality.

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Extra info for Consequences of Compassion: An Interpretation and Defense of Buddhist Ethics

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In this case, no one but the doctor himself will ever know what he did. If he saves the five, he can tell them, on their recovery, that their friend was injured while bringing them in, and that he alone did not survive. It seems that it would be difficult for an act-consequentialist to avoid the conclusion that carving the healthy man up is the morally correct choice in this case. There are other, even more emotionally compelling cases in which actconsequentialism seems to have problematic implications.

In this case, no one but the doctor himself will ever know what he did. If he saves the five, he can tell them, on their recovery, that their friend was injured while bringing them in, and that he alone did not survive. It seems that it would be difficult for an act-consequentialist to avoid the conclusion that carving the healthy man up is the morally correct choice in this case. There are other, even more emotionally compelling cases in which actconsequentialism seems to have problematic implications.

Kant can thus be classified as a “hard-line” or “absolute” deontologist: he thinks that there is a moral principle, the formula of humanity, that always overrides consequentialist considerations. ” We can test our intuitions about hard-line deontology by considering a case in which the falling of the sky becomes an apt metaphor. Imagine that giant alien spaceships suddenly appear above many of the world’s cities, 5 Wood 1999, pp. 118–19. C. The leader of the aliens sends the American president this message: “We laugh at your feeble military technology.

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