Disaster Consequentialism

Rakić, Vojin (2018) Disaster Consequentialism. In: Disasters: Core Concepts and Ethical Theories. Advancing Global Bioethics. Advancing Global Bioethics (11). Springer, Cham, pp. 145-156. ISBN 978-3-319-92721-3 ; ISBN 978-3-319-92722-0 (Online)

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In this chapter I will give an interpretation of the role consequentialist ethics can have in disaster settings. I will argue that consequentialist ethics is most appropriate when decisions are taken that affect not single individuals but larger numbers of people. This is frequently the case in political decision making, especially when powerful states act in the domain of international relations, but also in disaster settings. I will focus on the latter settings and argue that in those contexts consequentialism is most adequate as a moral theory. I will also contend that different situational settings require different ethics. The moral relevance of these situational settings is primarily dependent on the number of people affected by morally relevant decisions. The formulation of my position will be preceded by a brief review of the historical development of consequentialism, primarily related to disaster settings. In order to make my arguments as vivid as possible I will use four vignettes. In two of them consequentialist ethics is appropriate, while in the other two deontology is a more reasonable moral theory. In the former two we deal with large numbers of people in disaster settings; in the latter two with “regular” settings that do not affect the lives of many individuals.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Disaster consequentialism, Consequentialist ethics, Disaster settings, State consequentialism, Deontology , Ultimate harm, Situational settings
Institutional centre: Centre for philosophy
Depositing User: Vesna Jovanović
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2021 09:20
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2021 09:20
URI: http://iriss.idn.org.rs/id/eprint/446

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