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

By Charles Goodman

To many Westerners, the main beautiful teachings of the Buddhist culture pertain to ethics. Many readers have drawn idea from Buddhism's emphasis on compassion, nonviolence, and tolerance, its situation for animals, and its types of advantage and self-cultivation. there was, despite the fact that, controversy and confusion approximately which Western moral theories resemble Buddhist perspectives and in what respects. during this e-book, Charles Goodman illuminates the kinfolk among Buddhist recommendations and Western moral theories. each model of Buddhist ethics, says Goodman, takes the welfare of sentient beings to be the one resource of ethical responsibilities. Buddhist ethics can therefore be acknowledged to be in accordance with compassion within the experience of a motivation to pursue the welfare of others. in this interpretation, the elemental foundation of some of the sorts 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 various questions. He examines the 3 sorts of compassion practiced in Buddhism and argues for his or her implications for very important matters in utilized ethics, specially the justification of punishment and the query of equality.

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Instead, you are standing on a bridge, above the track and ahead of the trolley’s present position. Standing next to you on the bridge is an obese man. If you push him off the bridge, he will fall onto the track. When the trolley reaches the bridge, it will strike him and stop. In this case, he and he alone will die. This man is the only available object heavy enough to stop the trolley. In particular, since you are small and slender, if you jump off the bridge onto the tracks, the trolley will simply roll over you and go on to kill the five people.

The doctor is unlikely to be able to keep all of his operations secret. Once local people realize that people who enter the hospital with cuts and bruises have a tendency to die there, they will stop coming to the hospital. As a result, the Inhospitable Hospital will lose its ability to serve the community. Public health conditions in the region will decline. Moreover, the fact that relatively healthy patients are no longer coming to the hospital will make it impossible for the doctor to continue to obtain organs for transplantation.

Highly sophisticated and careful commentary on Kant’s arguments can be found in Wood 1999 and Korsgaard 1996. I discuss and criticize Kant’s views in chapter 11. Some Western Ethical Theories 39 our refusal to endorse its consequences arises from prejudice, youthful indoctrination, irrational psychological processes, or some other untrustworthy source. And there are still other ways for consequentialists and deontologists to deal with problem cases. Yet over the past few decades, some ethicists have become more and more dissatisfied with such strategies.

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