The harm of immorality

Ratio 21 (3):241-259 (2008)
A central problem in moral theory is how it is to be defended against those who think that there is no harm in being immoral, and that immorality can be in one's self-interest, assuming the perpetrator is not caught and punished. The argument presented here defends the idea that being immoral prevents one from having self-respect. If it makes sense to think that one cannot be happy without self-respect, then the conclusion follows that one cannot be both immoral and happy. Immorality is harmful because its self-disrespecting nature keeps immoralists from being happy. This is the harm of immorality.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9329.2008.00399.x
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