problem of dirty hands." What is ...">

Moral Absolutism and the Problem of Hard Cases

Journal of Religious Ethics 9 (2):286 - 297 (1981)
Abstract
In "The Theory of Morality" Alan Donagan discusses two problems recently raised for anti-consequentialist moral theories. He calls these "cases of necessity" and "the problem of dirty hands." What is common to each is that anticonsequentialist theories seem to posit requirements the fulfillment of which sometimes results in disastrous consequences. Donagan argues that the anticonsequentialist theory which underlies the Hebrew-Christian moral tradition can avoid these problems. It is argued that Donagan's defense is inadequate. At the end of the paper what the anticonsequentialist must do to deal with these problems is discussed.
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