The moral Black hole

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (3):291 - 301 (2009)
Abstract
It is commonly believed that people become selfish and turn to looting, price gouging, and other immoral behaviour in emergencies. This has been the basis for an argument justifying extraordinary measures in emergencies. It states that if emergencies are not curtailed, breakdown of moral norms threaten (‘the moral black hole’). Using the example of natural disasters, we argue that the validity of this argument in non-antagonistic situations, i.e. situations other than war and armed conflict, is highly questionable. Available evidence suggests that people in such emergencies typically do not display panic reactions or exaggerated selfishness, and that phenomena such as looting and price gouging are rare. Furthermore, a version of the moral-black-hole argument based on the mere possibility of a moral black hole occurring runs into problems similar to those of Pascal’s Wager. We conclude that we should be wary against applying the moral-black-hole argument to non-antagonistic cases.
Keywords Ethics  Crisis  Emergencies  Disasters
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,612
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Robert Anderson (1995). Recent Criticisms and Defenses of Pascal's Wager. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 37 (1):45 - 56.
Heidi M. Hurd (2002). Liberty in Law. Law and Philosophy 21 (4/5):385 - 465.

View all 13 references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-02-14

Total downloads

22 ( #76,407 of 1,098,400 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #113,246 of 1,098,400 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.