David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (3):291 - 301 (2009)
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)|
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
Thomas E. Hill (1992). Dignity and Practical Reason in Kant's Moral Theory. Cornell University Press.
Christine M. Korsgaard (1986). The Right to Lie: Kant on Dealing with Evil. Philosophy and Public Affairs 15 (4):325-349.
Neil A. Manson (2002). Formulating the Precautionary Principle. Environmental Ethics 24 (3):263-274.
Daniel Statman (2006). Supreme Emergencies Revisited. Ethics 117 (1):58-79.
Bob Brecher (2007). Torture and the Ticking Bomb. Wiley-Blackwell.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Paul Davies (2002). How Far Can the Generalized Second Law Be Generalized? Foundations of Physics 32 (12):1877-1889.
Peter Bokulich (2011). Interactions and the Consistency of Black Hole Complementarity. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (4):371-386.
Peter Bokulich (2005). Does Black Hole Complementarity Answer Hawking's Information Loss Paradox? Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1336-1349.
Cristi Stoica, Interpretation of Singularities in General Relativity and the Information Loss Paradox.
Cristi Stoica, Interpretation of Singularities in General Relativity and the Information Loss Paradox (Version 2).
Vladimir A. Lefebvre & Yuri N. Efremov (2008). Cosmic Intelligence and Black Holes. World Futures 64 (8):563 – 576.
Peter Bokulich (2001). Black Hole Remnants and Classical Vs. Quantum Gravity. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2001 (3):S407-.
J. Melia (1999). Holes, Haecceitism and Two Conceptions of Determinism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (4):639--64.
D. J. (2001). The Limits of Information. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 32 (4):511-524.
Added to index2009-02-14
Total downloads29 ( #130,247 of 1,790,069 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #265,711 of 1,790,069 )
How can I increase my downloads?