Killing Innocents and the Doctrine of Double Effect

Catholic moral philosophy requires an absolute prohibition against the direct killing of innocents. In this paper I consider some examples of justified actionswhich involve the killing of innocent persons and will present them as cases about which I am confident many others will share the same intuitions. I willthen try to show what conditions apply in such cases that justify those intuitions. I will argue that their justification is in accordance with a modified version of theFinnis, Grisez, Boyle interpretation of the doctrine of double effect; it defends their interpretation of what is direct versus indirect in cases of double effect, and meets the proportionality condition in a way suggested by Philippa Foot regarding the virtues of justice and charity.
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DOI 10.5840/acpaproc20047824
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