Extraordinary Evil or Common Malevolence? Evaluating the Jewish Holocaust

Journal of Applied Philosophy 3 (2):167-181 (1986)

Douglas Lackey
Baruch College (CUNY)
This essay considers and rejects the hypothesis of Fackenheim, Wiesel and others that the Jewish Holocaust contains some qualitatively or quantitatively distinct moral evil. The Holocaust was not qualitatively distinct because the intentions and vices of the mass murderer are qualitatively indistinguishable from the intentions and vices of the common murderer. The Holocaust was not quantitatively distinct either because the sum of the evils of the Holocaust is quantitatively indistinguishable from six million randomly selected individual murders or because the notion of a ‘sum’ of moral evils is conceptually incoherent
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-5930.1986.tb00417.x
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