Think 8 (22):57-63 (2009)

R. Mark Sainsbury
University of Texas at Austin
Could it be that one morally ought to do something morally bad? Some people think the answer is obviously ‘No’. Indeed, these theorists may say, it is contradictory to suppose that one morally ought to do something morally bad. Others hold that it is not a contradiction but a sad fact of life that one may be morally required to do something morally bad. This latter position is the one I'll be supporting. If it's the right view, it really matters in practical affairs. For example, almost everyone would agree that it's morally bad to kill an innocent fetus. But this does not settle the question of whether one morally ought to have an abortion, if it can be morally required that one do something morally bad
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DOI 10.1017/S1477175609000086
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