The Moral Distinction Between Killing And Letting By James Rachels

1200 Words Apr 23rd, 2015 null Page
Is the act of killing a person, worse than letting him or her die? American moral philosopher and author of The Elements of Moral Philosophy, James Rachels’, answers this question, as well as the alleged moral distinction between killing and letting. Rachels’ begins by illustrating the various factors of particular actions and disputes the application of morality in certain situations. By using his Equivalence Thesis and its justification, the Bare Difference argument, Rachels’ argues that the action of killing and letting die are viewed equally, as there is no moral difference between them.
For those who have not ventured to read his book, Rachels’ Equivalence Thesis states that killing a person and letting them die, is virtually one in the same. In other words, if the action of killing someone is permissible than so is letting him or her die. It states that there is no morally significant difference in the action itself and that they are equally as bad, as the difference itself is not taken into account. Additionally, it implies that both actions are virtually paralleled. However, you should note that The Equivalence Thesis does not address the difference in the bare act itself. In this case, the act being an act of killing, while the other is an act of merely letting die, he explains is an invalid reason to support the judgment that one is worse than the other. Moreover, it is important to note that Rachels’ uses the Bare Difference Argument to justify his thesis and…

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