Nesbitt_and_Kuhse - Is Killing No Worse Than Letting Die...

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“Is Killing No Worse Than Letting Die?” Winston Nesbitt
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Nesbitt’s stance on “the difference thesis” In this article, Nesbitt defends what he calls the difference thesis. The difference thesis implies that there is a moral difference between killing and letting die (i.e., killing is worse than letting die). He wants to argue against Rachels and others who maintain that there is no moral difference between killing and letting die. Nesbitt claims that many of the opponents of the difference thesis argue against it by producing examples like Rachels’ (and Tooley’s) Smith and Jones cases.
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How good are Rachels’ examples? Nesbitt thinks that authors that follow this strategy have successfully produced examples that illicit the intuition that killing and letting die are equally evil. He wants, however, to examine the examples and see if there is any extenuating aspect of them that causes us to judge Smith and Jones as being equally reprehensible. He thinks that Rachels produced two examples that were too similar.
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Smith and Jones Revisited Nesbitt believes that we judge Rachels’ Smith and Jones to be equally bad because they were both prepared to perform the same action. Remember, Jones went upstairs fully prepared to drown his nephew.
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