Values File

That is an ideal policy will be concerned with more

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Unformatted text preview: not establish that the proper response is an aggregative tradeoff approach. That requires a further argument to overcome deontological objections to treating human beings as fungible instruments of the collective interest, rather than intrinsically valuable individual beings belonging to themselves. Whether one may be sacrificed for the greater good is the essential dividing line between consequentialists and deontologists, and the Sunstein-Vermeule argument does nothing to erase it. SLHS Value File Exceptions to a prohibition on killing often exist, but not because they are lesser evils Eric Blumenson, Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School, NEW CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW, Spring 2007, p. 231 The right at stake in the Sunstein-Vermeule proposal, the right to life, is recognized in human rights law as non-derogable and absolute, but this obviously does not mean all killing is unjustifiable. The morality involved is not so general or simple; all sorts of discrete exceptions must be recognized to adequately reflect the appropriate powers and rights individuals have in relation to each other and the state in a system that respects every person's equal moral status. One may kill another in selfdefense, for example, and according to many, in circumstances warranting euthanasia. Sunstein and Vermeule point to the duty of police to kill a hostage taker when necessary to free the hostages as analogous to their life-life tradeoff policy, but this example is better understood as part of this deontological system of rules, not the abrogation of that system. Hostage takers may be shot not because it would minimize killings, as is clear from the fact that several of them may be shot when necessary to free a single hostage, 55 but because of a confluence of morally important considerations absent from the simple life-life tradeoff policy the authors suggest. These include the forfeiture of rights by someone who himself intentionally constitutes the threat, the strong possibility of an imminent killing o...
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