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A New Paradox of Deontology

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There's something odd about the view that it'd be wrong to kill one innocent even to prevent five other (comparable) killings.  Given plausible bridging principles, this implies that we should prefer Five Killings over Killing One to Prevent Five.  But that seems an odd preference: how can five killings be preferable to one?  The deontologist (like Setiya) must think that agency is playing a crucial role here.*  While we should prefer one gratuitous killing over five, there is (on this view) a special kind of killing -- killing as a means -- where the good results of the killing don't get to count. So Killing One to Prevent Five is treated as morally akin to Six Killings, rather than to One Killing.This is odd enough, but I think it gets worse.  For compare some variations of the case.  First note that if the good results of the killing-as-a-means don't get to count, then it seems it shouldn't matter to our moral verdicts whether the intended good results actually eventuate or not.  So consider Killing One in a Failed Attempt to Prevent Five (KOFAPF).  Clearly, KOFAPF is much worse an outcome than Killing One to Prevent Five (KOPF): it has the same agential intervention, but with six killings instead of just one.  So we should strongly prefer KOPF over KOFAPF.  But then how can we coherently prefer Five Killings over KOPF?KOFAPF seems broadly akin to Six Killings.  We may suppose that all the same people are threatened, and indeed killed, in both cases.  The only difference is that one of the killings in KOFAPF, instead of being gratuitous, was intended to try to prevent the others.  If anything, this should make KOFAPF morally better than Six (Gratuitous) Killings, it seems to me.  At any rate, it would seem deeply misguided to strongly prefer Six Killings over KOFAPF.  But then, since KOPF is vastly preferable to KOFAPF, it seems to follow that KOPF must be vastly. . .

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