عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسنده [English]چکیده [English]
Good and evil are sometimes so dramatically meshed in each other that they face the person with an acute dilemma: on the one hand, his idleness and non-interference will cause enormous pain and, on the other, his interference for relieving or ending a pain will itself involve causing another pain–even though a far less enormous one than the former. The solution always offered by consequentialists is the rule of ‘the most pleasure for the greatest number’. They argue based on this rule that humans are always permitted and even obliged to inflict pain in order to reduce the total pain in terms of both quality and quantity. This solution, at least in its maximalist form, contradicts our moral intuitions and established judgements. However, the idleness which is the result of opposing consequentialism and subscribing unconditionally and wholeheartedly to certain absolute, unalterable constraints will, in cases where not inflicting a slight pain will cause acute, burning pain, be similarly destructive and does not conform to our moral intuitions and established judgements, either. Therefore, in such cases where no third option can be found, non-consequentialists have used the ‘double-effect reasoning’ to prevent the greater of two harms. After introducing the main intellectual sources of the ‘double-effect reasoning’ in Thomas Aquinas’ views and explaining its newer readings in views of French Jesuit Jean Pierre Gury, Joseph Mingen and in the New Catholic Encyclopedia, the present paper endeavours to analyse, scrutiny and reformulate the argument’s four conditions in order to provide a newer, more precise and simpler reading of it, demonstrating one of its important consequences in pragmatic ethics.