Thursday, 30 April 2015

Gabor Kendeffy: Will and moral responsibility in Augustine's works on lying

The main propositions implied by Augustine's argumentation
It is possible for someone not to want the sin of someone else even if one does not want to avoid it by committing a sin oneself. It is possible for someone not to want to commit a sin when by doing so one would avoid the sin of someone else as a greater evil. In the case of a believer, God is less willing to forgive a lesser sin if it is committed in order to either avert a greater evil or attain a greater good. However, due to the fallen condition of man, a normal believer is bound to face and often to yield to the temptation of avoiding the sin of someone else by committing a lesser sin oneself.
Augustine and the trolley problem.
Those deciding to pull the lever and save the lives of five men at the expense of the life of one would claim that one who prefers to commit a lesser sin to avert a greater one does not want the former. Apparently, Augustine used different criteria to admit that someone wants what he prefers.

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