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him or disrespecting his moral status as a person, because we are not actually infringing any of his rights.

E. A further modification of the constraint: thresholds

We must note briefly that one other feature of the constraints emerges from the bargainers’ twofold motivation: thresholds. The belief in thresholds – that is, the belief that the evil that will result from not breaking a constraint or violating a right might sometimes be so great that the constraints can in those cases be overridden – emerges also from the bargainers’ second motive. We have already seen how this personhood- respecting motive leads to genuinely deontological constraints. This was because in their concern to formulate a set of rules that gave proper expression to the moral status of persons, the bargainers sought properly to recognize persons’ inviolability with their rules. Hence they adopted constraints, rather than the mere restrictions that emerged from the bargainers’ self-interest-maximizing motive. However, we must recall that inviolability is not the only feature of this moral status of persons that the bargainers wished to respect. According to this view of persons’ moral status, people are also ‘worthy of concern.’ Although this feature of persons is generally not as strong as their inviolability, it does count. And indeed, there may be cases in which the ‘worthiness of concern’ of the many might be strong enough to override the inviolability of the one. It is important to note, though, that in agreeing to such thresholds, the bargainers are still in keeping with their personhood-respecting motive, in exactly the same way in which agreeing to the inviolability-honoring constraints in the first place represented their personhood-respecting motive. It is simply that the bargainers recognize that, though important, the inviolability of persons is not the only dimension of their moral status that they wish their moral system to respect – hence the incorporation of thresholds into this moral system. III. Conclusion: The shape of the modified constraints.

In closing, then, we see that the bargainers’ self-interest-maximizing motivation will result in their adopting particular restrictions against lying, stealing, harming and killing, as the overall adherence to these restrictions will increase everyone’s average


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