Are There Genuine Reasons Against Intending Harm?
The defenders of the Doctrine of Double Effect and all those who subscribe to the thesis that intentions are non-derivatively relevant to the moral permissibility of actions, must answer these questions affirmatively. For there to be a genuine deontological constraint against intending harm, reasons against intending harm must be reasons per se.
In this talk, I evaluate and find wanting three kinds of theoretical justifications of reasons against intending harm as reasons per se: agent-centered, victim-centered, and impersonal. They state, respectively, that bad intentions are wrongs because they are bad for the agent, or for the victim, or because they are bad, period.
I conclude that although the failure of these justifications is not a decisive evidence to think that there are no genuine reasons against intending harm, it is a good enough evidence to raise serious doubt about it.”