Backlash - download pdf or read online

By Nick Oldham

ISBN-10: 0727857002

ISBN-13: 9780727857002

Transferred from CID to uniform tasks, Inspector Henry Christie is again on the sharp finish of policing and he's now not chuffed approximately it -- particularly whilst a brutal homicide, it sounds as if the paintings of a serial killer, happens on his patch . . .

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Sample text

With morality, the case is, or anyhow has been considered through most of recorded history to be, different. Words like 'duty' and the others need definition. Their meaning is not supplied a priori. I believe that Kant, whose views about time and space I rejected in the last lecture, has given us the most satisfactory explanation of this matter. The question of whether a certain line of action is a duty or, alternatively, a wrongful act, arises when it is pertinent to ask the question, what would happen if everyone, or many people, in identical relevant situations did (or did not do) the thing in question?

He may have felt annoyed because he thought that the popular phrase was twisting the pure doctrine of utilitarianism in an egalitarian direction. Spread the butter more widely, even if you thereby reduce the total amount of butter and the sum total of human happiness. But I believe that he was thinking rather of the population question, to which the expression is clearly relevant. It is a difficult one to handle, because the ninth baby may have a happier life than any of the other eight. One may take a wider sweep and consider whether, if one increases the population of an overcrowded region by I per cent, one thereby causes the lives of I per cent more people than would otherwise be the case to contain no positive net content of happiness at all.

My position is actually stronger still. It is as though a six certainly would not appear more than once and might not appear at all, since the last aliquot part of the continuum might not appear in our lifetime, or, indeed, ever. One would say that there was at most a one-sixth chance of the six appearing and at least a five-sixths chance of its not appearing on the first throw. If the die had a thousand facets, and the same conditions applied, there would be at least nine hundred and ninety-nine chances to one against the 1 ooo facet appearing on the first throw.

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Backlash by Nick Oldham


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