chapter  Chapter 5
The Question of Justification
WithJohn Kleinig
Pages 13

Justification is not sought or given in a normative vacuum, but reflects the concerns of interlocutors in a dialogue who are considering whether a course of action will pass moral or some other normative muster. When justificatory questions are acceptably answered so far as the interlocutory community is concerned, the course of action will be said to be justified. There is, however, no simple justificatory path from ends to means. Several questions must be addressed and satisfactorily responded to: Are the ends good or good enough? Are the means proportionate to the ends? Can the ends be secured in a less invasive manner? Will the means secure the ends? Is there something intrinsically problematic about the means? Will the means have deleterious consequences that would make their use problematic? It is my view that these questions cannot be responded to in some simple algorithmic fashion, but constitute the ingredients for an act of judgment.