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Compassion and Moral Guidance$
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Steve Bein

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836412

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836412.001.0001

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Compassion in Action

Compassion in Action

(p.151) Chapter Five Compassion in Action
Compassion and Moral Guidance

Steve Bein

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter shows how compassion can be applied to the problems of what contemporary ethicists call “applied ethics.” Specifically, it describes how an ethic of compassion approaches the issues of capital punishment and physician-assisted suicide. This approach can be extended to same-sex marriage, abortion, or any other traditional issues of “applied ethics,” but in the end an ethic of compassion will move beyond what is typically meant by that term. Because compassion always seeks to be applied, the traditional distinction between “theoretical” and “applied” ethics is rendered meaningless. Moreover, because relationships such as friendship and parenthood are matters of applied compassion, on this view the traditional boundaries of “applied ethics” are radically expanded.

Keywords:   compassion, applied ethics, capital punishment, physician-assisted suicide

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