Natural Law and the Paradox of Evil

Natural Law and the Paradox of Evil

Whether moral decisions are evaluated by universal standards or by those of local traditions, moral conflicts are always contextual. Kant’s categorical imperative is absolutely universalistic, but its test cases are concrete and particular; one should, for example, return a deposit even where the depositor alone was aware of the arrangement and has since died. In the same way, when I now raise the question of how we can deal with Evil, I do so in a specific context. The moral conflicts that I shall discuss are those that occur in the aftermath of the collapse of totalitarian regimes and of military and other dictatorships. The question is whether the evils perpetrated under murderous political regimes can, should, or will be punished; whether those responsible for murder, kidnapping, and mass incarceration and discrimination, can, will, or should be made to pay for what they have done.

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