1. How does [1] imply [2]? Consider antinatalists. They have moral reasons TO TRY accomplish antinatalism ("AN"). But they don't have moral reasons to accomplish AN, because they probably won't accomplish AN, at least in the next 50 years. AN requires zero reproduction, and this is unrealistic when Earth has 7.8 billion humans today.

  2. Can anyone offer a better counter-example? Pls ELI5 - I never studied philosophy.

Herring, Criminal Law: Text, Cases, and Materials (8 edn, 2018). p. 113

At first this sounds a thoroughly convincing argument, but, as Paul Robinson has pointed out, those who argue that consequence should not matter are ‘a breed that exists (and will probably always exists) only in academia. I know of no jurisdiction that actually takes such a view’.157 John Gardner has argued that it seeks to prove too much:

[1] anyone who denies the existence of moral reasons to bring about results or consequences also [2] denies the existence of (normal) moral reasons to try to bring about results or consequences. So if one will not assess actions morally according to their results or consequences, one should not assess them according to their intentions either. If our successes do not count, then neither do our endeavors. With no inputs or outputs, there is nothing left of us as moral agents.158


This seems to be legal reasoning, not strictly philosophical reasoning. Basically, the author is suggesting that if we reject the idea that we base the moral valence of an act on the act's consequences, we must also reject the idea that we can base the moral valence of an act on the actor's intentions. To take a simplistic example, if person X drops a bowling ball off the roof of a building, one of the possible consequences of that act is that X will kill someone passing below. Normally we think that the consequence 'killing someone' is morally bad, but if for some reason we decide that killing someone is not morally bad (in this case, or in general), then it makes no sense to question X's intentions. X could have been juggling bowling balls and accidentally dropped one, or he could have been aiming the ball at someone he disliked, but his intentions have no moral significance because the consequence has no moral significance. We only need to question what X was trying to do if we start from the perspective that the consequence has a defined moral valence.

We can kill as many people as we like in video games because people in video games are not 'real' and thus no moral wrong attaches to their 'death'. That consequence does not matter there.

Not all ethicists agree with the idea that consequences are the best way of measuring moral valance. Deontologists argue that moral values are derived from conformance to rule-systems rather than from the consequences of an act; virtue ethicists see morality as a matter of character irrespective of consequences or rules; ethical pragmatists see moral rules as something that is developed through a process akin to experimentation... None of them would argue that we need to evaluate the consequences of an act to establish the morality of the act itself.

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