Tolerating Inconsistencies: A Study of Logic of Moral Conflicts
Keywords:moral conflicts, deontic logic, paraconsistent logic, Arjuna's dilemma, paraconsistent deontic logic, context-sensitive deontic logic
Moral conflicts are the situations which emerge as a response to deal with conflicting obligations or duties. An interesting case arises when an agent thinks that two obligations A and B are equally important, but yet fails to choose one obligation over the other. Despite the fact that the systematic study and the resolution of moral conflicts finds prominence in our linguistic discourse, standard deontic logic when used to represent moral conflicts, implies the impossibility of moral conflicts. This presents a conundrum for appropriate logic to address these moral conflicts. We frequently believe that there is a close connection between tolerating inconsistencies and conflicting moral obligations. In paraconsistent logics, we tolerate inconsistencies by treating them to be both true and false. In this paper, we analyze Graham Priest’s paraconsistent logic LP, and extend our examination to the deontic extension of LP known as DLP. We illustrate our work, with a classic example from the famous Indian epic Mahabharata, where the protagonist Arjuna faces a moral conflict in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. The paper aims to avoid deontic explosion and allows to accommodate Arjuna’s moral conflict in paraconsistent deontic logics. Our analysis is expected to provide novel tools towards the logical representation of moral conflicts and to shed some light on the context-sensitive paraconsistent deontic logic.
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