Evaluating ethical principles and theories
2. Coherence: ask whether various moral principles fit together in a reasonable way.
- A classic example is the pairing of the claims (a) it is always wrong to kill a person and (b) convicted murderers deserve to be executed.
- If we encounter an argument that includes the claims (a) we ought to respect each person's autonomy in all matters which do not involve harming others, and (b) homosexuality is wrong, there is a more subtle coherence problem.
Coherence is basically a question of how well our moral claims fit together, and goes beyond questions of logical contradication.