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Necessity - Moral Emergency
(1,065 words)

Part of Necessity:

1. Philosophical

2. Moral Emergency

Necessity may be pleaded when the appropriate direct methods are taken to ward off unlawful aggression. The notion of necessary self-defence always presupposes the absence of mens rea, and hence the conviction of the right to take direct measures. The concept is sometimes applied to the possible conflict between rights and duties. But such conflicts arise only in the sphere of the practical judgment. In theory, one’s rights embrace precisely what another may not contest, and …

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Waldemar Molinski, “Necessity - Moral Emergency”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 24 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2016

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