“IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE WHETHER I DO THIS OR THAT”
This is an analysis of two kinds of arguments: My doing this makes a small difference”, and My doing of this makes no difference at all”. The author concludes that the argument from insignificant difference fails where it depends on the size illusion, and fails where it depends on ignoring the principle of divisibility. On the other hand, the argument from no difference: (1) is not defeated by the generalization test: (2) is not defeated by an appeal to justice; (3) often is defeated by consideration of alternatives and side effects, especially spirals. And, (4) where side effects are inadequate to defeat the argument from no difference, this should then be accepted in preference to looking for absolute prohibitions or adopting the Solzhenitsyn principle; and (5) in cases, where the argument from no difference is accepted, the fact sometimes should not be publicized.