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The ethics of cultural heritage
The ethics of cultural heritage

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2.2 The ‘It’s my money’ response (part 2)

The points made in Section 2.1 support people’s right to spend their money on the restoration of Notre-Dame if they choose. Yet the core premises of both the cost-effectiveness and the humanitarian arguments could still be true. What the arguments in Section 2.1 claim is that even if Notre-Dame’s restoration is not a cost-effective use of money, and even if a human life is worth more than preserving a historic building, people might still be entitled to donate their money to Notre-Dame.

The central claim and its supporting points assert people’s right to donate to non-ideal charitable causes (Figure 12). Some of these assertions are somewhat controversial in philosophy. However, if successful, these moves may provide a moral defence for the choice to donate to Notre-Dame instead of helping human beings.

This is a flow diagram with three blocks on the left-hand side stacked one above each other. The top box is titled: It’s my money. The middle box: Relationships. Bottom box: Over-demandingness. Each has an arrow which points to a box which reads: It is morally permissible to donate to Notre-Dame, even if that isn’t morally ideal.
Figure 12 The ‘It’s my money’ response to making private donations to Notre-Dame’s restoration