“Teflon immorality” (or TI) is immorality that goes on unchecked, where the wrongdoing is not stopped and the perpetrators remain beyond the reach of sanction, and often may continue in their immoral ways. The idea that the immoral often flourish and that this is morally (and legally) disturbing has been recognized since ancient times, presumably as long as humanity has been reflective. There are, for example, many reactions to this reality already in the bible. The term Teflon immorality seeks to capture the “Teflon” effect involved, the idea that the immorality does not “stick”, so that it can continue and flourish, while the immoral remain unharmed.

Much immorality goes on for practically important but philosophically uninteresting reasons: the criminals have better resources than the authorities, or an unjust aggressor-state has a stronger army than its neighbor whom it invades, or an individual cares more about doing bad things than those around him care about stopping him. We are all familiar with such matters. Sometimes, however, philosophically much more interesting things are going on, and Teflon immorality results from moral paradoxes and indeed moral perversions. This has remained largely unnoticed. While the oddity of this or that example has occasionally been noted, the more general phenomena, the idea that immorality systematically triumphs because of moral paradoxes and perversions, has to the best of my knowledge not been seriously discussed. Building upon some of my previous publications, I will attempt here a broad tentative survey of this mostly uncharted territory. This should help us to deal more effectively with the always-present threat of Teflon immorality, and show the importance of moral paradoxes and related phenomena. Only by paying attention to moral paradoxes, only by philosophically exploring this perverse side of life, can we understand what is really going on, and try to deal with it.