Arguments against utilitarianism. There are many arguments for and against Utilitarianism and whether it provides an adequate basis for making moral decisions 2019-01-16

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An Argument Against Utilitarianism

arguments against utilitarianism

He has cornered a woman in a dark alley. Not only does he not claim that utilitarianism tells both Jim and George to do the wrong things. The trauma is not lessened by being unware of it at the time, and banging her over the head to make her unconcious has its own set of considerations. We need them for practical help, for mental health, and to help us see ourselves clearly. Since any notion of happiness worthy of the name includes that of satisfaction, it follows that a truly happy person cannot be dissatisfied, so this problem can never arise.

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Utilitarianism

arguments against utilitarianism

In utilitarianism, they are only good if they have a demonstrable utility; otherwise, they may be discarded. Murder and rape may reduce the alleged aggregate pleasure in one situation and increase the aggregate pleasure in another situation. Utilitarians also have a vested interested in promoting compassion and kindness, if not utilitarianism explicitly, and discouraging sadism, cruelty, vengeance and an indifference to the feelings of others for the simple fact that there is going to be more happiness and less suffering in the world if everyone cared about everyone's pleasure and pain. Response: Questions of ultimate ends eventually are based on an end admitted to be good without proof. If there is such an authority, then actions one chooses by deferring to the authority may be morally right according to Double Consequentialism even if they are morally wrong according to Dual Consequentialism. However, within the utilitarian community there are major splits in how we are to determine which action brings us the greatest amounts of pleasure.


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What are the arguments supporting the utilitarian perspective to morality?

arguments against utilitarianism

Essays Metaphysical and Moral, 1987. Now, suppose that you do not happen to know whether this machine always yields heads or always tails. Utilitarianism runs into problems when sentiment is involved!! It is that he develops his theory for a specific set of circumstances but criticizes utilitarians for what they would recommend in very different circumstances. The parties in the original position would choose utilitarianism if they based their decision on maximizing their expected utility, the product of the probability of an outcome and its value; see the for an example of how decisions based on maximizing expected utility work. They are supposed to assume that they are not threatened with catastrophe that will obliterate their way of life. It isn't just that some arithmetic operations involving more than one person's pleasure aren't meaningful - say, that averaging works but that aggregation doesn't - it is that none of them are.

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Utilitarianism : An Argument Against The Consequences Of Cloning

arguments against utilitarianism

Would you torture that person alive, or, would you rather not? First, he was deeply impressed by the importance of subjective integrity or authenticity, and much of his work is essentially a sustained attempt to make sense of how moral theorizing can avoid alienating individuals from their deepest values, cares and life-projects. The gives two passages from Rawls. The central point to this theory is that one must consider every consequence before taking any action. Hence consequentialism tends to hold that in deciding what to do, you ought to give just as much weight to the needs of total strangers as to the needs of your friends, your family, and even yourself. Also, those 3 men were able to go back to work and contribute back to society, resulting in overall benefit for the world too.


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Five Objections

arguments against utilitarianism

Herein we cannot let or say that one person would get the most suffering on behalf of the rest of the group. Hence, there is indeed a notion of impartiality that makes sense, and there is indeed a notion of impartiality that is available to a moral theory such as utilitarianism; but the impartiality that is available to utilitarianism does not make sense, and the impartiality that makes sense is not available to utilitarianism. In Section 3 we shall discuss reasons to think consequentialism is false and some worries about those reasons. That assumption may be mistaken, because it is not true that an authority on whether something has a certain feature has to know exactly what that feature is. In another respect, however, the analogy is a little bit misleading, because in one case the quantities are not even measurable on the same scale, while in the other case they are.

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Rawls’s argument against utilitarianism

arguments against utilitarianism

Basing moral objectivism on the foundations of a linguistic approach leaves it more vulnerable to relativistic worries than other foundations do. As a side note, why are people so charitable to people like Kant and hegel but just assume that people like Mill and Hume, who were among the most well educated members of society, were just idiots who would commit themselves to an obvious logical fallacy like the fallacy of composition? Since rules that favor righties over lefties would be unfair, they should be deprived of this kind of information. Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Mill on Utilitarianism. Such conflicts between agent and theory suggest that what a moral theory prescribes as and what an agent feels to be the morally right action can often be at odds with one another. Even if this is the right thing to say about the law, the answer cannot be transposed to the case of morality: morality contrasts with the law precisely because it is supposed to apply even to the inner workings of the mind. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1971.

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Utilitarianism : An Argument Against The Consequences Of Cloning

arguments against utilitarianism

One reason for adopting foreseeable consequence utilitarianism is that it seems unfair to say that the rescuer acted wrongly because the rescuer could not foresee the future bad effects of saving the drowning person. So consequentialism would seem to support your tossing your garbage in the river. But on many issues there is a broad range of solid agreement about what is morally obvious, at least in societies that have long permitted open discussion by all. But what is a right, and what is its justification? Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1971. So the total happiness we had is three times the happiness I had. You do a thorough and brilliant job of diagnosis and end up giving me the pill any responsible doctor would have to choose for the symptoms I display. But then, of course, it seems likely that we can extend and generalise this pattern of argument, and thereby show that just about anyone has the reasons that a sensible morality says they have.

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Bernard Williams (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

arguments against utilitarianism

Perhaps sometimes - I might be able to tell how much more pleasure of taste I get from a Snickers bar than from drinking milk. For instance, you will dismiss the pleasure of laying in bed after the alarm goes off because you know there is a greater pleasure to be gained. This implies, second, that moral obligations cannot really conflict 185: 176. As well as, fails to make sense of notions such as integrity, or even human happiness itself. It takes the view that an action is right if it is likely to produce the best consequences compared to all the other possible actions. If intellectual pleasure is so puny compared to sensual pleasure, then he was a complete idiot. An action can show what kind of person I am even if it does not make me be that kind of person.

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