Making Trade Offs

699 words, 3 pages

Intro Sample...


Philosophy 2
Smart’s argument, “someone could be morally obligated to execute an innocent person to prevent something worse”, must be accepted by all utilitarians. Smart’s argument must be accepted by all ultilitarians based on certain principles of utilitarianism, which make it possible for us to make the assumption: all utilitarians believe in consequentialism. Consequentialism in turn is the basis behind Smart’s argument being true.
The example Smart refers to is McCloskey’s situation of whether or not a sheriff should kill an innocent man to save hundreds of people in a small town who would die in riots. To first establish our case we must define what consequentialism is. Consequentialism is defined as:... View More »

Body Sample...


The innocent man becomes morally insignificant because of the goodness of saving hundreds of other people.
Does utilitarianism then, sound horrid, and inconsiderate? The answer is yes, but what makes utilitarianism good, is it allow us to maximize the overall goodness, and overall pleasure even in these situations by making trade offs. Take a more extreme example: “What if to save the entire world’s population we would have to kill one innocent man. If we chose not to kill one man the entire world’s population including him would die anyways”. According to the principles of utilitarianism outlined through consequentialism, we are morally required to kill the one man. Is it not the same with the situation of the sheriff and the innocent man? Overall sacrificing one man becomes essential, a no brainer. There is no bias to a certain human, because through the principles consequentialism, adhering to the essentials of utilitarianism, the goal is to instead insure total overall goodness if it requires the death of one single innocent man.
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