Dr. Lisa Fullam Methods in Ethics Utilitarianism

Peter Singer Strengths: – His utilitarianism promotes a fight against the oppression of the animals that we exploit to serve our interests. In other words, his work extends the circle of moral consideration to all sensitive beings, capable of feeling pleasure, pain, and emotions. – His utilitarianism is not only concerned with the interests of wanting to avoid pain and feeling pleasure, but also welfares and desires that are predictable toward the future. In other words, according to the utilitarianism called “preference utilitarianism”, actions should not be judged exclusively on their tendency to maximize happiness and minimize pain, but on their ability to promote interests and satisfy preferences (and to avoid the violation of interests and the frustration of interests).

By not dictating to people what is good for them, the utilitarianism of preferences leaves everyone free to choose. Weaknesses – The idea of the sacredness of human life is extended to the sacredness of life in all its forms. This has the effect of raising animals to the scale of human beings.

– It makes passing the criterion of individual interests, in particular, the interest to not suffer, before the sacredness of human life. For example, the desire to minimize the suffering of individuals leads Singer to accept, under certain precise and controlled conditions, abortion and euthanasia (the idea that a life of suffering and dependence is evil and that in some cases, the only way to end an evil is to end a life).

If I had to choose between saving ten people that I do not know and saving, for example, my biological brother who is in danger of death, which of these actions would be the best from a moral point of view? By virtue of the principle of impartiality, according to which I must not privilege my own interests over those of others, on the pretext that it would be my interests, a utilitarian philosopher like Singer should answer that we must save ten people rather than our biological brother: all things being equal, it is better to save ten lives than one, even if it means sacrificing my brother.

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But can we really admit a conclusion as contrary to our intuitions?

Don’t we have particular duties towards those whom we love and who depend on us? The concrete example is that of what happened in Rwanda during the genocide in 1994. After the murder of the ten Belgian soldiers who were on a UN mission in Rwanda, the Belgian government decided to withdraw its soldiers in Rwanda (they have been accused of being an accomplice in the president’s attack), leaving unprotected people in the hands of the killers. – What preferences will it take into consideration if a person makes mistakes of judgment, or is influenced by strong emotions but which are inconsistent or temporary?

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Dr. Lisa Fullam Methods in Ethics Utilitarianism. (2021, Dec 18). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/dr-lisa-fullam-methods-in-ethics-utilitarianism/

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