Discussion: Objections to Utilitarianism to ensure that your initial post starts its own unique thread, do not reply to this post. Instead, please click the “Reply” link above this post. Please read the general discussion requirements above, as well as the announcements explaining the discussion requirements and answering the most frequently asked questions. If you are still unsure about how to proceed with the discussion, please reply to one of those announcements or contact your instructor.In the course of the week’s discussion, you will need to do the following (not necessarily in this order):
- Engage with the text:
Using at least one quote from one of the required readings, briefly explain the ethical theory of utilitarianism. Ethical theories have core ideas, principles, and assumptions. For any ethical theory, there are objections that can be raised against those core ideas, principles, and assumptions. Several objections to utilitarianism are discussed in Chapter 3, Section 3.5 of the textbook, and John Stuart Mill (2017/1863) discusses 8 objections in Utilitarianism (in Chapter 3 of the textbook, the text can be found under “Primary Sources” and the objections under the section, “Objections and Replies”). Choose one of these objections and briefly explain the core idea in your own words.
- Reflect on the theory:
Present a scenario (real or imagined) in which a committed utilitarian would probably make one choice, but someone who finds this objection compelling would probably make a different choice. (In other words, put yourself in the mind of someone making that objection, and you’re imagining a scenario in which that person would likely make a certain ethical judgment but a utilitarian would make a different ethical judgment.)2 Reflect on yourself: In your view, does considering this situation strengthen and support the objection (thus showing a weakness to utilitarianism), or does it help strengthen utilitarianism by showing how a utilitarian could respond to that objection?
Should be at least 600 words.
TEXT: Thames, B. (2018). How should one live? An introduction to ethics and moral reasoning (3rd ed.). Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu