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RealFunnyFungi

Utility Versus Human Rights

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According to the principle of utility, we have to maximum the benefit of the greatest number of people. However, imagine a situation like that, a traditional city has a very special ritual that they need to leave a boy in a place with enough water and food for sometimes. No one is allowed to go in the place therefore the boy is completely isolated in the room. But , that will bring prosperity and wealth to the city. Now a boy is kept in the room.

After a year the boy is dead, the mayor has found a qualified boy who is you to stay in the room. They then kidnap you to the room but luckily you now have a chance to escape. Will you do so?

 

If the boy before is not dead, will you save him?

Edited by RealFunnyFungi

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No philosophy or ethical system can be created that will be able to answer constructed/contrived hypotheticals.

 

Systems of ethics play a stronger role in allowing us to properly marshal internal arguments when trying to make a rational decision in an inherently messy real world. Pure consequentialism (as per your example) and pure deontology (where the moral action rather than the outcome is prime) will always lead to absurd situations. But the reading of the works of Bentham and JS Mill (utilitarianism) and Kant (deontological ethics) open the mind to greater understanding of moral/political problems. And of course whilst consequentialism/deontology is a great divide in ethics, there are other completely different ethical concepts; aristotle's nicomachaean ethics (follow the path of a good man) is a great start as is the updated modern concepts that follow this (martha nussbaum is great)

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