Moral Dilemmas

Organ harvesting problem: 5 noble citizens, 1 drunk homeless Larry
Harvest Larry’s organs and save the 5 people?

Act Utilitarianism: Consequence of an ACT: act x consequences, different than act “y”, computing pleasure over pain

Rule Utilitarianism: Consequence of a RULE: it’s right to sacrifice (kill) a bum to save noble citizens lives. Consequences of rule x compared rule y + measure good vs. bad brought about. What is that rule in society?
-Public outcry, can’t allow in society, not moral

1. Grandpa’s Statue
2. Organ harvesting – Act utilitarianism, counterexample, rule OK
3. Triage
4. The Swimmer
5. Research in the Jungle
6. Reformer Problem

3. Triage:
5 soldiers need surgery
1 soldier has bad to critical wounds
5 will die if you save the 1, 1 will die if you save the 5

4. Leader of a research team, 6 individuals members of a tribe
one insurgent executed for 19 pardoned

3 principles (Aristotle’s theory)
Golden mean
Aristotle’s Happiness
Act v. rule utilitarianism
Direct vs. indirect responsibilities
Principle of utility
Hedonic Calculus

Deontology: “duty” The intention of the act, not the consequences determine moral value

Aristotle’s virtue theory needs some rules to be universal law

Kant: Categorical (no exception) Imperative (command)
Formulation: Act only on those subjective maxims which you can at the same time will to be universal law

Universalizability condition
1. Develop your talents
2. Don’t commit suicide
3. Help others
4. Keep your promises

Moral if the categorical opposite is detrimental to society
Never treat anyone as a means but always as an end. Respect rational autonomy to make choices (moral ones). Cannot restrict liberty, right to life, private property, can’t lie, etc.

Counterfactual Hypothetical: Don’t develop your talents
Jones wants to stay at home, not go to school, not get a job, watch TV on mom’s couch, be supported by his mom, live a life of laziness

Avoid double standards – Suppose everyone were to follow this rule

Thought experiment
Universal moral laws that are binding on all people at all times
Empirical science descriptive propositions
Only logic can give you normative propositions

A priori – known independently
A posteriori – known sensation
Outcome pleasure? Observation / psychological testing

Duty: “Don’t do it because you desire or want to
Sentiments (hope, fear, desire, wants, anger, obsession, joy) NOT a motive, duty must be at the intention for all moral action