Injustice Objection To Classical Utilitarianism

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In this essay, I will be arguing that the injustice objection to Classical Act Utilitarianism can be successfully met by Mill’s notion of secondary principles. Consequentialism is the view of how normative properties depend solely on their consequences or outcomes. Classical Utilitarianism is a component of consequentialism which holds that the only intrinsic good is pleasure, and that as a result we should strive to maximise the acts which give us pleasure and minimise acts which give us pain.
The injustice objection to classical utilitarianism states that since consequentialism is dealing with the outcomes of certain acts, it seems to concur that harming some is justifiable in order for many to receive the greater good. Since we want to maximise
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If taking organs for cancer research from dead people were seen as necessary to maximise utility, in the long term people may be sceptical to doctors and sign forms allowing them to keep their organs intact. The second reply to the injustice objection is Mill’s secondary principles, and is the reply that I will be explaining in more detail. Secondary principles are moral principles which are, when followed, conducive to a society that operates successfully. As consequences in certain cases are hard to predict, secondary principles are a way of making decisions for the best outcome. Thus, this reply denotes that consequentialists are not committed to doing unjust acts for the sake of the outcome providing the greatest utility, as they will fall back on secondary principles which underlie living in a community. The third reply is that common moral intuitions cannot be trusted, sometimes called biting the bullet. In contrast to the previous replies, this viewpoint falls back on performing unjust acts as being necessary to provide the greatest outcome. It deems that in certain cases where there are no bad long term consequences that we can predict and which produce the highest net utility, then we should act in a manner that is deemed unjust, for the sake of maximising …show more content…
Classical utilitarians believe in the maximisation of pleasure or utility, and the minimising of pain. Although certain scenarios may call for unjust acts to be performed, the inherent moral values that underpin living as a human being reign triumphant over mechanical outcomes. John Stuart Mill, a major proponent of secondary principles as well as utilitarianism in general, believed that secondary principles often satisfy two conditions: by following these principles generally but not absolutely leads to the best outcomes, and that the imperfect results produced by following these principles cannot be seen clearly in advance. This is a flexible guideline for utilitarianism; act in a way which will produce the most utility unless the action is deemed unjust with secondary principles, and thus the subsequent utility generated will remain adequate and overall the best outcome. Mill believes that we need to directly adhere to the principle of utility when following these principles will produce a lukewarm outcome, and in situations where such secondary principles conflict. Mill does not believe pleasure or happiness to be the final end of all actions or rules of acts. He believes that there can be actions which produce more pain than pleasure, and sacrifice happiness, but still remain the

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