Day_3_092916_PHI+015+Bioethics

Day_3_092916_PHI+015+Bioethics - Dr Rulli PHI 015...

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September 29, 2016 Dr. Rulli PHI 015: Introduction to Bioethics 1
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Today’s Agenda Utilitarianism, review The Trolley Problem Deontology/Kantianism Next week: Dax’s Case, Informed Consent 2
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Quick Summary Utilitarianism is the theory that says morally right action is that which maximizes utility (welfare, well-being, happiness) for all people taken together It is often summarized as: the greatest good for the greatest number principle It is: consequentialist, welfarist, aggregationist What matters morally to utilitarians are results (consequentialism) Not intentions, motives, character The results that matter are welfare 3
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The Trolley Problem 4
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The Trolley Problem 5
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Organ Transplant Case 6
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The Large Man 7
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Discuss How are we to reconcile our intuitions about what is right in the Original Trolley Problem and the Large Man Bridge case? What is the morally relevant difference between the cases? If none, what should we do in both cases? 8
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Trolley Problem Summary It seems in some cases, we should kill one innocent person to save 5 innocent lives (original Trolley Case) Yet, in other cases, this seems morally forbidden Would you sacrifice one healthy person to use her organs to save the lives of 5 at imminent risk of organ failure? Would you push an innocent person off of a bridge, if their body would stop the train to save the 5? People have very strong diverging intuitions between these cases (in favor or the first, against the second kinds) Theorists have struggled for decades to properly explain the moral difference between the cases 9
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Problems for Utilitarians Utilitarian has one moral principle: act so that you maximize welfare for all people There is no fundamental moral distinction for them between committing harms to achieve that goal or merely failing to do good You may sometimes kill or harm in order to bring about greater good 10
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Problems for Utilitarians An enormous harm to one person can be outweighed by a larger number of small benefits to other people Example: Convicting an innocent person to stave off a massive riot For more examples, see the Hare reading, bottom of p. 88 11
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Utilitarian Responses to Criticism Hare: Rule utilitarianism. We cannot know with certainty in most cases what will bring about the most utility. We should
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