term paperch - Kimmel Term Paper How does one live a good...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Kimmel Term Paper FYS/Fall 2007 How does one live a good life? How you choose to live your life is your own choice. One can still ask: what makes people live life the way they do? Is it our experiences that make us who we are or are we just born a certain way? I personally believe that it is our experiences make us who we are, and that those experiences set us on the path to how we lead a moral life. If forced to classify my specific philosophy on life I would say that I agree the most with Utilitarian ideals meaning the greatest good for the greatest number of people. I do, however, think there are people who use the phrase “greatest good” as an excuse for actions that can be construed as both moral and immoral. An example from the A Moral Life was when the judge faced the decision of whether or not to use an innocent man as a scapegoat to satisfy an angry mob who if no action was taken by the court that had the intent to the law into their own hands. While the strict utilitarian would argue that the judge should do that because the mob has the potential to cause a mass of people pain and suffering (Bentham), I would argue that this is sacrificing the integrity of the courts and judicial system which could cause a lot more suffering in the long run than a group of people being upset that a crime went unsolved. However, that example contains many variables such as what the punishment would be for the innocent man. A more clear cut case where the utilitarian ideals work for the benefit of everyone comes from a real world example: the dropping of the second atomic bomb on Japan when the Japanese did not surrender after the first atomic bomb. I agree with this decision because there would be more loss of life if the United States had decided not to drop the second bomb and instead launched a ground invasion of Japan. This ground invasion would have caused more deaths than the second bomb did, and it
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Kimmel Term Paper FYS/Fall 2007 would have elongated a war that had already been bloodier than any war in history, this would caused more suffering and death for both the citizens of Japan and the United States. This is where the greatest good for the greatest number of people comes into play, because its hard decisions like these that people are forced to make, and it is then that even if you are forced to make a decision that you do not necessarily agree with but you know that it provides the greatest benefit for the greatest number of people that it is the decision that you have to make. Arguments judging the “greatest good” come into play here: what is the choice that causes the least harm to the smallest number of people? The argument against this is represented in Williams’ argument against Utilitarianism; he states that the ideology behind Utilitarianism promotes an idea for negative responsibility. What he means by this is that by choosing not to get involved in something you become responsible for the outcome. Williams’ presents this idea through
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/02/2008 for the course ENGL 1302-08 taught by Professor Campbell during the Fall '08 term at Trinity U.

Page1 / 8

term paperch - Kimmel Term Paper How does one live a good...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online