term paperu - Kimmel Term Paper FYS/Fall 2007 How you...

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Kimmel Term Paper FYS/Fall 2007 How you choose to live your life is your own choice. But, what makes people live life the way they do? Why do we as people choose to live life the way we do? Is it our experiences that make us who we are or are we just born a certain way? While everyone is entitled to their own opinions 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 myself as a specific philosophy on life I would say that I agree the most with utilitarian ideals. However, I do think there are people who use the phrase “greatest good” as an excuse to do things that are borderline actions that can be construed as both moral and immoral. The example from the text came when the judge was faced with the decision of whether or not to use an innocent man as a scapegoat to satisfy an angry mob that was going to take 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 because it also depends on what the punishment would be for the innocent man. In my opinion a much more clear cut case where the utilitarian ideals work for the benefit of everyone comes from a real world example. This being the dropping of the second atomic bomb on Japan when they 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
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Kimmel Term Paper FYS/Fall 2007 more death than the second bomb did, and it would have elongated a war that had already been bloodier than any war in history, which would have caused suffering 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. The argument against this is represented in Williams’ argument against Utilitarianism he makes that statement that the ideology behind Utilitarianism promotes an idea for negative responsibility. Meaning that by choosing not to get involved in something you are in turn responsible for the outcome. One of his examples came from a man offering another man (George) a job, who is in a variety of situations. First he has a health condition, which is making it hard to get a job as a chemist, this is leading to his
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term paperu - Kimmel Term Paper FYS/Fall 2007 How you...

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