since ought implies a moral obligation.
The standard is
, all moral calculi terminate in a utilitarian weighing of net-benefits, since it is the
only way to weigh competing moral obligations. Establishing arbitrary side constraints on
morality without a comparison to a moral system absent that side constraint allows for
unnecessary violations of human worth. Since the axiom of morality is that all individuals
have equal worth, we ought to maximize it.
, since the resolution is a question of public policy, a consequentialist standard is
most consistent with the way this question is dealt with in the real world.
side constraints are meaningless without tangible benefits. And, when rights
conflict, there is no way to resolve the issue, leading to policy paralysis, so util must be
that our society acknowledges
in this way
, and when they do it is the job of government to
If the Government
makes the right choice, and protects the more important at the cost of the less, then it has not weakened or cheapened the notion of a right; on the contrary it would have done so had it failed
to protect the more important of the two. So we must acknowledge that the Government has a reason for limiting rights if it plausibly believes that a competing right is more important.(107)
Thus, although the
government may not abridge fundamental rights on utilitarian grounds, when rights conflict it may do so to
preserve the more important underlying interest
.(108) But consider now that if the government is required to resolve conflicts of rights, it must first determine which of the interests
underlying the conflicting rights is of greater moral significance. What basis does the government have for making such value judgments? As we have previously seen,
the only ethical theory that is
definite and simple enough to serve as a practical political morality is utilitarianism
The government is comprised not of
philosophers, but of practically-minded lawyers, economists, statisticians, and other social scientists who are neither trained in nor familiar with the vagaries of moral philosophy.
Whether politician, bureaucrat, or judge, virtually all government officials have been trained that when their actions are not constrained by people's rights or other constitutional