Medical Ethics Harootunian 10/17/11 2 For suppose some condition about minimizing the (weighted) amount of violation of rights is built into the desirable end state to be achieved. We then would have something like a “utilitarianism of rights”;; violations of rights (to beminimized) merely would replace the total happiness of the relevant end state in the utilitarian structure. (pg. 28) The proposed theory here is just a toy-theory that Nozick is using for the purpose for illustration. This theory is goal-directed. The goal –the end state to be achieved –is the minimization of rights-violations. The minimization of rights-violations replaces the utilitarian end state’s maximization of the net happiness–we’re now maximizing thenon-violation of rights. But this goal-directed theory that really takes rights seriously is structurally flawed. Why? It’s structurally flawed because it might be that weachieve our goal of minimizing rights-violations in the society by violating someone’s rights! This is Nozick’s point with theexample of the rampaging mob: For example, violating someone’s rights might deflect others fromtheirintended action of gravely violating rights, or might remove their motive for doing so, or might divert their attention, and so on. A mob rampaging through a part of town killing and burning will violate the rights of those living there.
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