Unformatted text preview: . SPREADING ACT UTILITY HELPS SOLVE DANGERS TO HUMANITY J. J. C. Smart, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Adelaide, PHILOSOPHICAL QUARTERLY, Volume 6, 1956, p. 348. Sidgwick seems to think it quite probable that an extreme utilitarian should not propagate his doctrine too widely. However, the great danger to humanity comes nowadays on the plane of public morality--not private morality. There is a greater danger to humanity from the hydrogen bomb than from an increase in the divorce rate, regrettable though that might be, and there seems no doubt that extreme utilitarianism makes for good sense in international relations. When France walked out of the United Nations because she did not wish Morocco discussed, she said that she was within her rights because Morocco and Algiers are part of her metropolitan territory and have nothing to do with the UN. The was clearly a legalistic if not superstitious argument. We should not be concerned with the so-called 'rights' of France or any other country but whether the cause of humanity would best be served by discussing Morocco in UN. (I am not saying that the answer to this is 'yes.' There are good grounds for supposing that more harm than good would come by such a discussion). I myself have no hesitation in saying that on extreme utilitarian principles we ought to propagate extreme utilitarianism as widely as possible. SLHS Value File Utility (Act) Bad
ACT UTILITARIANISM STOPS HUMAN COOPERATION AND AGREEMENTS Donald Regan, Professor of Law and Philosophy at the University of Michigan, UTILITARIANISM AND COOPERATION, 1980, p. 32. This is a problem in the real world, and not merely in our example. AU [act utilitarianism] is almost certainly indeterminate in most of the standard cases involving interaction effects from grass-walking to voting, and it can hardly be suggested that the act-utilitarian solution to all these problems is for everyone concerned to get together and make an agreement. Not only is there often no opportunity to make an agreement, but in some cases where there is the possibil...
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- Fall '13