Utilitarianism once more9.Rule utilitarianism= maintains that the utilitarian standard should be applied not to individual actions but to moral codes as a whole.Optimal moral code=must take into account what rules can reasonably be taught and obeyed, as well as the costs of inculcating those rules in people.The notion of an optimal moral code takes into account the difficulty of getting people to follow a given set of rules.a.What will the optimal code look like?i.Rule utilitarians believe that the optimal moral code will not consist of just one rule- to maximize happinessii.First, people will make mistakes if, before they act, they try to calculate the consequences of each and every thing they might possibly do.iii.Second, if all of us were act utilitarians, practices such as keeping promises and telling the truth would be rather shaky, because we could expect others to keep promises or tell the truth only when they believed that doing so would maximize happiness.iv.Third, the act-utilitarian principle is too menanding, because it seems to imply that each person should continually be striving to promote total well-beingv.Rule utilitarianism has its critics; two objections1.Act utilitarians maintain that a utilitarian who cares about happiness should be willing to violate rules in order to maximize happiness.2.Nonconsequentialists, while presumably viewing rule utilitarianism more favorably than act utilitarianism, still balk at seeing moral principles determined by their consequences.
b.Summary=rule utilitarianism is a hybrid theory. It maintains that the correct principles of right and wrong are those that would maximize happiness if society adopted them. Rule utilitarianism applies the utilitarian standard not directly to individual actions but rather to the choice of the moral principles that are to guide individual action. Rule utilitarianism avoids many of the standard criticisms of act utilitarianism.10. Moral decision making: a practical approacha.Moral judgments should be logical and based on facts and sound moral principles.b.Obligations, effects, idealsi.Summary= despite disagreements on controversial theoretical issues, people can make significant progress in resolving practical moral problems through open-mided and reflective discussion. One useful approach is to identify the (possibly conflicting) obligations, ideals, and effects in a given situation and then to determine where the emphasis should lie among these different considerations.ii.Idea= some morally significant goal, virtue, or notion of excellence worth striving for.iii.A two-step procedure for evaluating actions and making moral choices1.To identify the important considerations involved: obligations, effects, and ideals.2.To decide which of these considerations deserves emphasis.Ch3Justice and Economic DistributionThe nature of justice1.Old concept of justice is fundamental to any discussion of how society ought to be organized.
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- Spring '13