Person would increase the overall happiness of

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person would increase the overall happiness of society, given how strong the sentiments against the person are.Freeing this person would decrease overall happiness. If Utilitarianism is right, the ethical thing to do, in thiscase, would be to execute the person.A child steals a candy bar from a local convenience store. We determine that making an example of this child—by putting him in chains in the public square and having people throw rocks at him and spit on him—in order todeter others from stealing would increase the overall happiness of society. Punishing him in a way more fittingfor the crime would decrease overall happiness. If Utilitarianism is right, the ethical thing to do, in this case,would be to make an example of the child.In cases like these, Utilitarianism appears to tell us that it is morally required to do things that strike most of usas being entirely unjust. This presents a serious challenge for the theory on a matter of principle. An ethicaltheory that contradicts some of our strongest intuitions concerning justice has a lot of work to do in explainingwhy we shouldn’t prefer to keep those intuitions and reject the theory.Regardless of how likely it is that cases like this will arise—they are, after all, extreme cases—accepting thetheory requires us to accept its view concerning what is rightifandwhenthey ever do arise. Utilitarianismrequires us to commit ourselves to the view that the right answer here is to sacrifice the claims of justice—and,along with those claims, to sacrifice the life and/or the dignity of those most directly affected—to therequirements for the greatest happiness for the greatest number. We have to accept thatthe ends always justifythe means, regardless of what we would otherwise be prone to say about the legitimacy of those means.
ConclusionA lot of people place a high value on making the world a better place by optimizing happiness. Many of thesepeople, however, don’t place such a high value on that end that they are willing to condone whatever it is thatmight happen to be necessary to promote it. For these people, there may be a lot that is attractive aboutUtilitarianism, but they find themselves unable to accept the value theory on which it is based. There are goodsother than optimizing happiness that need to be recognized by an ethical theory in order for that theory tocapture their intuitions concerning the role of justice in the moral community.P2-Overly Strict DemandsAll-EncompassingThink about this:Do you think it is ever possible to do something good without being bound by any moral duty to do it?Maybe you don’t think you have any moral obligation to buy your friend an ice cream cone. Still, you think it isa good thing for you to do every once in a while. Or, maybe you think you have a moral duty to give some smallpart of your income to charity, but you think it would be really good if you were able to go above and beyondthat and give even more. It is a common part of our everyday discourse concerning ethics to assume that peoplecan do more good than duty requires of them. According to this assumption, some actions are morally

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