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Here is a relatively famous philsophical moral dilemna:

The magistrate and the

threatening mob

"A magistrate is faced with a very real threat from a large and uncontrollable mob of rioters demanding a culprit for a crime. Unless the criminal is produced, promptly tried, and executed, they will take their own bloody revenge on a much smaller and quite vulnerable section of the community. The judge knows that the real culprit is unknown and that the authorities do not even have a good clue as to who he might be. But he also knows that there is within easy reach a disreputable, thoroughly disliked, and useless man, who, though innocent, could easily be framed so that the mob would be quite convinced that he was guilty and would be pacified if he were promptly executed. Recognising that that he can prevent the occurrence of extensive carnage only by framing some innocent person, the magistrate has him framed, goes through the mockery of a trial, and has him executed."

How might a utilitarian respond to this situation (be sure to define that view in your post)? Do you agree or disagree? Why?

Top Answer

A utilitarian would allow to kill an innocent useless and disliked man for a crime that he didn't do because here, it is... View the full answer

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