Rights, Welfare, and Mill's Moral Theory by David Lyons download in ePub, pdf, iPad
Utility and Justice In the final chapter of Utilitarianism, Mill turns to the sentiment of justice. There is considerable disagreement as to whether Mill should be read as a rule utilitarian or an indirect act utilitarian. This means we recognize that the consequences of this particular action would be damaging if everyone acted that way.
However, this response would oversimplify matters. According to him, the best obtainable evidence for value claims consists in what all or almost all people judge as valuable across a vast variety of cases and cultures. For instance, in general, it backs up murder's being wrong, lying, rights. People begin to feel outrage when the interests of the members of their tribe are being violated or when shared social rules are being disregarded. At this point, Mill declares that the proof is completed.
Mill considered the idea that truths can be known a priori, independently of observation and experience, to be a stronghold of conservatism. For this reason, Mill sees no need to differentiate between the utilitarian and the hedonistic aspect of his moral theory.
Therefore, Utilitarianism says you should murder the rotten professor. According to Mill, when we see a social practice or a type of action as unjust, we see that the moral rights of persons were harmed. If we want to know what is ultimately desirable for humans, we have to acquire observational knowledge about what humans ultimately strive for. His position can be best understood with recourse to the distinction between the theory of objective rightness and the theory of moral obligation introduced in the last section.
Intuitionists may claim that we recognize moral rights spontaneously, that we have intuitive knowledge of them. And with this, not all humans are free. We generally believe that not all actions must be judged in regard to a moral point of view. Reason doesn't discover moral rules. Take, for example, the case of murder.
Probably the first ones to raise this common objection were the British idealists F. They are used to justify moral claims and to check the plausibility of moral theories.
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