[ExI] Consequentialism

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Sun Aug 25 14:57:00 UTC 2019

John has raised the question -
"how can anyone who can see the beauty in science and the magnificence
of the universe have the slightest sympathy for these sphincters?"

Apart from requiring attendance at Aunt Agatha's School of Charm and Etiquette,
this is a direct statement of consequentialism.
Consequentialism is the class of normative ethical theories holding
that the consequences of one's conduct are the ultimate basis for any
judgment about the rightness or wrongness of that conduct. Thus, from
a consequentialist standpoint, a morally right act (or omission from
acting) is one that will produce a good outcome, or consequence.

The obvious problem with this is that it is saying that the end
justifies the means.
And this can be used to justify any morally dubious conduct.

Definition of "the end justifies the means" -
—used to say that a desired result is so good or important that any
method, even a morally bad one, may be used to achieve it.
"They believe that the end justifies the means and will do anything to get
their candidate elected".

Therefore this requires that they must define what they mean by "good"
consequences and how this "good" offsets the bad consequences of all the
"justified" evil or illegal actions.
As with all philosophy people usually compromise. Absolute rules need
exceptions to deal with the rough and tumble of human existence.


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