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Utilitarians can respond to the Moral Variability Argument by claiming:
- - the hedonic calculus can be used to prove moral facts, assuming that the Principle of Utility is true.
- - superficial disagreement masks deeper agreement regarding the truth of the Principle of Utility.
- - circumstances such as the physical environment, cultural habits, and so on result in different actions or rules maximizing utility in different places and times.
- all of the above.
For the Rule Utilitarian, the correct rule is defined as the one that:
if everyone followed it would result in maximizing utility.
Consider a scenario in which a transplant surgeon can maximize happiness by secretly killing a healthy but friendless bum (so, no one notices or ever finds out that the surgeon did it), and using that person’s organs to save the lives of five other people. Which theory does this seem to pose a challenge to (that is, which theory seems to advise an action in this scenario that intuitively seems wrong)?
Consider the organ transplant case above. Which of the following is not a response that different Utilitarians might give?
Humans have a moral right to life which nothing can trump, so sacrificing one person for the benefit of others can never be the right act.
How might an Orgasmatron thought experiment work as a challenge to Utilitarianism?
It seems that such machines would maximize pleasure, but nobody wants to conclude that the right thing to do is to put humans permanently into such machines.
Mill’s Best Judge argument is meant to establish that:
some types of pleasure are intrinsically better and of a higher quality than others.