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Date Created: 05/28/16
1. The trolley problem (a) State and explain the Doctrine of Double Effect (DDE). On what distinction is it based? Doctrine of Double effect (DDE): Oblique intention: what one foresees as a consequence of one’s action but does not directly intend Direct intention: what one intends to do, either as an end or as a means to some end If an act has two foreseeable effects, one bad, the other good, it is permissible to bring the bad if: 1. The bad is not out of proportion to the good. 2. There’s no way to bring about the good without bringing out the bad. 3. The bad would be an unintended side-effect, not aimed at as an end or as means to some end. Negative duty: duty to not do things: don’t kill, don’t lie, non-interference Positive duty: savings someone from harm duties of beneficence (preventing someone from getting hurt) o (b) Explain the cases Magistrate and Driver. Illustrate the DDE by showing how it is supposed to explain why it's wrong for the magistrate, but right for the driver, to kill one so as to save five. Magistrate: “Suppose that a judge or magistrate is faced with rioters demanding that a culprit be found for a certain crime and threatening otherwise to take their own bloody revenge on a particular section of the community. The real culprit being unknown, the judge sees himself as able to prevent the bloodshed only by framing some innocent person and having him executed” In DDE: The Magistrate, however, intends to frame and execute the One (as a means to save Five). It is permissible to bring about the bad if: The bad would be unintended side-effect, not aimed at as end or as means to some end, the judge intentionally will pin the crime on an innocent person therefore making it wrong for the magistrate The Trolley Driver: “Edward is the driver of a trolley whose brakes have just failed. On the tracks ahead of him are five people; the banks are so steep that they will not be able to get off the tracks in time. The track has a spur leading off to the right, and Edward can turn the trolley onto it. Unfortunately, there is one person on the right-hand track. Edward can turn the trolley, killing one; or he can refrain from turning the trolley, killing five.” In DDE: The trolley driver foresees that he will kill the One, but he doesn’t intend to do so (If the One should happen to survive, “the driver of the tram does not then leap off and brain him with a crowbar”) It is permissible to bring about the bad if: There’s no way to bring about the good without the bad, there is no way to save both the five or the one by himself. Therefore, it is permissible to bring about the bad but doing so in less casualties by moving the trolley to the right and avoiding the death of five over the death of one o (c) Give an objection to the DDE. (Note: we discussed several objections in class. Foot’s own objection comes on p. 6, bottom of first column, involving “five patients...whose lives could be saved by the manufacture of a certain gas”.) Initial objections to DDE 1. The distinction between intended and merely foreseen effects is often hard to draw (self-defense) 2. The distinction also seems irrelevant. Dead is dead. What difference does it make if one directly intends the death? 3. It’s hard to believe, if abortion is the only means to save someone, “that she must sit passively by and wait for her death” 2. Foots objection to DDE: “I now believe that the conflict should be solved another way. The clue that we should follow is that the strength of the doctrine seems to life in the distinction it makes between what we do (equated with direct intention) and what we allow (thought of as obliquely intended)” “Suppose that there are five patients in a hospital whose lives could be saved by the manufacture of a certain (medicine), but that this inevitably releases lethal fumes into the room of another patient whom for some reason we are unable to move. His death, being of no use to us, is clearly a side-effect, not directly intended” Problem: It seems wrong in this case to manufacture the drug to save the One, even though it satisfies DDE. (d) State the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing (DDA). How does it relate to Foot’s distinction between positive and negative duties? Doctrine of Doing and Allowing (DDA): An alternative explanation: Doing harm to someone is more objectionable (unacceptable) than merely allowing harm to come to someone Negative duty: is not to do harm to someone (negative duties also called “duties of non-interference”) Positive duty: is a duty not to allow harm to come to someone, or a duty to benefit someone (positive duties also called “duties of beneficence” Foot’s new principle: Other things being equal, negative duties are more stringent (harsh, strict, rigid) than (and so override positive duties) (e) Illustrate the DDA by showing how it is supposed to explain why it's wrong for the magistrate, but right for the driver, to kill one so as to save five. The driver faces a conflict between negative duties (not to kill the One, v. not to kill the five) allowing The Magistrate (or transplant surgeon) faces a conflict between a negative duty (not to kill the One) and a positive duty (to prevent deaths of Five) doing harm intentionally (f) Explain the cases Switch and Footbridge. What problem do these cases pose for the DDA? They are the same, but our intuitions think they are differently, showing that DDA is not necessarily right Thomson’s objection to DDA: bystander at the switch: As before, a trolley is hurtling out of control toward five. The trolley driver has dropped dead of a heart attack, a bystander could throw a switch, diverting the trolley onto another track, where one is trapped. Problem for DDA in switch case: In driver, the trolley driver faces a choice between killing the One (violates negative duty), and killing the five (violate negative duty) BUT in bystander at the switch, the bystander faces a choice between killing the one (violates negative duty) and allowing the five to die (violate positive duty) Bystander on the Footbridge case: As before, a trolley is hurtling out of control toward five; the driver has dropped dead. Bystander is standing on a footbridge over the track. She could prevent the trolley from killing the five by dropping a heavy weight onto the track ahead of it. Fortunately, there is a very large man with her on the footbridge. She pushes him onto the track ahead of the trolley, killing him but saving the Five. DDA: says let the 5 die, instead of killing the 1 to save the the five, allowing harm is better than doing harm Problems for DDA in footbridge case: Why is it permissible for the Driver and the Bystander at the Switch to kill the One in order to save Five, but not for the Bystander on the Footbridge (or the Transplant surgeon, Magistrate) to her one in order to save five? DDA gets Driver and Footbridge right, but switch wrong DDA: allowing harm to happen for the hospital guy is wrong, doing harm on the one guy to save the 5 on track is right 2. Abortion (a) State and explain (what we called) the Basic Argument Against Abortion. Which two premises are most controversial, and why? Which premises does Warren dispute? Which premise does Thomson dispute? The Basic Argument Against Abortion: 1. A fetus is a human being (a person) from moment of conception. 2. Every human has a right to life. 3. So a fetus has a right to life. 4. IF S has a right to life, then intentionally causing S’s death is always seriously immoral. 5. Therefore, abortion is always seriously immoral Two premises are most controversial: 1. Is the fetus a person- a being with rights and a right to life in particular- from conception? In general, what makes being a person? Raise the issue on #1: personhood issue 4. If S has a right to life, then intentionally causing S’s death is always seriously immoral Raises issue on #4: seems kind of obvious, very controversial, it can be false The obvious reasons involve cases where not causing someone’s death will result in some other person’s death (or harm). Or worse, in more deaths. (These cases involve moral dilemmas, where you must choose between two bad options) Ex: self- defense, trolley driver Warren disputes premise: How can she reject 3 if it follows from (1-2)? Invalid argument Fallacy of equivocation: begs the question: invalid argument Fallacy of equivocation: occurs when a key term or phrase in an argument is used an ambiguous way, with one meaning in one portion of the argument and then another meaning in another portion of the argument (human has two meanings: moral and biological) Thomas disputes premise 1- 13th century) St. Thomas Aquinas argued that ensoulment does not occur until quickening (3-4 months post conception) (b) The Basic Argument rests on certain claims about rights. What does it mean to say that someone has a right to something? If someone has a right to something, is it permissible to deprive her of it in order to maximize utility? If not, what sort of consideration is required to override someone’s rights? What are rights? Rights are often described as entitlements: To engage in some activity, to exercise some power (power to choose), to be free of certain kinds of interference, to be provided with some benefit Entitlements: rights impose duties on other people often described as overriding moral claims which can “trump” considerations of social utility Overriding someone’s right: if you are doing harm to do something you can override their right (self-defense) Where do rights come from? 1. Rights derive from human nature (NLT) derive from the rational nature of human being universal of what’s good and evil 2. Rights arise from the fact that we are rational, autonomous agents who should always be treated as ends in ourselves, never merely as means (Kant) 3. People will be happiest if we adopt rules that give people rights (utilitarianism) The obvious reason P4 is contentious involves cases where not causing someone’s death will result in some other person’s death (or harm) or worse, more deaths. These cases involve moral dilemmas, where you must choose between two bad options Ex: Self-defense o (c) According to Warren, what question must we answer in order to determine the moral status of abortion? *** Abortion dilemmas: Case 1. If pregnancy is allowed to continue, both woman and fetus will die. If we terminate the pregnancy, the woman will survive. Either way, fetus dies. But we would be INTENTIONALLY causing fetal death, if we perform abortion. Whereas if we do not abort, we would not actively cause anyone’s death. Would it be wrong to terminate? Biological vs. Moral Basic personhood (d) What is the Genetic Code Argument (i.e., Noonan’s argument, as explained in lecture or as discussed by Warren)? What is Warren’s objection to that argument? The genetic code argument (John T Noonan) 1. A fetus has a human genetic code from conception 2. Whatever has a human genetic code is a human being 3. So fetus is a human being from conception 4. Every human being has a right to life 5. So Fetus has a right to life Objection: The fallacy of equivocation: Using an ambiguous word in more than one sense can make an argument invalid (1-3) are true biologically, not moral (4) is true in a moral sense, not biological 5 does not follow (1-4) (e) What is the Argument from Continuous Development (i.e., of the fetus)? Give an objection. 1. Fetal development from conception to birth is a continuous process (no sharp boundaries) 2. To draw a line at any point (nonperson before, person after) would be arbitrary 3. Therefore, a fetus is a person from conception (or at least, we had been say that it is) 2. Parallel argument: 1. The development of an acorn into an oak tree is a continuous process (no sharp boundaries) 2. To draw a line at any point (acron before, oak tree after) would be arbitrary 3. Therefore, an acorn is an oak tree (or at least, we had better say that it is) Objection: Sorites arguments are often bad arguments. Just because there is a continuous gradation between A and B, it doesn’t mean that there is no difference (f) According to Warren, what traits or characteristics are most central to the concept of a person? If some being is lacking one of those traits, does this mean on Warren’s view that the being is not a person? Why or why not? Warren on personhood 5 characteristics of personhood: Consciousness, sentience/ minimal ability to think, reason / self-motivated activity, ability to speak a language / possession of self- concepts, self awareness Is an infant not a person? Yet, they can’t talk but they are a person S is a person iff S has at least 1-2 to some significant degree The word “human” has two sense (or meanings): The biological sense (Human B) = a member of the species Homo Sapiens The moral sense (Human M) = a person- i.e., a being worthy of full moral consideration Warren’s defense of abortion: fetus does not have any of these significant to a some significant degree (g) On what grounds does Warren conclude that a fetus does not have rights? (Explain her argument.) Warren: If someone is a person, they must have at least 1-2 of these(listed above). A fetus has none of the five to any significant degree. Therefore a fetus is not a person. If S is not a person, then it does not have rights. If S does not have rights then killing S isn’t always seriously immoral. Therefore abortion is permissible. (h) Explain the infanticide objection to Warren’s argument. How does she reply? (Does she agree that her argument leads to the seemingly absurd conclusion that infanticide is morally permissible? Why or why not?) Infanticide objection: “One objection to my argument is that it appears to justify not only abortion, but also infanticide. A newborn infant is not much more person- like than a nine-month fetus, and thus it might appear that if late-term abortion is sometimes justified, then infanticide must also sometimes be justified. Yet most people believe that infanticide is a form of murder, and virtually never justified” (Warren) Warren reply “Many reasons why infanticide is more difficult to justify than abortion, even though neither fetuses or newborn infants are clearly persons. The deliberate killing of newborns is virtually never justified. It is certainly wrong to kill such things being for a the sake of convenience, or financial profit, or “sport”. Only the most vital human needs, such as the need to defend one’s own life and physical integrity, can provide a plausible justification for killing such beings” (i) Which premise of the Basic Argument does Judy Thomson call into question? Premise 4: If S has a right to life, then intentionally causing S’s death is always seriously immoral Assume for the sake of argument that a fetus is a person, from conception. Then argues for two theses: 1. That the basic argument is still unsound, because P4 is false (4) If S has a right to life, then intentionally causing S’s death is always seriously immoral 2. That even if a fetus is a person, abortion is still (often) permissible Ex: self- defense (j) What is the view that Thomson calls “the extreme view”? Explain the argument for the extreme view (the argument from the DDA). What is Thomson’s argument against the extreme view? The “extreme view”: abortion is impermissible even to save a woman’s life Here’s a question: “Suppose a woman has become pregnant and learns that she has a cardiac condition such that she will die if she carries the baby to term. What may be done for her? The fetus, being a person, has a right to life, but as the mother is a person too, so has she a right to life. Presumably they have an equal right to life. How is it supposed to come out that an abortion may not be performed? Answer: 1. Aborting would directly kill the fetus, whereas not aborting would mean letting the woman die (not directly killing) 2. Other things being equal, killing is worse than letting die therefore, 3. We must let the woman die But are other things in this case equal? NO Thomson’s argument against the extreme view: The right to self-defense If A’s life is threatened by another person B, A has a right (the right of self-defense) to do what is necessary to protect herself, up to and including the use of lethal force against B. Therefore, If a woman’s life is threatened by her fetus, she has a right to abort to pregnancy. (k) What is the main point of Thomson’s example of the Violinist? Scenario: You have the right blood to save the violinist kidney’s and were hooked up to him without your knowledge for nine months Question: are you obligated to let the violinist use your body for 9 months, or may you unhook yourself? Thomson’s answer: it would be nice of you to let the violinist use your body, but you would be well within your rights to refuse An analogical argument: 1. It is not wrong to detach yourself from V 2. V-case similar to pregnancy due to non consensual intercourse 3. Thus, not wrong to abort when pregnancy results from non-consensual intercourse (l) What is the Self-Ownership Thesis, and what role does it play in Thomson’s defense of abortion? Implications of self-ownership “Nobody has any right to use your body unless you have given him such a right” “Nobody is morally required to make large sacrifices, of health, of all other interests and concerns, of all other commitments, for nine years, or even for nine months, to keep another person alive” A point about the logic of rights: Just because another person has a right to life and needs your body in order to live, it doesn’t follow she has a right to use your body From: i. A has a right to X, together with ii. A needs Y in order to have X, it does not follow that iii. A has a right to Y The self-ownership argument 1. Self-ownership thesis (2) If S owns X, then S can permit others to use X or not (3) If not, then others have no rights over X (4) If others have no rights over X, then not unjust for S to deny them of use of X (5) Thus, not unjust for a woman to deny fetus use of her body Thomson’s point: With few exceptions, the law does not require us to be Good Samaritans or even Minimally Decent Samaritans- (m) Under what circumstances does Thomson think that it would be unjust to have an abortion, and why? However: It would be good (beneficent) of you to allow another to use your body if her life depends on it, it may even be “morally indecent” for you to refuse, if very little sacrifice is required on your part But, unless you voluntarily give her such rights, you are not obligated to let her use your body So, carrying a pregnancy to term is (in most cases) supererogatory (the action of doing more than duty requires). (n) If a person voluntarily engages in sexual intercourse with the knowledge that she might become pregnant as a result, and does become pregnant, does this mean that she has given the fetus a right to use her body as a life-support system for nine months? How does Thomson answer this question? The modified violinist example (from Warren): You join the society of music lovers in order to get the privileges of membership (cheap tickets to concerts). As a member, however, you agree that if a violinist should become ill with kidney disease, your name will be entered into a lottery. The winner, must spend 9 months as life support for the violinist. A violinist gets ill, and you win lottery. Permissible to unhook yourself? Thomson’s answer: NO If you go on voluntarily to “assume responsibility” for someone, then you are obligated to provide for her/ but you are not obligated to assume responsibility for another “if… it would require large sacrifices” Further cases: the open window, the people-seeds The implied consent objection: 1) In joining the society, you consent to the terms of membership 2) if you consent to the terms of membership, then the Violinist has a right to use your body 3) therefore, you may not unhook yourself Analogously: 1) in consensual intercourse, you consent to the terms 2) If you consent to the terms, then a fetus has a right to your body 3) Therefore, you may not unhook yourself A reply: The cases are disanalogous (not comparable). The society is a club with membership terms, you check “I agree” (o) Give an objection to Thomson’s defense of abortion. The responsibility objection: 1) If you are responsible for someone’s being in a state where she needs your help to survive, then you are obligated to help her survive 2) If you have consensual sex, you are responsible for a fetus’s needing your help to survive. 3) Therefore, you are obligated 3. Social contract theory (a) What is the so-called “state of nature” in social contract theory? What role does it play in Hobbes’s account of political authority? What would the state of nature be like, according to Hobbes, and why? Four facts about the state of nature: 1. Equality of human need 2. Relative scarcity of goods 3. Equality of human power 4. Limited human altruism (unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others) (assuming there’s no government) Because Hobbes state of nature would be so horrible, selfinterested individuals need to agree to: (a) Give up their freedom to attack each other and instead follow rules that require cooperation and punish betrayal and (b) Give someone, or a group of someones, the power and authority to enforce those rules (have political authority) (Called Leviathan where power so leviathan is an absolute monarch). Because of psychological egoism, the state of nature would be a “war of all against all” This is because without cooperation there is no industry, agriculture, trade, science, art, education etc. (b) Explain the scenario known as the Prisoner’s Dilemma, and illustrate with an example. What options must the parties choose between? How do the outcomes depend on their choices? Is it ever rational for self-interested individuals in a PD to cooperate with each other? Is it ever rational? -More rational to confess. If you actually believe that that other person is not going to say anything, then your best bet is to rat them out. You don’t know if the other person is going to confess. Better to defect because it’s only one time. S cenario: you and your colleague, Lucifer, are in jail and suspected of committing a crime. You are isolated from each other and do not know how the other will respond to questioning. The police invite both of you to implicate the other in the crime (defect). What happens depends on what both of you do, but neither of you know how the other will respond. If Lucifer betrays you (yields to the temptation to defect) while you remain silent, then you receive the longest jail term while Lucifer gets off free (and visa versa). If you both choose to cooperate with each other (not the police) by remaining silent, there is insufficient evidence to convict both of you, so you are both given a light sentence for a lesser crime. If both of you decide to defect, then you have condemned each other to slightly reduced but still heavy sentences. Scenario: The two prisoners are interrogated separately and given two choices (confess or don’t confess). However, if prisoner A confesses and prisoner B doesn’t, A will get parole and B will get a life sentence and vice versa. Or they can both not confess and only get a 1 year sentence. Since everyone is self interested, they will always confess to try and get the smallest punishment for themselves. No, because Two strategies: no matter what other player does, each is better off if she defects But if both defect, both are worse off than if they had both cooperated (c) What is an Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma? Is it ever rational for self- interested individuals to cooperate in an IPD? An iterated prisoner’s dilemma involves: (a) 2 or more players who play repeatedly (b) the players remember previous actions by opponent (c) the number of rounds is random (or unknown) Strategies: cooperate unless provoked If provoked, retaliate Be quick to forgive If (and only if) you have a good chance of competing against the same opponent again (d) How does Shafer-Landau characterize the social contract approach to morality (what he calls “contractarianism”)? (Fill in the blank: “Actions are morally right if and only if: they are permitted by rules which free, equal, and rational people would agree to live by, for their own good, on the condition that others obey these rules as we”.) (e) How do contractarians go about justifying basic moral rules (e.g., rules that prohibit killing, or theft, or keeping one’s promises)? Basic moral rules: not to kill each other, not to steal from each other, not to enslave each other These rules are agreeable by everyone However, on rules such as resource distribution and responsibilites not everyone will agree Rawls: Instead of thinking of moral rules as those which real people would actually agree to live by, let’s think of moral rules as those which everyone should in principle agree to, because those rules are “fair”. (f) How does contractarianism explain the objectivity of morality, according to Shafer-Landau? Problem: It will be hard to get people to agree on the rules, for several reasons: – People are partial to their own interests, would prefer rules that give them an advantage – They also have “philosophical differences” about how things should be run 4. Distributive justice (a) Describe the situation Rawls calls “the original position”. What do the parties in the original position know? What purposes is served by putting them behind a “veil of ignorance”? A hypothetical situation of equality, where everyone is behind a “veil of ignorance”- no one knows his/her: Race, gender, class, social status Natural assets and abilities Occupation Religion Conception of the good life o They know general facts about math, physics, biology, psychology, economics, etc. o They know that there are certain “primary goods” that everyone would rather have more of, no matter what their conception of the good life is: Rights and liberties Powers and opportunities Income and wealth The point of this is so that all of the rules are not based off of experiences: everyone is at a fair playing ground, if you’re going to make playing rules for a society, you will all be at the same level / not bias about the rules because they don’t know anyone’s background (b) What two principles of justice would people in the original position adopt, according to Rawls, and why would they choose those two principles in particular? These two principles discuss how primary goods should be distributed: 1. The Liberty Principle: each person has a basic right to the most extensive set of liberties compatible with the same liberties for others. The basic liberties include political liberty, freedom of speech and assembly, freedom of conscience/thought, freedom of the person, and the right to due process under the law. 2. The Difference Principle: social and economic inequalities are to be to everyone’s advantage and attached to offices and positions open to all. So that it is to the total advantage of everyone, including the least advantaged, and so that is attached to offices and positions open to all on the basis of a fair competition. (c) What is strict egalitarianism? Would people in the original position choose strict egalitarianism as a principle of distributive justice? Why or why not? Accept Strict egalitarianism is the idea that benefits and burdens are distributed equally. It generally requires various limitations on individual liberty to maintain economic equality to ensure income and wealth is distributed fairly. People in the original position choose this because everything is distributed equally and fairly. (d) Would people in the original position choose utilitarianism as a principle of distributive justice? Why or why not? Reject Distributive justice is the idea that benefits and burdens should be distributed in the way that would maximize utility. If an unequal distribution will create more total welfare, than utilitarianism rejects strict egalitarianism and people in the original position because it is not distributed equally. It allows rules that make some worse off in order to make others better off. Such a trade off is not rational to parties in the original position. (e) Would people in the original position choose a libertarian principle of distributive justice (e.g., Nozick’s)? Why or why not? Reject Libertarian liberalism is the idea that benefits and burdens should be distributed via free trade of property rights, to maximize in individual liberty. There are no constraints on pattern of distribution. People in the original position would disagree with this because in this principle, any distribution no matter how unequal can still be perfectly just. It leads to massive inequalities that are not to everyone’s advantage and allows some to amass huge fortunes, which leaves others in poverty. The outcome depends largely on luck rather than merit. (f) What is the Entitlement Theory? How are entitlements determined, according to Nozick? Entitlement Theory is the idea that a distribution is just if and only if each person is entitled to their holdings. A person A has an entitlement to an item X is and only if A acquired X via an approved process including original acquisition: X was unowned and A took it out of the state of nature, voluntary transfer: someone else B had an entitlement right to X and voluntarily transferred that right to A, or rectification of past injustice: A is owed X due to some past injustice. (g) Explain Nozick’s distinction between end-state and historical principles of justice. Is the Entitlement theory an end-state theory, or an historical theory? End-state principles: – Claim that a distribution is just to the degree that it realizes a prescribed pattern (e.g., the Difference Principle) - Just if there is a systematic order to distribute, looking at the end, egalitarian wants everyone to have the same amount (Nozick- doesn’t care if ends up being equal) Historical principles: – Claim that a distribution is just if and only if it evolved in the right way (e.g., Nozick’s Entitlement Theory) (h) How does Nozick argue that end-state principles require “continuous interference in people's lives”? Is that a problem? 1. End of state principles (Rawls’), requires constant redistribution of holdings. 2. But redistribution violates some people’s entitlement rights by forcing them to labor on behalf of others and violating self-ownership. 3. Any principle which violates right is unjust. 4. So end-state principles are unjust. (i) How does Nozick argue that redistributive taxation of earning “is on a par with forced labor”? An objection to forced labor argument is premise 2 (redistribution violates entitlement rights) because it assumes that property rights are absolute, which is debatable. On some views property rights are conditional and come with strings attached. For example: your right to hold property is conditional on your paying back into the system that enables you to accumulate that property in the first place. The second objection is premise 3 (any principle that violates entitlement is unjust) because it assumes implicitly that entitlements are the only thing that matters for justice. However, other things matter as well such as fairness, desert, and need. (j) What is the difference between entitlement and desert? If a person is entitled to some piece of property, does it follow that she deserves it? If she deserves it, is she necessarily entitled? S is entitled to X, if S is acquired X in an approved way, such as voluntary transfer from someone else who had an entitlement to it. S deserves X if S earned X on merits, such as working hard or doing good deeds. One can deserve something without being entitled to it, or vice versa. For example: (Betty is entitled it the money, does not necessarily deserve it) Al is wealthy and has two children. Betty is selfish who made a fortune and Carla is generous. In his will, Al leaves his entire fortune to Betty. But which daughter is entitled to his money? (k) What is the “monopoly problem” for the Entitlement Theory? Why, according to Rousseau, are large inequalities likely to lead to injustice? (Note: Rousseau’s arguments are discussed by Williams in “Should we worry about inequality?”.) The problems: 1. Ignores the importance (desert). 2. Gives luck (7ft tall basketball player or finding land with oil under it) too great a role in determining which outcomes are just. 3. Tends to lead to enormous inequalities in wealth and therefore power. (The Monopoly problem). 4. Assumes that the initial distribution from which we start out was just. 5. The stolen land problem. Large inequalities are likely to lead to injustice because it can stunt economic growth and threatens political stability. Injustice because: o Wealthy can shape laws and policies that serve or further their own interest and do so at the expense of the poor o As wealthy becomes concentrated at the top, consumption decreases, which stunts economic growth. When consumption decreases, economic growth decreases o Insofar as workers consider the system unfair, they have less incentive to work, which drives down productivity o Insofar, as the wealthy can live off the interest of their wealth, they have less incentive to invest in productive endeavors Widening inequality produces mistrust, which makes it harder to do business and threatens political stability (l) What is the “stolen land” problem for the Entitlement Theory? What are the implications for the Entitlement Theory if the current distribution of wealth resulted from unjust practices? The stolen land problem is an issue because according to the entitlement theory, a distribution is just if it arose from a prior just distribution by “approved” processes and if it arose from an unjust distribution by unapproved processes then it is not just. For example: If I inherit some land (approved) from someone who stole it (un-approved) from its rightful owner, then according to the Entitlement Theory, I am not entitled to that land (not my property), and someone else (the person from whom it was stolen) may be entitled to it (rectification of past injustice). What are your implications from you stealing from me? (unjust practices)? (m) Explain the dilemma which, according to Fanon, confronts underdeveloped, newly independent former colonies? How should they respond to this dilemma? The newly independent former colonies show the same absence of infrastructure. People struggle against the same poverty, it is an undeveloped world. It is an inhumane world without doctors, engineers, and administrators. (n) What, according to Fanon, do former colonial powers owe to newly independent former colonies, and why? They owe aid to the poor and underdeveloped peoples because the well-being and the progress of Europe has been built up with the sweat and the dead bodies of black people. When they help we do not tremble with gratitude and say “it’s a just reparation which will be paid to us.” The help should be the ratification of a double realization: the realization by the colonized peoples that it is their due, and the realization by the capitalist powers in fact they must pay. They owe the redistribution of wealth because of the following: (1)There is a moral obligation to rectify (“set right”) the effects of unjust practices and institutions (2) Colonialism was an unjust institution (3) The (massively unequal) global distribution of wealth today is largely an effect of colonialism (4) Therefore, there is a moral obligation to redistribute wealth (from former colonial powers to their former colonies) 5. Liberty- David (a) What is negative liberty? Positive liberty? Liberalism? Difference Negative liberty - The absence of external obstacles to or constraints upon one’s actions. One has negative liberty to the extent that one’s options for acting are not limited by other people. A liberty that someone can’t stop you from doing. You have a right to live, not to be killed, not to be searched without a warrant, etc. Positive liberty - The ability to take control of one’s life and realize one’s fundamental purposes. One has positive liberty to the extent that one is autonomous. Right to do something. EX: a right to run for office. If you don’t do it, it’s not that big of a deal. Liberalism - The idea that any use of coercion (esp. by force of law) to limit people’s choices must be justified; otherwise, people should be free (negative liberty) to do as they will. (b) What is the harm principle? The offense principle? Paternalism? Legal moralism? Harm principle - Individual liberty may justifiably be restricted in order to prevent harm to others. Offense principle - Individual liberty may justifiably be restricted to prevent offense to others. (ex: women not being able to wear risky outfits) Paternalism - Individual liberty may justifiably be restricted in order to prevent one from harming oneself. Legal moralism - Individual liberty may justifiably be restricted to enforce traditional morality and prevent immoral behavior (whether harmful to others or not). (c) Clearly explain Mill’s “one very simple principle”. To whom does it apply, and in what circumstances? One very simple principle - The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. • Applies only to the voluntary actions of competent adults in civilized societies. • Implies that prospect of harm to others necessary, not sufficient, to justify coercion. • Applies to inaction (omissions) as well as action. • Applies only to acts that harm others directly. (d) Mill says that the argument for his “very simple principle” is based on the principle of utility, where “utility” is understood “in the largest sense, grounded on the permanent interests of a [human] as a progressive being”. What does he mean by this? What, in his view, is the good life for a human being? Is it simply the happy or pleasant life, as hedonism would have it? The simple principle says: should only be allowed to restrict people from harming others. Overall for society, it’s best to have the most freedom for each individual because that leads to the best life. Being as free as possible. Mill believes in perfectionism - The view that the good life for an organism depends on the fulfilment of its nature. He says the good life for human beings involves “the highest and most harmonious development of his powers to a complete and consistent whole.” (e) What does Mill mean by “self-regarding conduct”? He means conduct that affects only oneself. An action that is self regarding only affects your own interests and does not affect other people’s rights. Ex: suicide, drug use, tattoos. Mill says that you have power to choose anything that is directed towards you (f) What does Mill mean by “individuality”? Why is it valuable? Why is it so important, in Mill’s view, that a person be free to choose her own plan of life? Let people direct their own decisions, direct their own life. They have to think, make choices, goals. The greatest good for humans to choose their lives for themselves because you have to choose everything. (a opposed to letting nature rule you: ex: mating during mating season, or eating whenever you see food available). Individuality = Pursuing one’s own good in one’s own way. Valuable because Human flourishing requires the development of “higher” capacities necessary for autonomy. Important because the only way for people to develop these capacities is to give them liberty, so that they may experiment and learn. By giving people liberty: It is necessary for individual growth and development It results in better outcomes (because no one knows what good for me better than I do) It provides for diversity and innovation (experiments in living) (g) On what grounds does Mill reject paternalism? Why does the principle of utility support paternalistic laws? Mill’s rejection: • Paternalism is prone to abuse. Self-interested politicians use it as an excuse to limit liberty in ways that promote their own interests without protecting people at all. – ex. Texas law HB2 requiring that doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges at local hospitals. • Paternalism assumes that lawmakers are better judges of what would benefit people than they are themselves. But that is highly questionable. No one understands my needs and my circumstances or cares more about my wellbeing than I do. Support: 1.The universe would be a better place without immoral conduct (even if that conduct is harmful to no one). 2. We should use the law to make the universe a better place. 3. Therefore, we should use the law prevent people from acting immorally. (h) Does Mill think that people should be free to sell themselves into slavery? Why or why not? Mill does not think that people should be free to sell themselves into slavery. He thinks this because a person in slavery does not have the power to voluntary do what they want in life; thus, they would have no liberty. The principle of freedom cannot require that someone should be free not to be free. (i) Devlin argues, against Mill, that it is the job of government to enforce traditional morals. Why? What’s his argument for this? What principle would he appeal to in order to defend it? The social disintegration argument: 1. If society tolerates behavior contrary to established morality, people will cease to care about right and wrong (become indifferent to morality). 2. If people become indifferent to morality, society will disintegrate (which is harmful). 3. Therefore, society is justified, under the harm principle, in enforcing traditional morality. 6. Drugs-Chris A. How does Boaz describe “The drug problem” What solution to the problem does he propose? ∙ The Drug Problem – Humans have utilized mind altering substances for all of recorded history, and for almost as long as humans have used, governments have tried to stop them. Boaz proposes that the problem does not lie within evolution or weak families, but with the government itself, which thanks to drug illegalization has caused soaring murder rates, destruction of inner city communities, and a creation of a criminal sub-culture. The solution is to repeal laws and force individuals to take responsibility for themselves. B. Why has the so called “War on drugs” failed according to Boaz? Explain the role of incentives in his argument. The war on drugs has failed because despite numerous unnecessarily aggressive attempts by the government to eradicate drug use, drugs are more readily available than ever. By outlawing drugs governments are actually creating financial incentives for drug dealers to supply the demand. Prohibition reduces supply, so individuals are willing to pay more to get drugs, also adding a risk premium since supplying can be dangerous. Those willing to accept the risk can be rewarded greatly financially, Boaz sees drug dealers as profit seeking entrepreneurs. C. Explain Boaz’s argument that prohibition is responsible for drug related violence. Boaz argues that drug usage does not correlate with violence, but prohibition does. By outlawing drugs and driving up prices, addicts are willing to commit crimes to obtain substances that would be much more affordable if drugs were legal. The illegality of the business ensures that disputes between customers & suppliers, or rival suppliers, can only be settled through violence, not through the courts. D. What is wrong with the disease theory of drug use, according to Boaz? What should be done to replace it? Boaz said that the disease theory is flawed because “there is no leading research authorities that accept the classic disease concept” many scientists believe it is necessary to mislead the public about the nature of alcoholism and addiction in order to induce what they see is the right behavior. It is a nonresponsibility attitude that removes guilt or implication from the user. Boaz says how being under the influence is something that you can control and that you should be punished if you are caught driving, etc. under the influence. He says that physicians need to realize that there is no excuse for their actions. People need to stress the moral value of individual responsibility. E. Explain the difference between prohibition & criminalization, and between legalization and decriminalization. Which of these does Marneffe favor? Prohibition refers to criminal penalties for the manufacture, sale, and possession of large quantities of drugs. Criminalization however, refers to criminal penalties for using and possessing small quantities of drugs. Legalization is simply making said drug, or all drugs, legal and free from consequence. Decriminalization refers to a lack of criminal penalties for use or possession, however there could still be small repercussions. Marneffe favors drug prohibition, much unlike Boaz. F. What is the main argument for drug prohibition? Does de Marneffe think that the argument is successful? Why or why not? Would the same argument justify drug criminalization? Why or why not? The main argument for drug prohibition is that if drugs are legalized and easier to obtain and take, people will be much more likely to abuse them, so they should be prohibited from mainstream production. Proof that prohibition works is evident from alcohol prohibition, alcohol abuse declined substantially during the early years of prohibition. Marneffe thinks this argument is successful, because he supports prohibition over legalization. The same argument would not hold true for drug criminalization, because criminalization prevents individuals from having pleasurable experiences that are enjoyable or illuminating, while prohibition does not. Prohibition prevents drug manufacture and sale for commercial use, but places no restrictions on personal use or making, criminalization however prevents all these, not allowing people to use their minds and bodies how they see fit. G. What is Marneffe’s argument for decriminalization (The “self sovereignty” argument)? Would it justify legalization as well? Why or why not? Marneffe argues that we have one life to live, and as adults we should be able to determine how we carry this out. Some utilize drugs for religion or cultural experience, dead heads for example plan their lives around attending concerts and smoking marijuana during them. Since the drug plays a central role in their life, assuming they are causing no harm, this is a strong argument against criminalization. This however, does not justify legalization as well. Remember that decriminalization still allows for the individual to produce and consume drugs themselves, so a dead head may grow and smoke his own pot and still maintain his lifestyle. If it is legalized, the individual may become a drug dealer which is grounds to argue against legalization. ∙ A person is properly sovereign over his or her body, mind, life ∙ Thus, they have a right to determine what happens to their mind/bodies as long as it doesn’t harm others ∙ Recreational use doesn’t directly harm others ∙ Thus people have a right to use recreationally ∙ If one has the right to do something, it shouldn’t be illegal to do it H. Does prohibition violate individual rights according to Marneffe? Why or why not? No, prohibition does not violate individual rights because as mentioned above it still allows the individual to partake in the usage of drugs. I. What does Marneffe mean by individualism? How is it related to the so called “burdens principle” Individualism – we may not evaluate government policies solely by subtracting aggregated costs from aggregated benefits, but must also make one to one comparisons of the burdens that individuals bear under these policies. Burdens Principle – The government may not limit a persons liberty’s in ways that impose a burden on them that is substantially worse than the worst burden anyone would bear in the absence of this policy(think of this as an extension of Kant’s categorical imperative: do not treat people merely as means, always as ends in themselves). Burdens principle takes into account individualism J. Is prohibition objectionably paternalistic, in Marneffe’s opinion? Why or why not? No, Marneffe argues that because drug prohibition does not prevent anyone from buying drugs for personal use, it does not limit the liberty of drug users in this way for their own good. Paternalism is defined as limiting people’s liberty for their own good. A harm-based argument for criminalization/prohibition 1.Drug manufacture, sale, and use are very harmful to others (cause violence, criminal behavior, lost productivity, etc) 2. We are justified in limiting people’s liberty to prevent them from harming others 3. Therefore, we are justified in prohibiting drug manufacture/sale and in criminalizing use Essay Questions 1. Compare and contrast Rawls and Nozick on the subject of distributive justice. What sort of theory does each hold? How does he argue for it? What objections does it face? (You should discuss at least one objection to each.) Which view is better supported, in your understanding, and why? Rawls Theory Rawls version of distributive justice is based on justice as fairness. Rawls says that the principles of initial condition shall be fair and the only way to make that happen is to chose under a veil of ignorance. The veil of Ignorance is essentially an original position where no one knows his/her, race, gender, class, social status, natural assets & abilities, 0ccupation, religion, and conception of the good life. Rawls’ two principles of justice The Liberty Principle Each person is to have a basic right to the most extensive set of liberties compatible with the same liberties for others The Difference Principle Social and economic inequalities (if any) are to be a) to everyone’s advantage, and b) attached to offices and positions open to all With this original position and these two principles people will be able to make the most fair and unbiased decision for distributive justice which is the MaxiMin distribution(Maximize the minimum position). Rawls says that in the original position of uncertainty it is rational for people to assume the worst and thus will choose so that the worst situation is as good as it can be. Which is essential choosing the MaxiMin distribution of justice. Rawls Argue Rawls vs. utilitarianism Should parties in OP choose utilitarianism over the LP+DP? Rawls: No, because U only looks at the aggregate (whole), does not consider whether the distribution is fair – U allows rules that make some worse off in order to make others better off – Such a trade off not rational to parties in OP (MaxiMin) Rawls vs. Libertarianism Should parties in OP choose Libertarian liberalism over the LP+DP? Rawls: No, because LL leads to massive inequalities that are not to everyone’s advantage – Allows some to amass huge fortunes, leaves others in abject poverty – The outcome depends largely on luck rather than merit Rawls vs. Strict egalitarianism Should parties in OP choose strict egalitarianism over the LP+DP? Rawls: No, not if inequalities can make everyone better off – Inequalities in income/wealth can – Inequalities in liberty cannot – So parties in OP would choose to allow economic inequality but not political inequality Objection to Rawls Robert Nozick’s objection Argues that Rawls’ Difference Principle is unjust because it requires constant interference with individuals’ property rights Nozick’s Theory The Entitlement Theory According to the Entitlement (or Libertarian) Theory, a distribution is just if and only if each person is entitled to (i.e., has a right to) her holdings Entitlements (i.e., property rights) A person A is has an entitlement to an item X if and only if A acquired X via an “approved” process: – Original acquisition: X was unowned and A took it out of state of nature (e.g., by laboring) – Voluntary transfer: Someone else B had an entitlement right to X and voluntarily transferred that right to A – Rectification of past injustice: A is owed X due to some past injustice End-state principles: – Claim that a distribution is just to the degree that it realizes a prescribed pattern (e.g., the Difference Principle) Historical principles: – Claim that a distribution is just if and only if it evolved in the right way (e.g., Nozick’s Entitlement Theory) Nozick’s Argues Robert Nozick’s objection Argues that Rawls’ Difference Principle is unjust because it requires constant interference with individuals’ property rights Argument against end state principles for Nozick 1. End-state principles (e.g., Rawls’) require constant redistribution of holdings » see Wilt Chamberlain example 2. But redistribution violates (some) people’s entitlement rights: – Forces some people to labor on behalf of others – Violates self-ownership 3. Any principle which violates rights is unjust 4. So end-state principles are unjust Objections for Nozick’s Argument First objection to forced labor argument -Premise 2 (redistribution violates entitlement rights) assumes that property rights are absolute, which is debatable. On some views, property rights are conditional (they come with “strings attached”): – E.g., Your right to hold property is conditional on your paying back into the system that enabled you to accumulate that property in the first place. Second objection to forced labor argument -Premise 3 (any principle that violates entitlements is unjust) assumes implicitly that entitlements are the only thing that matters for justice. But other things seem to matter as well, e.g.: • Fairness • Desert • Need Rawls vs Nozick who is better supported Rawls better supported because; 1. Rawls has more arguments which are more concrete with less objection(use argument and objection examples) 2. Entitlement Theory has a lot of problems Problems for the Entitlement Theory 1. Ignores the importance of (e.g.) desert 2. Gives luck too great a role in determining which outcomes are just 3. Tends to lead to enormous inequalities in wealth and therefore power (the Monopoly problem) 4. Assumes that the initial distribution from which we start out was just 5. The stolen land problem 2. At the beginning of On Liberty, Mill says that his aim is to establish ‘one very simple principle’. Describe Mill’s principle and explain how it differs from both (a) paternalism and (b) legal moralism. How does he argue for his principle? What does he mean by “individuality”, and why does he think it so important? Then describe one objection to Mill’s argument. Describe Mill’s principle and explain how it differs from both (a) paternalism and (b) legal moralism. Mill’s one simple principle • Applies only to the voluntary actions of competent adults in civilized societies • Implies that prospect of harm to others necessary, not sufficient, to justify coercion • Applies to inaction (omissions) as well as action • Applies only to acts that harm others directly The paternalism principle -Individual liberty may justifiably be restricted in order to prevent one from harming oneself The legal moralism principle -Individual liberty may justifiably be restricted to enforce traditional morality and prevent immoral behavior (whether harmful to others or not) Mill Arguement (1) The aim of legislation should be to make society better off (maximize utility “in the largest sense”) (2) Human flourishing requires the development of “higher” capacities necessary for autonomy (3) The only way for people to develop these capacities is to give them liberty, so that they may experiment and learn (4) Therefore, we should restrict liberty no more than absolutely necessary for the common good (5) The only reason it is ever necessary to restrict liberty for the common good is to prevent harm to others (6) Therefore, we should only ever restrict liberty to prevent harm to others. Individuality and why it's important Individuality = pursuing one’s own good in one’s own way Important because Mill says; • “He who lets the world, or his portion of it, choose his plan of life for him, has no need of any other faculty than the ape-like one of imitation. [Is that fair?] He who chooses his plan of life for himself, employs all his faculties. He must use observation to see, reasoning and judgment to foresee, activity to gather material for decision, discrimination to decide, and when he has decided, firmness and self- control to hold to his deliberate decision. Objection to Mill’s argument The paternalism objection Some activities are so tempting, and so dangerous to those who do them, that a person is better off if she is prevented from even trying to do those things. Many of these activities also provide no discernible benefit to anyone! So wouldn’t it seem that utilitarianism supports at least some paternalistic restrictions on liberty? Two replies • Paternalism is prone to abuse. Self-interested politicians use it as an excuse to limit liberty in ways that promote their own interests without protecting people at all. – e.g., Texas law HB2 requiring that doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges at local hospitals. • Paternalism assumes that lawmakers are better judges of what would benefit people than they are themselves. But that is highly questionable. No one understands my needs and my circumstances or cares more about my wellbeing than I do. The objection continued Still, if you injure yourself doing something stupid, that will affect not just you but also your family. If you require medical care, someone has to pay the bill.* So even “self-regarding” acts can cause harm to others. Can’t we justify some paternalism under the harm principle? *E.g., According to the CDC, cigarette smoking costs the American economy approx $300 Billion per year, half of which is the cost of medical care, the other half lost productivity. 3. Peter de Marneffe argues that drugs should be decriminalized but not legalized. What is the difference? On what grounds does de Marneffe favor one but not the other? Does prohibition nonetheless violate individual rights in his view? Is it objectionably paternalistic? Why or why not? Difference between decriminalization and legalization Legalization = absence of prohibition* Prohibition = criminal penalties for manufacture, sale, and/or possession of large quantities Decriminalization = absence of criminalization* Criminalization = criminal penalties for use and/or possession of small quantities Marneffe wants Drugs decriminalized not legalized, why; Marneffe says; “Drug criminalization...prohibits people from using their own minds and their own bodies for certain kinds of pleasure and adventure. [...] This seems overly intrusive. As adults we are entitled to determine what happens in our minds and to our bodies, unless our decisions pose a serious risk of harm to others or to ourselves. Because drug use in itself does not pose a serious risk of harm to anyone, respect for persons, as independent beings who are properly sovereign over their own minds and bodies, seems incompatible with drug criminalization. “Drug prohibition, in contrast, is compatible with respect for persons. Drugprohibitionmakesitillegaltooperateacertain kind of business; but it does not prohibit anyone from experimenting with drugs or from regulating their moods in the ways that illegal drugs provide. It does not deprive anyone of control over their own minds and bodies” (de Marneffe, p. 202). The self-sovereignty argument 1. A person is properly sovereign over his or her body, mind, and life 2. Thus, they have a right to determine what happens to their minds/bodies, as long as no direct harm to others 3. Recreational use does not directly harm others 4. Thus, people have a right to use recreationally 5. If one has a right to do something it shouldn't be illegal to do it View on Prohibition violating individual rights The Burdens Principle The government may not limit a person’s liberty in ways that impose a burden on her that is substantially worse than the worst burden anyone would bear in the absence of this policy. (Think of this as an extension of Kant’s categorical imperative: Do not treat people merely as means, always as ends in themselves.) The burdens of prohibition Users are forced to grow their own, which requires significant time commitment Entrepreneurs are forced to go into other businesses (e.g., selling alcohol instead of pot, making wine instead of LSD, etc We are all burdened with cost of enforcement Objectionably paternalistic why or why not The anti-paternalism objection to prohibition Because prohibition limits drug users’ opportunities to use, it is objectionably paternalistic. 4. Is a fetus a human being with a right to life? From the moment of conception? Discuss arguments for and against. (You should discuss at least three arguments in total and give an objection to each. 5. Assume for the sake of argument that a fetus is a person (from the moment of conception). Does it follow that abortion is always immoral? Or is abortion sometimes defensible even if a fetus is a person? Explain Thomson’s answer to these questions, including her famous example. J.J. Thompson, “A Defense of Abortion” (1971) Assuming this argument, she then argues for two theses: 1. That the basic argument is still unsound, because P4 is false: P4: If S has a right to life, then intentionally causing S’s death is always seriously immoral 2. That even if a fetus is a person, abortion is still (often) permissible The “extreme view”: abortion is impermissible even to save a w
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