Discussion 2

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Remember, please, that you only have to make ONE initial post for the discussion, and then three other different posts on three other different days (i.e., four posts across four days all together; of course, you can do more!) One approach is to do your initial post — which should be about 300-350 words — then respond to two other students’ initial posts, and then respond to at least one person who has responded to you (making a total of about 600 words by the end). (The ‘four days’ requirement is undoubtedly a response to the tendency, in the past, of many people to do almost all the posts on a Sunday or Monday.) Here is the prompt:

1. One famous worry about utilitarianism is that it demands that we regard our own set of desires, ends, and our own happiness, as just one among a great many others whose lives we might impact. Accordingly, our own desires, ends, etc. bear very little weight when determining what the greatest happiness of the greatest number is, and thus what our moral responsibility is. Think of a situation or area of life in which this might be true, and our concern for our own well-being and happiness has to take a back seat to the concern for the well-being and happiness of the greatest number. DO NOT USE YOUR FAMILY CIRCUMSTANCES AS AN EXAMPLE (because that is ‘too easy,’ and, besides, it seems to fit ‘every theory’!) What might a utilitarian say to someone who thinks this is too high a sacrifice? Would this be a plausible response? Be sure to back up your answer with references to the resources, and respond to your peers by considering what someone who disagrees with them might say.

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