Upton on Evil Pleasures

Utilitas 13 (01):106- (2001)
In a recent contribution to Utilitas Hugh Upton has criticized my defence of utilitarianism against the charge that it is committed to regarding the pleasures taken by sadists in other people's pain as increasing the amount of good in the world and so at least partially offsetting the suffering of the victims. In the present paper I clarify and defend my view that sadists implicitly insult their own human qualities, thus rendering it impossible to respect themselves as human beings, when they enjoy the suffering of others with essentially similar qualities. Distinguishing between happiness and pleasure, I explain why it is not, as Upton thinks, a mere stipulation to deny that the sadist's self-demeaning pleasures are capable of augmenting his happiness
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