Authors
Simon Knutsson
Stockholm University
Abstract
The most common argument against negative utilitarianism is the world destruction argument, according to which negative utilitarianism implies that if someone could kill everyone or destroy the world, it would be her duty to do so. Those making the argument often endorse some other form of consequentialism, usually traditional utilitarianism. It has been assumed that negative utilitarianism is less plausible than such other theories partly because of the world destruction argument. So, it is thought, someone who finds theories in the spirit of utilitarianism attractive should not go for negative utilitarianism, but should instead pick traditional utilitarianism or some other similar theory such as prioritarianism. I argue that this is a mistake. The world destruction argument is not a reason to reject negative utilitarianism in favour of these other forms of consequentialism, because there are similar arguments against such theories that are at least as persuasive as the world destruction argument is against negative utilitarianism.
Keywords Negative utilitarianism  consequentialism  utilitarianism  killing  replacement
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Reprint years 2019, 2021
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DOI 10.1080/0020174x.2019.1658631
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References found in this work BETA

Moral Thinking: Its Levels, Method, and Point.R. M. Hare (ed.) - 1981 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The Morality of Happiness.Julia Annas - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
An Outline of a System of Utilitarian Ethics.J. J. C. SMART - 1961 - [Carlton]Melbourne University Press on Behalf of the University of Adelaide.

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