How satisficers get away with murder

Authors
Tim Mulgan
University of Auckland
Abstract
Traditional Consequentialism is based on a demanding principle of impartial maximization. Michael Slote's 'Satisficing Consequentialism' aims to reduce the demands of Consequentialism, by no longer requiring us to bring about the best possible outcome. This paper presents a new objection to Satisficing Consequentialism. We begin with a simple thought experiment, in which an agent must choose whether to save the lives of ten innocent people by using a sand bag or by killing an innocent person. The main aim of the paper is to demonstrate that, if it is to avoid making unreasonable demands, Satisficing Consequentialism must allow such an agent to kill. It is argued that this result is much more counter-intuitive than the fact that Maximizing Consequentialism permits agents to kill in order to produce the best consequences. The conclusion is that Satisficing Consequentialism is not an acceptable moral theory.
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DOI 10.1080/09672550010012129
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Peter van Inwagen on Gratuitous Evil.Klaas J. Kraay - 2014 - Religious Studies 50 (2):1-18.
Peter van Inwagen on Gratuitous Evil.Klaas J. Kraay - 2014 - Religious Studies 50 (2):217-234.

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