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Justice: what is the right thing to do? Theories and Questions PowerPoint Presentation
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Justice: what is the right thing to do? Theories and Questions

Justice: what is the right thing to do? Theories and Questions

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Justice: what is the right thing to do? Theories and Questions

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  1. Justice: what is the right thing to do? Theories and Questions PHILOSOPHY OF LAW 2012 - LUMSA

  2. The runaway trolley

  3. Case 1 : the single worker The runaway trolley – case 1

  4. Case 2: the heavy man The runaway trolley (#2)

  5. Why does the principle that seem right in the first case (numbers count), seem wrong in the second? Others reasons: The fat man didn't choose to be involved, we can't use him against his will. The railway workers willingly incur a risk Our intention is different The runaway trolley (#3)

  6. Now you are a doctor… 6 patients come to you. 5 of them are severely injured, but 1 is at risk of his life. In the time you care about the one, 5 others can die, but in the time you save the 5, the one would die. The emergency room (#3)

  7. Now you are a transplant surgeon. You have 5 patients each in need of an organ transplant in order to survive. You don’t have donors, but… In the next room there is a healthy guy who came for a check up! The emergency room (#3)

  8. Some moral dilemmas arise from conflicting moral principles. Two kind of moral reasoning: Consequentialist: locates the morality in the consequences of an act (what is happened, at the end of the day?). Vs Categorical: locates morality in certain duties and rights. It is wrong to do something (to kill an innocent person), even for a good reason. Other moral dilemmas arise because of uncertainty: in real life we confront uncertain choices Conflicting principles

  9. Utilitarianism The morality of an action depends on the consequences it brings about: the right thing to do is whatever produces the best state of affairs, all considered. Objectivism (philosophy of virtue) Consequences are not all we should care about: certain duties and rights should command our respect, for reasons independent of the social consequences. Two different approaches to justice

  10. Bentham: We like pleasure and dislike pain Maximizing utility is a principle for individuals and legislators There is no possible ground for rejecting this argument Utilitarianism

  11. What did Bentham mean with “utility”? A balance between… Utilitarianism Pain Suffering Costs Pleasures Happiness Benefits

  12. The Mignonette case Utilitarianism

  13. The three man were picked up on the 24th day, and they returned to England. Dudley and Stephen went to trial, Brooks turned state's witness. They confessed, but they claimed to have done so out of necessity. How would you rule? (put aside the question of law, and concentrate on the moral dilemma) If you were the judges...

  14. Necessity vs. Calculation (cost – benefits) But Benefits really overweight the costs? We can use a human being in this way? And What if Parker would consent to be eaten, in order to save his colleagues? What if they accepted the lottery? Arguments and objections

  15. Some moral dilemmas arise from conflicting moral principles We should save as many lives as possible Vs It is wrong to kill an innocent person, even for a good reason (categorical objection) A fair procedure would be better, such as a lottery (procedural objection) Only the subjective consent would make the difference (lack of agreement objection) But… Other moral dilemmas arise because of uncertainty: in real life we confront uncertain choices! Conflicting principles

  16. June 2005 The Afghan Goatherds

  17. The goatherds appeared to be unarmed civilians but Letting them go would run the risk that they would inform the Talibans of the presence of the US soldiers To kill: US soldiers have a right to do everything they can to save their lives Not to kill: It is wrong to execute unarmed man in cold blood. What to do?

  18. M. Luttrell's team What is happened...

  19. Killing two Afghans would have saved the lives of 19 US soldiers (X = trolley case1 or 2?) It was a bad decision? And if goatherds would have been tortured by Talibans to reveal US soldiers' location? Moral criteria

  20. Utilitarianism fails to respect individual rights It can consider it correct to violate fundamental norms of decency and respect. Objection 1: individual rights

  21. Case 1: throwing Christians to lions Individual liberty vs Utilitarianism: three cases

  22. Case 2: torture Is torture consistent with individual rights? Can we justify torture for its own sake? Individual liberty vs Utilitarianism: three cases (#2)

  23. The ticking bomb scenario Individual liberty vs Utilitarianism: three cases (#2)

  24. Utility: Information is unreliable Fear of worse treatment for soldiers made prisoner Principle: Doesn't respect human rights Dignity lies beyond practical results But... numbers make the difference? Rejecting torture in the name of...

  25. Would it be morally acceptable (in the name of utility, and of numbers) to torture his innocent daughter, if it was the only way to induce him to talk? Numbers make the difference?

  26. Are those conditions acceptable? Case 3: the city of happiness

  27. U is based on measuring preferences, without judging them. For that reason, U claims to offer a science of morality: Cost - Benefit analysis But... a) Can we translate complex social choices into monetary terms (it is possible to put a price tag on life)? b) Can we reduce different preferences and pleasures to a single scale (it is possible to measure pleasures)? Objection 2: Preferences are all equal?

  28. An incredible analysis a) Cigarettes and cancer

  29. What is the real problem? The disregard for human value... or a bad calculation of costs? Cigarettes and cancer

  30. Ford Pinto (1970) a) Cars and Explosions

  31. Lives saved and injures prevented: 180 deaths and 180 burn injures (if no change) Life's value = 200.000 $ x 180 + Injury = 67.000 $ x 180 + Number and value of burned Ford Pinto = 49.5 $ million Production costs (adding a device to 12.5 million vehicles) 11 $ x 12.5 million = $ 137.5 million Costs and Benefits

  32. Highway Safety Administration calculated the cost of traffic fatality, counting: future productivity (earnings) losses + medical costs + funeral costs + victim's pain and suffering = $ 200,000 per fatality Jury contested the price, not the principle. One should include also the loss of future happiness! How to calculate the value of human life?

  33. Environmental Protection Agency: Costs-Benefit of pollution standards (how much we can pollute?) $ 3.7 million per life saved due to a cleaner air, but... $ 2.5 million for people older than seventy. Saving an older person produces less utility (a young person has more happiness to enjoy). Critics: placing a value on human life is morally obtuse. Defenders: many social choices are based on such calculation, even if we don't admit it. A better calculation.

  34. In Italy, the use of cars causes more than 4,000 deaths and 302,000 injured (2010) per year. Speed (among other factors) influences this rate. Should we reduce speed limits? Cost-benefits of higher limits: T/N=C Time saved ($20 per hour) if limit is 10 mph higher Number of additional deaths Acceptable cost of driving faster per fatality ($ 1.54 million per life) A better calculation: speed limits

  35. Bentham: pleasure is pleasure, we can't judge them, so we can measure them (if more people want rather watch cockfights than renaissance paintings, the State should subsidize animals arenas rather than museums). “The quantity of pleasure being equal, pushpin is as good as poetry” (J. Bentham). b) Pleasures

  36. J. S. Mill (1806-1873) He tried to “humanize” Utilitarianism, by demonstrating that: it respects individual rights; it is possible to distinguish higher and lower pleasures. How compelling are these objections? A revision of utilitarianism.

  37. In the long run, respecting liberties will promote the welfare of society as a whole; “Of two pleasures, if there be one to which all who have experience of both give a decided preference, irrespective of any feeling of moral obligation to prefer it, then that is the more desirable pleasure”. How compelling are these objections? A revision of utilitarianism.

  38. Three pleasures: Soccer, Shakespeare, Isola dei Famosi (Trash-Tv). Which of those experiences you find more pleasurable? Which you consider qualitatively higher? So... higher pleasures are higher because we prefer them, or we prefer them because we recognize they are higher? Mill's thesis on pleasures.

  39. Minimal State 1 - no paternalism. Laws can't protect individual from themselves 2 - no moral legislation. Laws can't promote a particular notion of virtue 3 - no redistribution of wealth A stronger defense of rights:Libertarianism

  40. Minimal State: questions…

  41. Libertarianism: wealth and taxes

  42. Shall we redistribute wealth? YES: if we take 1 million to Bill Gates, and distribute it to hundred needy recipient overall happiness would increase. NO - 1: high tax rates (on richest people) reduce the incentives to work hard and produce, leading a decline in economy. The overall level of utility will go down. NO - 2: taxing is unjust. Taking money from Bill Gates, even for a good reason, violates his fundamental rights to do with his money what he prefers. Libertarianism: wealth and taxes

  43. Free Market Philosophy Libertarian principles are a challenge to our ideas of distributive justice and self ownership. Minimal State - Distributive justice depends on two requirements: • Justice in initial holdings (resources you used to make money were legitimately yours) • Justice in transfers (free exchanges or voluntary gifts) Only demonstrating that present situation is due to past injustices, it is possible to remedy through taxes, reparations, affirmative actions, etc…

  44. Samuel Eto’o Eto’o's earnings in 2011: 20 millions USD. Is it just? It is the consequence of a free market: people prefer see Eto’o playing than others. Can we impose Eto’o – by taxing him – to support disadvantaged people? Doesn’t it violate his liberty, forcing to make a charitable contribution against his will? Taxes are is on a par with forced labor?

  45. Taxes and forced labor Libertarians: if the State has the right to claim some portion of my earnings, it also has the right to claim some portion of my time. TaxesForced labor Slavery Do I own myself? Do I own my time? Do I own my earnings?

  46. Five objections to redistribution • Taxation is not as bad as forced labor • The poor need the money more • Eto’o doesn’t play alone, so he owes a debt to those who contributed to his success • He consented, as a citizen of a democracy • He is lucky

  47. Do we own ourselves? • J. Locke: Freedom, equality, property rights (a), and government by consent (b) — each of these ideas figures prominently in contemporary political thought. And each idea was central to the political thought of John Locke

  48. a) Unalienable rights • According to Locke, our natural rights are governed by the law of nature, known by reason, which says that we can neither give them up nor take them away from anyone else, because: • God is the real owner of any man and any thing; • The reason teaches all mankind that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, liberty or possession. • Certain rights are so essentially mine, that I can’t give them up, I can’t sell them, I can’t renounce to them. • Really to be free, means to recognize that there some rights that are unalienable.

  49. But, what about private property? • Private property can arise even before there is any government, even in the state of nature. • “Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has rights to but himself. The labor of his body, and the work of his hand, are properly his”. • “For this labor being the unquestionable property of the laborer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good left in common for others”

  50. Locke and our problems…