In this essay, I will argue that the injustice objection to classical utilitarianism cannot be successfully met by the ‘long term consequences’ reply.
Consequentialism follows under normative ethical theories, which when judging an action one should focus on purely the outcome(s) rather than the person involved or the action itself.
Classical Utilitarianism is another ethical theory where agents of action should partake or judge a forthcoming action or ethical dilemma on purely the outcome (which like consequentialism disregards the potential immorality to the action and the agent involved) that will produce the most utility/happiness for people at whole e.g. society/community.
An objection towards classical utilitarianism is that utilitarianism gives allowance to act unjustly because it produces the most utility for people at whole which can completely disregard immediate outcomes of the action, including people who might be used for ‘collateral damage’ this is said with the example of the negro getting framed for rape thus preventing a series of anti negro riots (McCloskey, 1957).
In reply to the ‘unjust acts’ objection utilitarian’s have three standard reply’s these are ‘bite the bullet’, ‘Using secondary principles’ and ‘long term consequences’. Long term consequences follows the belief that it may not seem just in present tense however in considering the wider effects (especially on the community) we could argue it is just within the future tense.
A real life example of when the utilitarian approach was adopted (which is discussed in Martin Cohen’s ‘101 Ethical Dilemmas’) was the second world war, specifically after Hitler occupied Poland in 1939 which provoked Britain and France to declare war on Germany this however with technological advancements either party could use aircrafts and bombs to impose a threat to one another. However this meant resident’s from either countries who aren’t directly involved with the war can be vulnerable to...