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For this discussion board, please briefly answer each of the following four questions. You need only answer the question - no need for an essay here.
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Recall our discussion on the Utilitarian vs. Kantian perspective on using human beings as mere means. The Utilitarian will say it is permissible in many cases, whereas the Kantian will say it never is. You might agree with one of those poles, or your position might be somewhere in the middle. One example we used to discuss this difference was Dr. X, who can save millions of lives by finding a cure for heart disease, but only if she kidnaps and murders one single stranger. In your opinion, could this kind of "for the greater good” action ever be morally permissible, even if it requires using someone as a mere means to an end? To answer this, imagine you are in a scenario like Dr. X:


Imagine you are in a scenario where you could certainly save some number of lives by committing murder. The person you have to murder (suppose) will have no surviving friends or relatives and no one will miss them, and you cannot find someone to volunteer for the job (it has to be murder). The people you can save by murdering them, suppose, all will go on to lead happy, healthy, influential lives. You have strong evidence to support the belief that you will never get caught or suffer negative consequence. In other words, murdering would maximize utility, but would be to use someone as a mere means to an end. How many lives (if at all) would your murder need to save in order for you to deem it the morally appropriate choice?


In a few words, how would you personally define the term “Happiness?” What words come to mind? Do you think happiness is a state of mind, a feeling, an activity, an accomplishment, or something else?


In your opinion, is it possible for someone to believe they are Happy, when actually they are not? Or, is happiness entirely subjective, such that if you believe you are happy, you are?


Finally: would you push the button to enter Nozick’s “Experience Machine” that we talked about in class? The basic idea is that you can enter into a machine that would simulate a life for you that is subjectively indistinguishable from real life, and you can construct it however you want (even including random chance and struggles) so you can achieve all of your wildest dreams (or feel the same way you would if you had). When you are in the simulation, you don’t know it’s a simulation - you only know it will be one right before you push the button. So, do you push the button?

    • Posted: a month ago
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    • answer the questions

      each question answer 100 words

      For this discussion board, please briefly answer each of the following four questions. You need only answer the question - no need for an essay …