Write The slavery argument on the board again.

Remind them that according to Hare, there are two ways the Utilitarian can go about responding. Accept the alleged facts: grant 2 challenge 4 Argue that most people would accept slavery in the Juba/Camaica case. OR Try to explain away the ordinary intuitions of people opposed to slavery. I ask you this: if you are a Utilitarian, and you agree that the Juba/Camaica case is actually possible, and you recognize that in this case that utility is maximized by retaining the institution of slavery in this case, (i.e. you agree that more net happiness would result from having than not having slavery) then, what must you as a Utilitarian say is the right thing to do? (Retain Slavery) Now, Consider this: is it merely “right” to retain slavery, or is it obligatory? (You see, some opponents of Utilitarianism have suggested that there can always only be one act that maximizes utility, and all other acts fall short of this and are therefore wrong. So, you have two kinds of acts in utilitarianism: The morally obligatory (the one act that maximizes utility) And the morally wrong (all acts that fall short of maximizing utility). Point out that Hare rejects the alleged facts. He denies that such a scenario could obtain in reality. In other words, the scenario of Juba and Camaica is fictitious, and it could never happen in real life that retaining slavery would result in the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number. He defends this by his appeal to the “deep facts” about human nature. (Slaves would be miserable because human masters would tend to exploit them.) So, what is wrong with Slavery according to Hare? It’s not that slavery is simply morally wrong because of the intrinsic dignity of human beings. Rather, it is because slavery could never in reality amount to the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people. Do your moral intuitions let you feel at home with a theory that must argue along these lines to condemn slavery? Does the fact that Utilitarianism has unacceptable consequences in hypothetical cases yield a legitimate criticism its theoretical defects? Hare thinks, NO. (Notice, by the way, that he comes up with his own hypothetical situation and then defeats it as inapplicable.)

Many others (including Rachels) think YES. Notice that Hare’s response to the question of what is wrong with slavery consists in pointing out that slavery would never amount to the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number. Notice that he does NOT say that slavery is wrong, regardless of how much utility it would produce. (Nor could he say this if he is to be consistent with Utilitarian principles.) Contrary to the way that Hare answers the question, “What is wrong with slavery” many ethicists will say that answering this question does not require any empirical investigation. They would say, I don’t need to get out the scales of pleasure and measure net happiness in a given circumstance to condemn slavery. I can condemn it quite apart from any considerations of its consequences. They would point out that the fact that Utilitarians must speak at all about the maximization of pleasure before they feel justified in condemning it shows a real failure on the part of Utilitarianism to grasp what makes slavery immoral in the first place. You see, some ethicists hold that the worth of each individual is infinite, and as such cannot be measured against any notion of an aggregate whole. Take the following statement: IF slavery maximizes social utility, then slavery would be right. Hare accepts this statement. Indeed, as a Utilitarian, he has to. So, if he accepts the antecedent, he is bound to deny the consequent. So, what does he do? He rejects the antecedent, saying that this could never be the case. The only way that he avoids being bound to the consequent is by denying that the antecedent could in reality obtain.

Again, consider that according to Utilitarianism, what makes something right is that it maximizes pleasure for the aggregate or whole of society. The equal interests of all are to be given equal weight in our reasoning. (You may recall Mill saying that “every person counts as one”) Following on this principle of Utilitarianism, Rawls wants to point something out. Rawls says, NOTICE: our overall calculations are not concerned with the distribution of pleasure, or as Rawls calls it “satisfaction.” (351) IT MAKES NO DIRECT DIFFERENCE IF AN ACT BRINGS ABOUT

--One unit of your happiness or one unit of mine. --One unit of my misery or one unit of yours --if all the unhappiness accrues to one or a few people You see, the goal is net happiness. So, so what if one person or a small group of people has to bear intense suffering for the sake of the aggregate? (You’ve heard the old saying, “If you want to make an omelette you are going to have to break some eggs.”) The point is, the distribution of goods does not matter, so long as the net happiness reaches the highest reasonable level. Rawls notes that, in Utilitarianism, “The principle of choice for an association of men is interpreted as an extension of the principle of choice for one man.” Rawls offers a diagnosis of this move: In close he states that Utilitarianism requires us to conflate all persons into one, and therefore does not take seriously the distinction between persons. Because Rawls is not exactly replete with examples to illustrate this point, I will bring in an example from an external source that nicely illustrates what he is getting at.

Human Conduit: Scanlon (Jones in the transmitter room) Jones is TV repairman in the (only) transmitter room at the world cup finals. The machinery explodes from a lightning bolt. Jones is trapped in the machine, and he’s a human conduit. The machinery will continue running as long as you don’t remove Jones. (Light on the train) He’s being painfully—perhaps lethally electrocuted. You either leave Jones in the machine for the last half hour of the match, causing maximal watching enjoyment (over one billion people watch the world cup finals). If we say Jones’ pain is cumulatively less than the pleasure of all those viewing the final part of the world cup. So, shall we leave Jone’s in the shock-treatment for our viewing enjoyment. Utilitarianism can’t be right because it doesn’t take seriously the distinction between persons: (social hedonistic consequentialism.)

Other objections: Can we weigh the pain of one against the pleasure of another?