What Would a Utilitarian Advise the Parents to Do and Why?

992 WordsJan 31, 20184 Pages
1. What would a utilitarian advise the parents to do, and why? Because utilitarians exclusively analyze consequences, a utilitarian approach would employ a utility-based calculus, wherein utility is defined—as per class discussion and most common usage—as the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest amount of people. As such, a utilitarian would argue that, because Amy would have a chance at living a normal life-span on her own, it would be justifiable to remove Bianca due to this calculus. This is because in a world where the parents keep both twins alive, the inevitable death of the twins would occur, creating two conjoined dead babies (i.e. a calculated loss of two lives). Contrastively, ensuring the safety and security of Amy’s life—despite the unfortunate loss of Bianca’s—would result in one life being saved and lived, thus enabling Amy to lead a normal, healthy (but disjoined) life. According to the decision calculus, the latter situation is preferable because the long-term happiness that would result from Amy’s long life that would overshadow Bianca’s death and outweigh the negligent (albeit possible) happiness in a scenario in which Amy and Bianca both have short-lived lives and die. In a similar vein, utilitarians might further argue that, not only does the calculation work out to favor the one death over the two deaths, but that Amy and Bianca’s parents have a moral obligation to save only Amy’s life. Because of the consequentialist nature of utilitarianism,

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