• Seite 211-218 und 254-266


  • Alarming Acts: Actions in order to maximize happiness that just seem wrong
  • Accomodation: Alarming acts aren’t alarming, since they don’t have the absurd implications
  • Reform: Alarming acts are alarming, but they are still the right decision. The Intuition is wrong and should be reformed, Intuition differs for each culture.
  • Debunking: Proving that an argument is wrong
  • Oversensitive: Moral Intuition responds to things, that aren’t relevant
  • Undersensitive: Moral Intuition doesn’t respond to things, that are relevant


  • Why do most people not push?
    • Emotional response (intuition) of S1 outweights the cost benefit thinking of S2
    • (Im)Personal (Force)?
      • Distance: nope (remote vs normal)
      • Touching: nope (pole vs normal)
      • Force:
    • Means vs Side-effect?
      • “Doctrine of Double Effect” p. 218
      • Kant: “Treat people always as an end and never as a means only”
      • Strategic vs. Terror Bombing
      • Painkillers to kill Vs. Painkillers to lessen pain with the risk of killing
      • -> Obstacle collide case


  • Normal footbridge:
    • Push: 31%
    • Switch:
  • Remote footbridge with trap door:
    • Switch trap door far: 63%
    • Switch trap door close: 59%
  • Pole footbridge:
    • Push: 33%
  • Obstacle collide case:

How to live like a Utilitarist (254-266)?

  • You don’t have to be a happyness pump
  • Trying to maximize the happyness in the world at all cost is not utitlitaristic
    • More negative comes out of it if you force it to an extreme (diet example)
      • Limitations: Psychological, social, time, money
      • You become unhappy and are a bad role model

How much Utilitarianism?

  • Depends on the person
    • Social dimension:
      • Being a role model will do more good than being an unappealing hero
    • “If what utilitarianism asks of you seems absurd, then it’s not what utilitarianism actually asks from you” p. 258
  • Singers Problem

Singers Problem (p. 258)

  • Rescuing a drowning child will ruin your $500 suit -> not rescuing is morally wrong
  • Rescuing a child for 500$ -> not rescuing doesn’t seem morally wrong
    • Biggest Factor: Distance
      • Near: 68% help
      • Far: 34% help
      • Reasons:
        • Reciprocity (262)
        • Identifyable victim effect


  • Part 1:
    • If emotions are a psychological adaptation in order to maximize survivability, they are felt for a reason. Why exactly are negative emotions then felt in the trolley example? Are there factors one considers that are not part of the given problem (example revenge of family)?
    • What if the utilitaristic decision is only right in the trolley dilemma simulation but not in the real world?
    • What if our emotions are only oversensitive in the trolley dilemma simulation without us even knowing it since they subconsiously consider more implications?
  • Part 2:
    • Is being an unappealing hero really worse than a moderate role model? (257-258)
    • Isn’t helping a nearby person (who suffers the same as a distanc one) the more utilitaristic decision since it provides the helping person with more happiness?


  • p. 217: “pyhsical mechanism seems to be psychologically relevant”
  • p. 217: “automatic settings are…leading us astray” maybe just wrong in the simulation because they are oversensitive, but for the real world they are right
  • p. 257: “If you were to try (being a happyness pump), you would be miserable”
    • Why not “Reform”?
  • p. 257 “Brains were not designed to care deeply about the happiness of strangers” -> “Cut yourself a lot of slack”
    • Why not “Reform”?