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Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason and the Gap Between Us and Them (English Edition)
 
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Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason and the Gap Between Us and Them (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Joshua Greene

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Introduction
The Tragedy of Commonsense Morality

To the east of a deep, dark forest, a tribe of herders raises sheep on a common pasture. Here the rule is simple: Each family gets the same number of sheep. Families send representatives to a council of elders, which governs the commons. Over the years, the council has made difficult decisions. One family, for example, took to breeding excep�tionally large sheep, thus appropriating more of the commons for itself. After some heated debate, the council put a stop to this. Another family was caught poisoning its neighbors� sheep. For this the family was severely punished. Some said too severely. Others said not enough. Despite these challenges, the Eastern tribe has survived, and its families have prospered, some more than others.

To the west of the forest is another tribe whose herders also share a common pasture. There, however, the size of a family�s flock is deter�mined by the family�s size. Here, too, there is a council of elders, which has made difficult decisions. One particularly fertile family had twelve chil�dren, far more than the rest. Some complained that they were taking up too much of the commons. A different family fell ill, losing five of their six children in one year. Some thought it unfair to compound their trag�edy by reducing their wealth by more than half. Despite these challenges, the Western tribe has survived, and its families have prospered, some more than others.

To the north of the forest is yet another tribe. Here there is no com�mon pasture. Each family has its own plot of land, surrounded by a fence. These plots vary greatly in size and fertility. This is partly because some Northern herders are wiser and more industrious than others. Many such herders have expanded their lands, using their surpluses to buy land from their less prosperous neighbors. Some Northern herders are less prosper�ous than others simply because they are unlucky, having lost their flock, or their children, to disease, despite their best efforts. Still other herders are exceptionally lucky, possessing large, fertile plots of land, not because they are especially wise or industrious but because they inherited them. Here in the North, the council of elders doesn�t do much. They simply ensure that herders keep their promises and respect one another�s property. The vast differences in wealth among Northern families have been the source of much strife. Each year, some Northerners die in winter for want of food and warmth. Despite these challenges, the Northern tribe has sur�vived. Most of its families have prospered, some much more than others.

To the south of the forest is a fourth tribe. They share not only their pasture but their animals, too. Their council of elders is very busy. The elders manage the tribe�s herd, assign people to jobs, and monitor their work. The fruits of this tribe�s labor are shared equally among all its mem�bers. This is a source of much strife, as some tribe members are wiser and more industrious than others. The council hears many complaints about lazy workers. Most members, however, work hard. Some are moved to work by community spirit, others by fear of their neighbors� reproach. De�spite their challenges, the Southern tribe has survived. Its families are not, on average, as prosperous as those in the North, but they do well enough, and in the South no one has ever died in winter for want of food or warmth.

One summer, a great fire burned through the forest, reducing it to ash. Then came heavy rains, and before long the land, once thick with trees, was transformed into an expanse of gently rolling grassy hills, perfect for grazing animals. The nearby tribes rushed in to claim the land. This was a source of much strife. The Southern tribe proclaimed that the new pastures belonged to all people and must be worked in common. They formed a new council to manage the new pastures and invited the other tribes to send representatives. The Northern herders scoffed at this suggestion. While the Southerners were making their big plans, Northern families built houses and stone walls and set their animals to graze. Many Easterners and Westerners did the same, though with less vigor. Some families sent representatives to the new council.

The four tribes fought bitterly, and many lives, both human and ani�mal, were lost. Small quarrels turned into bloody feuds, which turned into deadly battles: A Southern sheep slipped into a Northerner�s field. The Northerner returned it. Another Southern sheep did the same. The North�erner demanded a fee to return it. The Southerners refused to pay. The Northerner slaughtered the sheep. Southerners took three of the North�erner�s sheep and slaughtered them. The Northerner took ten of the Southerners� sheep and slaughtered them. The Southerners burned down the Northerner�s farmhouse, killing a child. Ten Northern families marched on the Southerners� meetinghouse and set it ablaze, killing dozens of South�erners, including many children. Back and forth they went with violence and vengeance, soaking the green hills with blood.

To make matters worse, tribes from distant lands arrived to settle the new pastures. One tribe claimed the new pastures as a gift to them from their god. The burning of the great forest and the greening of the hills had been prophesied in their holy book, they said. Another tribe claimed the new pastures as their ancestral homeland, from which they had been driven many generations ago, before there was a forest. Tribes arrived with rules and customs that seemed to outsiders rather strange, if not down�right ridiculous: Black sheep must not sleep in the same enclosure as white sheep. Women must have their earlobes covered in public. Singing on Wednesdays is strictly forbidden. One man complained of a neighboring woman who, while tending her sheep, bared her earlobes in plain view of his impressionable sons. The woman refused to cover her earlobes, and this filled her pious neighbor with rage. A little girl told a little boy that the god to which his family prayed did not exist. The shocked boy reported this to his father, who complained to the girl�s father. The father defended his daughter, praising her fierce intelligence, and refused to apologize. For this he was killed, as required by the laws of the tribe he had offended. And so began another bloody feud.

Despite their fighting, the herders of the new pastures are, in many ways, very similar. For the most part, they want the same things: healthy families, tasty and nutritious food, comfortable shelter, labor-saving tools, leisure time to spend with friends and family. All herders like listen�ing to music and hearing stories about heroes and villains. What�s more, even as they fight one another, their minds work in similar ways. What they perceive as unjust makes them angry and disgusted, and they are motivated to fight, both by self-interest and by a sense of justice. Herders fight not only for themselves but for their families, friends, and fellow tribe members. They fight with honor and would be ashamed to do oth�erwise. They guard their reputations fiercely, judge others by their deeds, and enjoy exchanging opinions.

Despite their differences, the tribes of the new pastures share some core values. In no tribe is it permissible to be completely selfish, and in no tribe are members expected to be completely selfless. Even in the South, where the herd is shared, workers are free at day�s end to pursue their own interests. In no tribe are ordinary members allowed to lie, steal, or harm one another at will. (There are, however, some tribes in which certain privileged individuals are free to do as they please.)

The tribes of the new pastures are engaged in bitter, often bloody conflict, even though they are all, in their different ways, moral peoples. They fight not because they are fundamentally selfish but because they have incompatible visions of what a moral society should be. These are not merely scholarly disagreements, although their scholars have those, too. Rather, each tribe�s philosophy is woven into its daily life. Each tribe has its own version of moral common sense. The tribes of the new pastures fight not because they are immoral but because they view life on the new pastures from very different moral perspectives. I call this the Tragedy of Commonsense Morality.

The Parable of the New Pastures is fictional, but the Tragedy of Com�monsense Morality is real. It�s the central tragedy of modern life, the deeper tragedy behind the moral problems that divide us. This book is about un�derstanding and, ultimately, solving these problems. Unlike many authors of popular books, I make no promise of helping you solve your personal problems. What I�m offering you, I hope, is clarity�and with this clarity, the motivation and opportunity to join forces with like-minded others.

This book is an attempt to understand morality from the ground up. It�s about understanding what morality is, how it got here, and how it�s implemented in our brains. It�s about understanding the deep structure of moral problems as well as the differences between the problems that our brains were designed to solve and the distinctively modern problems we face today. Finally, it�s about taking this new understanding of morality and turning it into a universal moral philosophy that members of all hu�man tribes can share.

This is an ambitious book. I started developing these ideas in my late teens, and they�ve taken me through two interwoven careers�as a phi�losopher and as a scientist. This book draws inspiration from great phi�losophers of the past. It also builds on my own research in the new field of moral cognition, which applies the methods of experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience to illuminate the structure of moral thinking. Finally, this book dra...

Revue de presse

Robert Wright, The Atlantic:
“[Greene’s] concern is emphatic, his diagnosis precise, and his plan of action very, very ambitious. The salvation of humankind is possible, but it’s going to take concerted effort… [a] rich, sprawling book."

The Boston Globe:
"Surprising and remarkable… Toggling between big ideas, technical details, and his personal intellectual journey, Greene writes a thesis suitable to both airplane reading and PhD seminarsMoral Tribes offers a psychology far beyond the realm of self-help, instead probing the intricacy and complexity of morality in an attempt to help, and perhaps unite, entire communities."

Robert M. Sapolsky, The Wall Street Journal:
“Superb."

Christian Perring, Metapsychology:
“More interesting than its defense of Utilitarianism is the fact that Moral Tribes is one of the first attempts to bring experimental philosophy to a wider audience. Making technical philosophy accessible to a wider group is something that academic philosophers have not done enough. Greene provides a fascinating glimpse of what it might be to do scientifically informed moral philosophy.”

Sasha Pfeiffer and Anthony Brooks, WBUR:
“Joshua Green has a fascinating new book about how we make moral decisions. With a deep knowledge of philosophy and using brain scan science, the Harvard psychologist probes some big questions. Questions like why is it we’re capable of putting the welfare of our communities above our own personal welfare?  In other words we’re pretty good at making tribal life work, but then why do groups of people: sports fans, political partisans, religious believers, Americans, have so much trouble getting along with other groups? The question is hugely important in this modern world when conflicts among political parties, religious faiths and nations have dramatic consequences. It’s at the core of Joshua Greene’s new book.”

Thomas Nagel, New Republic:
“Joshua Greene, who teaches psychology at Harvard, is a leading contributor to the recently salient field of empirical moral psychology. This very readable book presents his comprehensive view of the subject, and what we should make of it. Greene offers much more experimental detail and some ingenious psychological proposals about why our gut reactions have the particular subtle contours that they do.”

Publishers Weekly:
“With a humorous, relaxed tone, Greene stacks piles of evidence from well-researched studies onto his theory of modern-day morality. Having spent most of his academic career on the study of morality, Greene foresees the questions his readers have and systematically addresses every doubt and concern. As he mixes 20th-century philosophical moral treatises with neuroscience and psychological studies—many of which were undertaken by his colleagues in the field of moral psychology—Greene’s role as educator shines through; his writing is clear and his examples simple yet intriguing.”

Vanessa Bush, Booklist:
“Greene’s strategies for examining moral reasoning are as applicable to day-to-day decisions as they are to public policy. This is a highly accessible look at the complexities of morality.”

Kirkus Reviews:
"A provocative, if Utopian, call for a new 'common currency of observable evidence…not to gain advantage over others, but simply because it’s good.'”

Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology, Harvard University; author of the international bestseller Stumbling on Happiness:
“Joshua Greene is the rarest of birds—a brilliant scientist and equally brilliant philosopher who simultaneously takes on the deepest problems of both disciplines. More than a decade in the making, Moral Tribes is a masterpiece—a landmark work brimming with originality and insight that also happens to be wickedly fun to read. The only disappointing thing about this book is that it ends.”

Robert Sapolsky, John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Professor of Biological Sciences, Stanford University:
“A decade ago, the wunderkind Joshua Greene helped start the field of moral neuroscience, producing dazzling research findings. In this equally dazzling book, Greene shows that he is also one of the field’s premier synthesists. Considerable progress has been made in solving the classic problem of how to get individuals within a group to start cooperating. Greene takes on an even bigger problem—how to foster cooperation between groups, groups with deeply felt morals and values, but with different morals and values. There are few more important issues to solve in our increasingly pluralistic world, and this beautifully written book is a step in that direction.”

Peter Singer, professor of bioethics, Princeton University:
“Over the past decade, Greene’s groundbreaking research has helped us understand how people judge right and wrong. Now, in this brilliant and enlightening book, he draws on his own research and that of many others to give a more complete picture of our differences over moral issues. But the significance of this book goes far beyond that. Greene suggests a common moral currency that can serve as a basis for cooperation between people who are otherwise deeply divided on matters of morality. If our planet is to have a peaceful and prosperous future such a common moral currency is urgently needed. This book should be widely read and discussed.”

Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology, Harvard University; author of How the Mind Works and The Better Angels of Our Nature:
“After two and a half millennia, it’s rare to come across a genuinely new idea on the nature of morality, but in this book Joshua Greene advances not one but several. Greene combines neuroscience with philosophy not as a dilettante but as an expert in both fields, and his synthesis is interdisciplinary in the best sense of using all available conceptual tools to understand a deep phenomenon. Moral Tribes is a landmark in our understanding of morality and the moral sense.”

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1257 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 432 pages
  • Editeur : Atlantic Books (2 janvier 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00G1SM1R0
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Amazon.com: 4.0 étoiles sur 5  61 commentaires
78 internautes sur 82 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 An Interesting Work of Synthesis that Falls a Bit Short 11 novembre 2013
Par Kevin Currie-Knight - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Neuroscieintist/philosopher Joshua Greene has a big thesis in this book that requires some quite involved steps. His concern is to argue for a "metamorality" of the kind that should help groups with differing moralities resolve differences. Greene starts out envisioning two prototypical "tribes. One has a morality of self-reliance and "just desserts," where people are responsible for their lot in life and get rewarded in proportion to their efforts. The other has a more altruistic view of the world, where things are shared and shared alike, and everyone feels responsibility for everyone. The question: how do we decide which of these groups - or more likely, which elements of each group's worldview - should win the day in cases of moral conflict? (More specifically: when we face moral dilemmas where we could respond via self-interest and "just desserts" or with altruism and egalitarian "desserts", how should we determine which to go with?)

Greene's answer is basically a form of utilitarianism that he calls "deep pragmatism." And to see why requires some explanation, which could be really dull but isn't, owing to Greene's gifts as a good and clear writer. He argues that humans have what is called a "dual process morality" that is divided between intuitive gut instincts (dominated by the ventromedial prefrontal cortex) and a more calculating thought process (owing more to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex). When it comes to questions of "me versus us," the intuition side of things is pretty reliable, making us feel guilty for taking more than "our fair share," breaking rules that we expect everyone else to follow, etc. Understandable, because our intuitions of empathy and the like almost certainly evolved to stimulate cooperation within groups among otherwise selfish individuals (which confers an overall survival advantage).

But our instincts also don't do very well with "we versus them" problems, because the same mechanisms that evolved to stimulate cooperation evolved to do so only WITHIN GROUPS (not between them). So, instincts often make us feel guilty at not helping others who are close to us, but the guilt lessens the farther removed the others-in-need are from us. Here, though, the thinking part of our brains can step in, and the thinking part of our brains (Greene's and others' research suggests) tend to be "utilitarian" - preferring whatever option leads to the greatest overall happiness less discriminately.

The most interesting (and original) parts of this book are those where Greene reviews his own and others' research on "the trolley problem" - a problem philosophers have concocted to illustrate the dilemma between the sanctity of individual rights and the imperative of maximizing overall happiness. The trolley problem - and there are many variations of it - is of a train going down a track where five people are trapped. One can avert the trolley from killing the five only if one pushes a particular person onto the track (fortunately, you are standing at an area of the track where any obstruction to the trolley will avert it to a side-track, and pushing the man in front of the track will create such an obstruction.)

Yes, it is highly contrived, but philosophers have argued for many years over the 'correct' answer to the problem: is it better to maximize happiness by saving five even if it means you have to intentionally sacrifice one, or is it better to let the five die if it means not intentionally killing one innocent person? Greene's study has led him to see the "dual process theory" of morality at work here. Those who have damage to the "instinctual" part of the brain unhesitatingly kill the one to save the five, and those with damage to the "calculating" part of the brain do the opposite. The rest of us struggle because the two parts of our brain are telling us different things.

But, far from saying that there is no good answer, Greene suggests that in the trolley case, the best answer is the utilitarian one, because he suspects that our compunctions about intentionally killing to save five lives is a relic of the intuitional module of our brain (as evidenced partly by the fact that those who choose to let the five die can''t generally give any good explanation for why, save that it feels wrong). And Greene also suggests that while intuitional thinking doe serve us well at times - in "me versus us" questions - it is often ill-equipped to deal with "us versus them" problems (problems the world is facing more and more of).

This is where I start to find Greene unconvincing. Without getting into too much detail, Greene strikes me as a utilitarian only to the degree that it gets him to the answers he wants to get... and there is a lot of inconsistent reasoning Greene gives about why utilitarianism is the best actual theory, rather than the one that gets him the answers he likes best. Mostly, this comes from a mixture of explaining both how utilitarianism doesn't conflict with some of our most deeply held intuitions (disrespect for individual rights when they conflict with the greatest good, etc), AND explaining that when it does, it is because in those cases, our intuitions are wrong. In other words, when utilitarianism validates our intuitions, that shows how good utilitarianism is, but when it conflicts with our intuitions, that shows that our intuitions - not utilitarianism - is flawed. Something seems very post hoc and inconsistent about this.

To be sure, I don't have a much better answer. I think that, in the end, Greene's work actually REDUCES our confidence that there are best and worst answers to moral questions, but that is because unlike Greene, I see no reason to think we can resolve the "dual process" competing answers by somehow stepping above our human moral thinking and saying that there is an objective criteria that can determine which "process" is the right one and which, the wrong one. Might it just be that our impulses toward intuition and calculation conflict and that is that? Yes, Greene (and many of us) do think that it is quite important to produce the greatest happiness for the greatest number, but if our instincts about what is morally right can be flawed in some cases, why can't our feeling that the greatest good is important be flawed too (and even though we reason to it, the value we put on the greatest good is still an instinct)? Not that Greene is wrong to put value on it, but I came away thinking that he wanted it both ways: intuitions can be trusted when they validate our calculations, but they're probably wrong when they don't.

Anyway, aside from my general misgivings about Greene's conclusion (or at least his defense of it), I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Greene's research on the neural basis of moral thinking is intriguing, original, and does a service to moral philosophy. And here, he writes a clear and well-written explanation of those and a larger moral case he draws from it. Those who are interested in this book should also read Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality, and The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (Vintage).The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values
36 internautes sur 44 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting, engaging and powerful 3 novembre 2013
Par William MacAskill - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of this book (with no intention that I'd review it!). I enjoyed every minute of reading it.

It's on an extremely important topic - the nature of morality. And the contribution Prof Greene makes is an extremely novel one: based on his own psychological studies, he argues that our moral judgments are often a battleground between an intuitive, emotional reaction, and a slower, more deliberative and logical reasoning process. Suppose you can kill one person in order to transplant their organs to save five others. "Don't do it!" says your gut; "But doing so will save more lives!" says the slower, more deliberative part of your brain.

The kicker comes in the final part of the book where he argues that we should normally trust that slow deliberative process over our intuitive judgments. His work in psychology therefore impacts moral philosophy, providing a grand argument for utilitarianism - the idea that one should always do whatever will maximise the sum total of wellbeing in the world.

Greene is a stellar psychologist who's precipitated a massive debate in moral philosophy. And he's managed to present his research in a clear, friendly and engaging way. If you want to learn about cutting-edge research on the nature of morality - and have your own moral views challenged! - then read this book.
15 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent and Original 14 novembre 2013
Par Book Fanatic - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This is just an excellent book. I consider it quite original and somewhat radical. The author Joshua Greene does a remarkable job of arguing his case and the book is thoroughly enjoyable.

Greene makes the observation that our intuitive moral emotions evolved to ensure cooperation within your own tribe and treated everyone else as "them". Obviously this doesn't work very well in the modern global world. So the point of this book is to defend a meta morality to resolve all the modern moral conflicts.

Greene uses modern issues like abortion as examples and this is just part of his excellent text. This book has the Amazon "Look Inside" feature and I recommend you utilize that to preview the text.

This is a thinking person's book and I highly recommend it. Very well done.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Food for thought 28 janvier 2014
Par Pamela Richmond - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
My grandson tells me author Joshua Greene's thinking has been studied in all of his psychology classes, and I found Moral Tribes the most important book I've read in a long time -- tedious reading because this is such a complex subject. Nonetheless, I'd recommend it as required reading for every student around the globe. It points to a path for mastering perhaps the most critical challenge of our time -- living successfully in our complex and diverse world.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Is it Moral to Kill One to Save Five? 23 mai 2014
Par Frank S. Robinson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
You are a bystander when a runaway trolley careens by, about to hit and kill five people. You can grab a switch and reroute the trolley to a different track where it will kill only one person. Should you? Most people say yes. But suppose you’re on a bridge, and can only save the five lives by pushing a fat man off the bridge into the trolley’s path? Should you? Most say no. Or suppose you’re a doctor with five patients about to die from different organ failures. Should you save them by grabbing someone off the street and harvesting his organs? Aren’t all three cases morally identical?

Our intuitive moral brain treats them differently. Pushing the man off the bridge, or harvesting organs, seem to contravene an ethical taboo against personal violence that the impersonal act of flipping the switch does not. (This refutes the common idea that humans have a propensity for violence. Ironically, those who believe it must do so because their own built-in anti-violence brain module is set on high.)

Such issues are central to Joshua Greene’s book, Moral Tribes. Our ethical intuitions were acquired through evolution, adaptations that enabled our ancestors to cope and survive in close-knit tribal societies. And our moral reflexes do work pretty well in such environments, where the dilemmas tend to be of the “me” versus “us” sort. But, because our ancestral tribes were effectively competing against other tribes, “us” versus “them” issues are a different matter. That’s the problem really concerning Greene.

He argues for a version of utilitarianism (he calls it deep pragmatism). Now, utilitarianism has a bad rep in philosophy circles. Its precept of “the greatest good for the greatest number” is seen as excluding other valid moral considerations; e.g., in the trolley and doctor situations, sacrificing one to save five – overriding the one’s rights, and Kant’s dictum that people should always be ends, never means.

Greene’s line of argument (exactly the same as mine in The Case for Rational Optimism) starts with what he deems the key question: what really matters? You can posit a whole array of “goods” but upon analysis they all actually resolve down to one thing: the feelings of beings capable of experiencing feelings. Or, in a word, happiness.

Happiness is a slippery concept if you try to pin down its definition. Is it a feeling – that one is happy? That’s circular; also simplistic. As John Stuart Mill famously said, it’s better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a pig satisfied.

But in any case, nothing ultimately matters except the feelings of feeling beings, and every other value you could name has meaning only insofar as it affects such feelings. Thus the supreme goal (if not the only goal) of moral philosophy should be to maximize good feelings (or happiness, or pleasure, or satisfaction) and minimize bad ones (pain and suffering).

A common misunderstanding is that such utilitarianism is really about maximizing wealth. But, while all else equal, more wealth does confer more happiness, all else is never equal and happiness versus suffering is much more complex. Some beggars are happier than some billionaires. The “utility” that utilitarianism targets is not wealth; money is only a means to an end; and the end is feelings.

This is what “the greatest good for the greatest number” is about. Jeremy Bentham, utilitarianism’s founding thinker, imagined assigning a point value to every experience. This is not intended literally; but if you could quantify good versus bad feelings, then the higher the score, the greater the “utility” achieved, and the better the world.

But doesn’t this still give us the same problematic answers to the trolley and surgery hypotheticals – killing one to save five? In fact that answer flunks the utilitarian test. Because nobody would want to live in a society where people can be grabbed off the street to take their organs. That might be utilitarian from the standpoint of the five people saved, but extremely non-utilitarian for everyone else. And while one can concoct bizarre hypotheticals like these, the real world doesn’t work that way. In the real world, “utility” can’t actually be maximized by, say, 90% of the population enslaving the other 10% (another typical anti-utilitarian hypothetical).

Utilitarianism doesn’t require narrow-minded calculation of “utility” within the confines of every situation and circumstance. What it tells us instead is to keep our eye on the big picture: that what really matters is feelings; what tends to make them better globally is good; what makes them worse is bad. As Greene puts it, utilitarianism supplies a “common currency,” or filter, for evaluating moral dilemmas.

Meantime, if X is willing to sacrifice himself for what he thinks is “the greatest good for the greatest number,” that’s fine; but if X is willing to sacrifice Y for what X thinks is the greater good, that’s not fine at all. It’s the road to perdition, and we know of too many societies that actually travelled that road.

Thus, a true real-world utilitarianism incorporates the kind of inviolable human rights that protect people from being exploited for the supposed good of others – because that truly does maximize happiness, pleasure, and human flourishing, while minimizing pain and suffering.
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