Morality - A look at consequentialism
OMFSerge at Imago Dei has a good post disecting the consequentialist theory of moralty.
Let me offer a scenario that, unfortunately, affects the way I perform in my career every single day. There is no greater honor that I have that my patients trust me to give them anesthetic medications and perform surgery while they sleep. I believe it is a great crime, worthy of great punishment, when that trust is broken in cases where a patient is inappropriately touched while anesthetized by a doctor like this. To be specific I am discussing a scenario when a doctor fondles a female patient while they are asleep for surgery. I believe this is one of the most immoral acts a doctor can perform.
I would also add to the post in that the idea of consequences being good or bad is in itself a moral judgement, so any consequentialist moral theory is inherently circular. For instance, Kevin proclaimed
The most moral act is the one with the best moral consequences.
But what is a moral consequence? Well according to consequentialist thinking it must be the best moral consequence....repeat ad infinitem. Unless someone agrees with what you state as a 'moral consequence' you have no rational way of judging between alternative moral opinions. For instance, I could say that the best moral consequence is where I get as much pleasure as I desire, irrespective of its effect on anyone else. Obviously this is a completely consistent consequentialist moral system.
Ultimately, this means that unless you can claim some objective grounding for what a 'moral consequence' is, you merely spiral into irrationality.
Read the whole thing, and notice Kevin T Keith's poor attempt at degrading rules-bound moralists...