Philosopher:  An action is morally right if it would be reasonably expected to increase the aggregate well-being of t...

Olivia on February 25, 2020

Changing the aggregate well-being

In the video, it seems like there is an understanding that reducing the aggregate well-being is the only way to change it. But wouldn't it be changed if it was increased?

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Ravi on February 25, 2020


Let's take a look. I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say
"changing it," but I'm happy to help with this question.

The philosopher's argument can be diagrammed as

increase aggregate well-being - >morally right

reduce aggregate well-being< - >morally wrong

The conclusion is that

aggregate well-being unchanged - >morally right

This is a strengthen with a sufficient premise question. How can we
conclude the conclusion? We know that if an action leaves aggregate
well-being unchanged, this means that it neither decreases nor
increases it. Not increasing well-being doesn't do anything or us, but
not decreasing (reducing) well-being ties into the second premise
we're given. If it does not reduce aggregate well-being, then this
means that it isn't morally wrong.

The missing link the conclusion is that if something isn't wrong, then
it is right, or that moral neutrality does not exist.

Looking at (C), it says, "Any action that is not morally wrong is
morally right."

This is great, as it helps fill in the gap that gets us to the
conclusion. This is the correct answer choice.

Does this make sense? Let us know if you have any other questions!