[Hat tip: David Peterson]
It was the ‘democratic Utilitarian principle’ of sacrificing one person for the ‘common good’ which was used by the Wicked High Preist to justify handing Christ to the Romans for Crucifixion.
“And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,
Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.
And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;” (John 11vs49-51)
*He Did not know what he was saying*.
I’m fine with utilitarianism as a moral heuristic—up to a point. Utilitarian thinking *must* be constrained by considerations of justice. Utilitarianism’s slogan is “the greatest good for the greatest number.” If you violate people’s inalienable human rights, you’ve taken the slogan too far.
Tim, we discussed this before. Perhaps I’m reading too much into ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’. I’m wondering how much you can constrain utilitarian thinking before it no longer counts as utilitarian.
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