The conflict between humanitarians and utilitarians
in the law of war is nothing new.
Smith explains: "To the radical utilitarian
Harris, saving two or more lives at the expense of one murder would bring greater overall happiness than the suffering caused by the killing of one man or woman.
Nor does Bailey discuss Scanlon's(2) alternative version of contractualism, formulated as a more direct challenge to the utilitarian
account of moral wrongness itself.
If Bentham can be interpreted as a liberal utilitarian
, then the same can be done for Spencer, Weinstein claims.
Insofar as the remarks above about "ought," "can" and degrees of difficulty are acceptable, the dualist proposal is a natural extension of utilitarianism and the principle that "ought" implies "can." Since all good utilitarians
are adherents of that principle, they could regard the proposed theory as well in line with their overall normative concerns.
For this reason, moral rights have been characterized as "trump cards" against utilitarian
For example, Nigel Walker argues that, if the debate is taken from the utilitarian
point of view, there is no need to compromise, except at the political level when the utilitarian
must accept at least one feature of retributivism, namely proportionality.
Kant and the utilitarians
were not trying to say what should be moral but to describe the underlying logic by which we justify our actions.
But if this is the basis of Audi's distinction, it is unclear why utilitarians
must be externalists.
If we look at their arguments, we see that utilitarians
look to the future, while the Natural Law looks to the present moment.
There were utilitarian
penologists before Beccaria and Bentham: Aquinas was one (of sorts: secular penalties should aim at utility, God's at retributive justice); Plato was another, and he in turn was influenced by Protagoras.
First, he attempts to bridge the gulf between those who argue for private property, individual rights, and freedom of contract from a "natural law" perspective and those who advance these ideas from a more utilitarian