Although there is no complete list of adequacy criteria for moral judgments, moral judgments have certain requirements that should be followed
First and foremost, moral judgments should be logical. Hence, there should be a logical connection between the established standard and the conduct. The formation of a moral judgment should be essentially supported by the relevant reasons and evidence. It is crucial to ensure that the judgment is consistent and can be compared to other logical judgments. It is likewise critical to avoid making exceptions for oneself.
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Secondly, a moral judgment should have a factual basis. Thus, it cannot be formed irrelevantly to the existing environment. Hence, forming a moral judgment requires possessing reliable and inclusive data that refers directly to the judgment’s content. The accuracy of the information used while forming a moral judgment is equally important as its credibility.
Finally, moral judgments should rely on common moral principles. Hence, every moral judgment is based on some standards. The latter generally reflect the moral principles. Credible moral judgments should be based on the so-called sound moral principles – in other words, those principles that cannot be shattered by skepticism or criticism. A reliable moral judgment can also be based on considered moral beliefs that are formulated upon the relevant reflection.
Before evaluating utilitarianism, one should understand some points that might lead to confusion and misapplication
First, every action should be regarded from at least two perspectives. Hence, for instance, there are two possible ways of acting, and it is required to choose only one. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate potential outcomes from both negative and positive standpoints. Let us assume that the first act is likely to make ten people happy. At this point, it is vital to consider how many people will become unhappy. Let us suppose that there will be one unhappy person as the outcome of the proposed act. As a result, the net value of the positive impact for this act is four. Another act, in its turn, is apt to make five people happy and three people unhappy.
Its net value of the positive impact, in this case, is two. While making a decision, it will most rational to choose the first alternative as it has a higher net value. Otherwise stated, the decision-making process should not base entirely on the positive prospects – it is essential to evaluate every decision from both positive and negative sides.
Secondly, every decision making should base on the careful evaluation of the impact’s degree. Otherwise stated, it is critical to foresee how largely this or another act might influence another person.
Thirdly, it should be realized that every action might be morally justified under certain conditions. Hence, while making decisions, it is crucial to consider the given circumstances critically and evaluate the outcomes by them.
Explain the differences between the two approaches: Utilitarian and Libertarian?
Utilitarian approach advocates for social welfare. It claims that social well-being is of primary moral value. The Libertarian approach, in its turn, focuses on advocating for the right to property only. This approach bases on the promotion of the so-called negative rights. In other words, it puts a particular emphasis on such rights as “being alone” and “not doing something.” From this perspective, it has more negative connotations than the Utilitarian approach.
The latter proclaims the overall right to property, social welfare, and education. This approach turns social welfare into a common obligation. In other words, this targeted objective is supposed to be achieved even if it requires neglecting the rights of particular individuals.
Hence, it might be concluded that the Utilitarian approach advocates for a community, whereas the Libertarian approach advocates for an individual.