Demandingness objection  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The demandingness objection is a common argument raised against utilitarianism and other consequentialist ethical theories. The consequentialist requirement that we maximise the good impartially seems to this objection to require us to perform acts that we would normally consider optional.

For example, if our resources maximise utility more efficiently when we donate them to charity rather than spending them on ourselves, we are, according to utilitarianism, morally required to do so. The objection holds that this clashes with our intuitions about morality, since we would normally consider such acts to "supererogatory" (praiseworthy but not obligatory). It is argued that because consequentialism appears to demand more than common-sense morality, it ought to be revised or rejected.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Demandingness objection" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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