According to utilitarianism, the ends sometimes justify the means. In other words, actions that might ordinarily be considered wrong are justified when they are done in order to achieve some goal of greater moral importance. The Survival Lottery is an example where some lives are sacrificed in order to save a greater number of lives. Similar reasoning was used during World War II when the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing tens of thousands of civilians in order to prevent a protracted war that was expected to cost the lives of a greater number of soldiers. Are we ever justified in performing actions with terrible consequences in order to achieve other purposes? Why or why not? If you believe the ends can only sometimes justify the means, be specific as to where the line should be drawn. Give your post a title according to the position you takeQ2In the fourth lesson of this unit, you were asked to reflect on the question of whether the ends can justify the means. Now, reconsider that same question–how would you answer now that we have explored the issue further? For this activity, you will complete one of the following tasks depending on whether or not you have changed your mind:If you have changed your mind: Reply to your own previous post on this topic and explain why you have changed your mind. Which considerations or arguments managed to persuade you to see things differently? Or what has changed about how you look at the question?If you still hold the same position: Reply to a classmate who defended a different position and explain why you disagree. Attempt to do so in a persuasive manner, for example by presenting a counterpoint to the position they defended or identifying a potential weakness in their position. (If possible, it is best to reply to a classmate who has not yet received any comments.)
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