A Philosopher's Blog

Philosophers (including me) on the Ethics of Voting

Posted in Ethics, Philosophy, Politics by Michael LaBossiere on June 27, 2016

I, and other philosophers, were recently interviewed by Quartz about the ethics of voting. The article is short, but an interesting read. I am, of course biased.

Here is the link:

Ethicists say voting with your heart, without a care about the consequences, is actually immoral

5 Responses

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  1. TJB said, on June 27, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Cool that you were mentioned.

    But doesn’t utilitarianism mean that you are OK with torturing a few people if it increases the overall well being?

    So OK to kill and torture Republicans for the delight of the Progressives?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 28, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      Yes, I would have to accept that if was known that torturing a few would result in the greater good, then it would be morally tolerable. However, the best evidence shows that torture is ineffective as a means of interrogation and its use creates more harm than good.

      Harming Republicans to delight Progressives would be wrong.

      I do temper my practical utilitarian approach with some virtue theory: some things are so horrible that they should not be done, no matter what.

      • WTP said, on June 28, 2016 at 11:20 pm

        However, the best evidence shows that torture is ineffective as a means of interrogation and its use creates more harm than good.

        Simply not true.

      • TJB said, on June 30, 2016 at 12:15 am

        Is torturing Republicans really so bad? 🙃

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on July 1, 2016 at 6:53 pm

          Depends on the torture. Depends on the Republican. Since Trump accepts water boarding, he would have to accept it would be morally okay for a foe of the US to waterboard him in defense of their country. But, I would still regard that as wrong.


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