Revisiting Rule Consequentialism
Keywords:consequentialism, rule consequentialism, good, morality
Under mounting pressure from the international communities and organizations to curb carbon emission causing disturbing climate change, and the growing pressure of domestic environmentalists and the common man in India, the government is hard-pressed to enact laws on carbon emission. However, the moot problem is whether to consider a pro-active rule of action seriously to curb carbon emission while keeping the collective scenario in view or to consider a case-by-case scenario in view. A number of people argue that a collective approach is much better, and for that matter, pro-active general rules of actions are desirable for their outcomes or consequences are good or worthwhile. This is what we now call rule consequentialism, which is much different from the case-by-case act consequentialism. In this case, the rightness of political action is determined by following some rules (or policies) which are amenable to worthwhile consequences. Similarly, we may conceive of a number of general rules of action such as “curb corruption”, “curb apartheid”, “curb exploitation of woman” and so on. In this paper, I would like to revisit rule consequentialism as a normative theory of rightness of action that is not immoderately overdemanding on moral agents. However, I would justify why rule consequentialism is not only overdemanding of moral agents but immoderate as well. Hence, it is an untenable normative theory of rightness of action.
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