Spaemann capitulo 5

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COMMENT ON SPAEMANN'S BOOK'S 5ͭ ͪ CHAPTER:

I am going to make a comment about the fifth chapter of Spaemann's book which basically consists of who must bear the responsability of acts that human beings make during their lives.

For doing so he begins explaining what he considers as justice because of the plurality of meanings we are used to assigning to it.

Then he differenciates twotypes of actitudes of people to make actions and then he explains the difficulties that arise when deciding which means justify the ends and which do not.

First of all he begins explaining what exactly justice is for him because many different meanings can be given to it.( “justice means recognizing that every person is worth of respect for his or her own sake” p.46). By doing so, he points outthat every person deserves to be treated justly as long as it doesn't confront with the justice of others such as mentioned in Solomon's example in p.46. This is a situation in which both women claim the right of taking the baby. It would be just for them if the child was separated in two pieces and shared among the two girls. However, this action would not be just for the baby because it wouldcause his death, the highest injustice of all.
In this example each woman takes a different actitude:

The first one accepts Solomon's proposal, subscribin to what Max Weber calls ethics of conviction (p. 48: “By ethics of responsibility he meant the attitude of a person who determines how he should act by taking into account the totality of foreseeable consequences {…} The pacifist on the otherhand subscribes to ethics of conviction, so as long as he says that he is not prepared to kill under any circumstances, not even if the spread of pacifism on one side were to increase the danger of war”). While the second one adopts the ethics of responsibility because she values the life of the kid more than not being able to rise and enjoy him. So, overall, this latter woman is the one thatshould raise the baby because she will surely try to raise him more properly training its conscience with the same type of values she does have, which will lead the baby to a happy and good life.

Spaemann compares these two actitudes with the one a polititian should take (ethics of responsibility) and the one a saint should have (ethics of conviction).
However, the ethics of conviction arelimited because of several reasons (p.51):

First it's not possible to take into account all the consequences a certain action will have not only in the future but also in the present. By this statement what Spaemann shows is the limitation of human beings to perceive the reality as a whole, which is more complicated than just human reasoning. There will always be some factors we didn't take intoaccount, and those are the ones that create conflict when deciding whether the person makin the action that causes those factors should be responsible for them.
What would happen if a person's good action in the future turns out to be bad? Should he be blamed for it if it was not his desire to cause harm?
Secondly, utilitarism leads to the possibility of manipulation by ideologists andtechnocrats who control the conscience of the rest.
So, if this case happens, taking into account that utilitarism 'imposes' a fews ideas (not necessarily good) over others that are confused and need guidance, according to the theory of utilitarism, the overall consequences of abiding by this ideal is not worth doing.
With this statement what Spaemann does is opposing the principle ofutilitarism with the same ideas it defends.

Third, Spaemann realizes that utilitarism is bound to facilitate blackmails to people that don't make good actions if they are examined particularly so as to create a higher good as a whole. For example, a person could be victim of this type of crime if someone realizes that he has killed someone who was going to kill some children for example. Although...
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