'If no objection reveals any need for anything beyond consequences, then consequences alone seem to determine what is morally right or wrong, just as consequentialists claim. This line of reasoning will not convince opponents who remain unsatisfied by consequentialist responses to objections. Moreover, even if consequentialists do respond adequately to every proposed objection, that would not show that consequentialism is correct or even defensible. It might face new problems that nobody has yet recognized. Even if every possible objection is refuted, we might have no reason to reject consequentialism but still no reason to accept it. In case a positive reason is needed, consequentialists present a wide variety of arguments. One common move attacks opponents. If the only plausible options in moral theory lie on a certain list (say, Kantianism, contractarianism, virtue theory, pluralistic intuitionism, and consequentialism), then consequentialists can argue for their own theory by criticizing the others. This disjunctive syllogism or process of elimination will be only as strong as the objections to the alternatives, and the argument fails if even one competitor survives. Moreover, the argument assumes that the original list is complete. It is hard to see how that assumption could be justified. Consequentialism also might be supported by an inference to the best explanation of our moral intuitions. This argument might surprise those who think of consequentialism as counterintuitive, but in fact consequentialists can explain many moral intutions that trouble deontological theories.'
Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, and One Night in New York City
Acum 42 de minute