Impact of Utilitarianism on Walrus Hunting and Cultural Values

Classified in Other subjects

Written at on English with a size of 4.17 KB.

A.1) Canada banned walrus hunt as it became a danger to the species population

Inuit subsistence revolved around the hunt of this large animal, so the government decided to make an exception for this community. Allow aboriginal people to sell their right to kill some of their walrus quota to hunters. They would collect the fee, serve as guides, & keep the meat & skins as they had always done. This way, trophy hunters fulfill their desire to shoot a walrus while the Inuit gain a new source of income, all without exceeding the agreed amount of walrus’ deaths. According to Sandel, they reached the best solution by employing a utilitarian approach. In order to maximize the happiness of all parties, market logic had to be followed. Walrus hunting is important for the Inuit, but when the social practice became a market commodity, its allocated cultural worth diminished. The problematic aspect is the fact that significant profits were made from it by turning it into a tourist attraction, this resulted in its degradation, which defeated the original purpose of the permission given by the government. Adding a supplementary monetary incentive ended up corrupting a previously honor-filled tradition by converting it into a morally questionable transaction.

A.2) A utilitarian-market system doesn’t judge, whether a desire is valuable or not, its goal is to satisfy the most people possible

Sandel’s concern begins with the idea that even though the market is free, its Benthamite view of pleasures could be dangerous to human morality: claiming that pleasures are all equal is a principle employed to maximize economic benefits out of them.

It is certainly easier to fulfill simpler pleasures, the way Mills explains this is through his Socrates/pig quote. No one can deny how happy a pig rolling in mud looks, & as humans we aspire to have that kind of pleasure. But would you trade your capacity to process knowledge for dirt-playing bliss? As tempting as it is, to forget the world’s problems is not an option if that means you would lose the experience of life’s finer things. So, if we see walrus hunting under this light, we’d be able to say that this grotesque & troubling activity does not belong to the higher pleasure side of things.

In a utilitarian market system lower pleasures are easier to satisfy, & since a market is regulated by people’s preferences, it is safe to say that easier to process emotions are the ones often majorly desired by them. To cater to new consumer demand, such as hunting for sport, can be easily profited from. The problem with not differentiating between higher or lower pleasures is that society would likely start to degrade itself by choosing to fulfill physical or bodily pleasures over the complex intellectual ones.

Because, as explained previously, giving up the proper way to value a cultural practice and therefore a walrus’ life, buries the tradition deeper under moral corruption

B.1) Richard Taylor Meaningless existence Myth of Sisyphus: Contains an element of a repetitious, cyclic activity that never comes to anything

Nothing comes of it, & the work is simply pointless. If we supposed that these stones were assembled at the top of the hill & there incorporated, then the aspect of meaninglessness would disappear. His labors would then have a point, & although one could perhaps still say it was not worth it, one could not say that his life was devoid of meaning altogether. // *Change: He has but one obsession, which is to roll stones, & it is an obsession that is only for the more appeased by his rolling them. Now it can be seen why this little afterthought of the gods was also in fact merciful. For they have by this device managed to give Sisyphus precisely what he wants—by making him want precisely what they inflict on him. His life is now filled with mission & meaning. The gods have promised him an endless opportunity to indulge his single purpose, without concern or frustration. //

Entradas relacionadas: