Ethics And Ethics In William Macaskill's Ethics

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In his article, William MacAskill lays out a moral argument to guide individuals in choosing the best career. He argues for two claims, weak and strong, attempting to show why the individual can make more of a difference through professional philanthropy than through a ‘direct benefitting’ career. MacAskill maintains that the common-sense view of an ethical career involves all careers that directly benefit others by exerting a beneficial impact on the world. Such careers would include working for charity or serving in the role of, for example, a social worker, NGO worker, or state school teacher (MacAskill 270). However, MacAskill argues that those working in high-impact, lucrative careers can make a bigger difference than someone in a “typical”…show more content…
In his strong claim, controversy arises from MacAskill’s suggestion that it could be more ethical to seek professional philanthropy through a more lucrative yet morally controversial career than through a less lucrative, morally innocuous career. Thus, MacAskill favors taking on a morally controversial career, one that can be defined as having compelling non-consequentialist reasons against pursuing such a career (MacAskill 270). First, MacAskill seeks to establish the weak claim before explaining the reasoning behind his strong claim. He gives four arguments toward making more of a difference through professional philanthropy than through a direct benefiting career. First, the financial discrepancy argument states the difference in remuneration in multiple professions makes it possible to take a lucrative job and contribute to hiring more direct benefiting workers such as charity workers (MacAskill…show more content…
This course of action cannot simply be justified through consequentialist views such as the DDE, where the overall outcome is the only important decision factor. Non-consequentialist factors are of equal importance in the morality of an action. When viewing MacAskill’s cases and his response to the harm-based objection, it is important to consider the non-consequentialist, right-based theory of Libertarianism that maintains if an act violates a right, then it is morally wrong; individual rights are a fundamental element in deeming an action morally permissible. Libertarians do not focus on consequences when evaluating actions, instead believing that rights are so important that they must not be violated even to produce better consequences. This belief goes directly against the DDE, which evaluates an action solely based on the consequences produced. MacAskill, in responding to the situation where the same or more harm would be created, uses the DDE condition to imply a career that produces a much greater good remains ethically favorable. Libertarianism asserts this reason is not good enough since, regardless of a greater good being produced, this course of action
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