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Experience Machine Objection

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Experience Machine Objection

Utilitarianism is a normative moral theory, which suggests that actions are seen as right if they tend to produce happiness to the majority and wrong if they tend to be wrong if they produce unhappiness. This theory can take on the form of act utilitarianism although in this essay, I will be focusing solely on hedonistic utilitarianism as well as an objection to this theory, the experience machine objection. Robert Nozick introduced this objection. Following an explanation of both hedonistic utilitarianism and the experience machine objection I will be critically evaluating the objection. I am going to argue that the experience machine objection is valid against hedonistic utilitarianism because there are people who would not plug into the machine. There are some people who prefer to physically do things not just experience them, don’t want to be limited to a man-made reality and want to make a difference in the world.
Two key contributors to the normative moral theory of utilitarianism are Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. Utilitarianism specifies what makes an action morally correct or incorrect. The theory suggests, “actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness and wrong, as they tend to produce the opposite of happiness.” (Mill 454) It is a type of consequentialism as even though the act itself may be morally wrong, if it produces the best consequences it is seen as a morally right action. For example, killing one healthy human to use their organs to cure four other humans would be seen as morally wrong however, according the theory of utilitarianism it would produce the greatest amount of utility, thus being seen as moral. Utility can be defined as a unit of value, and for Mill, this unit to calculate utility is happiness. One of the better-known branches of utilitarianism is hedonistic utilitarianism....

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