I interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to ask whether the following objection to consequentialism is at all original: (Given the vast literature on consequentialism, I suspect it probably is, but I’m hoping those who know that literature better can tell me.)
1. In circumstances C, S would produce X amount of good by doing A.
2. In circumstances C, S would produce (X+Y) amount of good by doing B.
3. S’s doing B rather than A would result in Y amount of good to S (i.e., S would receive Y amount of benefit
by doing B, in addition to whatever benefit S might receive by doing A).
4. Of all the actions available to S in C, B produces the maximal amount of good.
5. So according to consequentialism, S is morally required to B in C.
6. So S is morally required to benefit himself in C.
7. But no one is ever required to morally benefit himself.
Consequentialism is false.