I’ve read a few critiques of consequentialism recently, and am starting to get pissed off. Not because I harbor an affinity for any particular brand of consequential morality, but because I believe we don’t have any other options.
As far as I can ascertain, morality is a construct of sentience. No morality detector exists. The universe just doesn’t care. Every single moral statement I have ever encountered has arisen from the mind of a human being. Moreover, the fact that it is possible to find two people who disagree on the morality of almost any action strongly suggests that if there is some moral code outside our own heads, we’re remarkably bad at listening to it.
I’d like to make one other observation, which is that it is rarely impossible to commit an immoral act. When it comes to horrifyingly evil deeds, if you can dream it, you can do it. We’ve neglected, insulted, demeaned, beaten, burned, quartered, impaled, and liquifacted each other so many times that the experimental record clearly states: outside of physical constraints, the universe does not pick sides. You may remove your safety goggles now.