It’s often difficult discern the ethical theory a person subscribes to just by viewing their actions. After all people often do things that they know are wrong. However, I think there is one group who it easy to see are such committed Utilitarians they would make Peter Singer proud. This group? Referees.
First of all, for those of you who aren’t so philosophically inclined it is only right for me to outline what exactly Utilitarianism is. Utilitarianism is the view that in any given situation the correct action is the one that maximises utility. Or to put it simply, you should always act in a way that maximises happiness. Peter Singer, for example, argues that we should give up all our income (apart from what is required for us to live on) to charity, as the good that comes from saving the life of a starving child in Africa outweighs that good that comes from buying a denim shirt with ironic aztec print. Continue reading