John Boyer

The final line in the news story, in which one of the victims’ siblings states that John Boyer is evil, is a statement with which it is difficult to disagree. However, John Boyer probably does not consider himself evil and, instead, has his own twisted notion of right and wrong that he applies to the situation with the women who he murdered. Though his situation is extreme and his ethically views are twisted, his case can still bring us some insight on the nature of morality, and the virtues of consequentialist and non-consequentialist theories.

I would assume that he holds a view that is consequential in nature, considering that he expressed anger toward women, and his murders were against prostitutes. He probably considers his victims to be of lower moral status than him and, therefore, subject to punishment. He took his moral opposition to prostitution and turned it in to a moral mandate to murder, in which he could justify the murders to himself.

To me, this is an extreme example of the dangers of consequentialist moral theories. For John Boyer, the punishment of women, specifically prostitutes, was an end that was justified by the means of strangulation. For another person, an act of theft or murder might be justified as long as the victim is judged to be immoral, or an obstacle toward a positive end state.

I feel that this article shows a sad example of a person’s justification for acting on his own impulses. John Boyer is obviously insane, but his insanity shows us the logical extreme to which consequentialist moral theories can lead. This sheds some light on the dangers of these theories, and on the potential for abuse within a moral system.