Consider two ethical questions:
(1) Is action A more or less ethical than action B?
(2) Is outcome A more or less ethical than outcome B?
Question 1 is the focus of normative ethics. Question 2 seems to be a topic within meta-ethics, but my understanding is that meta-ethics is far broader than just comparing outcomes. Question 2 also seems related to the normative theory of consequentialism, however question 2 is not a normative question.
Is there a field within ethics that focuses on questions along the lines of “question 2”?
I realized I need to clarify what I mean by “outcome”. I’m thinking of an “outcome” as a state of the world than can be considered independently of any person’s actions. Using the Trolley problem as an example, I would like to consider the action of the operator who can move the lever (i.e. moving lever to divert train, or not moving lever) as a separate question from the outcome (i.e. lever was moved and 1 person was killed, lever was not moved and 5 people were killed). It seems to me that one can hold an opinion on the ethics of these outcomes independently from how one judges the actions of the operator.
As a more extreme example, we could let outcome A be the state of the world as it is today, and let outcome B be the state of the world after being hit by a meteor that kills all life. Are there approaches to evaluating whether outcome A is more "good" than outcome B?