Utilitarianism Essays

Utilitarianism Is the Best Approach to Environmental Issues

Utilitarianism is a consequentialist ethical theory and therefore when evaluating ethics and the environment they would look at the end result and not necessarily the action. Utilitarianism is a teleological theory and would look at the purpose or the end goal of an action. With regards to deforestation the end goal is to create space for new homes, particularly in Brazil and therefore according to utilitarianism this is ethical because it brings great pleasure to those who are provided with…

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The Act of Utilitarianism

Act utilitarianism states that, when faced with a choice, we must first consider the likely consequences of potential actions and, from that, choose to do what we believe will generate the most pleasure. The rule utilitarian, on the other hand, begins by looking at potential rules of action. To determine whether a rule should be followed, he or she looks at what would happen if it were constantly followed. If adherence to the rule produces more happiness than otherwise, it…

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Justice by Michael Sandel

Throughout life our morals are questioned numerous times and it is completely up to decide what is morally correct and what is logically correct. From that step it is then up to us to decide which one matters most to us. Merriam-Webster defines utilitarianism as “a doctrine that the useful is the good and that the determining consideration of right conduct should be the usefulness of its consequences; specifically: a theory that the aim of action should be the largest…

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Act Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism is a theory in normative ethics holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes overall happiness. It is now generally taken to be a form of consequentialism, although when Anscombe first introduced that term it was to distinguish between “old-fashioned Utilitarianism” and consequentialism. [1] According to utilitarianism the moral worth of an action is determined only by its resulting outcome although there is debate over how much consideration should be given to actual consequences, foreseen…

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Examine the Key Principles of Utilitarianism

The theory of utilitarianism determines the rightness or wrongness of an action by its consequences. This is determined by measuring the amount of pleasure or pain brought to someone caused by an action. Utilitarianism is a teleological theory of ethics, this means that it is concerned with the outcome and the consequences, meaning that an act is not right or wrong in itself but is right or wrong depending on the outcome of said action. The main founder of this…

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Utilitarianism and Greatest Happiness

Utilitarianism begins with the work of Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), an English political and social reformer. Educated at Oxford, Bentham eventually headed up a small group of thinkers called the “Philosophical Radicals. ” This group, which included James Mill (father of John Stuart Mill, more on him later), was dedicated to social reform and the promulgation of Bentham’s ideas. Bentham based utilitarian ethics on the so-called “greatest happiness principle,” an idea originally enunciated by Frances Hutcheson (16941746), one of the founders…

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Utilitarianism – Act and Rule

Since it began, there have been two main exponents of Utilitarianism. They are Jeremy Bentham and J S Mill, and both of them base their own individual theories on the principle of utility, which defines something (an act, etc) dependent on if it achieves “the greatest happiness for the greatest number”. This makes Utilitarianism a relativistic and consequentialist argument, as it takes into account only the outcome of events rather than the act itself as means to determine whether it…

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Asses the Merits of Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism is a theory aimed at defining one simple basis that can be applied when making any ethical decision. It is based on a human’s natural instinct to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Jeremy Bentham is widely regarded as the father of utilitarianism. He was born in 1748 into a family of lawyers and was himself, training to join the profession. During this process however, he became disillusioned by the state British law was in and set out to reform…

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The Lifeboat Case and Utilitarianism

Imagine that four men are placed in a life or death situation. They are stranded in a boat in the middle of the ocean with nothing to eat for nourishment. In a severely weakened state, the men decide that for the benefit of the majority they will draw lots and eat whoever draws the shortest; one of the men refuses to draw. The next day, in spite of the lottery, the youngest boy is killed and fed on by the…

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Social Responsibility

The utilitarian view requires that the focus should be on the effects of the decision/action, such as effects in the form of benefit or costs. Aside from considering benefits and costs, this view also considers the number of people affected. In essence, a decision/action that benefits more people is generally viewed as more favorable. This view is limited because the definition of such benefit/cost can be flexible, based on the person’s perspective and the context. The moral rights rule puts…

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Critical Thinking

Utilitarianists are often persecuted for holding a morality in which the end always justifies the means, no matter how repulsive it may be to intuitional moral standards. Hare attempts to quiet controversy by combining act and rule utilitarianism in daily life in such a way that internal moral standards are satisfied and overall good is promoted. Kymlicka stays firm in his opposition to Hare’s theories and shuns the idea of consequentialism having intrinsic value greater than that of intuitive moral…

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Utilitarianism Classical Utilitarianism

Classical Utilitarianism is a moral philosophy, which was developed in 19th century England by Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill and Henry Sidgwick. The essential feature a utilitarian reside in, is the notion that an action is right if it produces the most amount of happiness well limiting suffering. Utilitarianism focuses solely on the consequences of the action, in an attempt to bring about the most happiness from each situation, well ensuring everybody’s happiness is equally considered. A utilitarian decides each…

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Utilitarianism and Healthy Homeless People

Extreme Measures is about ethics. How far is someone willing to go, and how much we are willing to sacrifice, in order to cure the world’s setbacks. Utilitarianism is defined as the moral philosophy that says we should act in such ways as to make the greatest number of people as happy as possible. In the movie, Dr. Myrick acts as the utilitarian. He takes healthy homeless people with “no purpose” to live into his lab and performs experiments on…

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What Are the Key Concepts of Utilitarianism_

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) developed his ethical system of utilitarianism around the idea of pleasure. John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) later furthered and many believe he improved Bentham’s theory (Mill is often linked to Rule Utilitarianism) but still followed many of his original ideas. The theory is based on ancient hedonism, which pursued physical pleasure and avoided physical pain. Hedonism saw human beings as “Under the governance of two sovereign masters of pain and pleasure. ” So a key concept that Bentham…

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Utilitarianism Theory

Utilitarianism is a moral theory generally considered to have been founded by Jeremy Bentham, a 19th century English philosopher and social reformer. It is centered on the concept of happiness, and those who seek it. The idea is that all people seek happiness, and that it is the ultimate goal of all human beings to be happy. Therefore, according to classical utilitarianism, when a person wishes to act in an ethically sound manner he or she should strive to bring…

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