A Case Or Thought Experiment Where Act Utilitarianism Essay

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Consider a case or thought experiment where act utilitarianism seems to give the wrong answer. How do you think the act utilitarian should deal with this case? Act utilitarianism is a form of utilitarianism that is derived from the greatest happiness principle of utilitarianism, which is defines as “actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness” (cite, got from lecture slides). Happiness and reverse happiness in this definition stand for pleasure and pain. Act utilitarianism measures the net pleasure of an action. If this net pleasure is positive, the action is morally right, but if this net pleasure is negative, the action is morally wrong. In most situations, act utilitarianism is morally correct, but that is not always the case. In this paper, I will explain how political power can be manipulated through the majority and minorities of a country’s population and how that can lead to the oppression of minorities, but also be morally right under act utilitarianism. “As mentioned above, act utilitarianism uses pleasure minus pain to determine the amount of pleasure that will come from a certain action. If an action creates more pleasure than pain, then that action is considered to promote happiness” (Mill pg.). Act utilitarianism comes from the philosopher, John Stuart Mill. This theory of act utilitarianism derives from the greatest happiness principle. Actions that promote happiness is another

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