A Defense of Utilitarian Ethics

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A Defense of Utilitarian Ethics Introduction There are many different ways in which ethical decisions can be made many perspectives, criteria, and principles that can be considered to come to a variety of conclusions, and sometimes directly opposing decisions. While almost any rational consistent ethical system is likely to conclude that it is wrong to kill someone simply because you don't like them, but is it ethically acceptable to kill someone who is threatening your life? What about someone who is threatening another person's life? What if that threat isn't immediate, but if the person is taking actions that could lead to someone else's death? These are the type of questions that are what can be called "ethical dilemmas;" when examined critically and objectively, they do not yield immediate and obvious ethical answers. It is when confronted with such dilemmas that defining the specific ethical perspectives, principles, and overall framework from which a decision is being made becomes important. Before one can make a logical and objective ethical decision, there needs to be a conscious awareness of why and how this ethical decision is going to be made, and it is here that very significant differences and departures in ethical thinking and ethical outcomes come about. Comparing such systems yields a great deal of insight and can create uncertainty, at first, however a thorough inspection shows that one ethical system is clearly above the rest. If there is to be any
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