Act Utilitarianism Is Morally Right

1492 Words6 Pages
Act Utilitarianism determines a morally right act as the one that produces “the greatest overall utility in its consequences.” (EC, p. 111) In Case 1 (EC, p. 124), it could be argued that Act Utilitarianism would support an individual purchasing a hybrid car due to the overall utility of the consequence outweighing the disutility. However, Act Utilitarianism has weaknesses to accompany its strengths when assessing whether an act is morally right or wrong. One problem of Act Utilitarianism, shown in Case 1 (EC, p. 124), is that it is irrational to expect people to calculate all of the possible consequences and the scope, intensity, duration, or possibilities of buying or not buying a hybrid car. The buyer is expected to scope out and recognize every individual that is affected by his/her act of buying a car. They are also expected to assess the period of time of which the effect of their act lasts and how strong or weak the force of that act is. It’s unrealistic to assume that a buyer will place everyone else’s preferences before his/her or predict the consequences of such action in order to create an overall happiness. The theory does present a solution to strengthen this weakness, which is the ‘rules of thumb.’ Buyers will most likely not purchase a hybrid car while following the ‘rules of thumb’ law due to the immediate pleasure of purchasing a cheaper and more recognizable car. However, its obvious that this solution does not always produce what Act Utilitarianism would
Open Document