Discussion of Utilitarianism Essay examples

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Discussion of Utilitarianism

In this paper I will be discussing utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is the theory proposing the principle of utility as the correct ethical standard. I will also be talking about the THEORY of RIGHT CONDUCT, which is also a part of moral theory. I have been asked to prove if Bentham or Mills’ version of utilitarianism is right for the sadistic voyeur case. I will begin by telling you about the case.

Case: this man enjoys watching women being brutally raped; he is locked in a room. He cannot exit the room, there is a window in the room and a curtain covers it. Behind the curtain a woman is being brutally raped by several men. If the man opens the curtain he will
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Bentham’s utility principle is saying that the sadistic voyeur should open the curtain. If he opens the curtain he is gaining pleasure but the person on the other side is gaining pain, both mentally and physically. Just because the sadistic voyeur thinks its right, it is not morally right. Bentham’s principle states as long as you gaining pleasure then there should not be any pain involved. He is saying that it may be right to open the curtain today but wrong tomorrow.

The reason that this is problematic for Bentham’s principle is because Bentham is giving the person more reasons why it is right to do the act than giving him reasons why it is wrong. Bentham is saying that if you desire something that is desirable you should obtain that desire. This is not true in the sadistic voyeur’s case, true the men are all gaining pleasure but the woman is not gaining pleasure at all. She is gaining more pain from the sadistic voyeur because he chose to open the curtain and watch her being brutally raped. Bentham’s principle is problematic because it’s immorally wrong to commit such an act.

The action that the sadistic voyeur is thinking about committing is a forbidden action. Meaning that from the point of view of
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