The And Critique Of The Theory Of Utilitarianism

1706 WordsFeb 20, 20177 Pages
In this paper I am going to argue that telling a small lie that would cause no great harm to a friend in order to spare their feelings is an acceptable thing to do. I am going to examine this issue through the perspective of important philosophers Jeremy Bentham(Utilitarian), then through Immanuel Kant(Deontology). After talking about this issue through both of their perspectives, I will argue which person has a more defensible belief. Then I will talk about and critique Kant’s belief to tell the truth in this situation. Next, I will look at Bentham’s belief to tell the small lie along with my own and think of ways my argument can be contradicted and how those contradictions are wrong. Finally, I will end the paper by summing up all of my…show more content…
Telling the lie creates the most happiness in this situation by not lowering it due to their not being any consequence, the lie does not cause any extra happiness, it only prevents any of it from being lost. If the lie resulted in causing more harm than the truth itself, Bentham would not tell the lie because he believes the moral thing to do is to maximize happiness and sometimes that means to choose to preserve the happiness there and not to lower it. The key to understanding why Bentham would tell the is to look at the consequence of the lie rather than the action of lying itself. The only result of the lie is that your friends feelings are not hurt which is why Bentham decides to tell the lie. I agree with Bentham’s belief to maximize happiness in this situation because telling the lie literally has no consequence, it only makes the friend happy by sparing his feelings. In this paragraph I stated what a Utilitarian believes, why they believe it, Bentham’s decision on telling the lie or not and why I agree with Bentham choosing to tell the lie. Now I am going to explain the beliefs of deontology and what one of the most important philosophers of it, Immanuel Kant, would do in the situation of telling a small lie to a friend that would cause no great harm. Deontologists believe in duty based ethics that determine what is and isn’t moral. People have moral duties to do the right thing and
Open Document