Utilitarianism is an ethical theory with the rule, “act in such a way as to maximize the expected satisfaction of interests in the world, equally considered.” We try to act in such a way that considers everyone’s pains and pleasures. With this in mind, we have to discover what truly makes others happy. We should not ignore those that are affected by our behavior.
Utilitarianism can be generally defined as a way of thinking where one chooses an action based on the amount of happiness that it would produce. In the book Ethics: Theory and Contemporary Issues, by Barbara MacKinnon and Andrew Fiala, the authors state “Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism,” and that “John Stuart Mill explained it as ‘actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.’” (MacKinnon 95). This means that utilitarianism focuses on result of an action based on happiness and that decisions can be taken made by looking at possible outcomes of that decision. What Mill stated would be defined as “ the principle of utility or the greatest happiness principle.”( MacKinnon, 95). This principle is one in which could be
Utilitarianism is one of the most popular moral ethics that is widely mentioned in the ethical literature; it seems very simple principle that focus on the consequence of action. As stated by Tong (2007) that “utilitarians believe that the desire for happiness or pleasure is universal and that people intuitively view that attainment of happiness or pleasure as their ultimate goal in life.” Hence the rightness or the wrongness of an action is judged by the degree of producing
Utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory, as explained by the philosopher Mill. Given several choices, a utilitarian would pick the morally correct choice by using the Greatest Happiness Principle (487). By looking at whether the consequences of an action will produce the greater happiness for the greater number of people than another action would, one can
Utilitarianism considers the pleasure and pain of every individual affected by an action. It also considers everyone to be equal and does not permit an individual to put their interests or relationships first. After this it attempts to provide an objective, quantitative method for making moral decisions. Utilitarianism is not able to assign quantitative measures to all pleasures and pains, and does not address the issue of some pleasures and pains that cannot or should not be measured-such as human life or human suffering.
Utilitarianism is a moral theory that has long been the subject of philosophical debate. This theory, when practiced, appears to set a very basic guideline to follow when one is faced with a moral dilemma. Fundamental Utilitarianism states that when a moral dilemma arises, one should take action that causes favorable results or reduces less favorable results. If these less favorable results, or pain, occur from this action, it can be justified if it is produced to prevent more pain or produce happiness. Stating the Utilitarian view can summarize these basic principles: "the greatest good for the greatest number". Utilitarians are to believe that if they follow this philosophy, that no matter what action they take, it
Utilitarians believe that whether an act is right or wrong depends only on the consequences it produces. An act that results in at least as much pleasure or well being as other alternative acts is right, and vice versa. In other words, any act that does not maximize pleasure is morally wrong. Even though utilitarian ethics often clashes with conventional norms, the conflict has no direct moral relevance to the action.
Utilitarianism is the ethical belief that the happiness of the greatest number of people is the greatest good. Jeremy Betham and John Stuart Mill are two philosophers that were leading advocates for the utilitarianism that we study today. In order to understand the basis of utilitarianism, one must know what happiness is. John Stuart Mill defines happiness as the intended pleasure and absence of pain while unhappiness is pain and the privation of pleasure. Utilitarians feel the moral obligation to maximize pleasure for not only themselves, but for as many people as possible. All actions can be determined as right or wrong based on if they produce the maximum amount of happiness. The utilitarian belief that all actions can be determined as right or wrong based only on their repercussions connects utilitarianism to consequentialism. Consequentialism is the belief that an action can be determined morally right or wrong based on its consequences. Just like any other belief system, utilitarianism faces immense amount of praise and criticism.
Utilitarianism, in the contrary, is based on the principle of utility or usefulness. Utility is what encourages an agent to act in a particular way (Tuckett, 1998). Utility can be explained as maximizing the good like pleasure and happiness and minimizing the bad like pain and evil, all leading to the greater good for all parties involved. It weights the consequences of the actions equally between the ones involved, and the ethical solution would be to follow the greater good for most if not all the parties involved.
Utilitarianism is a theory aimed at defining one simple basis that can be applied when making any ethical decision. It is based on a human’s natural instinct to seek pleasure and avoid pain.
The main slogan of utilitarianism is as follows, “What makes me happy gives me pleasure, what gives me pleasure makes me happy.” The first sound of this sentence seems very intriguing and may cause many to believe that utilitarianism mean well. However, many basic things can cause pleasure such as; sex, drugs, food, art, etc. Therefore, isn’t it true that too much of one good thing can be terribly bad? Many see sex as a good and pleasurable thing, but there are nymphomaniacs who currently struggle to rid themselves from such an addiction, the same as drug abusers rely on rehab facilities to help them overcome substance abuse. Of course, drugs often save lives, sex is pleasurable, and food enables us to survive, and art is a very astonishing
Utilitarianism is a limiting ethical theory that fails to grasp ethically reality. “The greatest good for the greatest number” is not ethically right in every situation. Although the majority would benefit, the minority will heavily suffer. Considering the overall consequences of our actions, the good may not always outweigh the bad, but this does mean that the good will be the ethically right thing to do. One may think they are “maximizing the overall good,” but in reality, harming many.
Utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory that judges an action on its outcomes and aims to maximize happiness. This means finding the action that generates the “greatest good for the greatest number”.
Utilitarianism is a very demanding ethical theory that is revolved around benefiting the majority rather than an individual. Utilitarianism states that the best action is to maximize utility. It focuses on the result or the consequences of our actions, and treats intentions of an action as irrelevant. Sometimes you may not benefit as much as you would if you were making a decision for yourself for example if you really wanted to see the new Thor movie but some other people wanted to see the new horror movie that just came out and as a group those two movies wouldn’t please everyone it may be in everyone's best interest to see The Justice League, although it may not be anybody's first choice, but it’s something that everybody can settle on and enjoy. Doing this would mean you’ve thought like an utilitarian would. “you’ve chosen the action that would produce the most overall happiness for the group, even though it produced less happiness for you than other alternatives would have.” Utilitarians suggests that when making our moral decisions we should look at it as if we were advising a group of strangers, rather than making decisions of what we think I should do. Bernard Williams who is a 20th century british philosopher gave this thought experiment. Jim is on an expedition in South America when he comes across a group of 20 prisoners and a group of soldiers. The group of prisoners are about to be executed by the soldiers. For whatever reason one of the soldiers offers Jim a
Utilitarianism (U) involves carrying out an action to produce the greatest amount of good (or “utility”) for the greatest number of people, regardless of the rightness or wrongness of the action (class notes). The word “good” is defined as a sense of “satisfaction”, “gain” or “welfare” (Anonymous, 2008). Alternatively, the theory focuses on reducing the total amount of harm imposed on the greatest number of people (class notes). Viewing this theory from either perspective will generate an overall positive outcome. For an argument to be purely Utilitarian, the following three requisites must be met – the consequences