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An introduction to the concept of utilitarianism theory

Similar presentations More Presentation on theme: In other words, ethics tell us how we ought to act or what we should do, while the sciences are more likely to observe how things are in nature or society.

An Introduction to Utilitarianism

This theory emphasizes Ends over Means. Theories, like this one, that emphasize the results or consequences are called teleological or consequentialist. The great good that we should seek is happiness. Intensity, duration, certainty or uncertainty, propinquity or remoteness, fecundity, purity, and extent.

An Introduction to Utilitarianism

The rightness of actions is determined solely by their consequences. Utility is the degree to which an act produces pleasure. Hedonism is the thesis that pleasure or happiness is the good that we seek and that we should seek. A right action produces the greatest good consequences and the least bad. The consequences to be considered are those of everyone affected, and everyone equally. We ought to do that which produces the greatest happiness and least pain for the greatest number of people.

An action is right if and only if it conforms to a set of rules the general acceptance of which would produce the greatest balance of pleasure over pain for the greatest number John Stuart Mill Act: An Action is right if and only if it produces the greatest balance of pleasure over pain for the greatest number.

Utilitarianism An Introduction to the Moral Theories of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill.

He gets across safely. B You attempt to help an elderly man across the street.

  • Punishment results from a combination of revenge and collective social sympathy;
  • However, man has an instinctive feeling of unity, which guides the development of duty toward general happiness;
  • Rachels would deny this, and claim that his actions were immoral;
  • Intensity, duration, certainty or uncertainty, propinquity or remoteness, fecundity, purity, and extent;
  • Thus, happiness becomes a complex phenomenon composed of many parts, such as virtue, love of money, power, and fame;
  • Its approach in education was to form positive associations with actions for social good and negative associations with things socially hurtful.

You stumble as you go, he is knocked into the path of a car, and is hurt. The Act was a bad act.

The decision was made not to inform the town that they would be bombed. The Ford Pinto case: A defective vehicle would sometimes explode when hit.

  1. Critics of utilitarianism argue that unlike the suppositions of the utilitarians, morality is not based on consequences of actions. Bibliography and Web Resources.
  2. The great good that we should seek is happiness. As a single entity, revenge has no moral component, and collective social sympathy is equal to social utility.
  3. Rachels would claim that they should receive a just trial, and be prosecuted according to the law. Similar presentations More Presentation on theme.
  4. The binding force of our sense of duty is the experience of pain or remorse when one acts against these feelings by not promoting general happiness. Another point that Rachels makes is regarding the dogma of only considering the consequence of an action important, rather than the action itself.

The model was not recalled and repaired by Ford because they felt it was cheaper to pay the liability suits than to recall and repair all the defective cars. For example, some might find happiness with a pitcher of beer and a pizza. Others may find happiness watching a fine Shakespearean play. The quality of happiness is greater with the latter. And if the fool, or the pig, are of a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question.

The other party to the comparison knows both sides. In the golden rule of Jesus of Nazareth, we read the complete spirit of the ethics of utility.

Introduction to Philosophy/Utilitarianism

I could make them most happy by helping supply them with cheap drugs, but I feel uncomfortable doing that. What should a utilitarian do?

For example, a thug breaks into my home and holds six people hostage, telling us he will kill all of us. If lying, stealing, or killing could lead to an increase of happiness for the greatest number, we are told we should lie, steal or kill. Does God make arbitrary rules just to see if we will obey?

  1. Mill offers two counter arguments.
  2. Responding to this, Mill says that everything we desire becomes part of happiness.
  3. Mill's second argument is that if justice were foundational, then justice would not be ambiguous.
  4. A critic might argue that besides happiness, there are other things, such as virtue, which we desire.
  5. Punishment results from a combination of revenge and collective social sympathy.

Does God make rules that He knows will lead to our happiness? If ignoring rights brings about more happiness to the greatest number, should we ignore so-called rights?