The divine command theory, utilitarianism, Kant’s duty defined morality, natural law theory, and Aristotle’s virtue ethics are the five types of ethical theories. The divine command theory states that what is morally right and wrong will be decided by God. Utilitarianism states that “Action “A” is morally right if and only if it produces the greatest amount of overall happiness. Kant’s duty defined morality states that what is important is acting for the sake of producing good consequences, no matter what the act is. Natural law theory states that people should focus on the good and avoid any evil. The last theory is Aristotle’s virtue ethics which states that we should move from the concern towards good action and to focus on the concern with good character. This paper argues that Aristotle’s virtue ethics is better than the other ethical theories.
As a child, most learn that sharing is caring. Giving something that is abundant to the individual to those who could benefit from it is a concept as old as civilization. Naturally, as humans, we seek to be happy and more often than not, make others happy. Thus the utilitarian view was created, but what does that mean? What exactly is happiness and how does one go about spreading happiness it to others? A man by the name of John Stuart Mill seems to be able to give us some answers to these questions.
It states that an action which is deemed right is one that has not merely some good consequences, but also the greatest amount of good consequences possible when the negative consequences are also given due considerations. According to the utilitarian principle, the righteousness of an action is solely judged on the basis of its consequences. Classical utilitarianism determines the balance of pleasure and pain for each individual affected by the action in question as well as the amount of utility for the whole
Utilitarianism is a moral theory developed by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1947 – 1832) and refined by fellow countryman John Stuart Mill (1806 – 1873). It is a results-based concept that gives no weight to the intentions that drive actions but, rather, places emphasis on the consequences of such actions. With specific reference to Bentham’s Utilitarianism and his incorporation of Hedonistic Calculus, this theory is simply derived from human being’s primal desires to seek pleasure and restrict pain, and suggests that morally good actions are those which would accomplish such. Furthermore, the idea of striving to achieve ‘the greatest amount of good for the greatest number’ fuels an objection to this theory when considering the minority,
The Terri Schiavo case was a huge start of the “Right to Die” movement, the underlying cause of Schiavo’s collapse was never given a diagnosis. Consequentialist moral theories focus on how much good can result from an action. Non Consequentialist moral theories or Deontological theories, consider not the consequences of an action but whether they fulfill a duty. Some theories that can be used include utilitarianism, Kant’s ethics and natural law theory. Being aware of the case already, I believe there should be some sort of law that gives doctors to comply with the wishes of the patient if they are in a lot of distress.
Bernard Williams’ essay, A Critique of Utilitarianism, launches a rather scathing criticism of J. J. C. Smart’s, An Outline of a System of Utilitarian ethics. Even though Williams claims his essay is not a direct response to Smart’s paper, the manner in which he constantly refers to Smart’s work indicates that Smart’s version of Utilitarianism, referred to as act-Utilitarianism, is the main focus of Williams’ critique.
John Stuart Mill, at the very beginning of chapter 2 entitled “what is utilitarianism”. starts off by explaining to the readers what utility is, Utility is defined as pleasure itself, and the absence of pain. This leads us to another name for utility which is the greatest happiness principle. Mill claims that “actions are right in proportions as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.” “By Happiness is intended pleasure and the absence of pain, by happiness, pain and the privation of pleasure”. (Mill, utilitarianism, p.697)
nature are hedonistic, this means that people given the opportunity would avoid painful situations at all costs, while vigorously reaching out for pleasurable moments. An example of reasoning in act Utilitarianism can be found in the biomedical ethics book (Mapes&Gaize pg. 10). A severely ill infant who has zero chances of survival has contracted a deadly virus, the physician and parents now must make the decision to treat the virus with antibiotics or allow the infant to simply die. In this case it is clear that those involved would be best served by allowing the child to simply die, since the infant has nothing to gain and everything to lose from a painful prolonged life. The anguish and distress of the parents cannot be eliminated regardless
The three different versions of Utilitarianism are, Act, Rule, and Preference Utilitarianism. Act Utilitarianism states that a person’s act is right if and only if it produces as many
Utilitarianism is one of the best ethical approaches that can be used to justifying a right action from a wrong action by focusing on the outcome of the path taken. The most important thing is that the action taken to achieve a certain outcome has to be of the greater benefit of the society at large. Whether the outcome is bad, it can be used to morally justify some deeds regardless of how inhumane they can be. On the other side, utilitarianism also does not justify everything because it is difficult at time to predict whether the actions taken will be good or bad at the end. Additionally, values cannot be accounted for. It cannot account for social justice and other human rights. Since utilitarianism
When discussing both act and rule utilitarianism, it is important to understand that both of them agree in terms of the overall consequence of an action, because they emphasize on creating the most beneficial pleasure and happiness in the outcome of an act. Despite this fact, they both have different principles and rules that make them different from each other. Act utilitarianism concentrates on the acts of individuals. Meaning that if a person commits an action, he/she must at least have a positive utility. The founders of utilitarianism define positive utility as happiness and pleasure and consider it to be a driving force of all positive and morally right acts. According to Jeremy Bentham, and John Mill Stuart happiness to them comes from
Utilitarianism is a teleological ethical theory based on the idea that an action is moral if it causes the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people. The theory is concerned with predicted consequences or outcomes of a situation rather than focusing on what is done to get to the outcome. There are many forms of utilitarianism, having been introduced by Jeremy Bentham (act utilitarianism), and later being updated by scholars such as J.S. Mill (rule utilitarianism) and Peter Singer (preference utilitarianism). When referring to issues of business ethics, utilitarianism can allow companies to decide what to do in a given situation based on a simple calculation. Many people would agree that this idea of promoting goodness
“I would contend that in principle there is no reason to anticipate that every act that is our duty is so for one and the same reason.” Ross argues that there is not one sole rule for what makes right actions right—such as maximizing hedonistic value, for utilitarians—but that there are several rules, none of them absolute, that play a role in determining what a person ought to do in any given case. He calls these “prima facie” duties, or obligations, and while promoting happiness is one, there are many other obligations, some of which he lists as examples.
Utilitarianism is one of the most common approaches for dilemmas. The goal of Utilitarianism is to maximize the overall good. This is also the approach the Omelans take in the story. In the city of Omelas, the injustice of keeping one person confined coincides with justifying those who choose to stay in the city. Those who stay in Omelas are morally justified, because although they realize the suffering of a child is wrong, they take the utilitarian approach and act according to what would benefit the vast majority.
Consequentialism is a theory stating morality is dependent on an action’s outcomes; the most noteworthy example of this theory is utilitarianism. Consequentialism is contested as critics find it overdemanding for application on the virtue of its extensiveness in the individual’s life and reliance on unpredictable consequences, and due to the depth of logic override necessary to maximise happiness in some situations. Rebuttals have been made, and in this essay, I will explain the principles of consequentialism and utilitarianism and argue that the refutations are unsuccessful.