Arguments Against Utilitarianism

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This essay will reject the utilitarian claim as to always act as to maximize utility. In order to exhibit why this claim fails, this argument will be based on the most refined description of utility, namely, preference satisfaction utilitarianism, an action which is right, because it produces the most of what is intrinsically valuable, which is more than just the ultimate consequence of pleasure as suggested by the hedonistic utilitarian but instead, is the maximization of individual human preferences being satisfied in relation to the world and therefore, this action creates the maximum balance of happiness over unhappiness for all human beings concerned. This essay will present three objections against and three separate responses in defence…show more content…
This theory states that the actions that always create maximum utility, thereby founded on experienced situations, should be formed into rules. Therefore, actions are judged in relation to the conformity of these prescribed rules. However, even if a rule is created as to ‘never kill another human being’, utilitarianism would only pursue to exist if and only if each situation was responded to with the consequence of always maximizing utility. In the situation that the rule was always followed, the existence of utilitarianism would be extinguished as there would always be exceptional situations that need the rule to be adjusted and thus, the utilitarian would be obliged to forgo the rule in order for the doctrine to survive. Therefore, rule utilitarianism is used as a faulty appeal to…show more content…
This is because, ones moral intuition is based on experience and it is therefore a practiced faculty though ‘moral education’ (Philosophy course reader, Pg 35). To know what is good and what is bad is repeatedly taught to a child as he/she grows up. Thus, each exceptional situation needs to be judged not on these ingrained intuitions but instead on circumstantial intuitions, For example you would never cut a person’s throat open in an ordinary situation however you would, if and only if their life depended on you doing it (Philosophy utilitarianism lecture, David Benatar). The rule, ‘never kill another human being’ would be used for most situations as this is usually the action to take as to always maximize utility. However, in exceptional cases which will always be undefined. Nobody knows which action to take as to maximize utility until the exceptional situation arises in
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