Ethical Criticism Of Utilitarianism

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Utilitarianism is a normative moral theory based on consequentialism-its fundamental idea is that “do what produces the best consequence”. In more detail the theory dictates that actions are only right if they promote happiness and produce the greatest amount of happiness; “actions are right in proportion 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 unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure.”(Mill 1863) http://www.utilitarianism.com/mill2.htm Utilitarianism states that pleasure and happiness are intrinsically valuable and that pain and suffering are intrinsically invaluable and that every action that has value should either promote happiness or impede suffering. This emphasis on happiness or pleasure as a guide to making moral decisions, makes it a type of hedonism known as Hedonistic Utilitarianism and thus it can be criticized in a similar way to hedonism. (Luke Mastin,2008http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_utilitarianism.html. Like all normative theories utilitarianism has its critics.
Utilitarianism deems every act that produces overall happiness as good so according to this there is no act that is immoral or. For example, if molesting a child produces the greatest happiness, then it is right to molest a child. Suppose a group of paedophiles only find and molest abandoned children. Only the child suffers pain and no one else knows about their
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