Ethical Theory: Extreme Utilitarianism) And Restricted (GHP)

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Before addressing the prompt, one needs to establish a baseline for utilitarianism. Mill’s definition of utilitarianism says that the best actions are the ones that produce the most happiness and the least amount of pain for everyone involved. There are two subcategories that fall under the umbrella of the ethical theory: extreme (act) and restricted (rule). Extreme utilitarians focus on a person’s possible actions and the different consequences they could produce. The Greatest Happiness Principle (GHP) is a system to determine which action creates the most happiness for everyone involved. Using the GHP, extreme utilitarians calculate the best course of action. The action which brings the least amount of unhappiness to everyone involved …show more content…

There should be no calculating of consequences because deciding what to do in a situation by a calculation could be influenced by personal bias. Hospers simply explains why rules are important. Laws punish people who break them, not because the most good will come from it, but because a crime has been committed. If the law is a bad law a society can do its best to change it. If one moral rule conflicts with another there is another rule that tells a person what to do in that specific situation. If one thinks about promises, but you promised to keep a secret that someone was going to commit suicide there would be a rule for that. Such as, one can break promises if it stops someone from committing suicide. Another important concept anyone studying the consequentialist theory of utilitarianism is the Doctrine of Negative Responsibility. This doctrine says that if a person is responsible for anything they are also responsible for things they allow to happen or fail to prevent. This is true even with actions you participate in every day. Also, the term intrinsic value is often mentioned within utilitarianism. Williams describes it as being something with non-consequential value, and the only thing that has intrinsic value is states of affairs …show more content…

Linda is the oldest out of all the patients, but allowing her to die would leave the physician with a lot of negative responsibility. By giving the liver to another of the three patients, the physician will make a man a widower, leave her children without a mother, leave the community with one less volunteer, and leave her family with one less source of income. If Joe does not receive the liver, the physician would not have as much negative responsibility even though Walmart would lose a worker and a child would become fatherless. However, it would make relatively little to no difference for the mother and the child as they had been living for several months without Joe’s money. With or without his money they would continue to survive. The physician’s level of negative responsibility for not giving Kelly the liver would also be relatively low. From the information given, Kelly’s death would leave her mom childless. It would also leave a college without a possible student, but it would eliminate Kelly’s worry about not being able to afford

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