Utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory. This identifies it within a framework of regarding the morality of an action being guided by the consequences it produces. The normative morality of utilitarianism places its locus of the rightfulness of an action being that which produces the most happiness and the least of pain. The action of wrongfulness is that which is adverse, produces a higher result of pain and less of happiness. This is the standard central foundation of this theory.
He presents an example where a certain society might be better off banning a racial minority because, since the racists outnumber the minority, the best way to maximize happiness is to conform to the racist’s demands. Williams goes on to say that a utilitarian might be ashamed of this conclusion. However, if a utilitarian tries to change his views because he feels uncomfortable supporting racism, he might start going against his own utilitarian beliefs. This is where I find that basic human compassion clashes strongly with utilitarianism. In this particular case, utilitarianism seems to support a conclusion that goes against a fight humanity already fought during the civil rights movement.
Utilitarianism can be described as a theory of ethics because it tells good or bad and also right or wrong. But some of the key concepts of utilitarianism talk about the conduct of public life. This makes the theory political. Utilitarianism key idea is an action is morally right or wrong depending on their positive or negative effects. The only effects important actions are positive and negative
In everyday life we make decisions, which in some way affect those around us, but should those decisions benefit us as an individual, or should they benefit the “greater good”? Utilitarianism, based on utility, states that we should, in fact, act for the greater good of the greater majority, rather than what we consider to be best for ourselves. The ethical theory of Utilitarianism was proposed by John Stuart Mills from a qualitative hedonistic view which states that there is only “one foundational good” (Burnor and Raley). Because Utilitarianism states that there is only one right moral standard, it falls under the view of Objectivism, in which there is only one universal moral standard. According to Utilitarianism, Popular Relativism
These may include child labor, forced labor, unfair wages, animal testing and dumping toxic waste into the environment. Some unethical business practices have even greater consequences including death due to negligence and even genocide. Other actions also constitute unethical business practices. For instance, attempting to create a monopoly on a market has unethical implications because without competition companies have no incentive to set fair prices or rates. Of course, companies commit other unethical acts despite regulations and legislation.
Utilitarianism is a relativistic ethic because each time the outcomes of each ethical questions will be different. Utilitarianism considers the consequences of the action as an assessment of whether an action is morally right or wrong. The beginnings of utilitarianism are often accredited to Jeremy Bentham. Bentham adopted the view of Hedonism which states that the only thing intrinsically good, or right, is pleasure (Nathanson, n.d.). Bentham stated that “nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure.
General Remarks In the first chapter of the essay utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill begins by observing something of a crisis in moral thinking: essentially, people have been unable to come to any agreement on what philosophies the notions of "right" and "wrong" are based on. Having portrayed this problem, Mill introduces utilitarianism as a prospective solution. He argues that it is already indirectly used as a standard, and that it achieves the requirements of being a first principle. It is imperative to note that Mill explains morality 's purpose as bringing about a specific state of the world. Mill defines this context through which to understand morality as the essential one.
A main objection to act utilitarianism is that it can be impossible to determine the scope, intensity, and/or the duration of the action. People cannot possibly predict every single outcome that will come from an action and the affect it will have for sure. Another objection to act utilitarianism is that it makes people rely to heavily on morals when making their decision. This turns even the simplest decision into some complicated process that is not needed. For example, people do not need to look at the intensity when they are deciding what chips to buy at the grocery store, they can simply just choose the one they like best.
If a good has a negative externality, then the cost to society is greater than the cost consumer is paying for it. Typical negative externalities are environmental pollution and environmental damage. Environmental pollution means that firms or factory might pump pollutants into the air while producing some goods; environmental damage means that excessive or improper use of natural resources, leading to changes in natural environment. Negative externalities can divided to negative externality in production and consumption. a) Negative Externality in Production: Making furniture by cutting down trees leads to negative externalities to other people.
Utilitarianism as an economic thought traced its principles and history to ethical philosophy. It is used in welfare economics in providing basis in policy making. Utilitarianism in general (or the present known meaning) is viewed as the morally right action is the action that produces the most good. It is best known for its view as “the greatest good for the greatest number”. Altruistic feature (universalistic hedoism) (consequentialism) Its history has two phases where the first phase is the gradual development in the direction of formal consistency and the second phase in the direction of doing justice to concrete moral ideals that opened itself to criticisms or its tendency of overstepping its own first principles (Albee, 1902).