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
Consequentialists are a group of philosophers who asses whether an act is right or wrong based on the consequences of the action. There are different types of consequentialism including: ethical egoism, act-utilitarianism and rule-utilitarianism. These three branches of consequentialism will be discussed later in this paper. A supererogatory act is something that is good but is not obligatory; these acts involve rendering aid to others that go above moral requirement. Consequentialists claim that there are no supererogatory acts; an act either produces the most pleasure and is therefore morally good, or it brings about pain and is morally bad.
The assumptions behind A Theory of Justice are essentially redistributive: That is, Rawls posits equal distribution of resources as the desirable state and then argues that inequality can be justified only by benefits for the least advantaged. Nozick points out “that resources are produced by people and that people have rights to the things they produce. Thus, attempts to improve the condition of the least advantaged through redistribution are unjust because they make some people work involuntarily for others and deprive people of the goods and opportunities they have created through time and effort.” The rational human individuals might be able to choose a social structure with greater rewards for the majority of people and small rewards for the minority on the grounds that one is more likely to end up as part of a majority than a minority. Legal justice is generally considered a matter of appropriate
In particular they are inclined to see their interest as clashing, incompatible. This supports the idea of the ‘Fixed-Pie Belief’. The negotiations results will depend on whether parties have or do not have similar interests and whether or not the issues are or are not compatible with each other. Another implication which was found as a result from the experiments shows that biased conflict perceptions are quite strongly swayed by interests which relate to oneself. It was proven also that issues can be misconstrued to be ones of too great importance and one may then overestimate the amount of conflict.
Moral agents must aim to maximise happiness and minimise pain. ‘The ends may justify the means’ in this theory; any act may be permissible if the consequences are good and superior to those of any alternative act. Consequentialist theories come in two parts: theory of value and principles of rightness. Theory of value specifies criteria in virtue of what outcomes count as good or bad. Consequentialist theories can be distinguished based on their specific criteria of what is viewed as
Once everything is defined, one must now weigh their options, and evaluate the outcome of the actions. Finally, one must choose the option that permits the greatest balance of good overall, so to choose any other action would be considered immoral. That being said, a utilitarian does not always have to choose the option that benefits the most people, since the goal is to bring about the least amount of misery; besides, the benefit of helping the majority may bring a greater cost of well-being to the minority. Additionally, utilitarianism is associated with consequentialism, as they both concur that the results of one 's actions signify whether it was morally right or wrong. In doing so, they must consider the effects to as far as they go into the future.
Being able to trust people is extremely important to our well-being and by committing to an act-utilitarian case by case evaluation method, people become less reliable and trustworthy. Rule-utilitarianism avoids this issue as they are are committed to rules which generate positive expectation effects which tells us how people are likely to behave. While rule-utilitarians do not deny that there are people who are not trustworty, it is clear that their moral code condemns violations of trust as wrongful rather than the act-utilitarian approach which supports the moral view that has the effect of undermining trust. We should, 'therefore accept rules against…breaking promises and violating people's rights because following them as a regular practice promotes general welfare' (Rachels,
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.
Happiness was just not felt by the doer but also by everyone affected by the action and vice versa for the wrong action. Bentham "An action is right from an ethical point of view if and only if the sum total of utilities produced by that act is greater than the sum total of utilities produced by any other act the agent could have performed in its place." However, whereby other ethical theories make the rightness or wrongness of an act dependent upon the motive of the agent, with the Utilitarian theory bad actions or motives can produce right outcomes as sometimes the best consequences are produced from actions. It is best then that for every action that we take, consider choosing the actions that produces the greatest net benefits or the lowest net costs. With this theory, moral conduct is rated and regarded very highly as the measure of consequences of alternative acts comes into
It might be the case that the logic of 'selfish' and 'unselfish' resembles that of such terms as 'small' and 'large'. In other words, there might be a scale of selfishness unselfishness, such that if one person A occupies a higher position on the scale than another person B, A is said to be more unselfish than B, and B is said to be more selfish than A. And it might be held that, other things being equal, a person who occupies a higher position on the scale is morally better than one who occupies a lower position. Actions or courses of action might also be graded as selfish or unselfish in the same general way Now it might also be the case that if I do not live up to the ideal of selflessness, and necessarily occupying a lower position on the selfishness-unselfishness scale than one I could have occupied if I had lived up to that ideal. Then I could, other things being equal, become a morally better person than I am by living up to the