Suppose a conductor is driving his train and the breaks are defect. The rails lead directly into a cluster of five people who would all die if the train will go this direction. However, the conductor can change onto another track where only one person is standing hence only one person would die. How should the conductor react (Hare, 1964)? Is it possible to condense the problem to a rather simple maximization problem in example that the action is taken, which would kill the least people? Utilitarianisms would answer the question in the affirmative and change the track so only one person has to suffer. However, we have to question if the Utilitarianism is applicable to such ethical questions (Smart & Williams, 1973). This essay will outline several strength and weaknesses of the Utilitarianism devised by Jeremy Bentham. Firstly, the Utilitarianism will be outlined, secondly some strength and weaknesses are explained by employing examples, and thirdly several solution approaches for dilemmas Bentham’s Utilitarianism is facing will be sketched. Commonly, ethical systems are categorized into two major systems. The deontological approaches or normative ethical position which judges an action based on the adherence of the action to certain rules and the teleological approaches which judges primarily based on the consequences of an action (Hare, 1964). The Utilitarianism is assigned to the teleological approaches, as it does not evaluate an action by itself but by it’s
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We shall explore these terms further when it becomes absolutely necessary to nit-pick, but for Foot’s argument they hold. In the Trolley Problem, the driver finds his trolley hurtling towards five souls on the track. His brakes fail. He has the option of diverting the train onto a spur, but will run over a single person on this track. Since he will kill
William's believes in Utilitarianism, and defines it as “ the doctrine that actions are right if they are useful of for the benefit of a majority”. This applies to the example he used when talking about the indians and Jim. He used this situation which stated that Jim had to kill one indian, and get to mark the occasion, and the other indians will be let off; Or he refuses, and there will be no special occasion, and Pedro will kill them all. (Williams, p. ) Williams also argues against the utilitarianism theory, by saying that it conflicts with human nature.
Skill 2 In Thomson’s paper, she tries to provide a solution to the “The Trolley Problem”, where “one will die if the agent acts, but five will live who would otherwise die”(Thomson, pg.2). The two scenarios that are central to “The Trolley Problem” are the Trolley and Transplant scenarios. The first scenario has a trolley driver in a runaway trolley who they can either choose to crash into five workers or pull the switch and turn the trolley to crash into one instead (Thomson, pg.2). The second scenario is about a surgeon who can choose to kill one healthy patient or five patients who are about to die from organ failure (Thomson, pg.2).
Utilitarianism is the moral theory that the action that people should take it the one that provides the greatest utility. In this paper I intend to argue that utilitarianism is generally untenable because act and rule utilitarianism both have objections that prove they cannot fully provide the sure answer on how to make moral decisions and what will be the ultimate outcome. I intend to do this by defining the argument for act and rule utilitarianism, giving an example, presenting the objections to act and rule utilitarianism and proving that utilitarianism is untenable. Both act and rule utilitarianism attempt to argue that what is right or wrong can be proven by what morally increases the well being of people. Act utilitarianism argues that
When it comes to the philosopher that is mostly correct about the kinds of personal sacrifices that morality shouldn’t demand on us to make in the name of common good, it is Bernard Williams. He basically states that utilitarianism is too demanding upon us for the happiness of others, where we can’t even focus on the happiness of ourselves. Not only is a person responsible for the things they do in life, but they have to be responsible for the consequences of things that they don’t do in life that don’t bring the greatest happiness to everyone around them. Utilitarianism states that even if someone were to feel a negative way on a subject due to their values or morals, they should dismiss all personal feelings and emotions to promote general happiness. Williams disagrees and I as well disagree with that statement.
An ethical dilemma today in society is that of abortion, which one would define as a deliberate end to a pregnancy. Various arguments exist questioning if an abortion is morally justifiable. Some say the state should decide on the legality of an abortion, some politicians say the federal government should decide, and many believe it should be up to the women since it pertains to their body. In this paper, I will analyze what a utilitarian’s perspective on abortion would be. First, let’s get a clear understanding of utilitarianism.
Caleb Stephens April 15, 2017 Introduction to Philosophy The goal of this paper is to demonstrate that Philippa Foot’s objection, raised to her own argument against utilitarianism, is correct. Her initial thesis is that benevolence, while the foundation of utilitarianism, is an internal end of morality, rather than the ultimate end of morality. The possible objection to this that there must be some overarching reason behind morality, which must imply a form of consequentialism. The response she offers is that there should be some other form of morality, which is a weak argument, as it does not provide an alternate conception of morality itself.
In this essay, I compared Utilitarianism and Deontology, and argued that Deontology is a better ethics system than Utilitarianism because, while Utilitarianism focuses solely on results, Deontology considers humans as more than just a means to an end and provides for a system of generally accepted
Trolley problem, initiated by Philippa Foot, is a situation in which there is a runaway trolley and the only way to save five people on the tracks is to sacrifice one person (Kvalnes, 2015). There are many versions of the trolley problem with regard to how the one should be sacrificed, make trade-offs in order for five persons to be saved. In this paper, there are two trolley case used to compare with the autonomous car case. The first case, called the switch case, come from Philippa Foot (1967), in which there is a third person who are standing next to a signal switch.
Just to refresh, deontological approach focuses upon adherence to self-moral rules or duties, and in order to make such decisions we have to understand what our moral duties are. Teleological focuses on the consequences an action might have. Then there is utilitarian approach in which it views the moral worth of a deed in terms of its consequences. Utilitarianism claims that its actions maximizes pleasure and minimizes negative experiences. (Notes)
Utilitarianism is a moral philosophy that is credited to being created by Jeremey Bentham. Bentham believed that all humans make choices based on two feelings, pain and pleasure. Because of this, Bentham believed that motives are not good or bad in nature but instead on what feeling a human might feel more.
Bernard Williams’ essay, A Critique of Utilitarianism, launches a rather scathing criticism of J. J. C. Smart’s, An Outline of a System of Utilitarian ethics. Even though Williams claims his essay is not a direct response to Smart’s paper, the manner in which he constantly refers to Smart’s work indicates that Smart’s version of Utilitarianism, referred to as act-Utilitarianism, is the main focus of Williams’ critique. Smart illustrates the distinction between act-Utilitarianism and rule-Utilitarianism early on in his work. He says that act-Utilitarianism is the idea that the rightness of an action depends on the total goodness of an action’s consequences.
Brave new world - Essay I look at this from a utilitarian perspective were the moral thing is to do the most good for the most amount of people. The individual, while important in any sense, is only relevant in terms of the community as a whole. It is very similar to the question of individual versus collective happiness. The happiness of the most amount of people is better than letting the individual decide for oneself.
The hedonic calculus has seven different criteria that must be considered to evaluate the balance between good and evil. This appears practical and easy to use in any situation; however, it has its issues. For example, Bentham suggested that all pleasure and pain should be measured equally. This causes a major problem when put into the context of business ethics, as it suggests that the pain experienced by a child forced to work in a factory is equal to a shareholder in a business gaining a little more profit – surely, this is unethical. J.S. Mill noticed this issue, introducing rule utilitarianism, in which he recognised the differences in different types of pleasures.
Rational humans should be treated as an end in themselves, thus respecting our own inherent worth and autonomy to make our own decisions. This part of Kant’s ideology may limit what we could do, even in the service of promoting an overall positive, by upholding the principle of not using people with high regard, thus serving as a moral constraint. Deontology remains as the stronger ethical framework as it explicitly lists out how one should act morally through absolute, universal laws, and also by promoting not using others as a mere means, but rather as an end in itself. On the other hand, Utilitarianism, a consequentialist theory, stems from the idea that every morally correct action will produce the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people.