Strengths And Weaknesses Of Utilitarianism

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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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