Advantages And Disadvantages Of Utilitarianism

1109 Words5 Pages
Throughout this essay I will be discussing how we should handle moral disagreements. Specifically I will focus on the ethical theory of Utilitarianism, it benefits but also its disadvantages which shows it is a theory which should not be used to handle moral disagreements. Utilitarianism is a type of relativist consequentialist ethic. Consequentialist ethical systems focus on the outcome of an action, rather than the agent or the action itself. 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. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do as well as to determine what we shall do” (Bentham, 1789). In short, this means that what determines whether an action is morally right is the production of pleasure and the impediment of pain. An action which is morally right will produce the…show more content…
Unless there is a way to prove that common sense is the ‘correct’ view then this “criticism has no force” (ibid). The problem with this response is that if utilitarianism does not cohere with humans’ common sense, then even if it does provide the ‘correct’ answers, it seems like a theory which is far removed for humans’ natural moral instincts and a challenge to understand, so would then not be the best theory to use when handling moral
Open Document