When discussing both act and rule utilitarianism, it is important to understand that both of them agree in terms of the overall consequence of an action, because they emphasize on creating the most beneficial pleasure and happiness in the outcome of an act. Despite this fact, they both have different principles and rules that make them different from each other. Act utilitarianism concentrates on the acts of individuals. Meaning that if a person commits an action, he/she must at least have a positive utility. The founders of utilitarianism define positive utility as happiness and pleasure and consider it to be a driving force of all positive and morally right acts. According to Jeremy Bentham, and John Mill Stuart happiness to them comes from
Throughout history many great philosophers have attempted to unravel the origins of virtues by developing moral theories of their own. This document is designed to provide the reader with an overview of some of the more popular theories concerning morals. Three of the most popular moral theories are… Utilitarianism, Kantianism, and Aristotelianism. Though Utilitarianism, Kantianism, and Aristotelianism differ in many ways, they also share similar fundamentals.
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.
Utilitarianism is an ethical theory summed up by the phrase, the right action is one which creates the sum total amount of happiness for the greatest number. Therefore, utilitarians believe that morality’s purpose is to maximise the number of good things, such as happiness, and decrease the number of bad things, such as unhappiness, in the world. Critics of utilitarianism believe that this theory cannot accommodate moral rights since we go against our intuitions in moral dilemmas. However, utiltarians have a response to these criticisms which shows that utilitarianism is defensible. Utilitarianism was developed into an ethical theory by two philosophers named Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill.
It states that an action which is deemed right is one that has not merely some good consequences, but also the greatest amount of good consequences possible when the negative consequences are also given due considerations. According to the utilitarian principle, the righteousness of an action is solely judged on the basis of its consequences. Classical utilitarianism determines the balance of pleasure and pain for each individual affected by the action in question as well as the amount of utility for the whole
Mills explains Utilitarianism as achieving life’s goals, it is what everyone wants or seek for. He further explains that utilitarianism promotes the quality of life. Furthermore, utilitarianism is connected to happiness, because we all seek to achieve different goals in life, and those goals are what makes up happy. We all want certain things in life, or want to achieve certain things. Utilitarianism promotes happiness, happiness exclude pain, suffering, struggles, stress, and anything that makes one ‘unhappy’ or ‘sad’. In other words, utilitarianism is ideal justification for living. Therefore, we should all strive for excellence and happiness, not just for ourselves, but also for others.
As we know consequentialism is the focus of an action that does more intrinsically good than bad, one kind of consequentialist theory is utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is an action that produces consequences that are more good over bad for everyone involved. In order to produce an action that is the best one a utilitarianist would consider both long and short term effects. Two sub categories of utilitarianism include act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. act utilitarianism bases an action on the overall well being produced by an individual.
nature are hedonistic, this means that people given the opportunity would avoid painful situations at all costs, while vigorously reaching out for pleasurable moments. An example of reasoning in act Utilitarianism can be found in the biomedical ethics book (Mapes&Gaize pg. 10). A severely ill infant who has zero chances of survival has contracted a deadly virus, the physician and parents now must make the decision to treat the virus with antibiotics or allow the infant to simply die. In this case it is clear that those involved would be best served by allowing the child to simply die, since the infant has nothing to gain and everything to lose from a painful prolonged life. The anguish and distress of the parents cannot be eliminated regardless
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.
The idea behind Kantian Ethics is that doing the right thing is not about the consequences of our actions but rather the principle motivating the action. Actions must be performed out of duty, that is, it is done solely because we have an obligation to perform such action out of respect for the moral law. As explained by Immanuel Kant, “the moral worth of an action done out of duty has its moral worth” (105). Kant argues that to act morally, then, is to “act only on the maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law” (108). Utilitarianism, developed by John Stuart Mill, is one of the most commonly used approaches in making moral decisions.
Utilitarianism is a teleological ethical theory based on the idea that an action is moral if it causes the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people. The theory is concerned with predicted consequences or outcomes of a situation rather than focusing on what is done to get to the outcome. There are many forms of utilitarianism, having been introduced by Jeremy Bentham (act utilitarianism), and later being updated by scholars such as J.S. Mill (rule utilitarianism) and Peter Singer (preference utilitarianism). When referring to issues of business ethics, utilitarianism can allow companies to decide what to do in a given situation based on a simple calculation. Many people would agree that this idea of promoting goodness
The main principle of utilitarianism is happiness. People who follow this theory strive to fulfill the “ultimate good”. The “ultimate good” is defined as ultimate pleasure with out any pain. It is said that the pleasure can be of any quantity and any quality, but pleasures that are weighted more important are put at a higher level than others that are below it. This ethical theory also states that if society would fully embrace utilitarianism then people would naturally realize their moral standing in the
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.
Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill are two of the most notable philosophers in normative ethics. This branch of ethics is based on moral standards that determine what is considered morally right and wrong. This paper will focus on Immanuel Kant’s theory of deontology and J.S. Mill’s theory of utilitarianism. While Mill takes a consequentialist approach, focused on the belief that actions are right if they are for the benefit of a majority, Kant is solely concerned with the nature of duty and obligation, regardless of the outcome. This paper will also reveal that Kantian ethics, in my opinion, is a better moral law to follow compared to the utilitarian position.