The Terri Schiavo case was a huge start of the “Right to Die” movement, the underlying cause of Schiavo’s collapse was never given a diagnosis. Consequentialist moral theories focus on how much good can result from an action. Non Consequentialist moral theories or Deontological theories, consider not the consequences of an action but whether they fulfill a duty. Some theories that can be used include utilitarianism, Kant’s ethics and natural law theory. Being aware of the case already, I believe there should be some sort of law that gives doctors to comply with the wishes of the patient if they are in a lot of distress.
With World War II leaving high tensions between the United States and the USSR, and both nations assuming a policy of mutual destruction the president was commonly forced to make powerful choices that could determine the fate of billions of lives. In Fall-Safe(1964) a group of pilots routinely fly out to their fail safe zones upon the US’s command base issuing an alert due to a off-course civilian jet. However, one group of pilots received a false go and traveled beyond their fail safe point to bomb Moscow, leaving it up to the president to stop a potential all-out war with the USSR. Analyzing the president’s actions with a utilitarian position, we can arrive at the conclusion that the president acted morally despite the unspeakable consequences of his actions.
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.
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.
Otto Adolf Eichmann was one of the most important members of the Nazi Party who was accused of crimes against the Jewish people and humanity during World War 2. After the war, he went to Argentina to escape prosecution but was captured there by Israeli agents and was transferred to Israel to be judged. During the trial, Eichmann’s defense was based on Kant’s duty-based ethical theory and categorical Imperative since he overstated many times that he was only following orders. By enouncing Kantian ethical theory, Eichmann acquitted himself from moral guilt.
The divine command theory, utilitarianism, Kant’s duty defined morality, natural law theory, and Aristotle’s virtue ethics are the five types of ethical theories. The divine command theory states that what is morally right and wrong will be decided by God. Utilitarianism states that “Action “A” is morally right if and only if it produces the greatest amount of overall happiness. Kant’s duty defined morality states that what is important is acting for the sake of producing good consequences, no matter what the act is. Natural law theory states that people should focus on the good and avoid any evil. The last theory is Aristotle’s virtue ethics which states that we should move from the concern towards good action and to focus on the concern with good character. This paper argues that Aristotle’s virtue ethics is better than the other ethical theories.
Utilitarianism is one of the best ethical approaches that can be used to justifying a right action from a wrong action by focusing on the outcome of the path taken. The most important thing is that the action taken to achieve a certain outcome has to be of the greater benefit of the society at large. Whether the outcome is bad, it can be used to morally justify some deeds regardless of how inhumane they can be. On the other side, utilitarianism also does not justify everything because it is difficult at time to predict whether the actions taken will be good or bad at the end. Additionally, values cannot be accounted for. It cannot account for social justice and other human rights. Since utilitarianism
John Stuart Mill, at the very beginning of chapter 2 entitled “what is utilitarianism”. starts off by explaining to the readers what utility is, Utility is defined as pleasure itself, and the absence of pain. This leads us to another name for utility which is the greatest happiness principle. Mill claims that “actions are right in proportions as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.” “By Happiness is intended pleasure and the absence of pain, by happiness, pain and the privation of pleasure”. (Mill, utilitarianism, p.697)
Utilitarianism is one of the best-known theory under the consequentialism, and its idea is the Greatest Happiness Principle(GHP). According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Utilitarian believe that the purpose of morality is to
Utilitarianism is a highly acclaimed theory that is morally based on consequentialism. In essence, consequentialism is the ideology that justifies its action by producing the greater good (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Some may refer to the principle of utility as the greatest happiness principle. Utilitarianism was fully developed by a British philosopher named John Stuart Mill. There are two types of utilitarianism: Act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. Act Utilitarianism is a belief in which, an individual’s actions are moral as long as the actions produce the greatest outcome possible. Rule utilitarianism is a belief in which, an action is morally right, as long as it justified in accordance to a particular law. Utilitarianism is less complicated to understand (compared to other moral theories) because it consists of “doing whatever produces the best consequences” (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Virtue Ethics). Mill viewed the greatest happiness principle as the cornerstone of morals, he
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
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 morality of an action is determined by the outcome of that action. At an initial glance, Utilitarianism seems as if it would be a superior way to live a life full of good will, as it is focused on doing the most
Consequentialists, as aforementioned, strive to create best overall consequences for the largest amount of people. 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
Utilitarianism:- this is the concept used by Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) and the John Stuart Mill (1806-1873). The core idea of this theory is the results comes from the action taken by the group of people or the individual. According to theory the outcomes will be judged weather the action was morally right or wrong. As per this theory the outcome of any action should minimize the pain and maximize the pleasure. The utilitarianism have two groups one is the Act utilitarian’s focun on the effects of individual actions (Such as Nathuram Godse’s assassination of Mahatma Gandhi) and another is rule utilitarian’s those focus on the effects of types of actions (such as killing or stealing)
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