What Is Utilitarianism?

1023 Words5 Pages
Ernazar Kamal
Utilitarianism is an ethical theory, which determines the moral value by its utility. According to utilitarian opinion, the action is morally good, if it brings an overall maximum happiness. In this theory, as in consequentialism, consequence is important, and is some cases only matters. It is believed that one would achieve happiness, when there would be a pleasure and no pain. (John Stuart 2013) However, it is important to understand that utilitarianism considers not only the quantity, but also quality of the pleasure. For example, John Stuart (p. 417, 2013) classified pleasure as negative, simply sense pleasures, and positive, which is mental or intellectual pleasures. Obviously, positive pleasures have more
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Let’s us call first patient A, who needs a new lung, and the second one B, who needs a new heart. The problem here is that the doctor does not have any donors, and these patients are dying. However, there is an option to kill a healthy man, let’s be a C, and take his organs to save previous two patients. According to utilitarian opinion, it is morally permissible to kill C, to save A and B. If we look explicitly, by killing one healthy man, two others, who needs organ, can be saved and if we subtract total pain (death of a healthy man) from total happiness (happiness of two), a net positive happiness would be the result. It is followed that for the utilitarian, the only thing matters is the net gain of happiness, even it involves killing people. (Harris…show more content…
These two groups are in peace; however, the peace is very fragile. Let’s imagine that one day, a woman from X was rapped and killed, and it was supposed that this crime was committed by someone from Y. The judge of this town realizes that if he does not sentence someone from Y, even it would be an innocent person, people from X will start lynching and the consequence would be conflicts between these two groups. From the point of view of utilitarianism, the judge shall to pick out someone, even this person did not commit this crime, and make a sentence. If the judge will do so, the town will be calmed and there will be no bad consequences.
However, it is morally bad to punish innocent one, even it will increase overall happiness, because by doing so, the right of the person is violated. The possible objection for this example can be formulated in the following way: If the judge will refuse to punish the innocent one to calm down the town, then there will be lynching or massacre between X and Y, consequently, there will be more victims. More victims would mean more pain and less
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