Example Of Consequentialism Essay

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Consequentialism is a theory stating morality is dependent on an action’s outcomes; the most noteworthy example of this theory is utilitarianism. Consequentialism is contested as critics find it overdemanding for application on the virtue of its extensiveness in the individual’s life and reliance on unpredictable consequences, and due to the depth of logic override necessary to maximise happiness in some situations. Rebuttals have been made, and in this essay, I will explain the principles of consequentialism and utilitarianism and argue that the refutations are unsuccessful.
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
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Imagine there was a murder, and the townsfolk are convinced a person is guilty. The sheriff has this person in custody, but knows they are innocent, and if released will be killed by the townsfolk. If he does not release them, the townsfolk will riot, and many will die. Should the sheriff protect the innocent person, or release them to die? Consequentialism, particularly act-utilitarianism, would commit to release, since this results in fewer deaths, seeming to maximise happiness. Consequentialist theory would be demanding here, as it would require going against intuitive instincts to not cause harm and would make us merely follow moral code like ethics machines rather than individuals with empathetic
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