Kraut, Richard. "Plato (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University, 16 Aug. 2011. Web.
Justice and Honesty: Rules in Utilitarianism Reconsidered Utilitarianism, with the Principle of Utility or Greatest Happiness Principle being its core, is a consequentialist theory which attaches the greatest importance to the consequences of each action. While acting justly and honestly may not always bring the best consequences, some criticize its conflicts between traditional moral rules or virtues, such as justice and honesty. To answer the challenge, it is essential to distinguishing two kinds of utilitarianism, one being act-utilitarianism and the other being rule-utilitarianism. In order to focus on the question about the relationship between the two moral rules and utilitarianism, I am not going to compare which kind of utilitarianism is more convincing. Rather, I argue that both types of utilitarianism could avoid the conflicts mentioned before, and could account for the significance of justice and honesty.
Rush Shafer-Landau believes that to act morally is to act rationally due to his core belief involving moral desire and duty. He believes that an individual’s moral obligations endorse reasons for actions that fallow that particular moral need. Therefor an individual has reason to do what is moral. ( Shafer-Landau, 2007). Many of the argument used to support his ideas involve real world application and thought experiments.
Max Stirner. Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 11th July, 2010, from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/max-stirner/ Mill, J. (n.d). Utilitarianism.
Contrastingly to both, meta-ethics is the study of the meaning of ethics itself, gauging the meaning of ethical language, and taking into consideration the authority of moral claims and the effects of personal preference. Bearing this in mind, it is possible to note that meta-ethical theory poses questions such as 'Can we define which action is 'good', 'bad', 'right', or 'wrong'?' and again, 'Is it possible to give a definition to 'good', 'bad', 'right', or 'wrong' in themselves?' Admittedly, all four of these words are related from a moral point of view. But, if we could measure 'good' completely and accurately, then we would be able to mea... ... middle of paper ... ...tion.
Consequentialist ethical theory suggests that right and wrong are the consequences of our actions. It is only the consequences that determine whether our actions are right or wrong. Standard consequentialism is a form of consequentialism that is discussed the most. It states that “the morally right action for an agent to perform is the one that has the best consequences or that results in the most good.” It means that an action is morally correct if it has little to no negative consequences, or the one that has the most positive results. A consequentialist will assess both the positive and negative effects of an action before taking it.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/realism/ (accessed May 27, 2011).
Retrieved from http://newworldencyclopedia.org Goodman, R. (2009). Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/james/#3 Goodwin, C. J. (2008). A history of modern psychology (3rd ed.).
This delineates it from the deontological schools (e.g. ; Kant’s Categorical Imperative) which emphasize certain rules or obligations which are necessarily moral for reasons separated from people and consequences. Consequentialism focuses on the consequences of the actions to judge moral value; utilitarianism is an example of this school and states that the right thing to do is what maximizes overall utility (Hursthouse, Rosalind, Stanford Encylopedia). These different branches are often philosophically challenged in discourse and also in real life examples of moral dilemmas. Their distinct approaches to judging morality in our world make them mutually exclusive theories.