Utilitarianism Analysis

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Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill are credited for developing the idea of utilitarianism. Simply put, utilitarianism is doing the most good for the greatest amount of people. In this ethical system, an individuals rights are essentially less important than the good of the majority. Happiness is what is valued in this ethical system. Ultimately, the action that leads to the most good is the right ethical action. Basically, no act is simply right or wrong, but rather it depends on the happiness that comes out doing that act. (Caleb, Utilitarianism critiques). In utilitarianism, "the end justifies the means. " Utilitarianism is not as much focused on the individual motivations and obligations, but is more so focused on the outcomes. (Caleb,…show more content…
This theory is credited to Immanuel Kant, whose rationality is universal. Kant says, " Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law. " In other words, you should treat others the way that you want to be treated. This system is based more so on moral rules and intuition than feelings such as happiness. (In deontology, "the end does not justify the means." Both the actions and the outcome has to be ethical. Contrary to utilitarianism, deontology says that we should not treat people as a means to an end, for it objectifies them. (Caleb,…show more content…
However, in some cases the conflict cannot be resolved with that mindset. For example, if a murderer would come to one 's doorstep and ask if they had any kids a person following deontology ethics one would have to say yes, for lying is morally wrong. However, in that situation utilitarianism would be ethically right for you would be choosing to do the action that would do the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people. Another reason why I think deontology appeals to me is because it essentially says to follow the golden rule; treat others the way you want to be treated. It is a system that says that people should not be treated as a means to an end, but rather as ends in themselves. (Ethics Theories). With those aspects of deontology I agree completely. Personally, I do not think that following a strictly utilitarianism system, or deontology system is reasonable. I think that often times it is situation based, for there are promises that need to kept for the greater good, and promises that need to broken. Sometimes you have to lie in order to not hurt someone, and sometimes lying is morally wrong. In sum, there is not one ethical system with which I agree with wholeheartedly, but there are aspects to both utilitarianism and deontology that appeal to
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