Utilitarianism Essay

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In philosophy, utilitarianism argues that a pleasure state of being is preferred over a painful state of being. Utilitarianism also notes that all human utility must be taken into account when making moral judgments. Using this moral theory allows us to think that all moral rules and actions should be determined by their worth and future outcome. Though the idea of “the greatest good for the greatest number” may seem moral and correct, the flaw in utilitarianism is that it allows us to use immoral judgments and actions to reach the desired outcome. This becomes a problem for “moral” decision making because we can use immoral actions to get a future outcome that is not necessarily promised. For example, this moral theory can permit us to kill one person to save a group of people if it produces a better outcome. As a relatively moral being, I would say that murder is unacceptable behavior because it is not justified in many situations. Another problem with this theory is that we can’t always agree on the meaning of a “good” or “happy” outcome. Utilitarianism says it is based on outcomes, but none of us are truly able to predict all the consequences of an act. If I killed one person to save a group of people, how can I be sure that everyone will live in the end? If everyone dies, then I will have killed one human life with the hopes that it would have created a better outcome. Utilitarianism allows us to make up these fantasies in our own heads about the future of our actions. As a society, we generally see ourselves as intelligent moral beings who don’t typically partake in negative actions. However, one person can think they are right in their actions and morals, but deem another person’s actions or morals unfit. Act utilitarianis... ... middle of paper ... ...s. I believe that this moral theory makes the most sense and it is what most people rely on when making important decisions. Since the future is unpredictable, this theory allows us to use our own judgment regardless of duties or outcomes. In our lives, people generally do as they want or believe is right, to produce what they think will create satisfaction and happiness. I think that each situation we face in live doesn’t have to be constricted to one moral theory. In order to make good decisions, I believe an intelligent being would weigh all possibilities in a given situation. These moral theories should be combined when dealing with problems. The issue with these moral theories separately, is that it confines us to only one way of thinking. We must consider outcomes, stick to our duties, and trust that our own virtues will allow us to make the best decisions.

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