A consequentialist will assess both the positive and negative effects of an action before taking it. According to this theory, the best result can be obtained by a reasonable judgement of a person. Utilitarianism is another way of representing consequentialism. Utilitarianism is a theory that suggests that it is morally right when an action brings positive consequences not just to one person, or one community, in that
In conclusion, Utilitarianism does provide an adequate basis for making moral decisions to an extent as it is good and morally right to promote as much happiness as possible and the greatest good for the greatest number is therefore right. However the principle of justice and individual rights are ignored in Utilitarianism especially where autonomy and deterrence are concerned, as the innocent should definitely not be punished. BIBLIOGRAPHY ============ 1. Utilitarianism For and Against --------------- J.J.C. Smart, Bernard Williams Cambridge University Press 1973 2.
What I have found to be most interesting about both Deontology and Utilitarianism isn’t their approach to ethics, but rather their end goal. Deontology promotes “good will” as the ultimate good; it claims that each and every person has duties to respect others. On the other hand, Utilitarianism seeks to maximize general happiness. While these may sound rather similar at first glance (both ethical theories essentially center around treating people better), a deeper look reveals different motivations entirely. Deontology focuses on respecting the autonomy and humanity of others, basically preaching equal opportunity.
This is a view that goes by “the greatest good for the greatest number.” This means that the more people who are happy and can benefit from a certain action is the morally right thing to do. Happiness, in utilitarianism, comes from pleasure and the absence of pain, and unhappiness comes from the deprivation of pleasure which then would equal pain. The utilitarian approach to morality insinuates that no moral act or rule is essentially right or wrong. Instead, the rightness or wrongness of either an act or rule, is entirely a matter of the overall nonmoral good (pleasure, happiness, satisfaction of individual desire) produced in the consequences of doing that act or following that rule. In a nutshell, morality is a means to an end, but it is not an end in itself.
Kant and Mill’s point of view on the actions of Paul J. Hill will be presented based on their theories. Lastly, I will explain why I believe that Kant’s theory provides a more plausible account of morality. Kantianism and Utilitarianism are two theories that attempt to answer the moral nature of human beings. Immanuel Kant’s moral system is based on a belief that reason is the final authority for morality. John Stuart Mill’s moral system is based on the theory known as utilitarianism, which is based upon utility, or doing what produces the greatest happiness.
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.
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.
Mills responds to this objection by explaining how secondary moral reasoning and the fundamental principle of morality are taken into account when deciding what promotes the most overall happiness. After explaining his argument, I believe Mill succeeds in responding to the objection, he explains why it shouldn’t be a problem when weighing the best possible outcome by using the secondary moral rule as the first principle. According to Mill, there are several elements to the principle of utility. First, it allows people to choose the action that promotes the most happiness. As stated, Mill believes that an action is right if it promotes happiness and an action is wrong if it promotes pain.
The objection is refuted by stating that Utilitarianism promotes greater happiness, not unjust actions. The latter may be necessary to achieve consequences whose benefit outweighs both the unjustness of the actions and the benefit from consequences that could be obtained by following common sense morality.
Kantian Morality Kant's theory of morality seems to function as the most feasible in determining one's duty in a moral situation. The basis for his theory is perhaps the most noble of any-- acting morally because doing so is morally right. His ideas, no matter how occasionally vague or overly rigid, work easily and efficiently in most situations. Some exceptions do exist, but the strength of those exceptions may be somewhat diminished by looking at the way the actual situations are presented and the way in which they are handled. But despite these exceptions, the process Kant describes of converting maxims to universal laws to test their moral permissibility serves, in general, as a useful guide to and system of ethics and morality.