The Ethical Theory Of Utilitarianism Essay

The Ethical Theory Of Utilitarianism Essay

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Zohra Javid
Professor Taylor
PHIL 2320
31 October 2015
Second Reaction Paper

o Consider the ethical theory of utilitarianism as discussed in chapters 7 and 8 of The Elements of Moral Philosophy. A. Explain the difference between act (classical) and rule versions of utilitarianism. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? B. Explain the drawbacks to consequentialist ethical theories? What potential factors do consequentialists exclude from ethical debates? And, what examples did John Stuart Mill provide in Utilitarianism to support his principle of utility in ethics? C. Use utilitarianism to analyze a contemporary moral dilemma not discussed in the book. Construct an argument for a particular moral stance regarding this dilemma. Provide at least one counter-argument and a rebuttal to the counter-argument.











Utilitarianism is when you determine rightness or wrongness of an action judged off the consequences. It’s a way to get the maximum number of happiness from the greatest amount of people, so if the majority of the people are content with the consequences then there’s no problem behind the action. The intentions you have behind an action determine whether you perform that action or not. Initially your intentions are to look at the greater “good” of the action and if that good outweighs the bad then you’ll probably initiate that action. There are two subcategories for utilitarianism; act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. Act Utilitarianism is the belief that an action is morally right because it produces the greatest good or happiness for the majority of the people. Rule Utilitarianism is the belief that any action is morally right depending on the morality of the rules that produce the greatest good....


... middle of paper ...


...eople were advocating for gay marriage so with that movement the case was moved to the highest branch of court. Utilitarianism has a part in this issue because it was split for the Supreme Court to make the decision on how majority of the people felt about this issue. Regardless of this being a human rights movement, the decision of the Supreme Court was probably persuaded by the amount of people that were for the legality of gay marriage. The Supreme Court could have ruled gay marriage illegal based off biased judgments or no impartiality but the rebuttal to that is it’s immoral to judge someone based on their sexuality.





Works Cited
Mill, John Stuart., and George Sher. Utilitarianism. Second ed. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1979. Print.
Rachels, James, and Stuart Rachels. The Elements of Moral Philosophy. Eighth ed. New: McGraw Hill Higher Education, 2015. Print.

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