The Ethical Theory, The Bombing Of Hiroshima And Of How The Theory Of A Good Life?

The Ethical Theory, The Bombing Of Hiroshima And Of How The Theory Of A Good Life?

Length: 1076 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview



What is a good life? How does one live a good life? And what makes a life worth living? All these questions have been the topic of debate for many centuries and influence the way in which many of us live. During this keynote address, I will be looking at how applying a Utilitarian Ethical framework assists an individual in living a good life. This will be achieved through an examination of Jeremy Bentham’s utilitarian ethical theory, the bombing of Hiroshima and of how the theory links to Christian perspectives.

Utilitarianism is a teleological ethical theory that focuses on the consequences of an act, not the act itself. Theorist, Jeremy Bentham believed that “morally appropriate behaviour will not harm others, but instead increase happiness or ‘utility’” (Mautner, 1997). However, unlike Aristotle’s ideology on eudemonia, which is known to be egotistic, Utilitarianism regards the happiness of others as more pertinent than the happiness of oneself, making it an altruistic theory. Bentham ultimately believed that “Nature placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. They (pain/pleasure) govern us in all, we do, in all we say, in all we think” (Bentham & Lafleur, 1948). It is this understanding of pain versus pleasure that drives the utilitarian mindset and influences an individual to act morally. In his introduction to Aristotle’s ethics, Professor J. Barnes stated that “the only ultimately good thing in the world is the happiness of sentient beings, and the only ultimate moral rule is one enjoining us to maximize the sum of that happiness” (Chattopadhyay, 1997). This philosophy reiterates utilit...


... middle of paper ...


...to live a good and ethical life one must strive to provide the most happiness for others.

The question still remains – What is a good life? For Aristotle, happiness was a “central purpose of human life and a goal in itself” (Desan, P., Ekram, D. T., Goldfinch, S., Kashdan, T. B., Park, D., & Setton, M., 2010). The ethical framework of utilitarianism takes this instinctual need for happiness as the basis of its belief systems, encouraging individuals to maximize pleasure and minimize pain for the greatest amount of people. A thorough understanding of this ideology, along with real-world applications of the theory and its connection with Christian perspectives influence individuals to critically analyze the consequences of their actions. It is for this reason that Jeremy Bentham’s Utilitarian ethical theory is essential in assisting individual’s to live a good life.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Nuclear Power And The Ethical Use Essay

- When it comes to the most crucial events in human history, world war 2 is bound to be mentioned. Throughout history mankind has perfected many tools and weapons for either agriculture or conflict. Though as we become wiser and progress, we need to bear responsibility. The two speeches I focused on deal with the subject of nuclear power and the ethical use. The authors are the inventor Albert Einstein and Harry Truman who gave some fascinating insight that I want to analyze. I 'll elaborate on Truman 's announcement of the bombing of Hiroshima....   [tags: Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki]

Better Essays
960 words (2.7 pages)

Utilitarianism : A Philosophical Theory Essay

- Utilitarianism is a philosophical theory in which the happiness of the greatest number of people in a community is considered to be the greatest good. According to me, I find utilitarianism the most compelling ethical theory among the three. Not only do I find utilitarianism more compelling but also some government systems such as the United States and many more prefer using this theory in their governing. In circumstances where a man is given the option to torture or kill another man to save a thousand lives....   [tags: Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki]

Better Essays
762 words (2.2 pages)

Utilitarianism : Dropping The Bomb Essay

- Utilitarianism: Dropping the Bomb On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped the first atomic bomb used in warfare against the city of Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later on August 9th, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. Just six days after the second atomic explosion, Japan announced its unconditional surrender to the United States after almost four years of war. Philosophers have argued that President Truman took a utilitarian point of morals when deciding to use nuclear weapons: do what is best for the largest number of people....   [tags: Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki]

Better Essays
1287 words (3.7 pages)

Essay about The Atomic Bombing Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki

- “My God, what have we done?” were the words that the co-pilot of Enola Gay wrote in his logbook after helping drop two bombs, one in Hiroshima and one in Nagasaki, that killed an estimated two-hundred thousand individuals. The bombings were completely unnecessary. Japan was already defeated because they lacked the necessary materials to continue a world war. The Japanese were prepared to surrender. There was no military necessity to drop the atomic bombs nor is there any factual information stating that the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were dropped to “save the lives of one million American soldiers.” The United States bombed Japan in August of 1945....   [tags: Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki]

Better Essays
1721 words (4.9 pages)

The Bombing Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki Essay

- World War II was the most devastating war in the world’s history, causing an immense amount of death, due to both battle and genocide. That being said, what marked the end of said war was the United States of America’s bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan (Frieden et al. 23). Prior to this, what had compelled the United States to take action in the war was the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 (Frieden et al. 22). To add, during the time of the United States joining the war, they had developed and “first tested [the atomic bomb] in New Mexico on July 16, 1945....   [tags: Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki]

Better Essays
917 words (2.6 pages)

The Bombing Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki Essay

- People often deal with moral dilemmas in which they have two options that are equally right and wrong. If one side from a situation is thought to be right and the other wrong altogether depends on the person’s moral view. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, some people may or may not agree that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was necessary. This topic is a moral dilemma however the Japanese did attempt to seek peace several ways to end the war and the United States’ justifications for bombing their cities appear irrational....   [tags: Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki]

Better Essays
709 words (2 pages)

The Atomic Bombing Of Hiroshima Essay

- The Greater The morning of the atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were like any other morning in Hiroshima, the air raid warnings went off at about 7am and ended at about 8am. With not a plane in site they got the all clear, at least that’s what was thought. America dropped one of the biggest atomic bombs made at the time right on Hiroshima, since the bomb the people and town of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have never been the same. After the bombing in Hiroshima the survivors had to go about their lives and move on from all the destruction brought upon them....   [tags: Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki]

Better Essays
1135 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Bombing Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki

- Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki At approximately 8:15 on Aug 6th 1945 a US B-29 bomber dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Instantly killing around 80,000 people, 3 days later, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, causing the deaths of roughly 40-80,000 more people. In the months following the attack, roughly 100,000 more people died slow, horrendous deaths as a result of radiation poisoning. In less than 100 hours two cities were completely destroyed and somewhere between 250-300,000 people were killed....   [tags: Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki]

Better Essays
1260 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on The Bombing Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki

- In the summer of 6th August, a uranium atomic bomb also known as Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima. Few days later on 9th August, the second uranium atomic bomb also known as Fat Man was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. The bombs, as described by observers caused a flash and went up about 570 meters above the city, vaporization anything or anyone that was anywhere near the explosion. Both of these bombs ended the war in a swift manner and spared the lives of many American soldiers. However, the total causalities for both bombs was 199,000 (atomicarchive.com)....   [tags: Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki]

Better Essays
778 words (2.2 pages)

The Nuclear Bombings Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki Essay

- Godzilla Takes Japan Is Godzilla a representation of a metaphor based on the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. This representation is brought to life in the 1954 Japanese original film "Godzilla” directed by Ishirō Honda. This essay will argue that Godzilla is portrayed as a metaphor produced by the bombings of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, as well as a Hydrogen bomb that was tested too close to a Japanese fishing vessel, Godzilla proves that Japan is cursed by the incidents that occurred on August 6-9th, 1945 and March 1st, 1954....   [tags: Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki]

Better Essays
1014 words (2.9 pages)