Utilitarianism And Capital Punishment Essay

Utilitarianism And Capital Punishment Essay

Length: 1141 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Dominick Sperando
Utilitarianism and Capital Punishment:
In Utilitarian theory there is a constant debate within the population to determine whether something is considered ethical, the issue of capital punishment is no different. In regards to this theory, moral judgment is not clear-cut, but rather is circumstantial in nature. Though this is true, generally utilitarian views would side in moral favor with capital punishment. Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that states that the morally right decision is the one that creates the most good for the greatest number of people. Therefore, according to this theory a decision should be made in order to create the greatest utility, regardless of the action itself. The umbrella name for this form of ethical theory, of which utilitarianism is a part, is consequentialism. Stating that the action itself should not be judged in order gauge moral justification, but rather the end result is what allows for a reputable solution. This theory can be summarized in three claims known as the consequentialist claim, the happiness claim and the objectivity claim. The first stating that only the goodness of the results should be relevant in evaluating morality, as opposed to the intent. Secondly, only the amount of happiness that is created, or destroyed, by performing the action should be acknowledged. This means that in order for an action to be ethical it must create more happiness for more people than what happiness is lost as a result. Lastly, every person is an equal member in an ethical society; therefore one person’s happiness should not outweigh that of others. Whether you are a convicted criminal, or the president of your church group, your importance in deciding ethicality is the same. In...


... middle of paper ...


...le are wrongly accused, it is a human duty to be allowed to decide for themselves, such is the case with a jury of your peers.
There are supporters, and protestors, of this practice for a variety of reasons ranging from economical to ethical. The utilitarian view argues that it deters crime, and is a great benefit in creating the greatest utility of happiness. On the other hand, opponents of capital punishment advocate that it violates basic rights that we as humans hold. These, and many more theories, are a major component in understanding the morality of such an action. In order to gauge morality, it is easiest to focus on three things: the motivation, the act itself, and the consequences arising from it. There is no ‘right’ answer in regards to the ethical debate, but through research on prominent ethical theories we can begin to form a personal view on the topic.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Utilitarianism and Retributivism Views of Capital Punishment Essay

- The court handles all cases with extreme seriousness; however, different cases are handled differently. For instance, murder cases have different pre-trial procedures to be followed as compared to a case like violation of traffic rules. This paper outlines philosophers’ view of punishment and how the County District Court Division handles capital punishment. To begin with, punishment is an act that involves intentional infliction of agony or misery to a person for wrong doing, with the aim of correction....   [tags: Capital Punishment, Death Penalty]

Strong Essays
665 words (1.9 pages)

The Ethical Theory Of Utilitarianism Essay examples

- Through looking at a variety of literature and arguments surrounding the death penalty, it has been shown that the topic is and still remains to be controversial. In one instance, and from the view of the retributivists, the death penalty is seen as the appropriate course of action. In another it is seen as immorally wrong and a complete disregard for human life and human rights, with the latter forming the key basis of this argument, which will now be further discussed and analysed using the ethical theory of utilitarianism....   [tags: Utilitarianism, Morality, Capital punishment]

Strong Essays
1226 words (3.5 pages)

Essay Is Capital Punishment Ethical?

- Capital punishment is a difficult subject for a lot of people because many question whether or not it is ethical to kill a convicted criminal. In order to critically analyze whether or not it is ethical, I will look at the issue using a utilitarianism approach because in order to get a good grasp of this topic we need to look at how the decision will impact us in the future. The utilitarianism approach will help us to examine this issue and see what some of the consequences are with this topic of capital punishment....   [tags: Utilitarianism Analysis of Death Penalty]

Strong Essays
2399 words (6.9 pages)

Essay about Capital Punishment Is An Appropriate Penalty For Certain Crimes

- What is capital punishment. Historically, capital came from the Latin word capitalis, which means “regarding the head” to be beheaded. Throughout the years, capital punishment has evolved in many ways. People nowadays have been disagreeing about how and when capital punishment is being used. According to Mill, in Utilitarianism, that capital punishment is an appropriate penalty for certain crimes. In this paper, I will be agreeing with Mill about how capital punishment for certain crimes is right and that it is kinder to prisoners than life in prison....   [tags: Capital punishment, Murder, Prison, Penology]

Strong Essays
1185 words (3.4 pages)

Utilitarianism By John Stuart Mill Essay example

- Danielle Coker Professor John Lachs Phil 105 January 21, 2015 Utilitarianism “Utility” or the “greatest happiness principle holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure." (Mill 7) John Stuart Mills uses these words to describe what he believes the essence of utilitarianism to be. In his 1868 Speech on Capital Punishment entitled Utilitarianism, Mills defines and defends the theory of utilitarianism and its use in Ethics....   [tags: Utilitarianism, Human, John Stuart Mill, Pleasure]

Strong Essays
1158 words (3.3 pages)

Capital Punishment And The Death Penalty Essay example

- I. Thesis: As most, if not all killers are pathologically deranged, the risk of the death penalty does barely enough to cease them. II. Introduction: Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is a government empowered operation whereby an individual is subject to fatality by the state as a discipline for their wrongdoing. The death penalty is allowed in 31 states and not allowed in 19 states. The death penalty was restored I 1977 in North Carolina. The United States federal government administers the death penalty for cases: treason, terrorism, espionage, federal murder, and large-scale drug trafficking, and attempting to kill a witness, juror, or court officer in certain cases....   [tags: Capital punishment, Murder, Prison, Crime]

Strong Essays
978 words (2.8 pages)

Essay about Kant and Mill’s Positions on Capital Punishment

- Capital punishment is most commonly known as the death penalty or punishment by death for a crime. It is a highly controversial topic and many people and great thinkers alike have debated about it. Two well-known figures are Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill. Although both stand in favor of capital punishment, their reasons for coming to this conclusion are completely different. I personally stand against capital punishment, but my own personal view on it incorporates a few mixed elements from both individuals as well as my own personal insight....   [tags: Capital Punishment, Death Penalty]

Strong Essays
1862 words (5.3 pages)

Death Penalty Is A Morally Defensible Form Of Punishment Essay

- Punishment can be described as the deliberate infliction of suffering on a supposed or actual offender for an offense committed against the law. Mandatory sentencing, life imprisonment or death penalty are types of punishment. Death penalty today, is as controversial as it was many decades ago. The view on death penalty is mixed with opinions. The death penalty debate centers around whether executing criminals is ever a morally defensible form of punishment. The most popular and common argument in favor of death penalty, would be that a person who commits the murder forfeits another person’s right to life, why should he/she still have the right to life if he deprived someone else’s right....   [tags: Capital punishment, Murder, Amnesty International]

Strong Essays
736 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on The History of Capital Punishment

- Capital punishment is the killing of a person by a government as punishment for a crime committed. Typical crimes punishable by capital punishment range from murder related crimes like in the United States (Amnesty International, 2013) to homosexuality in some countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Uganda (Rupar, 2014) and refusal to renounce Christianity in an Islamic state in Sudan (Dixon, 2014). In the year 2012, 21 countries recorded state sponsored executions, with the total executions in the world in ranging in the thousands, due to the undocumented executions performed in China and about 75% of all executions in the world occurred in the three countries of Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia....   [tags: the death penalty in the modern era]

Strong Essays
1933 words (5.5 pages)

The Ethical Theory Of Utilitarianism Essay

- It has been shown that the topic is and still remains to be controversial. In one instance, and from the view of the retributivists, the death penalty is seen as the appropriate course of action. In another it is seen as immorally wrong and a complete disregard for human life and human rights, with the latter forming the key basis of this argument, which will now be further discussed and analysed using the ethical theory of utilitarianism. ‘’Utilitarianism is a normative ethical theory that places the focus of right and wrong solely on the outcomes (consequences) of choosing one action and or policy over others (Cavalier, 1996)’’....   [tags: Utilitarianism, Morality, Ethics]

Strong Essays
1194 words (3.4 pages)