Essay on Utilitarianism And The Right Action

Essay on Utilitarianism And The Right Action

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Utilitarianism says that the right action is the one that brings about the most overall happiness. No other moral rule has universal validity. According to Rachels, Utilitarianism is known as “we should always do whatever will produce the greatest possible balance of happiness over unhappiness for everyone who will be affected by our action” (Rachels). Utilitarianism has three main principles. Consequentialism says that the actions are to be judged right or wrong solely by virtue of their consequences. Hedonism states that in assessing consequences, the only thing that matters are the amount of happiness/unhappiness that is caused. The Equality Principle states that each person’s happiness counts the same. The two most important objections to utilitarianism are Consequentialism and the Equality Principle. The replies to Consequentialism and the Equality Principle, shows that Utilitarianism is not a plausible moral theory, therefore, Utilitarianism should be rejected.
One of the three attacks of this theory that objects Utilitarianism is Consequentialism. One example of Consequentialism is the Rights. One of the three chosen are the rights. An example for the rights is when a Peeping Tom is spying on a woman through her bedroom window and is taking pictures of her secretly of her undressing. If the Peeping Tom is never caught and if he doesn’t show anyone the pictures, then no one is being affected in this case. For this action, the only consequence of this situation is that it gains his own happiness. Even the woman in this situation is not caused any unhappiness. Therefore, Utilitarianism is unacceptable in this case due to not being able to tell if the Peeping Tom’s actions are morally right or morally wrong. The actions of t...

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...f these attacks would not bring about the best consequences. If we focus on all the consequences, a utilitarian would say that we should do more to help others rather then thinking that Utilitarianism is “too demanding.” If we think that Utilitarianism is too demanding, then we are being selfish. This reply says that if we focus on those who are starving, then Utilitarianism does not seem “too demanding.” In reality, if a person is constantly giving to those in need, he/she will eventually lose everything and will not be able to pursue their goals in life. Therefore, the Equality Principle is also unacceptable.
Overall, the conclusion can be made that the two most important objections to utilitarianism, Consequentialism and the Equality Principle, both are unacceptable. Therefore, Utilitarianism is not a plausible moral theory making utilitarianism to be rejected.

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