Utilitarianism Vs. Hedonism : Utilitarianism And Hedonism Essay

Utilitarianism Vs. Hedonism : Utilitarianism And Hedonism Essay

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A moral theory should be one’s guide when deciding whether an action is either good or bad, wrong or right. There are many types of moral theories to choose from, but we will only focus on two: utilitarianism and ancient hedonism. These theories meet in their pursuit of something greater, for hedonism it’s personal pleasure while for utilitarianism it is happiness for the greater number of people. In this work, the differences and the similarities of utilitarianism and hedonism will be pointed out after explaining them separately.
Utilitarianism is defined to be “the view that right actions are those that result in the most beneficial balance of good over bad consequences for everyone involved” (Vaughn 64). In other words, for a utilitarian, the consequences of an action should be favorable for the majority of person involved. The author continues with “ [.] we should maximize the nonmoral good (the utility) of everyone affected, regardless of the contrary urgings of moral rules or unbending moral principles” (Vaughn 64). An action is then only valuable according to its utility, which should be worth violating the most important moral rules for. It should however be a “good” action. An action that results in the best possible outcomes for the most individuals involved. “The crucial thing that distinguishes utilitarianism from other moral theories is the claim that maximizing human welfare is the only thing that determines the rightness of actions.” (McMillan). A utilitarian’s action main goal should be to increase the happiness of other persons.
Happiness is a utilitarian’s main goal however utilitarians differ in how they pursue it, and this why utilitarianism is divided between act utilitarianism, which with Jeremy Bentham...


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...ents hands. Kant also expected us to treat ourselves as end and never merely as a mean. We must develop our talents, respect ourselves and never allowed anyone to treat us bad.
Another example of treating people has a mean was the ISIS example discussed in class. ISIS stands for “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” and has been terrorizing Syria and Iraq by going to small villages killing innocent and mostly unarmed people. That group also beheaded several foreign journalists. They claim that their actions are done for a greater cause. The many people that they killed were all used as simple objects in their greater good. Those people were not respected or treated with dignity.
Kant believed mostly that everyone was equal and deserved to be treated the same, with respect and dignity. No one should be treated has a mean but rather as a end. His categorical imperative

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