Utilitarianism Essay

979 words - 4 pages

Utilitarianism Essay 13Utilitarian EssayAnalyzing Utilitarianism10/5/14Analyzing UtilitarianismLife is full of choices and many of those choices come with a price. It is up to us as individuals to weigh out the cost and results of the choices we make. Ethical decisions are made constantly and it is up to the individual person to make the right one, the one that benefits the greater amount of people. It can be difficult when making important decisions because sometimes the results do not benefit the individual making the decision. It can be difficult to put selfish needs and wants before making the correct choices in order to benefit others instead. Therefore, using the utilitarian theory will help individuals keep what is most important in mind when acting on an ethical situation.UtilitarianismUtilitarianism can be explained in different ways, some may think of it as general morals that people follow in order to bring happiness to the greatest number. The key point to utilitarianism is the moral theory in which the acts conducted by society or an individual are morally correct when they're ultimate results lead to or create happiness (Wilkens, 2011). The utilitarian theory also focuses on the quality of outcomes and not just the quantity of individuals that the outcomes affect. As a community we are meant to consider all who our decisions affect.Quantitative vs. QualitativeQuantitative utilitarianism is when a decision is based on benefiting the greater amount of people. In contrast qualitative utilitarianism has a better effect if the person can measure the results of their decision and it resulting in the greatest happiness. For example if there were to be two drowning individuals and one of them was the victim of violence and the other was the attacker, if there were any witnesses that tried to jump in to help they would be more likely to save the victim than to save the attacker. That judgment call would be based on them witnessing the character of the individual causing harm. If it were the other way around and the attacker was saved instead of the victim, someone else is more likely to become a victim of that person and then you would have saved someone not for the greater good but someone who will victimize even more in the future. Mill describes the qualitative as pleasures and states that they "differ in their intrinsic nature" depending on how happy it made a person and for how long (Fletcher, 2008).Strengths vs. WeaknessesThere are four major parts to utilitarianism and the first one is how to find the greatest good for everyone using utility. The second point is not to be selfish and just consider one's self but to also consider those around the situation. The third is to evaluate what the decisions made would affect in the long term. An action is made as long as it reaches the greatest amount of benefit. John Stewart Mill helps us reflect the way we think about the way we respond to...

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