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Utilitarianism As An Ethical Theory

Content
  1. B) WHAT IS BUSINESS ETHICS ?
  2. Utilitarianism as an moral theory
  3. The Basic Notion of Utilitarianism
  4.  
  1.  
  2. The Greatest Happiness Principle
  3.  
  4.  
  5.  
  6. Background on Utilitarianism
  7.  
  8. Proponents emphasized that utilitarianism was an egalitarian doctrine. Everyone's delight counts similarly.
  9. Utilitarianism and the Enlightenment
  10.  
  11. The science of the Enlightenment highlighted theories with an extremely few general regulations and vast explanatory vitality. Newton's regulations, for example, seemed able to are the cause of every one of the movement in the world. Utilitarianism fit right in: it was an ethical theory compatible with science and featuring a single laws of morality with great explanatory electricity. It was a sort of technology of morality.
  12. Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism
  13.  
  14. Utilitarianism identifies the Good as pleasure without pain. So, matching to Utilitarianism, our one moral work is to increase pleasure and minimize pain.
  15. Basic Information of Utililitarianism
  16. The reason for morality is to help make the world a better place.
  17. Morality is approximately producing good results, not having good intentions
  18. We should do whatever provides the most profit (i. e. , intrinsic value) to all or any of mankind.
  19. The reason for Morality
  20. The utilitarian has a simple response to the question of why morality exists in any way:
  21. The reason for morality is to steer people's actions so concerning produce a much better world.
  22. Consequently, the emphasis in utilitarianism is on implications, not motives.
  23. Fundamental Imperative
  24. The fundamental imperative of utilitarianism is:
  25. The emphasis is evidently on results, not intentions.
  26. We often speak of "utilitarian" solutions in a disparaging build, but in truth utilitarianism is a requiring moral position that often asks us to put aside self-interest with regard to the complete.
  27. Utilitarianism is a morally requiring position for just two reasons:
  28. It always asks us to do the most, to maximize utility, not to do the minimum.
  29. It asks us to set besides personal interest.
  30. The Imagine Utilitarianism: Bringing Scientific Certainty to Ethics
  31. Utilitarianism offers us a powerful vision of the moral life, one which promises to reduce or eliminate moral disagreement.
  32. If we can agree that the purpose of morality is to help make the world a much better place; and
  33. If we can medically determine various possible lessons of action to find out that may have the greatest positive influence on the earth; then
  34. We provides a scientific response to the question of what we ought to do.
  35. Intrinsic Value
  36. Utilitarianism offers us a powerful eye-sight of the moral life, the one which promises to reduce or eliminate moral disagreement.
  37. If we can agree that the goal of morality is to help make the world an improved place; and
  38. If we can clinically assess various possible courses of action to ascertain that will have the greatest positive influence on the earth; then
  39. We can offer a scientific answer to the question of what we must do.
  40. Bentham believed that people should try to boost the overall amount of pleasure on the planet.
  41. Pleasure
  42. Easy to quantify
  43. Short duration
  44. Bodily
  45. Criticisms
  46. Came to be known as "the pig's beliefs"
  47. Ignores higher values
  48. Could justify living over a pleasure machine
  49. Bentham's godson
  50. Believed that delight, not pleasure, ought to be the standard of utility.
  51. Happiness
  52. Advantages
  53. A higher standard, more specific to humans
  54. About realization of goals
  55. Disadvantages
  56. More difficult to measure
  57. Competing conceptions of happiness
  58. Ideal Values
  59. G. E. Moore recommended that people should make an effort to maximize ideal values such as flexibility, knowledge, justice, and beauty.
  60. The world might not exactly be an improved place with an increase of pleasure in it, but it really will be an improved place with more independence, more knowledge, more justice, and even more beauty.
  61. Moore's applicants for intrinsic good remain difficult to quantify.
  62. Preferences
  63. Kenneth Arrow, a Nobel Award earning Stanford economist, argued that what has intrinsic value is preference satisfaction.
  64. The good thing about Arrow's approach is that, in effect, it lets people decide for themselves what has intrinsic value. It simply identifies intrinsic value as whatever satisfies an agent's preferences. It is fashionable and pluralistic.
  65. The Utilitarian Calculus
  66. Math and ethics finally combine: all consequences must be measured and weighed.
  67. Units of measurement:
  68. Hedons: positive
  69. Dolors: negative
  70. What do we determine?
  71. Hedons/dolors may be described in terms of
  72. Pleasure
  73. Happiness
  74. Ideals
  75. Preferences
  76. For any given action, we must calculate:
  77. How many people will be infected, negatively (dolors) as well as favorably (hedons)
  78. How intensely they'll be affected
  79. Similar calculations for all available alternatives
  80. Utilitarians would need to calculate:
  81. Benefits
  82. Costs
  83. Multiply each factor by
  84. How much can we quantify?
  85. Pleasure and desire satisfaction are easier to quantify than happiness or ideals
  86. Two unique issues:
  87. Can everything be quantified?
  88. Are quantified goods actually commensurable?
  89. Utilitarianism doesn't will have a cool and determining face-we perform utilitarian computations in everyday living.
  90. OBJECTIONS TO UTILITARINISM
  91.  
  92. Utilitarianism = Hedonism?
  93.  
  94. Objection: There exists more alive than pleasure; knowledge, virtue and other activities are important too. Utilitarianism is a doctrine valuable only of swine.
  95. Reply: Utilitarianism requires that people consider everyone's pleasure, not simply our very own. Also, says Mill, there is certainly more to life than physical pleasure. Pleasures of the "higher faculties" (including intellectual pleasures inaccessible to lower animals) are of top quality than physical pleasures (and therefore count to get more).
  96.  
  97. Mill: "It is better to be always a individual dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; easier to be Socrates dissatisfied when compared to a fool satisfied. In case the fool, or the pig, is of a different opinion, it is only because they only know their own area of the question".
  98.  
  99. Is Utilitarianism too Demanding?
  100.  
  101. Objection: Utilitarianism implies that we should always act in order to increase enjoyment; this is too demanding a need. It really is requesting too much of folks to be always determined to promote the overall happiness.
  102.  
  103. Mill's Reply: ". . . no system of ethics requires that the only real motive of most we do shall be a feeling of duty; on the other hand, ninety-nine hundredths of most our activities are done from other motives, and rightly so. . . the purpose has nothing to do with the morality of the action. . . the great majority of good activities are designed not for the benefit of the world, but for that of people, of which the good of the world is made up. "
  104.  
  105. Many people have questioned whether this reply is adequate. No matter motivation, Utilitarianism does indeed require that people always act to maximize overall enjoyment.
  106.  
  107. Not enough time?
  108.  
  109. Objection: In real life, we don't have enough time to calculate the consequences of our actions on the general contentment. Therefore, utilitarianism is ineffective.
  110.  
  111. Mill's Reply: "There's been ample time, specifically, the whole previous duration of the individuals varieties. During all that time, mankind have been learning by experience. . . the consequences of some actions on their pleasure; and the values that have thus drop are the rules of morality. . . "
  112. Subordinate Rules
  113.  
  114. Examples:
  115. Keep the promises
  116. Don't cheat
  117. Don't steal
  118. Obey the law
  119.  
  120. Subordinate guidelines are what we'd normally call "commonsense morality".
  121. According to Mill, these are rules that have a tendency to promote delight, so we ought to internalize them as good rules to follow. They are learned through the experience of many decades.
  122.  
  123. But subordinate guidelines are that: subordinate. If it is clear that breaking a subordinate guideline would result in much more enjoyment than following it, then you should break it.
  124. Breaking Subordinate Rules
  125.  
  126. In some cases it may be necessary to execute a direct utility computation:
  127. When you are in an different situation that the guidelines don't cover.
  128. Once the subordinate rules turmoil.
  129. While you are deciding which guidelines to look at or instruct.
  130.  
  131. Euthanasia or "mercy getting rid of" (the getting rid of of the innocent to be able to get rid of pointless suffering) is an excellent exemplory case of something that violates a subordinate rule (Don't wipe out innocents) but can be justified on utilitarian grounds in strange circumstances.
  132. Predicting the Future
  133.  
  134. Objection: Utilitarianism requires that people know what the consequences of our actions will be, but this is impossible. We can't predict the near future.
  135.  
  136. Reply: It's true that we can't predict the future with certainty. So, we should perform the action that people have most reason to imagine provides about the best implications of the alternatives available.
  137.  
  138. Example: You need $2000 to pay some medical charges. To get the extra $, you can either (a) acquire some money now, and repay it later by working extra time, or (b) spend all your money on lottery tickets and trust that you get big. It is possible that you will win the lottery, but this is not likely. Given the probabilities, it is more sensible to believe borrowing money provides more delight.
  139.  
  140. Individual Rights
  141.  
  142. A Thought experiment: The Case of the Inhospitable Hospital
  143. Suppose that Jack port is in the hospital for routine tests, and there are people there who need vital organs immediately. A health care provider has the chance to kill Jack port and make his death look natural. It would maximize happiness to cut Jack port up and present his heart to one patient, his liver to some other, his kidneys to still others, and so forth. (Our company is supposing that the organs are good fits, and the other patients will perish if they don't get them). Utilitarianism appears to imply that the physician should kill Jack for his organs. But that would be morally incorrect.
  144. Thought Experiments
  145.  
  146. Scientific Experimentation: Researchers create situations in laboratories to be able to test their ideas. They need to determine what would happen when certain conditions hold-if what actually happens under those conditions will abide by what their theory predicts will happen, and then the theory is verified. Usually, the theory is falsified.
  147.  
  148. A thought test is a hypothetical situation that we create in our minds to be able to test a philosophical theory. The hypothetical situation should be something which could actually happen (and in many cases, it is something that has actually occurred, or may happen in the future). In order that we can test the theory, the theory will need to have an implication about what would be true if the hypothetical situation were real. We are able to then compare this implication to our own beliefs about the thought test. When the implication of the idea agrees with our own beliefs, then the theory is established (to some extent). If it does not, then we should ask ourselves, "Which can be wrong: the idea or my values?" It is reasonable to stick to our beliefs until the information is against them.
  149.  
  150. Important Note: It doesn't subject whether the hypothetical situation is likely to occur. When a theory has a false implication about something that could happen, then your theory is incorrect (on that point, at least).
  151.  
  152. More examples affecting Individual Rights
  153.  
  154. Exploitation: The early Romans used slaves as gladiators, forcing those to deal with to the fatality for entertainment. Is it right to force a small quantity of individuals to be gladiators if it gives millions of people pleasure? Would it not be morally acceptable to pay people to battle to the death?
  155. Ruthlessness: Chief executive Truman ordered atomic bombs to be fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, realizing that plenty of non-combatants would be killed, to conserve more lives by closing the warfare. Believe that your choice did bring about fewer lives lost. Was it morally right?
  156. Paternalism: Suppose that banning certain types of junk food and snack foods would result in millions of people living longer, better lives. Would such analysis be morally justified?
  157.  
  158. Utilitarian Responses
  159. The Doctrine of Negative Responsibility
  160.  
  161. We are in charge of the foreseeable consequences of the options we make.
  162. Sometimes we choose to act, and sometimes we choose not to. In any event, we could making a choice that has effects.
  163. Therefore, our company is just as responsible for the foreseeable implications that we fail to prevent as for those that we result in directly.
  164.  
  165. This means that "I didn't take action" is not necessarily a good defense. The best defense is "I couldn't have avoided it. "
  166. Negative Responsibility?
  167.  
  168. Hostage Issue Thought Experiment:
  169.  
  170. Terrorists are positioning you and fifty other people as hostages inside a building. Really the only leave has been blocked and three of the hostages have been strapped to the door, mounted on explosives. The terrorist innovator offers you a decision.
  171.  
  172. Either
  173. (i) you can switch on a detonator that will inflate the exit, getting rid of the three
  174. hostages strapped to it but allowing the others to flee, or
  175. (ii) you can decrease and the terrorists will wipe out everyone.
  176.  
  177. You imagine (and have good reason to believe) that the terrorist leader is honest. What should you do?
  178.  
  179. Some people would dispute that:
  180. "It is horrible that everyone will be wiped out, but I have no right to wipe out anyone myself. I am responsible for my own actions; the terrorist is accountable for his. If he eliminates everyone, then that is his bad, not mine. But easily activate the detonator, then I will have committed an act of evil. Therefore, I am morally obligated to adopt option (ii). "
  181. Criticisms of Utilitarianism
  182. Responsibility
  183. Discuss Bernard Williams' exemplory case of Jim in the village
  184. Imagine a terrorist situation where in fact the terrorists say that they will get rid of their hostages if we do not meet their requirements. We won't meet their demands. Are we accountable for what goes on to the hostages?
  185. Imagine someone like Sadam Hussein putting children in targets likely to be bombed to be able to deter bombing by america. If we bomb our original targets, are we responsible if those children are wiped out by our bombing?
  186. Integrity
  187. Discuss Bernard Williams on the chemist example.
  188. Develop a deviation on Jim in the village, substituting a mercenary soldier and then Martin Luther King, Jr. for Jim. Does this substitution change lives?
  189. Intentions
  190. There is a version of utilitarianism called "motive utilitarianism, " developed by Robert Adams, which makes an attempt to correct this.
  191. Moral Luck
  192. We can see right now activities with good motives which have unforeseeable and unintended bad consequences
  193. We can also envision actions with bad motives which have unforeseeable and unintended good effects.
  194. Who does the calculating?
  195. See Ragavan Iyer, Utilitarianism and everything That
  196. In Vietnam, Americans could never know how much independence counted for the Vietnamese.
  197. Who is included?
  198. Those inside our own group (group egoism)
  199. Those in our own country (nationalism)
  200. Those who talk about the skin we have color (racism)
  201. All human beings (humanism or species-ism?)
  202. All sentient beings
  203. Rule Utilitarianism
  204. Rule Utilitarianism is an option for individuals who think that there are complete prohibitions on certain types of actions but do not need to stop on utilitarianism completely. Corresponding to RU, the rule of energy is helpful information for choosing guidelines, not individual acts.
  205.  
  206. Rule Utilitarianism: An action or insurance policy is morally right if and only when it is steady with the set of rules (moral code) that would maximize joy, if generally implemented.
  207.  
  208. In the beginning, RU appears to be a good response to make when confronted with the involuntary body organ donor case and other similar instances. It appears less plausible, though, when we consider instances where there can be an action that could result in drastically greater utility than would result from following the rule. For example, imagine an instance regarding a million hostages rather than fifty. In this case, RU attacks many as irrational rule worship. It needs us to check out the rules even though doing so defeats the purpose of having them.
  209. CONCLUSION
  210. Concluding Assessment
More...

Ethics is a branch of viewpoint that addresses questions about morality-that is, ideas such nearly as good and bad, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice, etc. It is a conception of right and wrong conduct. It instructs us whether our patterns is moral or immoral and deals with fundamental human romance - how we think and behave toward others and how we want them to believe and behave towards us. Honest Principles are guides to moral behavior. For example generally in most societies lying, stealing, cheating and harming others are believed as unethical and immoral tendencies while integrity, keeping promises, aiding others and respecting others is recognized as moral and moral behavior.

Ethics, also called moral beliefs, is a branch of beliefs that involves systematizing, defending, and suggesting concepts of right and wrong conduct. It comes from the Greek expression ethos, which means "character". Major areas of study in ethics may be split into 4 operational areas:

Meta-ethics, about the theoretical meaning and reference of moral propositions and exactly how their truth beliefs (if any) may be established;

Normative ethics, about the functional means of determining a moral plan of action;

Descriptive ethics, also called comparative ethics, is the analysis of people's beliefs about morality;

Applied ethics, about how exactly moral outcomes may be accomplished in specific situations;

Ethics is a conception of right and incorrect conduct. It instructs us whether our action is moral or immoral and handles fundamental human human relationships - how exactly we think and behave toward others and how exactly we want them to believe and behave toward us. Honest principles are courses to moral behavior. For example, generally in most societies resting, stealing, deceiving and harming others are believed to be unethical and immoral. Honesty, keeping promises, helping others, and respecting the rights of others are considered ethically and morally appealing tendencies. Such basic guidelines of behavior are crucial for the preservation and continuation of arranged life everywhere you go.

These notions of right and incorrect result from many sources. Spiritual beliefs are a major source of moral guidance for many. The family organization - whether two parents, a single parent, or a sizable family with brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and other kin - imparts a feeling of right and wrong to children as they grow up. Academic institutions and school instructors, neighborhood friends and neighborhoods, friends, admired role models, cultural teams - and, of course, the ever-present print out and electronic advertising - influence that which we imagine to be right and incorrect in life. The totality of the learning activities creates in each individual an idea of ethics, morality and socially appropriate behavior. This central of ethical values then works as a moral compass that helps to guide a person when ethical puzzle arise.

Ethical ideas are offered in all societies, organizations, and specific persons, although they could vary greatly in one to another. Your ethics might not be exactly like your neighbor's; a definite religion's idea of morality might not be equivalent to another's; or what is considered ethical in a single modern culture may be forbidden in another modern culture. These differences improve the important and controversial issue of moral relativism, which keeps that the moral ideas should be described by various periods of time ever sold, a society's customs, the special circumstances of as soon as, or personal opinion. In this particular view, this is given to ethics would be in accordance with time, place, circumstances, and the individual involved. In that case, there would be no general ethical standards which people around the globe could concur. For companies executing business in a number of societies at one time, whether or not ethics is relevant needs a extensive analysis and detailed discussion. For the moment, however, we can say that in spite of the diverse systems of ethics that exist within our own population and across the world, all people almost everywhere depend on honest system to tell them whether their actions are right or incorrect, moral or immoral, approved or disapproved. Ethics, in this sense is a general human characteristic, found just about everywhere.

B) WHAT IS BUSINESS ETHICS ?

Business ethics is a form of applied ethics or professional ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or honest problems that occur in a small business environment. It pertains to all areas of business conduct and is relevant to the conduct of people and whole organizations.

Business ethics has both normative and descriptive sizes. As a corporate practice and a job specialty area, the field is primarily normative. Academics wanting to understand business tendencies make use of descriptive methods. The range and level of business ethical issues demonstrates the discussion of profit-maximizing behavior with non-economic concerns. Interest running a business ethics accelerated drastically during the 1980s and 1990s, both within major corporations and within academia. For example, today most major organizations promote their dedication to non-economic worth under headings such as moral codes and public responsibility charters. Adam Smith said, "People of the same trade hardly ever meet along, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation leads to a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. " Government authorities use laws and regulations to point business tendencies in what they understand to be beneficial guidelines. Ethics implicitly regulates areas and details of behavior that rest beyond governmental control. The emergence of large companies with limited interactions and level of sensitivity to the communities in which they operate, accelerated the introduction of formal ethics regimes.

Business ethics demonstrates the viewpoint of business, one of whose seeks is to determine the fundamental purposes of the company. When a company's purpose is to increase shareholder dividends, then sacrificing earnings to other concerns is a violation of its fiduciary responsibility. Corporate entities are legally considered as individuals in USA and in most nations. The 'corporate and business people' are legally eligible for the rights and liabilities credited to residents as folks.

It is the analysis of what standards businesses should observer in their dealings over and above compliance with the letter of laws. This covers questions such as good dealing with their labor force, customers, suppliers, and opponents, and the impact of these activities on public health, the environment, and animal welfare. When a good reputation helps to gain and maintain business, ethical do need not automatically conflict with profit, but there are bound to be conditions where it does. Especially difficult questions of business ethics come up in multinational organizations, where techniques such as gift items to officials, which are essential to doing business at all in a few countries, are thought to be legal in others.

Apparently, business ethics is the application of general ethical ideas to business behavior. A typical business ethics textbook argues that 'good ethics is good business'. That is literally true provided that by ethics we indicate the ethics of capitalist personality and civil world. As Milton Freedman has famously argue the only obligation of a business is to make the most earnings it can - but achieve this task ethically, i. e. , in ways not incompatible/incommensurable with culture as a whole doing it as well. Condition involvement is usually justified as a means to redress market failing or as a means to substitute for missing markets. The idea says that a market become useful the necessity for state involvement should decline. Routines for increasing market performance need to be grounded in capitalist ethics. Philosophers and coverage makers wanting to promote organizational integrity seek to 'enlighten' organization management such that it internalizes ethical action patterns, which synthesize the search for earnings maximization of the organization with its dedication to the advertising of aggregate productive build up. Business ethics as it is thought today is actually an attempt to formulate behavioral rules and tactics for managers so as to enable these to pursue revenue maximization in a manner, which take accounts of the interest of other customers of capitalist world. In total, business needs ethics because the marketplace is not self- governing and the pursuit of individual self-interest does not lead to the required, unintended automatic promotion of the hobbies of the complete. Men need to be taught to behave in a specific honest manner for the carry out of capitalist business. Business ethics justifies self-interest orientation. More importantly, it educates the director and the staff to be self-interested in ways, which sustains capitalist order, i. e. , helps maximization of the average rate of go back on aggregate deposition.

Utilitarianism as an moral theory

The Basic Notion of Utilitarianism

 

Utilitarianism involves two doctrines: A theory of what is good, and a theory of what is right.

Utilitarianism's theory of what is right is consequentialism, or the doctrine that the morally right option in any circumstance is that option which brings about the most good, or the best consequences; any other option is incorrect.

Utilitarians make reference to the choice that results in the best effects, or "maximizes the nice", to be the optimific choice. Hence, the right option is the optimific option. Remember that a choice which produces the most good also, and by classification, produces the least bad consequences. Hence, there may be a right option even if the only alternatives produce bad results (e. g. , other activities identical, the right dentist to visit is the main one who produces minimal pain. )

Utilitarians all concur that what is good is "electricity"--man well-being or welfare. However, they disagree in what human well-being or welfare is. Traditional utilitarians were hedonistic: They presented that human well being involves pleasure. In retaining this view, they did not, of course, deny that individuals well-being consists of community, self-development, prosperity, and so forth. What they stated was that every of these things was either a methods to, or associated with, pleasure, and it is this association with pleasure which makes them rely as parts of individual well-being. However, because of the difficulty of measuring, and so maximizing, portions of pleasure, few now carry this doctrine, and there are a number of ideas of what is good among modern utilitarians. We will discuss this below.

Utilitarians also all consent that what's right is the optimific choice. All of them are consequentialists in this sense. However, they disagree about what things should be evaluated based on the consequentialist criterion -- particular activities, character traits, guidelines and criteria of behavior or large-scale companies. Again, the traditional utilitarian view kept that particular actions are what must be assessed based on the consequentialist criterion. Hence, they presented that what makes an action right is that it produced the best repercussions. However, many disagree with this, as there are a number of kinds of consequentialism that utilitarians keep.

The utilitarian view can be applied either to all or any spheres of practical life, or can be restricted to some particular sphere. Utilitarianism as a comprehensive doctrine expresses an outlook that may be put on all sensible spheres, for example, both to the private actions of individuals also to the political set ups of societies. Hence, extensive utilitarianism is the view that why is actions right or wrong is determined by the utilitarian standard, and this very same standard also says us which types of government, societal institutions, laws and plans are just or unjust. However when utilitarianism is expresses a view no more than the latter, it is merely a political doctrine, and we'll call it politics utilitarianism. Rawls and other political philosophers mainly are concerned with politics utilitarianism. Rawls refers to the main topic of a political theory as the "basic structure" of society--its form of federal, organizations and policies--rather than to the activities of the those who reside in the population.

 

The Greatest Happiness Principle

 

"Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they have a tendency to produce the change of enjoyment" -John Stuart Mill

 

Happiness = pleasure, and the lack of pain

Unhappiness = pain, and the absence of pleasure

 

Happiness is the thing that has intrinsic value "pleasure, and liberty from pain, are the only things advisable as ends. . . all suitable things are advisable either for the pleasure natural in themselves, or as means to the campaign of pleasure and the prevention of pain. "

Background on Utilitarianism

 

English philosophers John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) and Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) were the key proponents of what is now called "typical utilitarianism".

The Utilitarian were social reformers. They supported suffrage for females and the ones without property, and the abolition of slavery. Utilitarian argued that crooks ought to be reformed and not just punished (although Mill performed support capital consequence as a deterrent). Bentham spoke out against cruelty to pets or animals. Mill was a solid supporter of meritocracy.

Proponents emphasized that utilitarianism was an egalitarian doctrine. Everyone's delight counts similarly.

Utilitarianism and the Enlightenment

 

The science of the Enlightenment highlighted theories with an extremely few general regulations and vast explanatory vitality. Newton's regulations, for example, seemed able to are the cause of every one of the movement in the world. Utilitarianism fit right in: it was an ethical theory compatible with science and featuring a single laws of morality with great explanatory electricity. It was a sort of technology of morality.

Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism

Consequentialism: Whether an action is morally right or wrong depends entirely on its outcomes. An action is right if it results in the best result of the options available. Otherwise it is incorrect.

The Good: Things (goals, says of affairs) that are worthy of pursuing and promoting.

The Right: the moral rightness (or wrongness) of actions and procedures.

Consequentialists say that activities are Right when they take full advantage of the Good.

Rhetorical argument: How could it be incorrect to do what produces the most good? Wouldn't it be irrational to demand that we must choose the less good in virtually any situation?

 

Utilitarianism identifies the Good as pleasure without pain. So, matching to Utilitarianism, our one moral work is to increase pleasure and minimize pain.

Basic Information of Utililitarianism

The reason for morality is to help make the world a better place.

Morality is approximately producing good results, not having good intentions

We should do whatever provides the most profit (i. e. , intrinsic value) to all or any of mankind.

The reason for Morality

The utilitarian has a simple response to the question of why morality exists in any way:

The reason for morality is to steer people's actions so concerning produce a much better world.

Consequently, the emphasis in utilitarianism is on implications, not motives.

Fundamental Imperative

The fundamental imperative of utilitarianism is:

Always act in the way that will produce the best overall amount of good on the planet.

The emphasis is evidently on results, not intentions.

The focus on the overall good

We often speak of "utilitarian" solutions in a disparaging build, but in truth utilitarianism is a requiring moral position that often asks us to put aside self-interest with regard to the complete.

Utilitarianism is a morally requiring position for just two reasons:

It always asks us to do the most, to maximize utility, not to do the minimum.

It asks us to set besides personal interest.

The Imagine Utilitarianism: Bringing Scientific Certainty to Ethics

Utilitarianism offers us a powerful vision of the moral life, one which promises to reduce or eliminate moral disagreement.

If we can agree that the purpose of morality is to help make the world a much better place; and

If we can medically determine various possible lessons of action to find out that may have the greatest positive influence on the earth; then

We provides a scientific response to the question of what we ought to do.

Intrinsic Value

Utilitarianism offers us a powerful eye-sight of the moral life, the one which promises to reduce or eliminate moral disagreement.

If we can agree that the goal of morality is to help make the world an improved place; and

If we can clinically assess various possible courses of action to ascertain that will have the greatest positive influence on the earth; then

We can offer a scientific answer to the question of what we must do.

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

Bentham believed that people should try to boost the overall amount of pleasure on the planet.

Pleasure

Definition: The enjoyable feeling we experience when a express of deprivation is replaced by fulfillment.

Advantages

Easy to quantify

Short duration

Bodily

Criticisms

Came to be known as "the pig's beliefs"

Ignores higher values

Could justify living over a pleasure machine

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

Bentham's godson

Believed that delight, not pleasure, ought to be the standard of utility.

Happiness

Advantages

A higher standard, more specific to humans

About realization of goals

Disadvantages

More difficult to measure

Competing conceptions of happiness

G. E. Moore (1873-1958)

Ideal Values

G. E. Moore recommended that people should make an effort to maximize ideal values such as flexibility, knowledge, justice, and beauty.

The world might not exactly be an improved place with an increase of pleasure in it, but it really will be an improved place with more independence, more knowledge, more justice, and even more beauty.

Moore's applicants for intrinsic good remain difficult to quantify.

Preferences

Kenneth Arrow, a Nobel Award earning Stanford economist, argued that what has intrinsic value is preference satisfaction.

The good thing about Arrow's approach is that, in effect, it lets people decide for themselves what has intrinsic value. It simply identifies intrinsic value as whatever satisfies an agent's preferences. It is fashionable and pluralistic.

The Utilitarian Calculus

Math and ethics finally combine: all consequences must be measured and weighed.

Units of measurement:

Hedons: positive

Dolors: negative

What do we determine?

Hedons/dolors may be described in terms of

Pleasure

Happiness

Ideals

Preferences

For any given action, we must calculate:

How many people will be infected, negatively (dolors) as well as favorably (hedons)

How intensely they'll be affected

Similar calculations for all available alternatives

Choose the action that produces the greatest overall amount of utility (hedons minus dolors)

Example: Debating the school lunch program

Utilitarians would need to calculate:

Benefits

Increased nutrition for x number of children

Increased performance, higher long-range chances of success

Incidental advantages to companies, etc.

Costs

Cost to each taxpayer

Contrast with other programs that could have been funded and with lower taxes (no program)

Multiply each factor by

Number of individuals affected Strength of effects

How much can we quantify?

Pleasure and desire satisfaction are easier to quantify than happiness or ideals

Two unique issues:

Can everything be quantified?

Some would maintain that a few of the most crucial things in life (love, family, etc. ) cannot easily be quantified, while other activities (productivity, materials goods) gets emphasized precisely because they are quantifiable.

The danger: if it can not be counted, it doesn't count.

Are quantified goods actually commensurable?

Are an excellent evening meal and a good night's sleep commensurable? Can one be exchanged or substituted for the other?

"the problems of three little people don't total a hill of beans in this crazy world. "

Utilitarianism doesn't will have a cool and determining face-we perform utilitarian computations in everyday living.

OBJECTIONS TO UTILITARINISM

 

Utilitarianism = Hedonism?

 

Objection: There exists more alive than pleasure; knowledge, virtue and other activities are important too. Utilitarianism is a doctrine valuable only of swine.

Reply: Utilitarianism requires that people consider everyone's pleasure, not simply our very own. Also, says Mill, there is certainly more to life than physical pleasure. Pleasures of the "higher faculties" (including intellectual pleasures inaccessible to lower animals) are of top quality than physical pleasures (and therefore count to get more).

 

Mill: "It is better to be always a individual dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; easier to be Socrates dissatisfied when compared to a fool satisfied. In case the fool, or the pig, is of a different opinion, it is only because they only know their own area of the question".

 

Is Utilitarianism too Demanding?

 

Objection: Utilitarianism implies that we should always act in order to increase enjoyment; this is too demanding a need. It really is requesting too much of folks to be always determined to promote the overall happiness.

 

Mill's Reply: ". . . no system of ethics requires that the only real motive of most we do shall be a feeling of duty; on the other hand, ninety-nine hundredths of most our activities are done from other motives, and rightly so. . . the purpose has nothing to do with the morality of the action. . . the great majority of good activities are designed not for the benefit of the world, but for that of people, of which the good of the world is made up. "

 

Many people have questioned whether this reply is adequate. No matter motivation, Utilitarianism does indeed require that people always act to maximize overall enjoyment.

 

Not enough time?

 

Objection: In real life, we don't have enough time to calculate the consequences of our actions on the general contentment. Therefore, utilitarianism is ineffective.

 

Mill's Reply: "There's been ample time, specifically, the whole previous duration of the individuals varieties. During all that time, mankind have been learning by experience. . . the consequences of some actions on their pleasure; and the values that have thus drop are the rules of morality. . . "

In other words, we won't need to do direct tool calculations generally; we can apply subordinate rules, which are rules of thumb for maximizing delight.

Subordinate Rules

 

Examples:

Keep the promises

Don't cheat

Don't steal

Obey the law

 

Subordinate guidelines are what we'd normally call "commonsense morality".

According to Mill, these are rules that have a tendency to promote delight, so we ought to internalize them as good rules to follow. They are learned through the experience of many decades.

 

But subordinate guidelines are that: subordinate. If it is clear that breaking a subordinate guideline would result in much more enjoyment than following it, then you should break it.

Breaking Subordinate Rules

 

In some cases it may be necessary to execute a direct utility computation:

When you are in an different situation that the guidelines don't cover.

Once the subordinate rules turmoil.

While you are deciding which guidelines to look at or instruct.

 

Euthanasia or "mercy getting rid of" (the getting rid of of the innocent to be able to get rid of pointless suffering) is an excellent exemplory case of something that violates a subordinate rule (Don't wipe out innocents) but can be justified on utilitarian grounds in strange circumstances.

Predicting the Future

 

Objection: Utilitarianism requires that people know what the consequences of our actions will be, but this is impossible. We can't predict the near future.

 

Reply: It's true that we can't predict the future with certainty. So, we should perform the action that people have most reason to imagine provides about the best implications of the alternatives available.

 

Example: You need $2000 to pay some medical charges. To get the extra $, you can either (a) acquire some money now, and repay it later by working extra time, or (b) spend all your money on lottery tickets and trust that you get big. It is possible that you will win the lottery, but this is not likely. Given the probabilities, it is more sensible to believe borrowing money provides more delight.

 

Individual Rights

Objection: Even though something makes people happy doesn't make it right. Specifically, it is wrong to damage certain individuals in order to make other people happy.

 

A Thought experiment: The Case of the Inhospitable Hospital

Suppose that Jack port is in the hospital for routine tests, and there are people there who need vital organs immediately. A health care provider has the chance to kill Jack port and make his death look natural. It would maximize happiness to cut Jack port up and present his heart to one patient, his liver to some other, his kidneys to still others, and so forth. (Our company is supposing that the organs are good fits, and the other patients will perish if they don't get them). Utilitarianism appears to imply that the physician should kill Jack for his organs. But that would be morally incorrect.

Thought Experiments

 

Scientific Experimentation: Researchers create situations in laboratories to be able to test their ideas. They need to determine what would happen when certain conditions hold-if what actually happens under those conditions will abide by what their theory predicts will happen, and then the theory is verified. Usually, the theory is falsified.

 

A thought test is a hypothetical situation that we create in our minds to be able to test a philosophical theory. The hypothetical situation should be something which could actually happen (and in many cases, it is something that has actually occurred, or may happen in the future). In order that we can test the theory, the theory will need to have an implication about what would be true if the hypothetical situation were real. We are able to then compare this implication to our own beliefs about the thought test. When the implication of the idea agrees with our own beliefs, then the theory is established (to some extent). If it does not, then we should ask ourselves, "Which can be wrong: the idea or my values?" It is reasonable to stick to our beliefs until the information is against them.

 

Important Note: It doesn't subject whether the hypothetical situation is likely to occur. When a theory has a false implication about something that could happen, then your theory is incorrect (on that point, at least).

 

More examples affecting Individual Rights

 

Exploitation: The early Romans used slaves as gladiators, forcing those to deal with to the fatality for entertainment. Is it right to force a small quantity of individuals to be gladiators if it gives millions of people pleasure? Would it not be morally acceptable to pay people to battle to the death?

Ruthlessness: Chief executive Truman ordered atomic bombs to be fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, realizing that plenty of non-combatants would be killed, to conserve more lives by closing the warfare. Believe that your choice did bring about fewer lives lost. Was it morally right?

Paternalism: Suppose that banning certain types of junk food and snack foods would result in millions of people living longer, better lives. Would such analysis be morally justified?

 

Utilitarian Responses

Denial: Examples like The Inhospitable Hospital often incorporate some error of calculation, or some failing to take all the results into account. For example, what would happen to the ability of this hospital to provide adequate health care should phrase get out a healthy person has been break up for organs?

But: The cases don't always entail mistakes.

"Biting the Bullet": If there is no error in computation and all of the outcomes have been considered, but there is still a discrepancy between what utilitarianism means and what commonsense morality explains to us, then very much the worse for commonsense morality. Commonsense morality offers us good rules of thumb, however they are subordinate to the best Happiness Principle.

The Doctrine of Negative Responsibility

 

We are in charge of the foreseeable consequences of the options we make.

Sometimes we choose to act, and sometimes we choose not to. In any event, we could making a choice that has effects.

Therefore, our company is just as responsible for the foreseeable implications that we fail to prevent as for those that we result in directly.

 

This means that "I didn't take action" is not necessarily a good defense. The best defense is "I couldn't have avoided it. "

Negative Responsibility?

 

Hostage Issue Thought Experiment:

 

Terrorists are positioning you and fifty other people as hostages inside a building. Really the only leave has been blocked and three of the hostages have been strapped to the door, mounted on explosives. The terrorist innovator offers you a decision.

 

Either

(i) you can switch on a detonator that will inflate the exit, getting rid of the three

hostages strapped to it but allowing the others to flee, or

(ii) you can decrease and the terrorists will wipe out everyone.

 

You imagine (and have good reason to believe) that the terrorist leader is honest. What should you do?

 

Some people would dispute that:

"It is horrible that everyone will be wiped out, but I have no right to wipe out anyone myself. I am responsible for my own actions; the terrorist is accountable for his. If he eliminates everyone, then that is his bad, not mine. But easily activate the detonator, then I will have committed an act of evil. Therefore, I am morally obligated to adopt option (ii). "

Criticisms of Utilitarianism

Responsibility

Integrity

Intentions

Moral Luck

Who will the calculating?

Who is roofed?

Responsibility

Utilitarianism shows that we are in charge of all the results of our choices.

The problem is that sometimes we can foresee results of other's actions that are taken in response to your own functions. Are we responsible for those activities, even though we don't choose them or approve of them?

Discuss Bernard Williams' exemplory case of Jim in the village

Imagine a terrorist situation where in fact the terrorists say that they will get rid of their hostages if we do not meet their requirements. We won't meet their demands. Are we accountable for what goes on to the hostages?

Imagine someone like Sadam Hussein putting children in targets likely to be bombed to be able to deter bombing by america. If we bomb our original targets, are we responsible if those children are wiped out by our bombing?

Integrity

Utilitarianism often needs that we put aside self-interest. Sometimes this implies putting aside our own moral convictions.

Discuss Bernard Williams on the chemist example.

Develop a deviation on Jim in the village, substituting a mercenary soldier and then Martin Luther King, Jr. for Jim. Does this substitution change lives?

Integrity may entail certain identity-conferring commitments, in a way that the violation of these commitments entails a violation of who we are in our key.

Intentions

Utilitarianism can be involved almost specifically about effects, not intentions.

There is a version of utilitarianism called "motive utilitarianism, " developed by Robert Adams, which makes an attempt to correct this.

Intentions may subject is morally assessing an agent, even if indeed they don't subject in terms of guiding action.

Moral Luck

By concentrating specifically on outcomes, utilitarianism makes the moral worthy of of our activities a subject of luck. We should await the final effects before we find out if our action was good or bad.

This appears to make the moral life a subject of chance, which operates counter to your basic moral intuitions.

We can see right now activities with good motives which have unforeseeable and unintended bad consequences

We can also envision actions with bad motives which have unforeseeable and unintended good effects.

Who does the calculating?

Historically, this is an issue for the English in India. The English felt they wished to do what was best for India, but that these were the ones to judge what that was.

See Ragavan Iyer, Utilitarianism and everything That

Typically, the matter differs depending on would you the counting

In Vietnam, Americans could never know how much independence counted for the Vietnamese.

Who is included?

When we consider the problem of consequences, we should ask who's included within that circle.

Those inside our own group (group egoism)

Those in our own country (nationalism)

Those who talk about the skin we have color (racism)

All human beings (humanism or species-ism?)

All sentient beings

Classical utilitarianism has often said that people should recognize the pain and suffering of animals and not restrict the calculus just to human beings.

Rule Utilitarianism

Rule Utilitarianism is an option for individuals who think that there are complete prohibitions on certain types of actions but do not need to stop on utilitarianism completely. Corresponding to RU, the rule of energy is helpful information for choosing guidelines, not individual acts.

 

Rule Utilitarianism: An action or insurance policy is morally right if and only when it is steady with the set of rules (moral code) that would maximize joy, if generally implemented.

 

In the beginning, RU appears to be a good response to make when confronted with the involuntary body organ donor case and other similar instances. It appears less plausible, though, when we consider instances where there can be an action that could result in drastically greater utility than would result from following the rule. For example, imagine an instance regarding a million hostages rather than fifty. In this case, RU attacks many as irrational rule worship. It needs us to check out the rules even though doing so defeats the purpose of having them.

CONCLUSION

Concluding Assessment

Utilitarianism is best suited for coverage decisions, so long as a strong idea of fundamental individuals rights warranties that you won't violate rights of small minorities

Utilitarianism is right if and only when maximizes utility

Utilitarianism maximizes tool if and only when takes everyone's preferences into account equally

Utilitarianism will take everyone's preferences into account similarly if and only if snacks people as equals.

Therefore is right if and only when snacks people as equals

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