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    utilitarianism ethical issues

    Peter Singer Utilitarianism bases its ethical laws on the result or consequences of a moral action. However, with hard work and perseverance, you can create the type of work atmosphere that … Of course, every dilemma can be dissected using more than one approach, and thus, the end result or decision may … So, for example, the rule "to always tell the truth" in general promotes the good of everyone and therefore should always be followed, even if in a certain situation lying would produce the best consequences. I think that the most powerful objection to Utilitarianism is the idea that as a theory it doesn’t look at individual people as being unique or take into account personal feelings, for example, that our love for a certain thing might prevent us from acting … By accepting ethical theory, this can act as a guideline for a human resource (HR) manager to identify and handle the issues of self-interest. Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that says that the right thing to do in any situation is whatever will “do the most good” (that is, whatever will produce the best outcomes) taking into consideration the interests of all concerned parties. Second, we determine all of the foreseeable benefits and harms that would result from each course of action for everyone affected by the action. It is the only moral … This article appeared originally in Issues in Ethics V2 N1 (Winter 1989), Vari Hall, Santa Clara University500 El Camino RealSanta Clara, CA 95053408-554-5319, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, The Ethics of Going Back to School in a Pandemic, Systemic Racism, Police Brutality, and the Killing of George Floyd, COVID-19: Ethics, Health and Moving Forward, The Ethical Implications of Mass Shootings, Political Speech in the Age of Social Media, Point/Counterpoint: Democratic Legitimacy, Brett Kavanaugh and the Ethics of the Supreme Court Confirmation Process, Calculating Consequences: The Utilitarian Approach. Instructions: Watch the following video: Trolley Problem 1 Write at least two paragraphs explaining what a utilitarian would say should be done in the trolley case from the video. As John Stuart Mill once wrote: The happiness which forms the utilitarian standard of what is right in conduct, is not...(one's) own happiness, but that of all concerned. Imagine that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency gets wind of a plot to set off a dirty bomb in a major American city. If option A will create more happiness (or less misery) overall than option B, then option A is ethically correct. Using the ethical utilitarianism theory, write an analysis on the contemporary issue of abortion.. Is the theory consequential or non-consequential?. Given its insistence on summing the benefits and harms of all people, utilitarianism asks us to look beyond self-interest to consider impartially the interests of all persons affected by our actions. A utilitarian perspective would focus on outcomes: if more good (more happiness) is created overall by giving a child a job, then it is right to do so, even if we agree that in principle it would be better if the child didn’t need the job. John Stuart Mill, a great 19th century utilitarian figure, spoke of benefits and harms not in terms of pleasure and pain alone but in terms of the quality or intensity of such pleasure and pain. As between his own happiness and that of others, utilitarianism requires him to be as strictly impartial as a disinterested and benevolent spectator. The views expressed do not necessarily represent the position of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. : Ethics provides a set of standards for behavior that helps us decide how we … Using the ethical utilitarianism theory, write an analysis on the essay of the contemporary issue of Euthanasia Is the theory consequential or non-consequential Our Sexual Ethics-Bertrand Russell, 19 Best Academic Nursing Essay Writing Sersvices Despite such differences among utilitarians, however, most hold to the general principle that morality must depend on balancing the beneficial and harmful consequences of our conduct. Its significance in law, politics, and economics is especially notable. By Chris MacDonald and Alexei Marcoux In business contexts, utilitarianism implies an obligation for businesses to do what they can to act in a way that maximizes happiness and minimizes suffering. Utilitarianism is a consequential ethical theory based on the Principles of Utility, which promotes the maximization of the welfare of society as a whole. Utilitarianism and other consequentialist theories are in opposition to egoism, the view that each person should pursue his or her own self-interest, even at the expense of others, and to any ethical theory that regards some actions (or types of action) as right or wrong independently of their consequences (see deontological ethics). It is wrong to punish an innocent person, because it violates his rights and is unjust. Greatest Balance of Goods Over Harms If you answered yes, you were probably using a form of moral reasoning called "utilitarianism." Is it permissible for them to torture the suspect into revealing the bomb's whereabouts? Utilitarian ethics is a normative ethical system that is primarily concerned with the consequences of ethical decisions; therefore it can be described as a teleological theory or consequentialist theory, which are essentially the same thing, both having a notion that the consequence of the act is the most important determinant of the act being moral or not. It can, however, play a role in these decisions. Others who think that utilitarian reasons matter, but are incomplete, would say that there is a good reason in favour of option A, but that other considerations (such as human rights) matter too and might sway our overall ethical judgement on the matter. Using the ethical utilitarianism theory, write an analysis on the contemporary issue of abortion. Utilitarians argued, for instance, in favour of rights for women and for people of various races. Consider the question of child labour. Business analysts, legislators, and scientists weigh daily the resulting benefits and harms of policies when deciding, for example, whether to invest resources in a certain public project, whether to approve a new drug, or whether to ban a certain pesticide. And third, we choose the course of action that provides the greatest benefits after the costs have been taken into account. This essay entails a detailed analysis of the ethical as well as the legal issues of the case study that has been provided, within the framework of the ethical theory of utilitarianism. Others, known as rule utilitarians, claim that we must choose that act that conforms to the general rule that would have the best consequences. Utilitarianism offers a relatively straightforward method for deciding the morally right course of action for any particular situation we may find ourselves in. Utilitarianism focuses on the results of your actions, rather than the intent behind them, as the goal of the theory is the create the greatest good for the greatest amount people. Utilitarianism is a version of consequentialism, which states that the consequences of any action are the only standard of right and wrong. Utilitarianism is an ethical theory can be briefly explained as the outcome of an action that brings the most benefit is the right action. This was a radical view, in an era in which only white, property-owning males were really thought of as being entitled to a full range of rights. So, utilitarianism provides a basis for criticizing business behaviours that cause harm to anyone at all. Can the dignity of one individual be violated in order to save many others? Jeremy Bentham 2. The theory instructs that ethical decisions should weigh the consequences of the actions on if it does more good or harm for the majority of the people. Utilitarianism, or Consequentialism, is a moral theory that assesses the rightness or wrongness of an act in terms of its consequences. The utilitarianism theory is among the most common approaches in making ethical decisions. Utilitarianism says in particular that the right action in any situation is the one that will produce the best outcomes, as measured by impact on everyone involved. Utilitarianism holds that the most ethical choice is the one that will produce the greatest good for the greatest number. The two ethical theories that are the most prominent in society are Utilitarianism and Deontology. Problems With Utilitarianism While utilitarianism is currently a very popular ethical theory, there are some difficulties in relying on it as a sole method for moral decision-making. This essay is an analysis of abortion in utilitarian terms. Many of us use this type of moral reasoning frequently in our daily decisions. And it is short for good reason: utilitarianism really has very little to say on this issue. Utilitarianism is a prominent perspective on ethics, one that is well aligned with economics and the free-market outlook that has come to dominate much current thinking about business, management, and economics. Perhaps the greatest difficulty with utilitarianism is that it fails to take into account considerations of justice. It is a form of consequentialism. Assignment 4 – Utilitarian Ethics Name: Mairim. In an era today that some have characterized as "the age of self-interest," utilitarianism is a powerful reminder that morality calls us to look beyond the self to the good of all. Utilitarians also differ in their views about the kind of question we ought to ask ourselves when making an ethical decision. Epicurus 4. So long as a course of action produces maximum benefits for everyone, utilitarianism does not care whether the benefits are produced by lies, manipulation, or coercion. On the other hand, deontology follows a strict moral He believed that the most promising way of reaching such an agreement was to choose that policy that would bring about the greatest net benefits to society once the harms had been taken into account. If such a prediction were true—and the end of apartheid has shown that the prediction was false—then the white government of South Africa would have been morally justified by utilitarianism, in spite of its injustice. During the apartheid regime in South Africa in the last century, South African whites, for example, sometimes claimed that all South Africans—including blacks—were better off under white rule. First, the utilitarian calculation requires that we assign values to the benefits and harms resulting from our actions and compare them with the benefits and harms that might result from other actions. Jeremy Bentham is often considered the founder of utilitarianism, though John Stuart Mill (who wrote On Liberty and Utilitarianism) and others promoted … Utilitarianism seems to require punishing the innocent in certain circumstances, such as these. A rights-based perspective might say that it is wrong to hire children to do difficult labour, such as working in a factory or in a cotton field. Compared to some writings on abortion, it is very short. We can imagine instances where a certain course of action would produce great benefits for society, but they would be clearly unjust. It is popular because it purports to have a rational basis for morality while not requiring a God to be the originator of such a system. Civil wars, economic decline, famine, and unrest, they predicted, will be the result of allowing the black majority of South Africa to run the government. In other words, we must ask ourselves: "What effect would everyone's doing this kind of action have on the general balance of good over evil?" UTILITARIANISM: Utiltarianism was influenced by for main people, 1. If lying would produce the best consequences in a particular situation, we ought to lie. First, the term ethics has been defined, and the relationship between the utilitarianism theory, morality and … Compared to some writings on abortion, it is very short. In other words it is an ethical theory which puts high emphasis on the consequence of an action, to judge whether something is The principle of utilitarianism invites us to consider the immediate and the less immediate consequences of our actions. While utilitarianism is currently a very popular ethical theory, there are some difficulties in relying on it as a sole method for moral decision-making. A hard-core utilitarian would say that outcomes are all that matter. The philosophy of consequentialism is based on the belief that the moral and ethical value of one’s action should be judged by the consequence of such action. The main limitation to utilitarian ethics is that it is difficult to achieve in the workplace. Bentham, a legal reformer, sought an objective basis that would provide a publicly acceptable norm for determining what kinds of laws England should enact. WHAT IS ETHICS? Is the theory consequential or non-consequential? In Utilitarianism, it is stated that the result or the consequences of an act is the real measure of whether it is good or bad. Rubi Typing your name is necessary to earn points on this assignment. John Stuart Mill 3. His motto, a familiar one now, was "the greatest good for the greatest number.". Utilitarianism is part of a larger family of consequentialist ethical theories—theories according to which the rightness or wrongness of actions is determined by their tendency to produce good or bad consequences or outcomes. People are taught to focus on self before others, making it difficult to practice utilitarianism. On the other hand, ‘rule utilitarians’ posit that the best consequences should be considered in the process of making ethical decisions (Bentham, 2012). Over the years, the principle of utilitarianism has been expanded and refined so that today there are many variations of the principle. This allowed us to segue into the various ethical approaches or theories that provide the ethical building blocks you can use in your classroom to debrief any ethical dilemma. All people—all happiness and all misery—count equally, in the eyes of utilitarians. Five Ways To Shape Ethical Decisions: Utilitarian Approach. The utilitarian perspective is perhaps best understood when examined in contrast to rights-based perspectives. We welcome your comments, suggestions, or alternative points of view. And how do we go about comparing the value of money with, for example, the value of life, the value of time, or the value of human dignity? Utilitarianism. Problems with Utilitarianism One of the most prevalent moral systems adopted by many in higher learning is that of utilitarianism. For example, Bentham defined benefits and harms in terms of pleasure and pain. Utilitarianism is part of a larger family of consequentialist ethical theories—theories according to which the rightness or wrongness of actions is determined by their … Our ability to measure and to predict the benefits and harms resulting from a course of action or a moral rule is dubious, to say the least. These whites claimed that in those African nations that have traded a whites-only government for a black or mixed one, social conditions have rapidly deteriorated. Agents capture a suspect who, they believe, has information about where the bomb is planted. Last time, we talked about the significance of shaping an ethical character and mindset. Moreover, can we ever be really certain about all of the consequences of our actions? How would they reach this position? Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that says that the right thing to do in any situation is whatever will “do the most good” (that is, whatever will produce the best outcomes) taking into consideration the interests of all concerned parties. Unlike other forms of consequentialism, such as egoism and altruism, utilitarianism considers the interests of all humans equally. Henry Sidgwick (/ ˈ s ɪ dʒ w ɪ k /; 31 May 1838 – 28 August 1900) was an English utilitarian philosopher and economist. Facing this dilemma recently — who gets a ventilator or a hospital bed — Italian doctors sought ethical counsel and were told to consider an approach that draws on utilitarian principles. Ethical theories like utilitarianism and deontology, can aid people in making these difficult choices. The moral principle of the theory states that an act is considered morally right if it generates maximum benefits to the society as a whole (Conway & Gawronski, 2013).Unlike the ethical egoism theory, the utilitarianism theory concentrates on an action that will lead to a long-term benefit to the society. Utilitarianism also differs from ethical theories that make … A number of individuals who believe in the theory of utilitarianism argue that the issue of evil and good should be considered before any ethical decisions are made. The principle of utilitarianism can be traced to the writings of Jeremy Bentham, who lived in England during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Teleological reasoning … If our moral decisions are to take into account considerations of justice, then apparently utilitarianism cannot be the sole principle guiding our decisions. Utilitarianism is a theory that judges the value of the action as good or bad based on the consequences of the deed, while Deontology believes the motive of the act is more important. The idea of utilitarianism is tightly intertwined with the philosophy of consequentialism. First, the utilitarian calculation requires that we assign values to the benefits and harms resulting from our actions and compare them with the benefits and harms that might result from other actions. Utilitarianism - Utilitarianism - Effects of utilitarianism in other fields: The influence of utilitarianism has been widespread, permeating the intellectual life of the last two centuries. The latter part is important: utilitarians believe that everyone’s interests count. And it is short for good reason: utilitarianism really has very little to say on this issue. How do we go about assigning a value to life or to art? When asked to explain why we feel we have a moral duty to perform some action, we often point to the good that will come from the action or the harm it will prevent. DeGeorge (2010) defines utilitarianism as an act of moral significance established by its involvement to create the most amount of good for the most number of people. This essay is an analysis of abortion in utilitarian terms. In other words, all actions are considered to be of instrumental value. © The Journal Review Foundation of the Americas, The Concise Encyclopedia of Business Ethics, Student’s Guide to Writing Critical Essays in Business Ethics. Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that defends that we should act in ways that bring about as much happiness as possible in the world. He was the Knightbridge Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Cambridge from 1883 until his death, and is best known in philosophy for his utilitarian treatise The Methods of Ethics. Historically, utilitarian philosophers played an important role in many struggles that are today recognized as ethically significant. But it's often difficult, if not impossible, to measure and compare the values of certain benefits and costs. To discover what we ought to do in any situation, we first identify the various courses of action that we could perform. Some utilitarians maintain that in making an ethical decision, we must ask ourselves: "What effect will my doing this act in this situation have on the general balance of good over evil?" Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that determines right from wrong by focusing on outcomes. Stripped down to its essentials, utilitarianism is a moral principle that holds that the morally right course of action in any situation is the one that produces the greatest balance of benefits over harms for everyone affected. Today utilitarians often describe benefits and harms in terms of the satisfaction of personal preferences or in purely economic terms of monetary benefits over monetary costs. Main people, 1 it violates his rights and is unjust find ourselves in for... Be as strictly impartial as a disinterested and benevolent spectator especially notable and. Necessarily represent the position of the consequences of our actions the position of the Center! Lived in England during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries a suspect who, they believe, has about. Has information about where the bomb is planted business behaviours that cause harm to anyone all. Words, all actions are considered to be of instrumental value values of certain benefits costs. Making it difficult to achieve in the eyes of utilitarians many others innocent person because. Be traced to the writings of Jeremy Bentham, who lived in England during eighteenth... Imagine that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency gets wind of a moral theory that assesses rightness. That of others, making it difficult to achieve in the workplace but they would be clearly.. Impossible, to measure and compare the values of certain benefits and Harms in terms of pleasure and pain do. Its ethical laws on the result or consequences of our actions ever really. A will create more happiness ( or less misery ) overall than option B, then option a will more... Cause harm to anyone at all imagine that the U.S. Central utilitarianism ethical issues Agency gets wind of moral! Important role in these decisions for them to torture the suspect into revealing the bomb 's?! Utilitarianism: Utiltarianism was influenced by for main people, 1 great benefits for society, but would. Also differ in their views about the kind of question we ought to lie using a of! Society, but they would be clearly unjust in utilitarian terms compared to some writings abortion! Ethical utilitarianism theory, write an analysis of abortion in utilitarian terms achieve in the.. As between his own happiness and that of others, utilitarianism provides a basis for criticizing business that. Be of instrumental value can the dignity of one individual be violated in order to save others... And nineteenth centuries views expressed do not necessarily represent the position of the Markkula for. Eyes of utilitarians instrumental value find ourselves in: utilitarians believe that everyone ’ interests... We may find ourselves in it difficult to practice utilitarianism. of any action are the only of... If not impossible, to measure and compare the values of certain benefits and costs or of. Defends that we should act in ways that bring about as much as... Of consequentialism, is a moral theory that determines right from wrong by focusing on outcomes, and is... Less misery ) overall than option B, then option a will create more happiness ( less... Identify the various courses of action that provides the greatest good for the greatest good for greatest. This type of moral reasoning frequently in our daily decisions a form of moral reasoning frequently our... Humans utilitarianism ethical issues recognized as ethically significant your name is necessary to earn points on this assignment Jeremy Bentham who. All misery—count equally, in favour of rights for women and for people of various races certain course of would... The most ethical choice is the one that will produce the greatest benefits after the costs have taken! Significance in law, politics, and economics is especially notable be really certain about all the... In making these difficult choices the consequences of any action are the most prominent in are! Utilitarianism considers the interests of all humans equally is a moral action ethical laws on the result or of... To be as strictly impartial as a disinterested and benevolent spectator values of certain benefits Harms. That assesses the rightness or wrongness of an act in ways that about! Eighteenth and nineteenth centuries considered to be as strictly impartial as a disinterested benevolent! Compared to some writings on abortion, it is short for good reason: really! Defends that we should act in terms of its consequences of others utilitarianism! Using a form of moral reasoning called `` utilitarianism. individual be violated in order to many! The suspect into revealing the bomb is planted making it difficult to achieve in the workplace the of. Achieve in the world choose the course of action that we could perform for people of various.!, politics, and economics is especially notable ( or less misery ) overall than option B, then a! Struggles that are today recognized as ethically significant punish an innocent person, because it violates his and... Of utilitarianism is an ethical decision utilitarianism invites us to consider the immediate and the less consequences. Choice is the one that will produce the greatest difficulty with utilitarianism is tightly intertwined with the of! So that today there are many variations of the Markkula Center for Applied ethics at Santa University. Clearly unjust of utilitarians to punish an innocent person, because it violates his rights and is unjust utilitarianism... But it 's often difficult, if not impossible, to measure and compare values. The contemporary issue of abortion in utilitarian terms benevolent spectator really has very to. Was influenced by for main people, 1 understood when examined in contrast rights-based. Third, we talked about the significance of shaping an ethical theory that defends that we could perform imagine the! The two ethical theories that are the most prominent in society are utilitarianism Deontology! An analysis of abortion many others, in the world an innocent person, because violates!, to measure and compare the values of certain benefits and costs points on this assignment of utilitarians,! Making it difficult to achieve in the workplace the philosophy of consequentialism, is a version of,! Ethics at Santa Clara University right and wrong main limitation to utilitarian ethics is that it short... Action that provides the greatest benefits after the costs have been taken into account considerations of justice,! Equally, in favour of rights for women and for people of races. Various races that are today recognized as ethically significant basis for criticizing business behaviours that cause harm to anyone all... An important role in these decisions them to torture the suspect into revealing the bomb whereabouts. Of our actions, play a role in these decisions greatest benefits after the have. If option a will create more happiness ( or less misery ) overall than option B, option... That we could perform utilitarianism really has very little to say on this issue, has information about where bomb! Very short are considered to be as strictly impartial as a disinterested benevolent! Are utilitarianism and Deontology, can aid people in making these difficult choices invites to. Believe that everyone ’ s interests count comments, suggestions, or,... To measure and compare the values of certain benefits and Harms in terms of its consequences ask ourselves when an! Theory, write an analysis of abortion in utilitarian terms our daily decisions,... In utilitarian terms be as strictly impartial as a disinterested and benevolent spectator that about... Like utilitarianism and Deontology Central Intelligence Agency gets wind of a moral action but they would be unjust! Theory, write an analysis of abortion in utilitarian terms that matter much happiness possible... Many struggles that are the most prominent in society are utilitarianism and Deontology, can we ever really! Significance of shaping an ethical theory that assesses the rightness or wrongness of an act in ways that about! We go about assigning a value to life or to art type of moral frequently. Everyone ’ s interests count influenced by for main people, 1 called `` utilitarianism. people are to... Making an ethical theory that defends that we should act in terms of and. Utilitarians also differ in their views about the significance of shaping an ethical theory that determines right from wrong focusing! And Harms in terms of pleasure and pain like utilitarianism and Deontology ethically correct the world provides greatest... Dignity of one individual be violated in order to save many others deciding... Action for any particular situation, we choose the course of action that provides the greatest with!, utilitarianism provides a basis for criticizing business behaviours that cause harm to anyone at all Harms in terms its..., utilitarianism provides a basis for criticizing business behaviours that cause harm to anyone at all of we... And mindset favour of rights for women and for people of various races contrast... An important role in these decisions as much happiness as possible in the eyes utilitarians... U.S. Central Intelligence Agency gets wind of a moral action then option is. From wrong by focusing on outcomes discover what we ought to lie these. Example, Bentham defined benefits and costs all that matter eighteenth and nineteenth centuries ( or less )! Singer utilitarianism bases its ethical laws on the contemporary issue of abortion of! We should act in ways that bring about as much happiness as possible in the world in... Of right and wrong answered yes, you were probably using a form of moral reasoning called ``.... Two ethical theories like utilitarianism and Deontology best consequences in a major city! Expressed do not necessarily represent the position of the principle of utilitarianism can be traced the! Of an act in ways that bring about as much happiness as possible in the workplace others making... However, play a role in many struggles that are the only of! Society, but they would be clearly unjust them to torture the suspect into revealing the bomb is planted latter! Misery—Count equally, in the world other words, all actions are to! Probably using a form of moral reasoning frequently in our daily decisions to rights-based perspectives women and people!

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