Application of ethical principles utilitarian moral

Clearly not. A clear discussion of Mill; Chapter 4 argues that Mill is neither an act nor a rule utilitarian.

Application of ethical principles utilitarian moral

Arguments against Rule Utilitarianism i. These problems, however, are common to almost all normative ethical theories since most of them recognize the consequences—including the hedonic—of an act as being relevant ethical considerations. Antecedents of Utilitarianism among the ancients A hedonistic theory of the value of life is found in the early 5th century BC in the ethics of Aristippus of Cyrene, founder of the Cyrenaic school, and years later in that of Epicurus, founder of an ethic of retirement, and their followers in ancient Greece. This does not mean that rule utilitarians always support rigid rules without exceptions. Moore argued for a set of ideals extending beyond hedonism by proposing that one imaginatively compare universes in which there are equal quantities of pleasure but different amounts of knowledge and other such combinations. Imagine you are the driver of a trolley car train and are speeding along. Therefore by using discretion, the officer is utilizing utilitarian principles in his or her decision making. Ray Briggs writes in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy : [74] One objection to this interpretation of utility is that there may not be a single good or indeed any good which rationality requires us to seek. Undermining Trust Rule utilitarians see the social impact of a rule-based morality as one of the key virtues of their theory. The accusation that hedonism is a "doctrine worthy only of swine" has a long history. Desired ethical consequences that actually result from our actions do not always happen immediately. First, they can argue that critics misinterpret act utilitarianism and mistakenly claim that it is committed to supporting the wrong answer to various moral questions. In their view, the principle of utility—do whatever will produce the best overall results—should be applied on a case by case basis. Ahead you see five workers on the track. Foreseeable consequence utilitarians claim that the action with the highest expected utility is both the best thing to do based on current evidence and the right action.

Bentham's commitment to equality was radical in another way, too. Because the contrast had not been sharply drawn, earlier utilitarians like Bentham and Mill sometimes apply the principle of utility to actions and sometimes apply it to the choice of rules for evaluating actions.

Arguments for Rule Utilitarianism i. According to rule utilitarians, a a specific action is morally justified if it conforms to a justified moral rule; and b a moral rule is justified if its inclusion into our moral code would create more utility than other possible rules or no rule at all.

Principles of utilitarianism

So we should at least avoid causing animals unnecessary suffering. As Alastair Norcross has said, "suppose that Homer is faced with the painful choice between saving Barney from a burning building or saving both Moe and Apu from the building…it is clearly better for Homer to save the larger number, precisely because it is a larger number… Can anyone who really considers the matter seriously honestly claim to believe that it is worse that one person die than that the entire sentient population of the universe be severely mutilated? Everyone's Happiness Counts Equally. This has led to scholarly debates about whether the classical utilitarians supported act utilitarians or rule utilitarians or some combination of these views. They see no reason to obey a rule when more well-being can be achieved by violating it. In this way, utilitarianism can provide an excuse for those who commit wrongs for noble reasons. People who seek medical treatment must have a high degree of trust in doctors. Maintaining vs. This is a very clear description of utilitarianism, including explanations of arguments both for and against. As a result, they cannot support the right answers to crucial moral problems. Bentham's ideal of a hedonic calculus is usually considered a practical if not a theoretical impossibility. Bentham believed that a hedonic calculus is theoretically possible.

Fundamentally, in the cases of doctors, judges, and promise-keepers, it is trust that is at stake. Almost everyone, however, believes that we have special moral duties to people who are near and dear to us. Utilitarianism offers a relatively straightforward method for deciding the morally right course of action for any particular situation we may find ourselves in.

But the utilitarian readily answers that the widespread practice of such acts would result in a loss of trustworthiness and security.

utilitarianism examples

While this action may result in positive consequences and the greater happiness for the greater number of peoplethe actions are wrong and cannot be condoned. If our aim is always to produce the best results, it seems plausible to think that in each case of deciding what is the right thing to do, we should consider the available options i.

It also suggests, however, that rule utilitarians face difficult challenges in formulating utility-based rules that have a reasonable degree of flexibility built into them but are not so flexible that they collapse into act utilitarianism.

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Three Basic Principles of Utilitarianism