Utilitarianism began as a movement in ethics of the late eighteenth-century primarily associated with the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham. The basic principle of Utilitarianism involves a calculus of happiness, in which actions are deemed to be good if they tend to produce happiness in the form of pleasure and evil if they tend to promote pain.
As such, the philosophy is said to derive from the classical concept of hedonism, which values the pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain. The sophisticated system proposed by Bentham and later expanded by John Stuart Mill and others regards not only the end product of happiness, or utility, in actions, but also considers the motives of actions and the extent to which happiness can be created not only for the individual, but also for the members of society as a whole.
Both Bentham and Mill forwarded a belief in the intrinsic nature of value; thus good or the lack thereof could be regarded as inherent in an act or thing—a concept that allowed for the mathematical calculation of utility.
Beginning from this view, the Utilitarians created systems of moral behavior as standards for how an individual ought to act in society. While Bentham modified this concept over time, critics acknowledge that its essence remains intact throughout his work. Bentham developed this principle throughout a number of writings, including his most significant work of moral philosophy, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation Ostensibly a plan for a penal code, An Introduction contains Bentham's view that individuals in society should act for the benefit of the community as a whole, and analyzes the means by which legislation should enumerate the penalties for those who refuse to contribute to the overall benefit of society.
In this work, Bentham also sought to specifically record the sources of pleasure and pain, as well as to create a scale upon which the relative effects of individual acts in producing happiness or misery could be examined.
Affirmative action is giving advantages to members of disadvantaged groups. This creates inequality within a society. Disadvantaged groups would include minorities such as people of different race then Caucasian, woman and people with different religious background besides Christianity.
An example of this would be colleges. Some colleges would have it where they would have a number of students that would be accepted into the college that year and so many of them had to be from various disadvantaged groups. On the other hand students not part of disadvantaged groups who deserved a spot in the college would get denied because spots would be full. This created an inequality in society.
It looks to create equality for everyone and not just giving more opportunities to some groups. This theory over time will just cause more problems over time because who knows where the line is drawn? How many boost in life would we have to give member of disadvantaged groups before they feel life is equal.
Life should be about working hard and getting ahead not things handed to you. This brings the paper to criticisms of utilitarianism. Some people feel this theory takes too long to come to a decision and by that time the situation has either passed with no resolution, worsened with time or been solved too quickly and cases more harm than good. The next criticism would be that some calculated actions can lead to unforeseeable consequences. With this sometimes not all variables are not accounted for or they have a better impact on the situation then what was believed.
A utilitarian would then change their course of action to get it back on track to promote the good within the majority. If their action was not able to be changed they would let the action run its course and then calculate a solution to fix the unforeseeable consequence. Population size is another concern.
People feel the overall population is too big to instill this kind of theory. It would be nearly impossible to promote the greater good for the majority over a population this big.
The distribution of resources is also another problem. A utilitarian would believe everything should be distributed equal. Everything being equally distributed would promote equality throughout people and would promote the greater good for the majority.
With this information utilitarianism surly checks out on top. This theory seems to fit the needs of many. It has many good qualities about it such as equality and looking out for the majority and not just oneself. However, the tragic events of the Second World War of , has led to the apparent disappointing conclusion that human rights are not always respected everywhere. That is why on 10 December by representatives of 50 states members of the United Nations teamed up under the leadership of E.
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Free utilitarianism papers, essays, and research papers. Utilitarianism: The Greatest Happiness Principle - Utilitarianism was first brought up along the nourishing of “The Greatest Happiness Principle” introduced by Jeremy Bentham and further developed by John Stuart Mill, who was a follower of Bentham (Sweet, ).
This is a free term paper example on Utilitarianism cannot be used as your own term paper research. This sample term paper can be easily detected as plagiarism by any plagiarism detection tool. This sample term paper can be easily detected as plagiarism by any plagiarism detection tool.
Classical utilitarianism is hedonistic, it believes that happiness is the one ultimate good and unhappiness is the one ultimate evil but utilitarianism has changed slightly from this completely simpli /5(20). Essay on Utilitarianism. Critisism for Rule and Act Utilitarianism. Discussion of Utilitarianism In this paper I will be discussing utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is the theory proposing the principle of utility as the correct ethical standard. I will also be talking about the THEORY of RIGHT CONDUCT, which is also a part of moral theory.
utilitarianism paper - Free download as Word Doc .doc /.docx), PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free. Mar 24, · The Greater Good; an Essay on Utilitarianism. Posted on March 24, by Poignantboy. Standard. This essay – or post if you wish – is intended as a concise exploration of utilitarianism, one of many ethical movements within the world of moral philosophy. An understanding of this topic could prove useful to IB philosophy .